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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 16th Apr 2017, 15:21
  #1101 (permalink)  
 
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If there is a major problem onboard, then I don't think a suggestion that PIC has zero responsibility will fly.

I know what you mean, and in this case it is also a question of who created the major problem. What is unfortunate to this bar-room discussion is we may never know the outcome of any UAL internal enquiry. I'm sure we will discover the outcome of any claim by the pax. That will be very public. The night off the long knives will be very private, I'm sure; unless some one falls on their sword conspicuously.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 15:26
  #1102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FIRESYSOK View Post
Everyone wants to see this captain hung out to dry because ...
No, not everyone. I want to see United hung out to dry (and of course the thug who actually committed the assault needs to go to prison), but beyond that I'm happy for the courts to decide where in the various corporate structures which responsibilities lie.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 15:30
  #1103 (permalink)  
 
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What surprises me with everyone now having a camera in their hand is why this sort of situation has taken so long to actually occur and why protocols to protect the airline were not drawn up for circumstances like this. Image if this was someone returning for a funeral/end of life situation being asked to miss a loved one slipping away?

The second thing is why did security went all ballistic initially? There are a number of basic methods including non-confrontational/physical methods. I would expect a pub bouncer to have more acumen than those who perpetrated the alleged assault on the Doctor.

Finally, as this was spiraling out of control, where was the voice of reason from a senior ground crew member? Phones recording the carnage everywhere videoing a paying passenger bleeding, being dragged from the plane... what could possibly go wrong?

From what I can see is that there are too many people with the word "security" in the USA not adequately trained in avoiding conflicts and that UAL have some serious issues with how they manage risky situations. Chartering a six seater aircraft and a taxi fare either end, may have saved the airline and the bosses job. I've never had a bad experience with United and wish the staff all the best but please grow some cojones when it's going tits up.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 16:06
  #1104 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Skillsy View Post
What surprises me with everyone now having a camera in their hand is why this sort of situation has taken so long to actually occur and why protocols to protect the airline were not drawn up for circumstances like this. Image if this was someone returning for a funeral/end of life situation being asked to miss a loved one slipping away?

The second thing is why did security went all ballistic initially? There are a number of basic methods including non-confrontational/physical methods. I would expect a pub bouncer to have more acumen than those who perpetrated the alleged assault on the Doctor.

Finally, as this was spiraling out of control, where was the voice of reason from a senior ground crew member? Phones recording the carnage everywhere videoing a paying passenger bleeding, being dragged from the plane... what could possibly go wrong?

.
We don't know what the LEO's were told by whoever summoned them - possibly they were told he'd been disruptive and dangerous. In that case, the person who misrepresented the situation is significantly to blame.

I note that an eyewitness said that the person who tried to obtain 'volunteers' was less than pleasant:

Powell said he understood the airline's reasoning for removing passengers, but he didn't understand why they didn't take care of the situation before boarding — or why the supervisor who handled it did so with such an annoyed, "belligerent" tone.

"The tone immediately turned me off," Powell said. "She accelerated the situation. It was poor leadership."
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 16:38
  #1105 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post

Just my opinion, but all of this is reflective of the society we now live in. It's easier (and more timely in a very time constrained world) to eliminate issues immediately rather than to take the time to deal with them in a common sense manner. Life is now moving too fast to negotiate and certainly to investigate the facts and get to the ground truth as a means to a proper solution.
That's part of the story, but I believe a larger part stems from the propensity of power to corrupt. Our post-9/11 security hysteria has placed, in the hands of flight attendants, gate staff, and pretty much everyone employed at an airport, the power to ruin anyone's day by labeling them a 'security threat'.

In the past, none of the hiring or training practices for those positions needed to be particularly nuanced at screening out those with a propensity to bully or with similar psychiatric impairments, because they had little power to harrass others. With that having changed, the hiring, screening, training, and supervisory practices may have been slow to catch up.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 16:42
  #1106 (permalink)  
 
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A lot of people seem to be arguing about what "boarded" means.

But in this case it seems to be irrelevant, as UL was not allowed to deny the good Dr boarding, even at the gate.

CFR 250.2a says
In the event of an oversold flight, every carrier shall ensure that the smallest practicable number of persons holding confirmed reserved space on that flight are denied boarding involuntarily.
This was not an oversold flight, unless we count the DH crew as having confirmed reserved space.

We should then note the definition of "confirmed reserved space"

Confirmed reserved space means space on a specific date and on a specific flight and class of service of a carrier which has been requested by a passenger, including a passenger with a “zero fare ticket,” and which the carrier or its agent has verified, by appropriate notation on the ticket or in any other manner provided therefore by the carrier, as being reserved for the accommodation of the passenger.
Also note the definition of "Zero fare ticket"

Zero fare ticket means a ticket acquired without a substantial monetary payment such as by using frequent flyer miles or vouchers, or a consolidator ticket obtained after a monetary payment that does not show a fare amount on the ticket. A zero fare ticket does not include free or reduced rate air transportation provided to airline employees and guests.
So DH crew, even if booked in on the flight, do not count as a "confirmed reservation" and therefore do not get priority over fare paying passengers. A fare paying passenger can not be denied boarding in favour of a DH crew. To do so would be illegal, no matter what UL's CoC or company policy says.

UL simply can't legally deny a passenger boarding because they want to board a DH crew. Of course they can make an offer sufficiently big enough that someone voluntarily decides to give up their seat.

In my mind, the definition of boarding is irrelevant in this case, as UL were not legally able to deny boarding to the Dr, in favour of their crew.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 16:47
  #1107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Skillsy View Post

The second thing is why did security went all ballistic initially?
I believe that anyone who grew up in the US, and thinks back to his or her high school class, and thinks of their classmates who went into low-level law-enforcement, has the answer to this question.

Well-managed and prestigious police departments do an excellent job of attracting people interested in public service, and screening out those who are attracted to the profession because they enjoy exercising power. The rest of the profession is left with less choice and fewer options in hiring.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 17:54
  #1108 (permalink)  
 
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It is time for corporate culture at United to change. I too have seen their practice of lying to customers on many occasions. Ever hear of "flight cancelled due to weather at the destination airport" when you can pull up the METARs and TAFs and the conditions are CAVOK? This is done so that compensation does not need to be paid to the PAX for the cancelled flight.

The bottom line is that you may not make money on every flight. Flaunting the law in order to gain the lowest cost passage for a DH crew is an example of this. The founder of the company where I work as an executive once famously said "I would rather lose money than reputation". This is pounded into the employee's brains with each and every mandatory training we receive several times a year.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 18:11
  #1109 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gauges and Dials View Post
That's part of the story, but I believe a larger part stems from the propensity of power to corrupt. Our post-9/11 security hysteria has placed, in the hands of flight attendants, gate staff, and pretty much everyone employed at an airport, the power to ruin anyone's day by labeling them a 'security threat'. I
If ever a nail was hit on the head this is it.

In addition, this very fact entices all sorts of otherwise non-entity and undesirable types into an industry that grants them that power and they revel in it, accountable to nobody. That's why, in this instance, you had these vicious thugs arriving on board and, when they saw a helpless elderly man who was prepared to stand up for his rights, took particular pleasure in pulling him out of his seat, bashing his head off the seat opposite and then dragging him out like a sack of potatoes. Disgraceful that they have only been suspended instead of being charged with causing GBH and remanded in custody. If this sort of thuggery is not punished to the maximum it will serve as no example to others of the same mind.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 18:13
  #1110 (permalink)  
 
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The fact is any company can do whatever they want, whenever they want. If you have stuck to your side if the bargain, and the other side do not supply what they are contractually bound to do, then your remedy is to be found in the civil courts. Unboarded, deplaned, evicted, denied boarding it doesn't matter. So whether the positioning crew were late, no charge rebates, top priority - must fly is irrelevant. Someone somewhere decided this man had to get off. His status, rights and entitlement changed as soon as that decision was made. It is just a shame that some believe he had an absolute human right to insist that he was taken on that flight. That has never, ever been how this part of the world works.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 18:15
  #1111 (permalink)  
 
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I think you can pretty much summarise this whole incident in one phrase

'The Death of Common Sense' which was the title of a book published in the US in 1994 and on the first page has the comment

'The book provides numerous examples of how bureaucratic rigidity, costly and ineffective regulation, and overly complex procedural rules have superseded good judgement and common sense'

Whwere was the common sense from the gate staff realising there would be a problem with 4DH staff

Where was the common sense among the cabin crew before claling the cops

Where was the commons ense among the law enforcement officrs

Where was the common sense again among the cabin crew wehn this degenerates intoa bleeding man being dragged from the plane

Where was the common sense from the Flight deck who must have been aware of the kerfuffle down the back -it must have made alot of noise and surely the In chrge had to tell the Captain the cops were coming

Where was the common sense in UA management about flexibility when DH crews were being boarded- don't UA aircraft have a jump seat which one of them could have used allowing Dr Dao to keep his seat.

The answer of course is that it is really dead suffocated by processes, procedures and regulations which punish severly anyone who infringes them even if they are doing the right thing.

A story for our time
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 18:33
  #1112 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
The fact is any company can do whatever they want, whenever they want. If you have stuck to your side if the bargain, and the other side do not supply what they are contractually bound to do, then your remedy is to be found in the civil courts. Unboarded, deplaned, evicted, denied boarding it doesn't matter. So whether the positioning crew were late, no charge rebates, top priority - must fly is irrelevant. Someone somewhere decided this man had to get off. His status, rights and entitlement changed as soon as that decision was made. It is just a shame that some believe he had an absolute human right to insist that he was taken on that flight. That has never, ever been how this part of the world works.
That attitude is why United will lose billions in this case. Everyone in business is bound by laws in the countries they operate in. In this case the PAX was within his rights under federal law and under his contract with the company. I remember a quote from a business text I read near the start of my career. "Don't mess with the eagle". The eagle is this case is federal law. United stands to pay a heavy price for asserting that it's operational convenience trumps federal law.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 20:15
  #1113 (permalink)  
 
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UAL stock has held up pretty well during this PR debacle.
That suggests investors, who presumably have access to competent legal guidance, are confident that no serious damage will be done to the enterprise.
Does UAL have some sort of insurance cover for errors and mistakes in passenger management?
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 20:16
  #1114 (permalink)  
 
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United did NOT take David Dao's bags off plane | Daily Mail Online
... apologies if already posted
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/04/15/03

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Old 16th Apr 2017, 20:24
  #1115 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
The fact is any company can do whatever they want, whenever they want. If you have stuck to your side if the bargain, and the other side do not supply what they are contractually bound to do, then your remedy is to be found in the civil courts. Unboarded, deplaned, evicted, denied boarding it doesn't matter. So whether the positioning crew were late, no charge rebates, top priority - must fly is irrelevant. Someone somewhere decided this man had to get off. His status, rights and entitlement changed as soon as that decision was made. It is just a shame that some believe he had an absolute human right to insist that he was taken on that flight. That has never, ever been how this part of the world works.
Technically incorrect. His status in the eyes of UA might have changed, but his absolute rights under the CFR and UA's own CofC did NOT change. And that sir, is exactly what is going to bite UA in the arse.
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 21:42
  #1116 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SalNichols View Post
Technically incorrect. His status in the eyes of UA might have changed
In fact the only change in his status was from that of a boarded passenger with a confirmed reservation and a seat, to a boarded passenger with a confirmed reservation and a seat who had declined an offer to be voluntarily "re-accommodated" and who had even explained to United the reasons why he needed to be on that flight.

but his absolute rights under the CFR and UA's own CofC did NOT change.
As effectively acknowledged by United's CEO, so who are any of us to argue with that ?
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Old 16th Apr 2017, 22:00
  #1117 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting
Even if the pax had left the aircraft how long would the delay have been to find and offload his bags? Is that not required by law?
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 06:04
  #1118 (permalink)  
 
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United have now modified their booking policy re staff travel, saying they will have to be confirmed, with seats allocated, at least one hour before a flight's departure.
United Airlines changes policy after 'horrific' passenger ordeal - BBC News
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 06:34
  #1119 (permalink)  
 
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Given some previous debate there's a danger the media are going to start muddying the waters with the general public again with the likes of the above because to many "staff travel" means airline staff not working and off on holiday or "commuting" to/from work. The UK's Guardian is carrying similar saying "off duty" staff will have to be confirmed.

I'm assuming the actual process UA are introducing now is that Duty staff will be confirmed an hour out. TBH I'm surprised UA haven't been at least blocking seats for "must travel" staff an hour out or more before this incident - if not they've been holding themselves hostage to fortune.

Last edited by wiggy; 17th Apr 2017 at 06:45.
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Old 17th Apr 2017, 06:40
  #1120 (permalink)  
 
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I'm sure some Big Cheese will eventually ask the airlines to quantify ($) the effect of removing the ability to overbook. If the number presented is anything less than a sizeable slice of shareholder profit, I suspect the rules may be changed.
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