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United Amends Crew Booking Policy After Man Dragged off Plane

Soumis
 
A United spokesperson confirmed to NPR that the policy change is "to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure. (Note went through a couple of articles this site has the best description) (aliveforfootball.com) Plus d'info...

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AWAAlum
AWAAlum 6
I can't say that I either defend nor assign blame to this pax. I don't know the exact details of what actually took place from beginning to end. But, what no one seems to have mentioned here is that the doctor actually had a pretty valid reason to resist the airline's request. He had patients who he stated required his presence the next morning, and that he needed to be on that particular flight. True or not? Don't know, but it seems to me that is a pretty valid reason to respect his requirement and move on to the next random draw.
vkgarry
Garry Parker 0
There's nothing "random" about how they determine the order for involuntary removal.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Gary, the protocol is to offer an incentive to get volunteers prior to boarding---at the gate.Up the anti and usually volunteers come up. This is especially true if there is another flight later in the same day. Once you have received your boarding pass, you are guaranteed to get on. Late shows at the gate are out of luck. However, in this case, a crew showed up after boarding and were a "must ride". This became a huge problem and United is taking the blame. There were three volunteers who got off but the doctor refused. I will partly blame the crew for not using the jump seat. That would have solved the problem.
I won't go into more detail than that. After 14,000 hours as a pilot, I have seen everything.
Msbarbpl
Barbara Franklin 1
Incentive needs to be better?
vkgarry
Garry Parker 1
You're talking about voluntary. Involuntary goes non-REV, stand-by, then lowest fare/most recent reservation starting with third-party bookings, then direct airline bookings.

Do you know how many jumpseats are available on the ERJ-170?
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
One. I've used it several times.
scarey1952
Steven Carey 5
There's something that bothers me about United's so-called solution which is to make sure that future flights are not overbooked. The fundamental issue here, as I see it, is not one of overbooked flights. It's about how to treat customers humanely and with a sense of decency regardless of the circumstances. That should be their fundamental solution and policy change - to treat customers politely and decently no matter what the circumstances are unless we're dealing with an extreme case such as a violent or dangerous passenger.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 3
Except it wasn't Republic Airlines crew or United Airlines gate agents that pulled the passenger off the plane. Chicago Aviation Police did that.
scarey1952
Steven Carey 3
Brian, it's true what you're saying. Maybe there needs to be a federal law passed that prevents the police or anyone else from treating customers this way.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 0
The officer involved was suspended. He may have already been in violation of a law. The passenger may not be entirely innocent though. A video shot before he was dragged off indicated he intended to sue Republic or United if he couldn't make the flight.
gideony2
Gideon Yuval 5
Intending to sue is not a crime
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -2
The whole incident could have been avoided if the passenger obeyed a lawful order. He refused & that left the officers involved with only one option & that was to physically remove the passenger. Not any different than if an officer stops you & orders you out of your vehicle & you refuse. You'll get dragged out. The police officer/s involved are being used as scape goats to save face.
DaveRK
DaveRK 9
I respectfully disagree.
#1 The 'order' wasn't lawful.

#2 While the pax may not have been the perfect pax, the situation was handled poorly.
To me, the gate agents and whatever security officers were used, acted with the attitude "I'm in charge, I have the authority to do whatever I want".

And that "attitude" is seen all too often and in so many varying circumstances these days.
It's human nature to want to "control" and some take it to the extreme.

The law as well as what we all hear these days "Failure to comply with crewmember instructions..." was/is well intended, but power/authority hunger persons believe it gives them more than was intended.

I don't have the answer, but as a frequent flyer and after winning a bout with an uninformed TSA agent, I'm, sensitive to persons overstepping their authority.
msprig
msprig 2
Dave, you and others are correct the "order" wasn't lawful.

Walt, you've posted up and down this thread that there was a lawful order and you've made personal insults at those who disagree. But, you're wrong.

Comparing this situation to a vehicle stop where an officer orders you out of a vehicle is a false comparison. This is apples and Oreos.

A police officer needs probable cause to make a stop--i.e.: speeding, running a red light, taillight out. And even still, there is no justification for removing someone from a vehicle unless the officer saw evidence of criminal activity or was concerned for his safety.

None of that was in play with the United incident. No police officer, no probable cause, no illegal activity, no fear for safety (after all, everyone on board had gone through security screening).

The officers were security officers, improperly and illegally wearing a jacket that said "Police". They had no probable cause to arrest or detain, and did not even have authority to arrest. They were not sworn LEOs and were unarmed. They had no authority to do what they did--hence, their suspension from duty.

United/Republic will be found liable as the airline called in airport security. Thus, airport security's actions were as an agent of the airline.

There is no law in play here, there is a Contract of Carriage. The airline can ask the passenger to deplane, but he can say no. He had a chair. Boarding an oversold flight is simple--a game of musical chairs. Those without a chair are denied boarding. Words have meanings and the term "denied boarding" in the Contract of Carriage means just that--one who was not allowed to board. This passenger WAS allowed to board, thus was not DENIED boarding. He had a seat. He said I'm not giving it up. He had every right to not give up his seat.

If he had broken a law he would have been arrested. Unfortunately, UA will be paying a high 6 or 7-figure sum to settle. There would be no settlement if what they did wasn't wrong.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 0
What do you propose they do to get an unwilling passenger off of the plane? If that passenger wasn't removed then a whole plane full of passengers somewhere else wouldn't be going anywhere.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -4
Dave overstepping one's authority may only be in your eyes but not the eyes of the one giving the ''lawful'' order. How about you ''ATTITUDE''. DO YOU THINK EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG & YOU'RE ALWAYS RIGHT? The police had the right to order the passenger off the acft & when he didn't comply then they have to remove him forcfully if need be. At some point saying ''pretty please'' doesn't work.That was a lawful order that was given no matter what you may say, think or feel. The order was given by the police & not the gate agaent so don't blame the gatew agent or the airline blame an unruly passenger that disobeyed the order whether you think it was lawful or not.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -3
You obey an officers order whether or not you think it lawful & sort it out later. I guarantee that if you disobey you will be on the short end of a very long baton.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
Walt - they were NOT police officers so they had no right to do what they did. Simple. End of story. That's why they were suspended. Get it??
scarey1952
Steven Carey 4
DaveRK, I agree with you. There's too much of this authoritarian, mean spirited, inhumane policing going on these days (for example, DAPL and the police brutality towards the water protectors) and that's not the kind of society I want to live in where anyone who questions authority must be severely punished including inflicting physical pain if necessary even for non-violent behavior as we saw in this case with United. If I'm taking a trip on an airline somewhere, I don't want it to be a stressful experience where someone could be manhandled and dragged out of their seat at any time.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -2
This doesn't happen all the time only when a passenger with anattitude decides they don't have to obey a lawfull order by the police or crew member.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 3
Or....when power goes to non-police officers heads, eh?!! And THEY get suspended. Think about it. If they were in the right, WHY were they suspended. Answer that - if you can.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 2
Not correct at all! First off, they were NOT LEOs, just airport rent a cops (one of them is clearly wearing a pair of jeans, has a bundle of keys stripped to a belt and is unarmed!!). Second, this was a business decision by UAL. Why would/should cops drag someone out of their paid seat because UAL screwed up their protocol? I would have told them, sort it out yourself, your bad planning and execution does not constitute an emergency for me! You take care of your business decisions and we take care of any criminal acts.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
You said it all...end of story!
fireftr
Dale Ballok -1
Just doing their job
ijbandco
Ira Brotherston 3
Couldn't agree more Steven. It seems most airlines act in this high handed and arrogant manner, some worse than others, and it is about time they changed their attitude to Customer Service. Having said that, I must say the one airline I have never had trouble with are Singapore Airlines, so one up for them.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -1
IRA maybe the arrogance & high handed manner is just in the eyes of the beholder. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Try to understand the situation from the employees perspective...though this is not to say that you will never encounter a situation that is truly one of poor performance. This whole episode could have been avoided if the passenger obeyed a lawful order to deplane.
ijbandco
Ira Brotherston 2
Walt. With respect, I feel sorry for the employees that have to deal with this - I was not criticising the employees. It is a matter of corporate policy. At the end of the day, the guy who refused to de-plane appeared to have good reasons (equally good as any reason an airline could give for it's employee to take precedence), and having been in Customer Service at a management level for more years than I choose to remember, they should remember it is the customer who pays the bills. I say again ALL airlines need to look at this carefully, but they won't, because people will continue to use them, and the airlines can therefore "get away with it".
alexa320
alex hidveghy 0
OR,.....UAL could get their act together! It was piss poor performance in anybody's book and you fail to see it.
An airline CEO does not have to make a PUBLIC apology and security officers, NOT LEOs are suspended. And you're trying to tell us it's all the pax's fault and he's in the wrong? Pull the other one, Walt!
alexa320
alex hidveghy -1
That's because they are non-US, lol!
awsauerman
Albert Sauerman 5
The aviation officers work for the city but not the Police Department, and have been told in the past to stop wearing jackets that say police. They are "trained" by the police department but are NOT police.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 2
Thanks for the info, but what exactly does this have to do with a crew needing seats (on a RJ yet, not a full size jet), arriving at the gate after boarding completed, not getting enough volunteers, and a pax refusing to give up his seat?
When a law enforcement officer tells you to do something and you refuse/resist...bad things will happen!
gearup328
Peter Steitz 2
I really wonder what "on a RJ, not a full sized jet" has to do with anything. The Embraer 170 series carries 70 or more passengers with two flight attendants. It is a state of the art aircraft. Republic flies 160 of these. Along with the Bombardier series of jets, these carry millions of passengers to places that a 200 seat jet could not economically go.

For your statement about law enforcement---I totally agree. Get off the aircraft and handle it in the terminal. The doctor should have gotten off BEFORE the police were called.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
My point was, there were only 70 pax to choose from, vs 150 or more on a full size jet.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 3
Still can't follow your reasoning. I guess there will be a lesser chance of you being chosen on a larger jet?

The problem here was the gate should have known there were 4 must ride crew and should have boarded accordingly. The problem should have been settled at the gate and not on the plane.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 0
Just follow along...The more customers, the more people to choose from to get volunteers!
You need 4 seats, what makes it easier, 70 pax or 15 to choose from? Come on, it's not rocket science!
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Dale, I get your reasoning---4 from 70 or from 150. However I don't have to be a rocket engineer to know that you can't fly a 200+ seat aircraft everywhere unless you want it to be half full. There is an economic to consider.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 0
Sorry 150
jetserf
Brian Barnes 1
If it was handled at the gate there wouldn't have been an issue.
TWA55
Vincent Birkett 4
It was handled poorly and this is what the airline business has become, toooo bad. As a former employee with many carriers the over booking and crew situation should have been handled before boarding and in this case the dispatch office and or ticketing agents should not have placed themselves or been placed in this position. It has never been fun to tell people we are over booked and must ask for volunteers. United just screwed up and now will pay heavily for it. The only difference working for an airline and a circus, is the circus is much more in control, and I have much experience with both lol.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 4
Hey, gentlemen. Let's stop the "go back to your mother's basement" stuff. Try and keep this discussion on a higher level. Don't sling personal insults.
United was involved in a very awkward situation and is all over the news. They decided a crew had to be moved to SDF and bumped paying passengers to do so. It could all have avoided with some advance planning and handled at the gate prior to boarding. This didn't happen.
I am in total agreement with Vincent Birkett's assessment--except for the circus. I am not in my mother's basement---retired airline Captain--plenty of experience.
n9341c
n9341c -4
So apparently you worked for "many carriers" as you say, and the circus? Ummm, I'm hitting the Forum Bullsh** button pal. Go back to your mother's basement.
TWA55
Vincent Birkett 2
It is all true pal, so I will excuse your remarks and you.
n9341c
n9341c -4
I see. So given your "deep experience with many carriers and the circus", this guys ridiculous, over the top theatrical reaction (I won't even mention his unflattering history giving drugs to a patient he was sexually involved with) - that's an airline problem, huh, pal? Uhhhh, yeah. Sure.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
n9341c, a passenger's personal life has nothing to do with purchasing a ticket and expecting to fly to his destination. Everyone should be treated the same.
This is the land of the free. Remember?
I will get flak for saying this because we all know some folks are given special attention. This is true in every walk of life. Get used to it.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 2
I tried to explain but to no avail. All you want to do is bash the airlines. Here is a link to a very good explanation of how these occurrences happen--even with Jetblue.

If all you want to do is bash and criticize please go to a different board.

I can't immagine how running an airline with thousands of employees, hundreds of different aircraft, spread over the entire planet can function without some problems. This is not like dispatching a taxi in your city.

That said, the over reaction by the police is another story.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/04/16/1-us-airline-never-overbooks-its-flights.aspx
fireftr
Dale Ballok 2
Just what were the security officers supposed to do? Plead with the man to " please, please, please get off the plane"?
Stop throwing them under the bus!
He was told (ordered) to do something and refused! Again, if you refuse to obey the orders of authorities, especially law enforcement, bad things will happen!
If people would learn to listen first and ask questions later, there would be a lot less confrontations.
kfieldes
Kevin Fieldes 2
Can anyone help here? If you have booked and paid for your flight, then fail to show up on time to board, do you get a 'free' re-booking for later, or a refund, or do you (as in NZ) forfeit your fare to the airline? The way it works surely determines how the airline overbooking policy is determined. If all seats are booked and paid for in advance, what is the point of overbooking, unless it is to make unearned profits.
misterwallace
mister wallace 5
What everybody forgets is that airlines are not there for the paying pax or even shareholders, they are there for the airline employees to move about and have cheap flights for themselves family/friends. Silly to think the paying pax would have any rights or expectation of receiving the goods (flight and travel) just because they paid for it. As for overbooking it's a bet made by airlines that not all pax will show. Given how fares are paid these days, ie mostly non-refundable, certainly not refunded in cash, then any no-shows are cream for seats which can be oversold or used by stand-by. The fact in this instance the airline lost the bet just didn't seem to dawn on the officers of the company who perpetrated this PR disaster. But in the US, when in doubt, call in the heat!
yr2012
matt jensen 4
Then we should book ourselves as freight
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -1
Mister Wallace you obviously don't know what you're talking about. The airlines aren't in business for airline employees to move about or they wouldn't be in business. This is a perk that employees receive & that employee will not be boarded until all passengers are boarded & then given an open seat & the employee can & will be asked to deplane if the flight is full & a last minute passenger shows up. Unless the employee is a crew member that MUST get to another flight they are not considered a ""MUST RIDE" crew member.
waypoint66
David Rice 3
Walt, you are obviously a master at detecting sarcasm.
yr2012
matt jensen 4
Still against the law to bump a fare paying pax for an employee or non-rev
mgdimicco
Michael DiMicco 3
You can't bump for a non-rev, but you can bump for an employee if it is essential for that employee to be somewhere to not disrupt the operations. Sometimes you need to get crew to another location in the country or world on short notice.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 2
Michael to clarify your point a non-rev and employee can be synonymous. these were empployess traveling on a PS0 pass which means they will board even if passengers have to be bumped & they are listed as PS0's & are figured into the passenger count as if they were rev paying passengers.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 3
It's not against the law to remove anyone m. jenson. Furthermore, if that nonrev crew is required downline to operate a flight then the airline is required to put that crew on by government mandate to ensure service isn't disrupted.
AAWings
Jane Niedermeyr 5
As far as I know it s not illegal. The crew was not on non rev travel they were on company business to protect another flight. If they did not travel there would be further complications ie. cancellations of another flight. There's a difference between deadheading and non rev travel. The crew may have been a reserve crew meaning they are called in for scheduling problems. They also have to follow union "rest" regs. From a former flight attendant.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 1
Matt what LAW is that ? To my knowledge there is NO law that governs this situation. But there are laws that state you will obey an officers order.

It's company policy to enplane PS0 crew members & bump passengers. The only mistake here was that the crew was apparently not listed as such prior to boarding which makes me think it might have been a reserve crew, hence it takes time to verify who the crew members are & get them listed or it was a very last minute arrangement which is unlikely.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
They were NOT officers/police/LEOs. For the HUNDRETH time.............
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
really? is that true??
ArthurNetteler
Arthur Netteler -1
That is CORRECT... Except LAWS ONLY pertain to us LITTLE PEOPLE.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 3
Arthur, get off your soapbox. We are all "little people". I have had celebrities and very wealthy passengers on my airplane and most were absolutely just fine and even posed for pictures.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 1
Arthur MAYBE YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A ''LITTLE'' PEOPLE BUT I DON'T. I obey instructions given to me regardless of who gives them be it a police officer or crew member or gate agent. If there's an issue we can talk about it after the fact. This passenger was clearly in the wrong by disobeying a crew member & police officers order to deplane.
tikiman58
Rick Garner 5
Walt, your comments only exemplify the deeply toxic, anti-pax attitude held by far too many front-line UAL employees. Your reply to a poster with a preference for SWA says it all.
When exactly did you stop remembering that a pax chooses where to spend their travel dollar? Your "sit down and shut up" attitude will ultimately lead to a smaller paycheck, or none at all, for you, Walt.
And then you'll just blame the pax.

Just one more thing: I think your carrying your baton in the wrong place.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -4
Rick I guess you don't understand that I nor you are responsible for another persons attitude.It's apparent that you have never been in the flip side of having to deal with a passenger that cops an attitude because they THINK they are right or don't have to obey a lawful order. I am against an attitude that berates others, thinks they don't have to listen to officials of an airline or police dept. This is not a deeply toxic anti pax attitude that prevails because of one situation but your attitude exemplifies the pax's attitude in that they think they can't do wrong, that they can verbally or physically abuse another person whether it be an airline employee or law enforcement official. Did you read about the passenger that assaulted a pilot in Kansas City two days ago just because he was riding ...in uniforn...on the same flight & the passenger didn't like it. The passenger followed the pilot into the terminal where he assaulted him twice & the pilot didn't respond then the passenger followed the pilot to his car. You tell me. You are part of the problem. You should take a bus to wherever you travel to.
tikiman58
Rick Garner 3
No Walt, you are the problem, not I. And I have worked for a major carrier, so don't make assumptions.

With all the bitterness you're spewing, you'd make Mother Teresa want to throw down.

Every one of your posts is an angry response to someone asking for nothing more than civility and respect from the people they've given their money to. No where did I see an attitude of entitlement. But boy, you sure did. And you signed off each one with a mature, respectful, go f%+* yourself. If I want to take a bus, I'll book on United.

Walt, how you got this angry is your problem, not the pax just trying to make his connex to Des Moines.

To any F/As, agents and customer facing employees: If you're not happy in your job, do everyone a favor and get the hell out.

But especially you, Walt.
kentewing
Kent Ewing 3
United sucks worse than ALL the others. The only one in the industry with the right culture is Southwest....it all started with Herb Kelleher...and if you ever met him you would understand why they are such a happy group.
They get it
mgdimicco
Michael DiMicco 3
Food for thought. Southwest actually has the highest number of involuntary denied boardings or any other airline by a large margin. Delta has the highest number of denied boardings in general by a huge amount.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
Or Virgin Atlantic! there's something about charismatic CEOs like Herb and Richard Branson. Maybe they KNOW what customer service is and how in a SERVICE industry it is so important. there are great airlines, good airlines, mediocre ones and the really bad ones. So, they are not all equal. It's all in how they are run and it starts at the top. If you have poor leaders, poor PR then you have a UAL situation like this.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 1
Kent Ewing things aren't so rosey at SW these days.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
I'd still rather fly them any day than UAL. And they don't charge for bags - at all. And their pilots just got a raise.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 1
To each his/her own. United pilots got a raise as well. I'm glad to have more variety than just 737s. They are capable and dependable but uncomfortable for the leg lengths airlines use them for. Heaven forbid you have 1 or 2 jumpseaters.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 0
Kent I hate to bust your bubble but Southwest does the same with their crew member that ''HAVE'' to get to another flight for whatever reason. If you don't mind hoping you get a window or aisle seat because seats aren't assigned then Southwest is your choice. You can bash United all you want but they will be around for a long time with a lot of happy customers with a different mentality than you because those customers live in reality. This whole episode could have been avoided if the passenger in question obeyed a lawful order form the police.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 4
Totally disagree and we can see why you are biased! No need to explain either.
adunstetter
andré dunstetter 3
Obviously for United paying customers are there only to pay ! They come last as far as service is concerned... for me United will now come LAST too !
vkgarry
Garry Parker 1
Until they have the lowest fare to where you want to go, Andre.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -1
Andre you will not be missed by United. I would rather see you fly someone else because with your lack of understanding & your attitude you will be the first one to yell & scream to get your way if your flight is interrupted let alone if you dilly dally & get to your flight late & wonder why your seat was given away.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 0
Walt stop it with all that reason and common sense. No one wants the real facts here. Rabble Rabble Rabble!!!
leonkay
Leon Kay 1
Somehow I am missing the point of overbooking a flight. Could someone perhaps explain how a flight can be "overbooked" and why Airlines provide for passengers that "do not show."?
Firstly all bookings and payments are made on line and the system should show if a flight has been fully booked.. If passengers that have fully paid for the flight do not arrive the airline does not lose anything. They actually gain by having a lighter aircraft and less people to attend to.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 2
Leon not necessarily true. The airline basis fuel, meals etc on the number of passengers booked. The aircraft takeoff performance is based on the actual weight of the acft & the take off performance can change based on the final weight. There are many factors out side the control of anyone that can effect these nbrs. MEL requirements, over weight situations that make it necessary to weight restrict the flight due to altitude, temperature, fuel requirements, runway in use, two engine acft going west over mtns & may need a driftdown alternate etc. The airline loses that revenue for that flight if passengers are a no show.
mgdimicco
Michael DiMicco 2
Profits on a per flight basis are marginal. To remain competitive and offer the lowest fares possible compared to the competition they need to make sure as many butts are in the seats as possible as well as accounting for butts that don't show up. I watched a documentary about an AA transcontinental flight once that had all the costs of that flight from check in to bag pick up. Really interesting. They had all the fares paid talked about how the different fares were determined, etc. Anyways the flight make like a $619 profit which didn't include the overhead costs of all the administrative duties behind things like the website, dispatch, scheduling, etc. Only the costs of the people who touched the passengers or the plane. Add in the rest of costs and that flight made even less. Many flights operate on very small margins like that and to bring profits higher you need to have as many people pay as possible. The airlines could do away with overbooking, but more than likely they wouldn't make a profit or much of one and would need to charge significantly more to compensate.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 1
There are many behind the scenes operations that come into play also that people don't see or have a clue about. Airlines can say they are losing money @ a hub city if they don't account for the connecting passengers in the revenue for that city. The cost for operating one flight are astronomical & I still have a difficult time trying to figure out how the airline makes money...hence they start charging for baggage, meals, drinks etc.
ijbandco
Ira Brotherston 0
Don't forget, not only do they benefit as you describe, but they also get to keep the fare.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 1
with on a daily basis :-)
gerardogodoy
gerardo godoy 1
United once more (it has many times) shown the lousy company it is and the very idiotic idiotic CEO it has. I hope they sew them for quite a few million. What a bunch of Mules!!!!
jetserf
Brian Barnes 2
I hope you get spellcheck.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
"sew" them? I see this kind of grammar on every board.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 1
I non rev a lot on UNITED & have seen the gate agents work their butts off to accommodate a passenger & get the plane boarded & out on time. Can't really think of an instance that occurred with disrespectful, arrogant employees, poor service etc. Maybe it's caused by the passenger more than an employee. Maybe the passenger thinks it's ok to be rude & obnoxious & out of line. lIKE TH fa's say we're here to save your butt not kiss it.
ericschminke
Eric Schminke 1
Mr. Leuci & Mr. Steitz: Your assessments are 1,000% correct. I've been inconvenienced several times, mainly by flights that were delayed that sometimes resulted in missed connections. Most of these instances occurred at O'Hare, yet I never, EVER, verbally abused airline staff. One must keep in mind that the airline staff aren't thrilled over the adverse circumstances that occurred, so don't make the situation even worse.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Thank you.
stephenmitchelldo
Stephen Mitchell 1
What is unfortunate is that people will continue to purchase flights from them despite their poor performance and customer satisfaction. Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about it a few nights ago where he said he would not fly United again.......unless of course they had the lowest fare and then he would buy a ticket. That sentiment is so true and they know it. They also know people quickly forget so it is just have to ride it out a bit, take the hit on earnings for a month or two, and then they will be just fine. While I am sure they will settle a suit with the victim very quickly, it is a very small price to pay for having such a poor service program. Writing policies that try to correct the situation that stimulated this only puts a bandaid on the surface of a much deeper wound. The festering abscess below the surface is the horrible culture that has existed within that company for years. It is something that will take quite a long time, quite a bit of money, and a huge commitment from leadership to change. I don't think they have the performance to do it. It will take a merger or buy-out by another company to do it.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci -1
Stephen one episode does make poor service. You might want to consider what kind of service you provide in where you work. For an airline as big as United you will have a problem with service sometime, somewhere & the attitude & understanding of poor service or performance is in the eyes of the customer & doesn't necessarily mean it is poor service or performance. This whole episode did not occur because of the crew situation but by the refusal of the passenger to deplane after given a lawful order. If that same police officer ordered you out of your vehicle & you refused you will be forceably removed. The police are being used as scape goats by the P.D. I stand behind United & the police as having worked both vocations & have seen both sides.
stephenmitchelldo
Stephen Mitchell 4
If you have worked in law enforcement then you understand the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. Once the incorrect move is made, anything resulting thereafter is also incorrect. The airline trying to remove him in the first place was wrong, and perhaps, even unlawful. You state he was given "lawful" order. I do not believe he was. I don't believe they had reasonable cause to ask him to come off the plane, and in doing so created an unlawful event to begin with. We will let the courts decide that. This is not a singular event, just one that has risen to the level of being so widely known to the public. United has suffered from a poor-service culture for years. I have refused to fly them for the past several years because of this, and based on reports I have had from family, friends, other travelers, and even their own conscientious employees, it is still pervasive within United. Their employees have poor conflict resolutions skills, and it is not just about this particular event that I say this. It became blatantly clear during this incident.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 1
Stephen Mitchell I guess they should have left everyone sitting on the plane at the gate indefinitely.
mccauley1952
Michael McCauley 1
Did any of the crew volunteer to ride in the cockpit or jump seat?
gearup328
Peter Steitz 2
This is a great question Michael. I brought this up on another board. If only one flight crew (pilots) had agreed to jump, this entire situation would be over. I like to jump. On a short flight to ORD-SDF it would be nothing. Someone said the contract states that a "crew movement" needs to sit in the cabin but does not prohibit the jump seat. Were they made aware of the confusion? Don't know.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
OMG, stop this overbooking stuff. Airlines all do this and it's known to most of the public. I am retired airline Captain. We all have had experiences like this. If the flight is oversold, passengers are not boarded and are made offers at the gate. The flight in this issue was sold out and passengers were boarded PRIOR to the "must ride" crew showing up at the gate. There must have been a communication breakdown. The gate should have known in advance that a crew was in transit and held open 4 seats for them. This didn't happen. The rules say the airline can entice passengers to get off with offers of money, food and a hotel if needed. If no passenger takes up the offer, a random choice is made--much like picking numbers from a hat. There is a feeling from the public that once you are in your seat, you can't be removed---not true. This is much easier to handle at the gate, prior to boarding.

The problem here was poor communication at the gate concerning the arrival of another crew. This was most likely a reserve crew at ORD and should have been known hours in advance.

One more comment----the flight was a Republic Airlines flight under the code share of United Express. The gate was staffed and operated by United Continental. This arrangement is common in the industry. United Continental controlled the boarding process. That's why they are getting the blame.

Now, as far as the over use of force to get Dr. Dao off the plane---that's another issue.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 3
If the crew wasn't listed for the flight then the gate agents may may have benn caught unaware.This whole situation Could have been avoided If the crew was listed & also if the passenger obeyed a LAWFUL order by the police to deplane. The police were left with no option but to physically remove the passenger. ALSO this might have been avoided if someone checked to see if there was a jump seat available & have the FA take the FA jump seat & a pilot take the cockpit jump seat & then they would have only needed two passengers to deplane.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
What police? Just because a jacket says "POLICE" does not mean the wearer is actually a police officer. That was the case here - airport security officers, not LEOs. That, too, was a blunder and added to the melee.
alexa320
alex hidveghy 2
In a nutshell, UAL/Republic, all, handled it terribly. Total miscommunication that did not end well for them. There are so many OTHER ways this could have been handled but was not. Almost as if the gate agents, scheduling were on their first day on the job. Incredible. That's why it got so blown up and made it a field day for the media.....
GarryMitcham
Garry Mitcham 1
Why Didn't the Airline just contract a Part 135 Charter Flight to get the crew to where they need to be? It would have been far cheaper, and there would have been no PR damage, no lawsuits etc. But, like has already been mentioned, there were also other options. One would be to offer far more than the Money they offered, and it would still cost them less than the millions in lost revenue, stock, and lawsuits.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 2
Airlines don't charter to move their crews. Because of weather, mechanical issues, etc.. crews can timeout or miss connections. Airlines like Republic then have no choice to displace passengers if the flight is full.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 0
Garry why didn't the passenger obey a direct order?
alexa320
alex hidveghy 2
Because he had a valid reason and they were not police officers hence their "commands" not lawful! Hope that answers your questions, Walt....
vkgarry
Garry Parker 1
Wow. A lot of comments from people with no understanding of how Airlines work, and not just United. Even though you pick a time, and maybe even a seat, the airline is only contracted to get you from point A to point B. They can, and will, change aircraft, change your seat, maybe even bump you to another flight. It's all in their Contract of Carriage. For those of you who haven't read it before, I suggest you educate yourselves before making baseless comments and statements.

I have flown non-rev and rev. I've had changed that have required rebooking, hours of waiting, even an overnight stay in the concourse at SFO. But, because I bring a good attitude, respect, a willingness to work within the system, I've had nothing but good experiences with gate agents, ticketing agents and customer service agents. I've flown United almost exclusively for the last 16 years, and, more often than not, most years before that.

Oh, did I also mention I bring little baggies of home baked chocolate chip cookies?
d0ugparker
Doug Parker 1
Thank you.

I'd love and prefer a cultural paradigm shift toward "THIMK," moving away from the current "Jump-to-Conclusions." Yes, the "M" is intentional.

My attitude is always positive, too. I consider that *New School.*

*Old School* believes anger creates the right to dump on others. New School knows that decision makers will only help those who treat others as they'd like to be treated.

To that point (I hope the link shows--I won't know until after I commit the comment, unfortunately. If it doesn't show, I'll edit it if I can): https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-greatest-experience-youve-had-when-your-flight-was-delayed/answer/Doug-Parker-4
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
You're not really doug parker, are you????
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I did a double take on the name, too. You can be pretty darn sure it isn't THAT Doug.
RDLoven
Richard Loven 1
As I said before when some inept people get together things are always compounded and go downhill. It used to be when you discovered a stowaway you left him/her off at the next stop and gave them a free ticket to go back home. You never called the Keystone Cops and drag them off thereby making a Big Scene.
Never try to cut a deal with some Stubborn Mule like this guy appeared to be. Find some Student who could use some extra cash. He will gladly wait a few hrs.
This thing could have been settled with a few hundreds of dollars. Now it will be settled with hundreds of thousands.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 0
No airline will make sure future flights are not overbooked, because generally people are flakey. In fact purchased first class seats / passengers often don't show up because they can be more flexible and can change their minds at the drop of a hat. To just blame United for this is asinine, it was bound to happen at some point regardless.
Chicago Airport Police need a little training, which includes a guy behind the guy pulling, to not only break a fall but protect themselves and those around them. If they are not training in aircraft with this exact situation then it will happen again.
With all that said, .... As a child in Kindergarten when I was asked to come to the teachers desk, I stood up and approached it. Again in grade school or High school, if I was told to go to the principles office... I went, if the coach called me over I walked over and addressed him. So when someone asks me to get off a plane that's already boarded, I get my stuff and get off! I don't cry and hold onto the seat like a baby, and then do the same when the police show up. Ban him for 2 years from all American airlines, and then another 5 for double check thru TSA. This only teaches the rest of the clowns that if we cry loud enough, (not only will we get our own way), we'll get a few million for the effort. in the end a chartered private jet for the this nut or better yet for the pilots would've saved a lot of cash & heartache. My hat is off to all UNITED crew members with respect for what they put up on a daily basis. And also to regionals like Republic who operated this flight for UNITED.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Pats Scott on the head - such a good boy.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 1
Well 500 bucks took me to Hawaii almost free :)
And I couldn't have been a good boy with so many trips to the office :-)
alexa320
alex hidveghy 1
You CLEARLY did not read all the reports and/or article, did you? It is very clear why this passenger "held on" to his seat. Conveniently, you did not mention that part, hmmm.........
n9341c
n9341c 0
Nothing - NOTHING - in the press - about this mans over the top theatrical behavior. I don't really think that the airline has a policy to beat the crap out of passengers who won't comply. If you saw the You Tube video, the only conclusion could be that this guy was a complete whacko. This was nothing more fitting the situation to the template for the news gathering organizations that corporations are nothing but an evil entity. Completely ridiculous.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 1
Or something else in the news cycle that the networks wanted to divert attention away from.
ArthurNetteler
Arthur Netteler -1
AMAZING that in TODAY'S Airlines World. They have COMPLETELY lost the VISION that their JOB is the Care, Comfort and Confidence of the CUSTOMER! Just like in Washington D.C. and other BIG GOVERNMENTS around the WORLD.. There are those in the HIGH HIERARCHY & UPPER CLASS, then there are ALL OF THOSE LITTLE PEOPLE, that PAY their SALARIES... Kind of FUNNY when you step back and look at it, the Customers are at the WHIM of the VERY PEOPLE that are SUPPOSED to be SERVING US! My Wife has Muscular Dystrophy, and when she asked a Flight Attendant on a United Flight (last time we used United) some years ago to help her put her purse into the overhead bin. The FEMALE (I think it was a FEMALE?) said, "Don't bring a bag, if you can't take care of your own bag!" Another Flight Attendant told the he,she,it, that I was a Retired Captain.. All of a SUDDEN she was sweet as candy to my Wife.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 3
Hard to imagine anyone, under any condition, responding as you say the FA did. However, I can't help but wonder why, as a "Retired Captain" you didn't assist your wife?
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 1
Arthur I hate to see that kind of service of customers & that's when you make a customer service report in the form of a letter to the CEO. That would have been the last flight for that FA. Having a bad hair day is not an excuse for poor performance. You can run into poor performance in any industry.
ijbandco
Ira Brotherston 0
This does not solve the problem - it only moves it a less visible place so far as other customers are concerned. ALL airlines should be taking a closer look at who pays their salaries, and keeps their birds flying
mgdimicco
Michael DiMicco 2
People still miss the fact that if that crew didn't get to Louisville another flight or string of flights may have been completely canceled because the crew wouldn't have gotten the mandatory rest period. Could Republic have found a different crew? Possibly, but one would hope if that was the crew Republic chose to send that was their best option to protect operations and PASSENGERS the next day.
jetserf
Brian Barnes 2
Michael DiMicco you are making a rational sensible argument. I don't think anyone will understand it here.
1rocky1
Walt Leuci 2
Could have been a reserve crew that was called out on a moments notice.
BinghamLiu
Bingham Liu 4
Take the AA flight that is leaving to the same city an hour later. Crew scheduling is the responsibility of the airline, not with the pax, already seated. In this case,airline made a mistake in crew scheduling. Why didn't they at least notify gate agent even 30min earlier? If I understand the newly amended rules correctly, that is nonrev crew seats must be booked 60 min in advance, it would've avoided this PR nightmare entirely. Gate agent could have seek volunteers at the gate, outside of the plane.
Credit UA for correctly identifying the root cause and came up with a solution that is acceptable to the paying customers. It will also force the airline to do a better job on crew scheduling and communication withe the gate agent.
DeanoSonic
Dean Stilo 0
Better to get rid of all the crew and let the passengers fly the plane. Don't know why anyone hasen't thought of that yet... Ryan Air maybe?
ericschminke
Eric Schminke 0
One major solution that would decrease the chances of a flight being overbooked is for airlines to stop operating these dinky toy commuter jets & use aircraft that are at least the size of a 737-700. For this, I blame United. (Although they're by no means alone.) I place about 80% of the blame on the passenger. United offered him $800 plus free accommodations. He couldn't have handled the situation any worse. If he had just disembarked the way the other 3 passengers did then this incident would have never occurred.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Oh boy, you just perked up my ears when you say "dinky toy commuter jets". You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Fly in a 19 seat turboprop and then tell me what dinky really is.

These are some of the most sophisticated airliners on the planet. They fill the routes that a 300 passenger jet could never support. They give smaller markets a service. They are flown under the exact standards as your stated 737-300.

I suppose you want the three majors to fly half filled large aircraft at a loss? That is nonsense.

Airlines are not a public transportation system like a subway or metro or a bus route.

As to address the doctor who refused to disembark---he really screwed up.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 0
I have non-rev privilege for life on American. Prior to that it was USAirways. My seniority dates to 1989. Seniority matters!! I am a retired Captain. I don't tell them this. That would be bragging or asserting.

It pays to be nice to the gate agents. Life is not always equal and it seems that my perky Filipina gal works with the gate agents and we usually get on. I'm sure it's legal but we seem to get attention. I let her do all the gate stuff. I sit back and watch.

Once, we were actually moved UP to first class because there were empty seats that no other passenger was willing to pay for. I am ALWAYS courteous and I told the FA that we are non-rev and take care of the paying pax first. The Flight Attendant (FA) came back to us in coach and discretely told us there were empty first class seats and moved us up. I asked the first class FA to serve others first and if there was a leftover, we would take it. Drinks were free.

Once the main cabin door is closed and pushback begins, you are going!!!

Most of the time, we are in coach and in the worst seats. But it's free!!!!!

Bottom line---don't piss off the people in control--work with them.
DaveRK
DaveRK 0
Another "authority" issue on a different US airline.
I'll let you find the full story.

Regardless of who was at fault, the employee's statement "Try it, hit me... “Come on, bring it on", is evidence of my previous statement that some airline employees can't calmly deal with being challenged and then over-step their authority.

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