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LAX Meltdown; Scary Situation, unbelievable agents...

LAX Meltdown; Scary Situation, unbelievable agents...

Old Mar 19, 12, 12:59 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by Jorgen View Post
This is unbelievable.

And I mean that literally. I genuinely don't believe what you've told me.
United Flight 90
Operated by United Airlines
Status: Arrived Gate 6 Hours 30 Minutes Late (Delayed - Loading cargo)
DEPARTS
ARRIVES
City: Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Gate: 60
Check-in Terminal:
Scheduled Time: 1:18 p.m.
Scheduled Date: Sun., Mar. 18, 2012
Actual Time: 7:45 p.m.
Actual Date: Sun., Mar. 18, 2012
City: New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty)
Gate: C80
Terminal:
Scheduled Time: 9:30 p.m.
Scheduled Date: Sun., Mar. 18, 2012
Actual Time: 4:00 a.m.
Actual Date: Mon., Mar. 19, 2012

Aircraft: Boeing 757-200 aircraft #3112
Where is this aircraft coming from? New York/Newark, NJ (EWR - Liberty), Flight 41 Check Status
Weather conditions: LAX, EWR

Enough proof.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:02 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by karenkay View Post

i wish--as i'm sure you do--that you had that on tape.
I was actually going to videotape my interaction with the gate crew but they were challenging my claim of my fare paid, so I used my phone to log into the United website to pull up my ticket receipt...that reflected a $1k add/collect to change my Y/B to J some time ago. Why they couldn't see this on their computer is beyond me.

I did take stills and video of the crowd in case something newsworthy happened. Not sure how to get videos here but here's a still of the mob in front of the gate; most of these people are the gate-scan buzz problem people.


It was a packed plane so I'm sure there were other FlyerTalkers involved in this scene. We did get in after 4am, so maybe they're just catching up on sleep now.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:04 pm
  #63  
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If I was there, and witnesses airline employees and pax shoving each other, I'd unholster the cell phone, start taking video, and post it to the interweb.

Just saying ...
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:06 pm
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
That's how they handled UA974 today at SFO. "There are going to be about 100 passengers who cannot be on this flight. If the BP scanner rejects your BP, you have to get out of the way and will not be on the flight."
What kind of an idiot is this front line employee? Now you're just letting every passenger on board play russian roulette with the scanner and you have managed to raise everyone's blood pressure!

How hard is it to pull those 100 unlucky passengers aside, let them know they're not going to be able to get on the flight straight up, so that they can process the info, go get taken care of elsewhere, or wait for help after the flight has left. If I were one of those 100 pax, sure I would be pissed, but I would at least respect the agent for having the guts to tell me straight up. This would give me some time to assess the situation and maybe find my own solution.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:12 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post
If I was there, and witnesses airline employees and pax shoving each other, I'd unholster the cell phone, start taking video, and post it to the interweb.

Just saying ...
We should all get our iPhone ready for chaos after the merger.

This is getting really ugly.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:17 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by bniu View Post
What kind of an idiot is this front line employee? Now you're just letting every passenger on board play russian roulette with the scanner and you have managed to raise everyone's blood pressure!

How hard is it to pull those 100 unlucky passengers aside, let them know they're not going to be able to get on the flight straight up, so that they can process the info, go get taken care of elsewhere, or wait for help after the flight has left. If I were one of those 100 pax, sure I would be pissed, but I would at least respect the agent for having the guts to tell me straight up. This would give me some time to assess the situation and maybe find my own solution.
What got me was that the agents had at least 3 hours to figure things out. They probably could have met with each passenger, review their itinerary, and rebook them if they were facing a misconnect...with plenty of time. Instead, they let the gate scanner identify problem passengers and they had a firedrill upon firedrill situation of irate passengers pile on at boarding time which further delayed the departure. Maybe the new system is so flawed (or the agents lack the training) to identify and/or deal with problem passengers before the boarding process?
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:27 pm
  #67  
 
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Chilling. More accurately, extremely disturbing.

My question is...

where's the media on this? I've seen almost nothing about the various aspects of the meltdown on any media outlet, Joe Brancatelli excluded, including Susan Carey at WSJ.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:31 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
. Instead, they let the gate scanner identify problem passengers and they had a firedrill upon firedrill situation of irate passengers pile on at boarding time which further delayed the departure.
Does anyone have a clue as to how the gate scanner "identifies" problem passengers? I can just imagine a family travelling together being separated.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:33 pm
  #69  
 
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Thank you so much jetski1110,

What drove me nuts was for some reason UA just didn't let flightaware update the arrival information. Is that the way UA management *dare* to advertise their airline is the best at on-time arrival departure? 6-hour of delay not only should get you a reason compensation, but arriving at 4a.m.? Perhaps it's just better to make it one or two more hours delay to make it as the red-eye.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL90
( I think flight tracker shows the real-time arrival of the trans-con, but it's very creepy.)

Originally Posted by jetski1110 View Post
I was also supposed to be on that flight. I arrived at LAX earlier that morning from Australia after having to rebook because the SYD-SFO flight on the 18th was also canceled due to a mechanical problem in SFO.

The reps were far from helpful. The reps not only weren't helpful they gave incorrect information and even ran away and left the gate desk completely unattended for about 25 minutes.They claim they didn't even know that the new plane was much smaller than the original one. I was one of the lucky people who was denied boarding. One employee who was handling meal vouchers, looked at her watch and said I've been working enough today and just walked away. I wish I knew her name.

Having been told numerous times I had a seat on the plane and because I was already traveling for over 24 hours, I folded. They offered a flight the next day from LAX to JFK but I was able to convince them to give me an LAX to IAD later that night then a flight from IAD to EWR. I finally landed at EWR at 9:30 this morning, 12 hours have I would have if UA090 was on time

Flight 90 landed at EWR about 7 hours late, at 4am


I really hope tom UA management sees this thread and is fully briefed on what was a horrible, very mismanaged, out of control situation.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:33 pm
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
I
I told them I wasn't going to budge unless they gave me $1k in involuntary denied boarding comp and refunded my $2400ish lax-EWR fare.
Glad this tactic worked for you, but don't the IDB Rules specifically exempt equipment downgrades? (which I've always felt was a hole big enough to fly a (downgraded from a 747) 777 through)

I'm stunned by your story. It's like we woke up on 3/4 and everything we knew about flying no longer applied. You're in a unique position to escalate this and ensure that it gets at least some attention. Please do, for the sake of those who were left behind with no recourse... (and, of course, let us know if there is any followup). You might also want to file a federal complaint, since that will get their attention (or would have, on 3/2.)
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:34 pm
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by Weatherboy View Post
What got me was that the agents had at least 3 hours to figure things out. They probably could have met with each passenger, review their itinerary, and rebook them if they were facing a misconnect...with plenty of time. Instead, they let the gate scanner identify problem passengers and they had a firedrill upon firedrill situation of irate passengers pile on at boarding time which further delayed the departure. Maybe the new system is so flawed (or the agents lack the training) to identify and/or deal with problem passengers before the boarding process?
Once, I had traveled on a heavily overbooked flight on CO.
First, I got bumped 2 days before my travel.
They just wanted to lie to me and asked me to pay for the hotel by myself.
I was put back to the original flight after they couldn't lie anymore.
The day of departure, the agents knew the flight was heavily overbooked and the flight was delayed as well. They had extra time to call people to
be added to the VDB lists. They didn't do anything and just chatted with
each other. They finally announced that they need VDB when they STARTED
boarding. Therefore, our flight delayed for another 30 minutes because
they were trying to figure out which seats were still empty and who could
be volunteers. I am not surprised how they handle your flight for overbooking but I am surprised about their attitude.

Last edited by pigx5; Mar 19, 12 at 1:42 pm
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:35 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by mmack View Post
Does anyone have a clue as to how the gate scanner "identifies" problem passengers? I can just imagine a family travelling together being separated.
My guess is that the GAs offloaded a bunch of pax from the flight (either systematically or arbitrarily), so their BPs would not work anymore. But the GAs did not want to tell the pax that they were offloaded (or why). So by letting the scanner beep and reject the pax, they can just blame "the computer."
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:37 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
That's how they handled UA974 today at SFO. "There are going to be about 100 passengers who cannot be on this flight. If the BP scanner rejects your BP, you have to get out of the way and will not be on the flight."

No calls for volunteers; UC also was refusing to entertain proactive reroutes. "They will take care of rebooking at the gate."

GAs yelled a few times and several pax raised voices at perceived line-jumpers.

Not well handled at all, but not as bad as the OP's experience fortunately!
How can that be 100 ppl who need to get bumped? UA974 is supposed to be 772 today, compared to 753 or 762 depending on the day.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:39 pm
  #74  
 
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All this seems to stem from poor training, employee discontent, and passenger discontent. UACO has control of two of those three issues and if those two issues were handled properly they wouldn't end up with the third issue. Hopefully things change for the better. I had a very, very poor flight experience on 3/7. I contacted UA Insider but have yet to receive a response. I guess the employees are under too much work to deal with issue properly. Customers are already leaving in droves and incidents like the OP's aren't going to help at all.
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Old Mar 19, 12, 1:44 pm
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by pigx5 View Post
Once, I had traveled on a heavily overbooked flight on CO.
First, I got bumped 2 days before my travel.
They just wanted to lie to me and asked me to pay for the hotel by myself.
I was put back to the original flight after they couldn't lie anymore.
The day of departure, the agents knew the flight was heavily overbooked and the flight was delayed as well. They had extra time to call people to
be added to the VDB lists. They didn't do anything and just chatted with
each other. They finally announced that they need VDB when they STARTED
boarding. Therefore, our flight delayed for another 30 minutes because
they were trying to figure out which seats were still empty and who could
be volunteers. I am not surprised how they handle your flight for overbooking but I am surprised about their attitude.
Has anyone thought that maybe the people at the gate don't have the authority/go ahead to be proactive. They are waiting for the suits?
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