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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 10th Apr 2017, 13:09
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USA Today: UA forcibly remove random pax from flight

From USA Today, 10th April 2017

It appears from the report that United has a proactive approach to dealing with overbooked flights

A United spokesperson confirmed in an email Sunday night that a passenger had been taken off a flight in Chicago. "Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked," said the spokesperson. "After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities."
https://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...ght/100276054/

Video clip below

https://www.facebook.com/audra.dicke...4378182069960/
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 13:38
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"After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation."
But no apology for assaulting a fully paid up customer! He was bleeding.

I hope he absolutely rinses them in court.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 13:58
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If he was seated on the aircraft why didnt they allow him to stay and offload the pax who hadn't got on the aircraft? - bad procedure by UA

Edit: I just noticed that they were offloaded so that staff could get on - well sorry but that is even worse. Although I do remember that when I was a flying spanner Customer Service people would often take it on themselves to give away my seat without recourse to Flt Ops - there was then the usual arguing at the gate when they were told to return my seat to me.

Last edited by Jet II; 10th Apr 2017 at 14:22.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 14:01
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Funny, I always thought that, as a paid passenger doing nothing wrong, I would get to my destination.

Did not know I was partly responsible in helping the carrier get crew to their shift starting location.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 14:15
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BTDT

In my case the flight became limited due to weather prior to takeoff and a selection process was done by last on first off..

Fortunately somebody else had my last name and was encouraged to get off.

In this case United probably should have canceled the flight for some reason and sorted out a solution in the terminal. That way everybody would be expected to get off, including the crew
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 14:30
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Did not know I was partly responsible in helping the carrier get crew to their shift starting location.
Well, without commenting on this incident but as a general response to that comment .....sometimes there's is a need (sometimes at short notice, sometimes not), to get positioning crew from A to B to operate another service out of B and if that isn't done then that subsequent service gets cancelled....the companies really aren't keen on that.

What normally happens in those cases is as Jet II alluded to - the correct number of seats should be "blocked" ahead of time by operations so that they are not allocated to commercial passengers during the check in or boarding process......one reason no doubt being to avoid embarrasing incidents........

As to this incident, the timing/sequence of what really happened here and what status the staff had....might have to wait and see. Personally I'd be gobsmacked if it was genuinely a case of staff on personal standby tickets displacing genuine commercials, but I guess we might never know.

Last edited by wiggy; 10th Apr 2017 at 14:44.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 14:49
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And, it was not a United flight, it was a codeshare Jungle Jet ERJ-170 operated as United Express by Republic. As they say, it's a United flight until something happens, then all questions can be referred to 'our partner' Republic Airways.

That guy sure gets the drama queen award. Maybe he can join forces with Ravindra Gaikwad, the Indian MP who refused to deplane after finding out that he couldn't get a business class seat on an all economy flight.

Another video of the incident here:

https://twitter.com/stephenlaca/stat...33060293672961

Who were the law enforcement guys? U.S. Marshals from the ballcap logos? Their jackets just said 'Police' from what I saw in the videos.

United has already updated their terms of service:

https://twitter.com/gilbertjasono/st...262656/photo/1
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 15:15
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Doesn't matter who was operating the flight. This is an international PR catastrophe for all US airlines - the video has gone global. If that was the only way of solving a problem, something is seriously, seriously wrong with the industry.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 15:19
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Whichever way you look at it, this has to be a spectacular own-goal for United (regardless of which partner carrier's name is in little letters beside the door).

It would have been far cheaper just to up the incentive a bit more to motivate another passenger to deplane voluntarily (or even just let the passengers sit and stew until somebody cracked), compare to the cost of the reported 2-hour delay and a ton of negative publicity.

And that's without whatever the guy gets awarded by the court ...
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 15:21
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And Emirates isn't allowed to carry laptops to the USA.....
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 15:29
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The way to get a volunteer is to keep raising the price, or change to cash rather than 'future travel' money. Or offer other incentives. Even if it cost them a couple of thousand, that would have been cheap compared to what this will cost them. An airline should never involuntary deny boarding to any paying passenger.

Money talks, it should never be dragged screaming and kicking down the aisle.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 15:34
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The way to get a volunteer is to keep raising the price, or change to cash rather than 'future travel' money. Or offer other incentives.
Can't argue with that, which is probably why it would be interesting to get the real and full story.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 15:38
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United, or who ever you are, you REALLY need to fire your mangers and hire those who still behave in a human manner, and know how to both implement, and if required, enforce civilised behavior, there is NO WAY myself or any of my staff will ever fly on one of your "Cattle Cars" !
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 15:45
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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
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 16:02
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They have form in bad PR. One of their most famous is: United Breaks Guitars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

That stuff up was in 2008 and is still on the Internet. So many companies, not just airlines, have not yet discovered something called 'the camera phone'. So they deserve what they get.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 16:20
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That will be a field day for the passenger lawyers with this video footage. That will cost UA way more than even a chartered 737 only for the standby crew transportation.
Hope that the decision making process in row 0 is better than this.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 16:22
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Originally Posted by clunckdriver View Post
United, or who ever you are, you REALLY need to fire your mangers and hire those who still behave in a human manner, and know how to both implement, and if required, enforce civilised behavior, there is NO WAY myself or any of my staff will ever fly on one of your "Cattle Cars" !
No, don't fire them, make this a learning point for the entire company. Don't ever do that again.
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 16:25
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
Who were the law enforcement guys? U.S. Marshals from the ballcap logos? Their jackets just said 'Police' from what I saw in the videos.
Apparently the officers were from the Barney Fife division of the Chicago Aviation Police. Famously, they aren't allowed to carry guns.

The officers who removed the man from the plane were Chicago Aviation Police personnel, not Chicago Police officers. Chicago Aviation Police are sworn officers who graduated from the Chicago Police Training Academy but they are not allowed to carry weapons. The Department of Aviation has yet to issue a statement.
https://patch.com/illinois/chicago/u...-ohare-airport

Here's the original Facebook poster's account of the incident:

Bridges, a Louisville resident, gave her account of the flight Sunday night.

Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was looking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville at 3 p.m. Monday. Passengers were allowed to board the flight, Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered.

Then, she said, a manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.

Bridges said the man became "very upset" and said that he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave willingly, Bridges said, and the man said he was calling his lawyer. One security official came and spoke with him, and then another security officer came when he still refused. Then, she said, a third security official came on the plane and threw the passenger against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane.

The man was able to get back on the plane after initially being taken off – his face was bloody and he seemed disoriented, Bridges said, and he ran to the back of the plane. Passengers asked to get off the plane as a medical crew came on to deal with the passenger, she said, and passengers were then told to go back to the gate so that officials could "tidy up" the plane before taking off.

Bridges said the man shown in the video was the only person who was forcibly removed.

"Everyone was shocked and appalled," Bridges said. "There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset."
Video shows man forcibly removed from United flight from Chicago to Louisville

So the guy got back on the plane after being forcibly removed?
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 16:41
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United will probably offer some free tickets to the guy:

Response to United Express Flight 3411

April 10, 2017

“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.” – Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines
United - Newsroom - News Releases
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Old 10th Apr 2017, 16:42
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I am a Star Alliance Gold member who has, until now, used United and its partners when it was convenient and appropriate to do so. I was so angered by this story and video that I tried calling United to voice my concerns about this incident (I have been in the aviation business for more than 45 years). It is nigh impossible to talk to a real human via their "Customer Service" phone system so I submitted an email with my comments about this bizarre, needless -- and violent -- treatment of a customer (and suggestions on how to avoid similar events in the future).

I made it clear to United that I will no longer fly on United Airlines or any of its partners and I will encourage others to do the same -- at the very least until United makes a very public apology and assures its customers that this kind of event will NEVER be handled this way again. This incident shows a significant need for customer service training, new SOPs -- and of course some obvious PR lessons must be learned.

Almost inexplicable behavior.
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