United Airlines...

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Dan O'Hagan
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United Airlines...

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

What happens when United overbook and nobody volunteers to get off the flight...

[tweet]https://twitter.com/jaysedavid/status/851223662976004096[/tweet]

United's statement in their defence is appallingly mealy-mouthed:

[tweet]https://twitter.com/kateross_96/status/851415785394274304[/tweet]

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Brevet Cable
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Brevet Cable »

Even worse than it first appears, as per the link on PPRuNe from earlier today : https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/nation-now/2017/04/10/man-forcibly-removed-united-flight/100276054/
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 who 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.
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by davidjones533 »

.
Last edited by davidjones533 on Sun 12 Aug 2018, 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MicrolightDriver
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by MicrolightDriver »

Airlines have been 'bumping' people from flights for years, but I've never heard of this sort of thing before. So why is this suddenly happening?

Passengers less likely to accept being 'bumped'? or maybe United pushed their 'cancellation ratio' too far and are now 'overbooking' to the extent they're getting caught in situations they can't sensibly manage?

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boff180
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by boff180 »

Overbooking is common practice but to give preference to employees over customers in such a way is new and worrying.

It also shows extraordinary bad planning of staff logistics to have them in the right place at the right time.

The passenger would be perfectly justified to sue United and the Airports Security/Police Department for every penny he can.

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Spotty_Jag
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Spotty_Jag »

boff180 wrote:Overbooking is common practice but to give preference to employees over customers in such a way is new and worrying.

The general rule of Staff Standby (for every other airline in the world) is that you only fly if they're empty seats, never heard of fare-paying pax being thrown off before! :dizzy:

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MicrolightDriver
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by MicrolightDriver »

boff180 wrote:Overbooking is common practice but to give preference to employees over customers in such a way is new and worrying.

It also shows extraordinary bad planning of staff logistics to have them in the right place at the right time.

The passenger would be perfectly justified to sue United and the Airports Security/Police Department for every penny he can.


If it was a flight subject to EU law, the situation would be quite clear. Not sure about U.S. laws...

CAA on 'bumping'

The customer vs employee decision presents horribly from a PR point of view, but if this was the EU, it just looks like the airline's decision would be final, as long as they paid out according to the stated compensation requirements.

So then as a passenger if you don't comply when you're on board an aircraft then by law you're failing to comply with the Captain's instructions and then.... :dunno:

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Wrexham Mackem
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Wrexham Mackem »

Whatever the rights and wrongs of overbooking, to manhandle a randomly picked person off is appalling. We Brits do ourselves down, but I would like to think that could never happen here. An utter disgrace.
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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

Wrexham Mackem wrote:Whatever the rights and wrongs of overbooking, to manhandle a randomly picked person off is appalling. We Brits do ourselves down, but I would like to think that could never happen here. An utter disgrace.


By armed law enforcement, too.

One hopes the guy sues them for every last bean.

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CJS
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by CJS »

I am in no way condoning the way this was dealt with - by half wits with the verbal communication skills of a small child it would seem - nor do I think it's in any way right that the passenger should be bumped because United can't get their staff to the right city on the right day. However...

...in mitigation, does the captain of any commercial flight not have the final say in who boards and flies? If passengers needed to be (wrongly) removed and this gentleman was one of them but he refused, what choice does the captain have other than to insist?

Granted, he or she should have insisted the United employees were the ones not to travel, but after the decision was taken what choices did they have?

And please don't jump down my neck, as I clearly said I think it's abhorrent.

...
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by tankbuster »

They obviously didn't exploit the human greed emotion. In 1980 myself and two friends were at LHR on a TWA 747 bound for Chicago. The announcement came over that we were seven people heavy and the offer was full refund of ticket price, overnight accommodation and a guaranteed seat on the next day. It was very tempting but we had commitments in the US but never mind there was no shortage of takers mainly from US holiday makers adding an extra day for considerable recompense. The offer was oversubscribed.
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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

A second video has emerged:

[tweet]https://twitter.com/mikel_jollett/status/851501558235709440[/tweet]

United should be ashamed.

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Re: United Airlines...

Post by RAF4EVER »

link?

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MicrolightDriver
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by MicrolightDriver »

CJS wrote:...in mitigation, does the captain of any commercial flight not have the final say in who boards and flies? If passengers needed to be (wrongly) removed and this gentleman was one of them but he refused, what choice does the captain have other than to insist?

Granted, he or she should have insisted the United employees were the ones not to travel, but after the decision was taken what choices did they have?

And please don't jump down my neck, as I clearly said I think it's abhorrent.

...


As you say, abhorrent behaviour by the company but I think you're right - if for any reason the captain has come to the decision you're not flying, then you're not flying, and refusing to leave is going to escalate until it ends with you being physically hauled off the aircraft. Not sure about U.S law, but under EU law according to the CAA's blurb, they don't really need to give you a reason for removal provided they pay out the prescribed compensation. PR disaster, but I don't know how you'd sue anyone over it unless I suppose you could prove afterwards that it was a decision made on some kind of discrimination or equality issue.

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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

MicrolightDriver wrote:
CJS wrote:...in mitigation, does the captain of any commercial flight not have the final say in who boards and flies? If passengers needed to be (wrongly) removed and this gentleman was one of them but he refused, what choice does the captain have other than to insist?

Granted, he or she should have insisted the United employees were the ones not to travel, but after the decision was taken what choices did they have?

And please don't jump down my neck, as I clearly said I think it's abhorrent.

...


As you say, abhorrent behaviour by the company but I think you're right - if for any reason the captain has come to the decision you're not flying, then you're not flying, and refusing to leave is going to escalate until it ends with you being physically hauled off the aircraft. Not sure about U.S law, but under EU law according to the CAA's blurb, they don't really need to give you a reason for removal provided they pay out the prescribed compensation. PR disaster, but I don't know how you'd sue anyone over it unless I suppose you could prove afterwards that it was a decision made on some kind of discrimination or equality issue.


Don't know how you'd sue? Peak trolling, even for you. Look at the bloke's bloodied mouth, not to mention the way he was physically dragged out of a seat he'd paid for.

Risible.

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MicrolightDriver
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by MicrolightDriver »

So what would you sue for then Dan?

The captain ordered him off the aircraft...
The law prescribes that he must therefore leave....
He refused because he didn't agree...
After a lengthy argument with the staff, the crew called security and despite struggling and resisting, he was ultimately removed from the aircraft.

I didn't say I agreed with the action at all - but legally speaking, if it's the lawful authority of the captain to issue that order, isn't what follows actually the result of a failure to comply?

Try arguing instead of insulting..

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ted633
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by ted633 »

The United employees on 'Standby' could be a mis-quotation. They may have been crew / engineers being positioned for other flights, which would explain why fare-paying pax were bumped off.

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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Tomahawk »

MicrolightDriver wrote:So what would you sue for then Dan?

The captain ordered him off the aircraft...
The law prescribes that he must therefore leave....
He refused because he didn't agree...
After a lengthy argument with the staff, the crew called security and despite struggling and resisting, he was ultimately removed from the aircraft.

I didn't say I agreed with the action at all - but legally speaking, if it's the lawful authority of the captain to issue that order, isn't what follows actually the result of a failure to comply?

Try arguing instead of insulting..


I'm sure Dan will reply but how about inappropriate and excessive use of force, physical assault, false arrest etc etc. Your argument is flawed, the aircraft captain's authority like all facets of the law has reasonable limits and given the United CEO has already publicly stated that incorrect procedures were followed I think that a successful lawsuit is highly likely.

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speedbird2639
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by speedbird2639 »

I would suggest that the airline lawyers will press for an out of court settlement with the recipient required to sihn a compromise agreement that states he never reveals how much the settlement was.

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MicrolightDriver
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by MicrolightDriver »

Tomahawk wrote:...the United CEO has already publicly stated that incorrect procedures were followed I think that a successful lawsuit is highly likely.


If the CEO is distancing himself from the decisions then perhaps they are opening themselves up to a law suit. Especially in the US rather than the under the EU law I and originally CJS had been discussing.

Legally though, even in the US, if they maintained that they requested / had to insist that a person leave their aircraft and the person refused to do so, to the point of a physical confrontation with security staff, then it might be a different story.

It is the US though so what shall we start at? $50,000,000?
Last edited by MicrolightDriver on Mon 10 Apr 2017, 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Petedcollins
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Petedcollins »

Stupid thing is that if they canned the flight then all those passengers who are up in arms would have been throwing him off themselves.

If you disobey the Captains lawful instruction and you make a scene for yourself, yes that is exactly what he was doing, then this is what will happen. Stupid thing is that this is an entitlement society and as such believes that no one can touch them. Well the passenger was in the wrong, heavy handed? quite possibly but the passenger left them with no choice.

Simple as that.

If he wins a lawsuit it just shows how much of a crooked world we live in, disobey a direct instruction from someone in a lawful position, put up such a kick and scream that you have to be removed and then you get paid out

sigh

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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

Tomahawk wrote:
MicrolightDriver wrote:So what would you sue for then Dan?

The captain ordered him off the aircraft...
The law prescribes that he must therefore leave....
He refused because he didn't agree...
After a lengthy argument with the staff, the crew called security and despite struggling and resisting, he was ultimately removed from the aircraft.

I didn't say I agreed with the action at all - but legally speaking, if it's the lawful authority of the captain to issue that order, isn't what follows actually the result of a failure to comply?

Try arguing instead of insulting..


I'm sure Dan will reply but how about inappropriate and excessive use of force, physical assault, false arrest etc etc. Your argument is flawed, the aircraft captain's authority like all facets of the law has reasonable limits and given the United CEO has already publicly stated that incorrect procedures were followed I think that a successful lawsuit is highly likely.


Not to mention damages for the humiliation of going viral to millions across the world via that Twitter video. There's no nation more litigious than the USA. United better be ready to break that piggy bank.

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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Macc »

What I don't understand is that when overbooking has occurred on flights I've been on abroad, you usually receive a ticket that says STBY - or without a seat number. So you know already that it is the case and at the gate, you will receive a seat or be told that it has been overbooked at the gate.

What I don't understand is how it comes to the stage where the people overbooked are actually on the plane in the first place?

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Dan O'Hagan
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by Dan O'Hagan »

Macc wrote:What I don't understand is that when overbooking has occurred on flights I've been on abroad, you usually receive a ticket that says STBY - or without a seat number. So you know already that it is the case and at the gate, you will receive a seat or be told that it has been overbooked at the gate.

What I don't understand is how it comes to the stage where the people overbooked are actually on the plane in the first place?


Indeed. Surely once you're on the plane, in an allocated seat, it's yours.

Only time I got bumped off a flight was in Mexico, boarding pass like you say had no seat allocation.

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speedbird2639
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Re: United Airlines...

Post by speedbird2639 »

I agree Macc. If they need to free up 4 seats for crew then when the last 4 people arrive at the gate just inform them that the flight is closed and they will be reassigned and suitably compensated. No need to get into a fist fight over it. United's cred wasn't great already as they were the airline who insisted some teenagers couldn'tget on a flight in leggings/ yoga pants.

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