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USA Today: UA forcibly remove random pax from flight

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USA Today: UA forcibly remove random pax from flight

Old 11th Apr 2017, 04:42
  #221 (permalink)  
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One thing that I don't understand is how come UA/UA Express/Agents apparently didn't know that there was a requirement to get four crew on board, until after the passengers had boarded. Surely if they had known about it, they could have boarded (plane capacity - 4) to leave space for additional 4 crew. If they didn't know about it, why not?
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 04:44
  #222 (permalink)  
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He did not just BUY ticket

Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I suspect that most passengers simply think buying a ticket entitles them to sit down and be flown to their intended destination.
It is not as simple as him just "buying a ticket"
From United's own web site, he made a BOOKING. Subtle, but important difference.

Last edited by flynerd; 12th Apr 2017 at 04:45.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 04:47
  #223 (permalink)  
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One thing that I don't understand is how come UA/UA Express/Agents apparently didn't know that there was a requirement to get four crew on board, until after the passengers had boarded. Surely if they had known about it, they could have boarded (plane capacity - 4) to leave space for additional 4 crew. If they didn't know about it, why not?
Fact of life. Equipment break down. People get sick. Other crews get stranded due to weather. Etc., etc., not all knowable until last minute.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 05:05
  #224 (permalink)  
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nobody there to save the day

After the "smart move" that allowed the poor guy to smash "voluntarily" his face on the armrest, moments later, he came back in the cabin, as shown in a video.

There was lost the last chance, the airline or a decent crew member could step up: "Ok sir, sorry for all inconvenience, we'll fly you home. Now the price of a seat is 2000$!
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 05:35
  #225 (permalink)  
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You don't have the pulse, he's reasonably well regarded. He's brought on some talent after raiding AA. Let's check back in 48 and see who's right. That is unless you mean 48 months or years, you weren't specific. If anything the rank and file like him more today than yesterday for backing the front line employees involved with this.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 05:37
  #226 (permalink)  
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March 9, 2017
NEW YORK: Oscar Munoz, the charismatic CEO of United Airlines, is PRWeek U.S.’s Communicator of the Year for 2017 – he is the fifth recipient of this title.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 05:44
  #227 (permalink)  
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West Coast
This is not an issue of airline/passenger rights but a customer service issue plain and simple. As one with extensive experience in PR I would like to offer a few thoughts.

No matter how you slice it this is a PR disaster of epic proportions for United. Even if as you have argued everything could be justified from a legal and airline perspective this is not how it is perceived. Several factors are worth focusing on.

Firstly we have the treatment of the passenger which will be seen as unnecessarily brutal. Whilst it was the Chicago police who were responsible for the violence it was United that enabled it. United will be blamed for the violence.

Secondly we have the fact that his stated profession is a doctor with patients to see. Most will perceive this as over-riding any crew rights to travel in his place. We must also note that almost every paying passenger will expect to get priority over flight crew whether dead heading or not unless offered a serious amount of compensation.

Thirdly, the airline industry is a customer service industry and this incident has put a huge dent in that perception. The treatment of legitimate passengers in this way will be seen as an overbearing and uncaring corporation reneging on its commitments.

Finally the response by United has been poor to say the least. Munoz's letter fails to address the incident in a way that shows an appreciation of its seriousness and instead goes some way to exacerbating the 'them and us' situation. US airlines already have a low reputation for customer service and this incident will not help.

In this set of circumstances the airline can only be 'wrong' and will never be 'right'. The only thing an airline can do is be apologetic and institute measures to make sure that such an incident never happens again. Offering the passenger very generous compensation and a public apology also needs to happen. There is no other course of action.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 05:47
  #228 (permalink)  
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When he gave them a seemingly good reason to be on the flight, why didn't they just get the computer to chose another passenger at random?
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 05:54
  #229 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Martin_123 View Post
Chicago to Louisville is a 4 hour drive - by the time this ordeal was over, they could have just hired a car and sent their staff over by road. Narrow minded apes is all I can say
By the time the Pax has taken them to the cleaners, the could have chartered a GV with a well stocked bar and still saved money.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 05:59
  #230 (permalink)  
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United hasn't tweeted all day, looks like they are hoping that it will just blow over...

Social Media is awash with spoof ads, videos and statements from thousands of people stating that they will never fly United. This may not be so true as as soon as Delta is more expensive they will probably fly with UA again.

The whole incident is shocking and the way United has handled it is just as bad. I presume in United's world they were just re-accommodating the pax from a seat to a stretcher.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:16
  #231 (permalink)  
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America the police state

Originally Posted by I-FORD View Post
When Law Enforcement Officers ask or order you to leave an airplane you comply. When airline employes ask or order you to do something on a plane you comply. Any question is resolved afterwards, out of the vehicle. Some Passengers think that buying a ticket entitles them to do whatever they want on board an airplane, it is not just so.
With logic like that you gotta be a cop. 🙄 The guy was a fully paid passenger with seat assignment who was sitting quietly in his seat when a goon in blue jeans and a civilian shirt attacked him. How would you react?
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:23
  #232 (permalink)  
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Old Cart

I agree with much of what posted, this is a PR disaster, I as a worker bee however concern myself as to whether the process given to the employees was followed. Given what I can see at this point, highlighted by Oscar's letter indicate to me they were. This isn't exactly a complicated case, by this point the employees actions surely have been internally scrutinized. That's the niche I'm arguing here against a lot of folks who opine that the station, cabin and flight crews shoulder blame. There's idiotic suggestions that many thousands of dollars be offered to the pax when that in of itself is against the law. I list that as one example of the general ignorance offered here which is simply representative of the general public and thus the flying population. UA is in a no win situation given that the truth isn't an important part of the decision making process in social media, nor here specifically on PPRuNe.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:23
  #233 (permalink)  
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West Coast, you and I agree on one point - this is business. Business involves a positive relationship with you customers, especially when they are faced with choice. If you fail to give your customers a rewarding experience, they will take their custom somewhere else.

Of course, BIG companies tend to forget their customers single occurrences of 'bad business' have little effect on the bottom line. That is until someone else comes along and steals your business.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:35
  #234 (permalink)  
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As SLF I would like to point out an aspect of this which I don't think has been commented on so far, and that is the reaction of the other passengers who were eyewitnesses to the events; not only those videoing but those visible in the video.

I would say passengers are generally relieved when anybody disruptive is removed from their flight and full of praise for the crew and/or LEO, especially if it means their flight gets to depart more or less on time.

The overwheming impression one gets from available evidence of passengers' reactions in this case is one of outrage.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:36
  #235 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post

Quite simply, you're wrong. Moving crews is a priority for the airline. 4 pax bumped or 70 plus cancelled pax pissed because a crew isn't in position, that's just for the first flight missed. It ain't pretty but it's the airline life.

I can say with certainty that the agents didn't want this to end this way, and it didn't for the other 3. That the fourth felt he wasn't subject to getting booted and pushed it to the point of refusing the LEOs order to leave under his own power, well, he deserves blame.
Of course, there was no other way to get the crew where they were going. I mean, if it was soooo important to get them where they needed to be why not lay on a private charter? My company does so. Nope, beating up an old man was THE best solution?

Do YOU know for a FACT that the dead-heading crew were due to be operating?
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:40
  #236 (permalink)  
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Got to say I find some of the attitudes in this thread quite frightening, and I hope i'm never on any flight that some on here are on.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:43
  #237 (permalink)  
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Is it a relationship with customers or a fear of a social media backlash? Other customer obligations were maintained by getting the DH crew into position to carry them, far more than the one pax that caused the ruckus. He however punches above his weight as his story is the social media story of the day, not the potentially hundreds that were accommodated because the crew was carried instead. Managing PR and doing the right thing certainly are synonymous.

Last edited by West Coast; 11th Apr 2017 at 06:55.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:51
  #238 (permalink)  
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3 years ago we were booked on a United flight from LA to Brisbane (having left Salt Lake a few hours earlier). Turned out the flight was overbooked by about 8 people (from memory).

They called for volunteers and we moved to near the counter just observe the process. One of the would-be passengers was pleading to get on - he was flying to his best mates Bucks Party and Wedding (well, that was his story). I can't recall the other stories. He seemed genuine and we took pity on him, and went forward to enquire about offering up our seats. The rules were explained - he was last on the wait-list, and if we gave up our seats they would go to people ahead of him and they couldn't guarantee he would still get on.

At that stage the 'offer' was a night in LA, confirmed on next flight out (24 hours later) and $800 travel voucher. We were asked to step to one side with United staff member who quietly upped the offer to include 1st class travel on the flight the next day if we were prepared to give up our seats and just hope for the best for the guy we had taken pity on. As we were discussing this I saw 2 others come forward, seemeingly prepared to give up their seats, so I agreed to our deal.

Everything went smoothly - we spent a lovely day touring LA, Santa Monica and down to Long Beach arriving at the airport at 8:30 pm for our 1st class flight to Australia.

Somehow the treatment we received, and the way it was handled, is just so far apart from this experience. I can't help but wonder how much 'attitude' has to do with it all round.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:53
  #239 (permalink)  
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Can't for sure, neither can you. Crews arent shuttled around for a lack of something to do. They were on the plane to fly something at the other end or position themselves for a later flight. SDF isn't a crew base for the contracting airline, so they weren't simply going home.

As to why a charter isn't set up, you'd have to ask the upper echelons of management, which I'm not. I'm concerned if the front line folks did their job, not why management doesn't have Lears plying the skies with DH'ing crew members.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 06:54
  #240 (permalink)  
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I have not read all this thread (got half way through), so probably this point has already been made.

The concept of an algorithm choosing who to deny travel to is absurd.
Different passengers will have more and less compelling reasons for needing to be at the destination.
The obvious one is what if a passenger was on their way to a dying close relatives bedside.
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