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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, 12:00
  #301 (permalink)  
 
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Over-claim responsibility. Over-state the harm. Defuse the PR situation. Take control of the narrative.

Every large organisation faces screw ups. They are only judged harshly when they react indifferently.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 12:25
  #302 (permalink)  
V12
 
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I'm voting with my feet....across the concourse to another carrier
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 12:28
  #303 (permalink)  
 
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It doesn't matter if he was a doctor or not. He was still a fare paying passenger.

BBC Business article 'United's PR Disaster'

Not so friendly skies: United Airlines' public relations disaster - BBC News
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 12:32
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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Coming from outside the Airline industry, but with a strong consumer rights background, I am appalled at the treatment of this customer.


It is high time that airlines stopped considering themselves as anything other that a common-or-garden passenger transit service. Imagine if this had been a bus (which effectively it is), or a train, and a paying customer was dragged off the bus to make room for a company employee.


The practice of airlines overselling seats (albeit posters have said that it was not relevant in this instance) is absurd and places profit maximization ahead of consumer rights - it should be outlawed. In any other business you would be arrested if you sold (and took payment for) more stock than you were capable of delivering.


According to this source United Airlines has 728 active aircraft:
United Airlines Fleet | Airfleets aviation


With a fleet of that size moving staff around must be a logistical challenge, but reneging on customer contracts cannot be the answer. A consumer who has bought a ticket, and is not a threat to anyone else, has a right to travel on the flight that s/he has booked and paid for. End of.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 12:33
  #305 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jet Jockey A4 View Post
CEO Blames passenger, calls him disruptive and belligerent.

What an idiot!

United CEO Oscar Munoz Calls Passenger "Disruptive and Belligerent" | Fortune.com
His statement is all the worse for having been made after a monumental public relations earthquake, in the cold light of day, by the CEO of a listed company! You couldn't make this up! The passenger may well have been belligerent - I don't know if he was any more than Mr. Munoz does. Belligerent or not he wasn't violent. United made a choice to use physical violence to resolve a commercial dispute. What I do know is that if you are in a hole stop digging!
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 12:47
  #306 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by annakm View Post
https://drive.google.com/file/*REDACTED*

Apparently, not currently licensed to practise.
*If* that is the individual involved it appears that they *are* licensed to practice, albeit strictly by way of treating outpatients and within their area of specialism.

Frankly, whether the individual is a superlative doctor, a mediocre doctor, or a circus huckster has very little bearing. If he in fact had no patients to see the following day, it is very likely the information will emerge, but as yet there is no indication of this.

I remain puzzled by this assertion of passengers being selected 'at random', and suggest that the method for such allegedly random selection be explained in detail. 'The computer' is not any kind of explanation: computers do nothing but what they are told to do.

Incidentally, categorisation of a passenger as 'disruptive' is uncontentious if they spontaneously cause trouble during routine operations. But if they are an exemplary passenger until ordered to stand on their head or sing a song or arbitrarily disembark, then I anticipate argument in court as to who in fact initiated the 'disruption', irrespective of the captain's 'absolute discretion'.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 12:56
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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This discussion about him 'trespassing on private property' or that he was in some way a 'mentally suspect individual who was given a choice', surely can't detract from the basic fact that he began his journey as a fare paying United Airlines passenger - a customer, who was quite possibly surprised to learn that the airline with which he had purchased a product could deny him so easily and with no apparent recourse over what appears to have been a misunderstanding or miscommunication. What the passenger reports and video appear to show is nothing short of extreme in my opinion and clearly demonstrates the low regard this airline and it's staff have for those who purchase their product. It is completely irrelevant in my view that this was a Republic operated service; it was undoubtedly sold on United paperwork. I do wonder what involvement the flight deck had in this (if any) though. The youth, lack of authority and presence that I have seen in some U.S. regional cockpits perhaps necessitates the use of brutal force by at least three law enforcement officers when challenged by a 69 year old man in a confined space in the presence of similar fare paying passengers, however they got their deadheading crew away and that was what clearly mattered. Reminds me of a non-US colleague who tried to buy a 4-pack of Bud from Walmart. He was only 59 though but very obviously older than 21, so good job they called security when he very gently challenged the checkout supervisor over the validity of his passport as photo ID, as it wasn't on their list. Surely the Captain could/should have intervened at some point from a management or customer care/situation containment perspective?

I have experienced very few bad experiences as an airline passenger however all of them were with United.

Last edited by Reverserbucket; 11th Apr 2017 at 13:56.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:01
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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Granting that the person involved is the one named in the documents, and they are authentic, he has a restricted license to practice, under specific terms. So he is a "practicing doctor". No doubt, the settlement he will receive will ease the pain of having those sordid details from his past broadcast around the world, along with assessments of his alleged poker (and, uh, -him) abilities.

United just dealt him a strong hand.

Would this be a fair assessment of how we got here?

1. At gate open, there had one more passenger than seats, so one volunteer got compensation for a later flight.
2. During boarding, the DH crew shows up.
3. Four more volunteers are sought from on board the aircraft. Three accept. Our doctor inquires, but when he finds out that he won't make it to the office the next day, he declines.
4. A "Computer" selects him, and he refuses to surrender his seat.
-antics ensue-

Just out of curiosity, for those of you who work in the US, how often are already-boarded passengers invited to deplane and take a voucher?

As I see it, the fumble came when #3 didn't work. They couldn't get volunteers, so they followed the procedure they always follow at the gate. The problem is, denying boarding looks very different from ejecting boarded passengers. It also works a lot better. In this case, several people were effectively "in charge", and they all played according to a rulebook that was not written for this case.

For those claiming that emptying a plane will cause chaos, might I point out that ORD is a major hub with some degree of redundancy, and that nobody refuses to leave a plane that isn't going to fly for mechanical reasons? Eat a 30-minute delay, declare a mechanical problem, deplane, have the equipment towed to another gate, cull your pax, and get on with it.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:03
  #309 (permalink)  
 
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As a 777 captain for an Asian airline I can't imagine how the captain allowed this to happen on his aircraft to his passengers. I'm sure United has procedures that guide him or her to stay out of pax issues and that ground staff are in charge until the doors are closed but I can't imagine how he respects himself allowing these thugs to board his ship and abuse a paying customer that pays his salary. I'm thoroughly disgusted and happy I chose not to work for a US airline. The CEO's non apollogy shows the lack of leadership from above and I hope they are raped in the civil courts and I would love the CEO to be forced into resignation. Even if the pax was defiant he is owed a duty of care and he was reasonable in being upset. Disgusting necessary occurrence. It absolutely could never happen on my jet. There are always options to violence when we're not talking about a disruptive pax who groped someone etc. United clearly has no value for it's pax who had trusted it with their care.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:03
  #310 (permalink)  
 
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Regardless of who or what the passenger in question is or was or maybe, he has bought and paid for a ticket on this service provided by United.. In this day and age it is unbelievable that airlines are still 'overbooking', we all have to pay for our tickets before we are allowed to board and I can't believe the old system of 'reservation' still exists. As for shifting crews.. then that is down to ops knowing in advance from crewing.. we are talking 4 crew members, maybe 2 flight deck and 2 cabin.. so definitely not a sickness move,, tech maybe.. But at the end of the day United.. and Chicago Police shuld be so ashamed of tthemselves... I do hope he finds a good lawyer.. I hope to hell I never have the opportunity or reason to fly with them.. Bring back Peoples Express !!!
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:07
  #311 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
EX

Boarding is initiated prior to the 15 min mark which means people are still showing up when some pax are already seated.
Yet, you asked me if UA had a policy, I gave you chapter and verse. I'm sorry that you think it's a stupid policy, but isn't that what this thread is all about?
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:13
  #312 (permalink)  
 
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I think the lawyer will find him. Hope he takes the bait and cleans house. I can't stand what's happened to my country in it's lack of reverence for it's citizens.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:26
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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According to the Daily Telegraph the leaked justification letter from the CEO has been greeted with ridicule.
United Airlines CEO sends 'painfully tone-deaf' letter praising employees after doctor was forcibly removed from an overbooked plane

The BBC in the meantime is asking its audience if any of them have been offered incentives to leave a flight - and if so please contact them to give your story.
United CEO says removed passenger was 'disruptive and belligerent' - BBC News
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:42
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dsc810 View Post
According to the Daily Telegraph the leaked justification letter from the CEO has been greeted with ridicule.
United Airlines CEO sends 'painfully tone-deaf' letter praising employees after doctor was forcibly removed from an overbooked plane
CEO has kind of missed the point - being 'politely asked' implies that one might 'politely refuse'. Being 'politely instructed' isn't the same as being asked.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:43
  #315 (permalink)  
 
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As an aside, when a passenger leaves the aircraft, voluntarily or involuntarily, I have experienced an 'identify your hand baggage session' with Emirates, where every bag was removed out of the overhead bins and placed in the aisles and people were invited to only put back what was theirs. And this had to be done before the doors were closed.


Putting aside the inherent evacuation issues should something have occurred when all the bags were on the aisle, do the airlines have to ensure that when the person leaves, they don't leave anything behind which could be a problem, and empty the aircraft cabin anyway ?
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:45
  #316 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DingerX View Post
Would this be a fair assessment of how we got here?

1. At gate open, there had one more passenger than seats, so one volunteer got compensation for a later flight.
2. During boarding, the DH crew shows up.
3. Four more volunteers are sought from on board the aircraft. Three accept. Our doctor inquires, but when he finds out that he won't make it to the office the next day, he declines.
4. A "Computer" selects him, and he refuses to surrender his seat.
Not that it really matters under the circumstances, but I get the impression from reports that (4) came before (3) in the doctor's case.

In other words, he (and his wife) were randomly selected for offloading, agreed initially to accept compensation, but then changed their minds when they learned that they were going to be rebooked on a flight almost 24 hours later.

Of course it's possible that he volunteered, changed his mind and then was "randomly" selected for IDB - but that would be a bit too much of a coincidence.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:47
  #317 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mtogw View Post
Regardless of who or what the passenger in question is or was or maybe, he has bought and paid for a ticket on this service provided by United.. In this day and age it is unbelievable that airlines are still 'overbooking', we all have to pay for our tickets before we are allowed to board and I can't believe the old system of 'reservation' still exists.
Airlines like UA have to deal with the ebbs and flows missed connecting flights and they may choose to sell flexible tickets at a premium.

And of course yield management still adds its own logic.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:50
  #318 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wunwing View Post

Two years ago I did 14 sectors from Australia and around the US, then home. My wife and I experienced some of the rudest treatment that I've ever had from your TSA agents. Also some of the best. Can anyone from the USA explain to me why your agents have to stand in front of a person and scream. Do you suffer from the well known syndrome of screaming louder if you don't think that the person that you are talking to has a different language? Why with a B737 load of pax were only non US citizens treated this way?
TSA does not require even a high school diploma for their screeners, nor a GED (high school equivalency test) certificate, as this can be waived.

It wasn't too many years ago that a TSA screener in Phoenix seized a Medal of Honor from a WWII hero - General Joe Foss - because he thought it could be used as a weapon. These are the people we all have to deal with while going through security.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:51
  #319 (permalink)  
 
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What a lot of this debate highlights is just how enured people have become to airline "security" and how institutionalised some insiders are. When all is said and done the only justification for offering violence to a non-violent, perhaps difficult, even belligerent, individual is when the security of the aircraft, or the safety of others is compromised - period.

This was a commercial issue people.

The response of the United CEO is frankly breathtaking!

What was he thinking?

Last edited by birmingham; 11th Apr 2017 at 14:02.
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Old 11th Apr 2017, 13:56
  #320 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The Nip View Post
Even this email is appears to be written poorly. It clearly states;

' We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions'

Was he boarding or boarded?
This is the point that I made earlier. The CoC states that UAL can "deny boarding," but this passenger had already boarded. Oh, those pesky little words in the fine print.

Oh, and the flight wasn't "overbooked." Those four employees weren't paying passengers, and thus weren't "booked" on the flight.

UAL is spinning this, and if the media would do their jobs, they would read the CoC and not take United's word for it.

In all fairness to the Chicago Police Department, these cops work for the Chicago Airport Police Department - a different agency.
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