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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 15th Apr 2017, 18:38
  #1061 (permalink)  
 
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The full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBduIyGsrtQ

The question about the Chicago aviation 'police' and the captain being in charge: https://youtu.be/rBduIyGsrtQ?t=1085
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 19:06
  #1062 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ian W View Post
The captain had better have a good lawyer in that case
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Is not the captain in an absurd position, with all the responsibility but none of the knowledge?
Watch the lawyer video, it sort of implies the responsibility of the Captain and the airline are analogous.

(I have no idea whether a captain would have personal liability or not)
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 19:33
  #1063 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by newfoundglory View Post
Watch the lawyer video, it sort of implies the responsibility of the Captain and the airline are analogous.

(I have no idea whether a captain would have personal liability or not)
Is not the captain in real peril?
He works for Republic, so UA may not see him as a team member and hence not go to extremes to defend.
A passenger was seriously injured through actions he is deemed to have condoned/initiated.
He could potentially face criminal charges. Who is going to fund his defense?
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 19:33
  #1064 (permalink)  
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 20:01
  #1065 (permalink)  
 
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Cows,
What if they dragged you off the restaurant because they needed your table for the restaurant owner's family and you refused to give it up.
Isn't it the same?
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 20:28
  #1066 (permalink)  
 
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Well, UA changed their policy.

http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk...doc-tmz-01.pdf
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 20:29
  #1067 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Basil View Post
I. The captain, or Pilot in Command, is not 'in charge' of the aircraft; the captain is 'in command' of the aircraft.
2. The despatcher (or whatever the person in charge of boarding is known) is responsible for the boarding process.
Given that the captain apparently has discretion as to whether to fly with specific passengers, it is not obvious that there is no responsibility as well.
A trial would certainly clarify these responsibilities, but that may be very unpleasant for some of the individuals involved.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 20:32
  #1068 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by galaxy flyer View Post
The sound of barn doors being locked after....
If this is the extent of UA's reforms, it will make it easy for the Congress to adjust the rules more fundamentally.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 20:35
  #1069 (permalink)  
 
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Based on not much more than experience in management, once an employee starts "working" outside his employer's remit, it can be very painful for said employee. The company cannot condone, defend or pay any penalties for those actions that are criminal or in conflict with company policies, procedures or legal obligations. I don't believe either captain is immediately in jeopardy, but if the captain directed the introduction of the police and the police are found to use excessive force, the captain might become an acessory. Lots of assumptions there.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 20:40
  #1070 (permalink)  
 
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I guess among those will be a Mr Munoz. Wonder when he last queued up to board a UAL flt...?

There was a media report (I cannot find it now) of a situation where Mr. Munoz and his wife were involved in an attempt to de-plane two F/C pax from a flight out of Aspen at Christmas so that they could travel.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 21:01
  #1071 (permalink)  
 
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Basil
I. The captain, or Pilot in Command, is not 'in charge' of the aircraft; the captain is 'in command' of the aircraft.
2. The dispatcher (or whatever the person in charge of boarding is known) is responsible for the boarding process.
But the issue seems to be who is in charge of any de-boarding process? Firstly in the event of a mutually agreed departure,
and secondly in the event of a stand-off.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 21:23
  #1072 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by meadowrun View Post
There was a media report (I cannot find it now) of a situation where Mr. Munoz and his wife were involved in an attempt to de-plane two F/C pax from a flight out of Aspen at Christmas so that they could travel.
Here is an account of earlier UAL incidents, including the one at Aspen, from the LA Times:

This first story I’ll share isn’t such a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But it’s perhaps illustrative of the corporate mindset at United, which seems to place customer satisfaction well below the interests of employees and shareholders, which isn’t very smart over the long haul.

It also involves the head of the company, Oscar Munoz. And a United spokeswoman admitted to me Wednesday that it really happened.

Steven Ginsberg — he prefers to be called “Sonny” — is a Chicago lawyer who vacationed this past Christmas in Aspen, Colo. He told me that when he and his family were flying home on United, the weather was pretty fierce. The small plane sat for nearly an hour on the runway before returning to the gate.

At that point, a family of five that had occupied most of the six first-class seats got off the aircraft. Ginsberg didn’t know it at the time, but he found out later that this was Munoz, his wife and three of his four kids.

The flight crew promptly upgraded the first-class standby passengers to the suddenly available first-class seats. Eventually, the plane left the gate again for another takeoff attempt. However, it turned around and once more returned to the gate.

United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy says this was solely due to the weather. Ginsberg, who was on the plane, isn’t so sure.

At the gate, he told me, a flight attendant announced to the five people who’d been bumped up to first class two hours earlier that they’d have to return to Economy Plus. “She said the family that had gotten off earlier had decided to get back on,” Ginsberg said.

This being Aspen, none of the people now enjoying first-class accommodations were willing to move. Ginsberg said he was told by one of the now-first-class passengers that a crew member had confided that Munoz and his family had disembarked to try and get a flight out of a different airport, the one near Vail.

When that didn’t work out, the passenger told Ginsberg, the United chief executive hurried back to the Aspen airport.

“The gate attendant repeatedly tried to shame the standby folks into vacating the first-class seats, shaking her head and making comments about how they should show respect,” Ginsberg said.

“The standby folks stood their ground. They knew it was Munoz, were bothered by them being the cause of an extra delay and did not feel they should be moved up and then back.”

McCarthy said Munoz was unaware of all this. She said that when he and his family reboarded the aircraft, he recognized the unfairness of asking people to move and, on his own, decided to take the empty seats in Economy Plus.

Ginsberg’s take is that the flight crew was “bending over backward to make the CEO happy.”

If so, it would reflect what seems to be yet another case of misplaced priorities. In the case of David Dao, the doctor who was forcibly dragged Sunday from an overbooked United flight, his seat was wanted by the airline for one of its own employees, who needed to get elsewhere for a work shift.

Then I wrote about Geoff Fearns, an Irvine investment manager who was threatened with being handcuffed if he didn’t hand over his full-fare, first-class seat on a flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles to another first-class passenger deemed a “higher priority” by United.

I’ve received many, many recollections of indignities large and small suffered by United passengers. The unifying thread to all of them is a seeming disregard on the airline’s part to how its customers are treated and whether the passengers would ever use the carrier again.

Micky Levy, for example, said she was flying from New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport last month.

“As soon as I sat down, I noticed my seat smelled like it was soaked with urine,” she recalled. “The floor was also moist. I complained to the flight attendants, who were very rude.”

After her seatmates also complained, Levy said, a United employee placed extra cushions atop the existing ones. The smell, however, remained intense.

Levy said a flight attendant refused to upgrade her to an empty seat in business class but instead responded that “I could go to the lavatories, get some water and soap, and wash my seat if I was really bothered by the unsanitary smell.”

Rita Nethersole related her experience last summer flying United from Hong Kong to her home in Massachusetts. She said she suffers from claustrophobia and can have panic attacks on long, crowded flights. So she specifically booked an aisle seat and confirmed that she still had the seat reservation 24 hours before her flight.

But when she checked in, she was given a boarding pass for a middle seat. “I questioned it and was brusquely told that my seat was changed,” Nethersole said. “I begged for a change and was still denied. I told them I was afraid I might have a panic attack but got nowhere.”

She ended spending hours standing in the galley, heavily medicated, trying desperately to keep from freaking out.

“I did everything I was supposed to and still wound up with a seat that was unacceptable,” Nethersole said. “No one attempted to help me. No one should have had to go through this.”

On the other hand, Michael Barletta told me about his experience a year ago when United was “warm, compassionate and exceptionally empathetic” after his 26-year-old daughter, Camille, a United flight attendant, died after being hit by a speeding car.

United arranged for her body to be flown to Chicago for a memorial service.

Munoz also became personally involved, arranging transportation and hotel accommodations for Camille’s former colleagues to attend the service. He called the family to convey his condolences.

That’s classy behavior.

Now what about all the rest of us who aren’t airline employees?
That time passengers were told to give up their seats for Uniteds CEO and his family - LA Times
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 21:32
  #1073 (permalink)  
 
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It's not just closing the barn door; it's an admission it was open. This wasn't even a "reminder: this is contrary to our CoC". As "Effective immediately, Crew Scheduling is now only able" implies that they were able to do more previously, as if they had a policy of booking DH crew after boarding. It will be interesting to see if the remaining US Carriers issue similar memos.
Ian W can go on about "The Chain of Command", but it's a jet parked at the gate before the captain accepts it.
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Old 15th Apr 2017, 21:33
  #1074 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Peter H View Post
But the issue seems to be who is in charge of any de-boarding process
But why is there going to be a lot of de boarding going on?

I am struggling to think of why this would be an issue. If checkin for the flight is closed, with no further pax being accepted for the flight, seats are allocated or denied boarding occurs. All pax have a seat assigned.

So far we have seen events such as:
1. Moving DH crews using seats already take by other pax.
2. Pax arriving late who might be deemed a 'higher priority' customer for the airline, where 'lower priority' pax have already been boarded.
3. Senior airline staff who might have an expectation to a seat, in a higher cabin class, which is already occupied by a commercial pax.

Seriously?

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Old 15th Apr 2017, 21:37
  #1075 (permalink)  
 
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All pax are equal, but some pax are more equal than others. (Apologies to George Orwell).
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 00:31
  #1076 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by lomapaseo View Post
I doubt that the public will wait for any clarity in the courts of right and wrong anymore than waiting in vain to hear any details of a sealed out-of-court settlement.

I'm quite afraid in individual self serving actions by other airlines (Delta sic) trying to soothe their public and to set themselves aside.

What is needed is clarity from the government of passenger rights and means of enforcement.

I don't wish to water down the necessity for the Captain to maintain a safe flight condition, but maybe for other cases fines against either party might be adjudicated in a calmer situation.
Delta isn't trying to soothe their public. They're trying to pull disaffected UA passengers and increase their profits. Expect the others to follow shortly.

You are quite right about clarity from the government but I'm not sure the federal gov't is at all capable of clarity in anything.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 00:55
  #1077 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by newfoundglory View Post
But why is there going to be a lot of de boarding going on?

I am struggling to think of why this would be an issue. If checkin for the flight is closed, with no further pax being accepted for the flight, seats are allocated or denied boarding occurs. All pax have a seat assigned.

So far we have seen events such as:
1. Moving DH crews using seats already take by other pax.
2. Pax arriving late who might be deemed a 'higher priority' customer for the airline, where 'lower priority' pax have already been boarded.
3. Senior airline staff who might have an expectation to a seat, in a higher cabin class, which is already occupied by a commercial pax.

Seriously?

I'm struggling with the concept of a full fare passenger in 1st class not being high enough priority to keep his seat. That is kind of mind boggling.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 01:49
  #1078 (permalink)  
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Ready to be corrected but I think that a 1st Class pax travelling on a ticket issued 100% in return for airmiles may have a lower boarding priority than a pax who has paid money up front, however, when boarding commences the flight is usually officially 'closed', that can mean no more tickets accepted and turning up with a full 1st class ticket, fare paid after the flight has closed may only get you an assurance you will be firm booked on the next available flight. Staff may try to get a voluntary downgrade or offload, that will be an internal affair.

Once again, for those that still seem to be in doubt, the seating and boarding are entirely the responsibility of the ground staff, right up to the General Manager - Traffic, of the airline. The Captain, F/O and Cabin Crew are responsible for the safe operation of the flight.

It is interesting that the Doctor's lawyers are concentrating on the personal injury and humiliation aspect, a stone cold certainty and where the big money is, rather than involving themselves in boarding and seating disputes which, by comparison, pale into insignificance.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 02:32
  #1079 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DingerX View Post
It's not just closing the barn door; it's an admission it was open. This wasn't even a "reminder: this is contrary to our CoC". As "Effective immediately, Crew Scheduling is now only able" implies that they were able to do more previously, as if they had a policy of booking DH crew after boarding.
Hammer... nail... THUMP.

It's effectively admitting there were two parallel sets of procedures - the 'public' CoC and the 'internal' policies and procedures which in some areas took little or no account of the CoC. Those two words - "effective immediately" - may just have landed UAL in a whole bunch more legal hurt; they're effectively admitting that they had policies and customary practices which made toilet paper of their CoC.

And I suspect they're far from alone in the industry in that respect; they're just the ones who got most egregiously caught.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 08:04
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I find it quite interesting how all those posters who said something along the lines of 'nothing happens without my approval' or 'I'm the commander, I make the calls' have gone awfully quiet recently.

If this incident does indeed reveal the PiC was, at least partially, responsible for the forceful eviction of Mr. Dao, those words may well come back to haunt them.

This incident may well result in a thorough, and much needed, clarification of how and when responsibility passes from ground to cockpit.
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