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-   -   UA Pilot Diverts to Remove Autistic Child From Plane for Safety Reasons (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/1678775-ua-pilot-diverts-remove-autistic-child-plane-safety-reasons.html)

spin88 May 17, 15 10:45 pm


Originally Posted by pruss2ny (Post 24831188)
i really appreciate the detail u've gone to, but don't think u've read much of this thread...your contention that "not a single poster has bothered to address the fact...that UA then put her on a DL flight" is simply wrong.

as many posters have pointed out...its slc/pdx....other airlines (including UA) don't fly that route...putting them on a delta flight wasn't an admission of mistake, it was simply the only expedient option available.

and as for the opinion of other people on the flight who don't support UA (except for those that do)...

If she was a danger or made a threat, she is removed, and finds her own way home. We all know that, lots of examples of this. Hell, the guy who claimed he could hack UAs systems had his tickets cancelled. It is very clear that United put her on a DL flight, signed over her ticket. They could only do that if they decided she was not a threat. I seriously doubt that if United had concluded she was a threat that they could legally just dump her on DL.

p.s. this being FT, home of the pedantic, AS also flies it....


Originally Posted by greg99 (Post 24831207)
Cognitive dissonance much?

You rail against people citing sources who weren't on the plane and then cite to an article that is a complete rehash of somebody's facebook post, and has no independent information?
...

They are choosing to completely disregard any possibility of comparative negligence on the part of the parents for the situation that ultimately led to the diversion.

This is the part of the situation that troubles me.

*All* of us on this board (at least any of us who actually fly UA on a regular basis) know that UA customer service can be atrocious and that there are offensive UA employees whose primary skill seems to be taking a bad situation and making it worse. It's entirely possible (perhaps even likely) that this is the case here.

BUT - to disregard the parents' clear responsibility (at least in part) for what happened on that flight on the basis of some imagined conspiracy against people with a medical condition is offensive.

Greg

A claim was made that she had scratched her dad by a poster. I have not seen that in a single news report, and the Mom denies that (which is what I linked to, quoting her side of the story). Absent someone saying scratching occurred, and a link to it, I linked to the something that said its not true. No, I don't take the mom on faith, but I will be willing to bet that if she was scratching at people, hurt or hit someone, there would be a report on it.

[And p.s. in the news reports the mom said "when she begins to scratch." From context, plus my limited understanding of autism that probably means herself, not someone else. I'll let someone with training in this area add anything further, but IMHO many on this board are reading too much into the comment, as the FA may (or may not) have.]

I agree with the bolded part, which I think is an underlying truth, which makes it hard for me to understand everyone jumping to UAs defense is such a one sided way here. Any of us who have flown enough have seen the power tripping FA/GA (and not just on UA) and that just so rings true here. Again I'm not blaming the pilots, but IMHO the decision by the FA appears to have been an overreaction.

As to "comparative fault" very well may be true. I don't know, and I don't see anything in any article that lets me even guess at such fault. I am Not saying it does not exist, but evidently this girl (if the parents are to be believed) has flown a lot, and made it PDX-IAH-MCO-IAH uneventfully. This says the parents can't be totally out to lunch.

P.s. I think if folks read this: http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-claim...ry?id=30926832 (which may or may not be true, just saying'n) it puts the mom's actions in a very different light, and its hard for me to see what the mom did wrong.


Originally Posted by NewportGuy (Post 24831221)
I don't recall the network (NBC, ABC, or CBS) but I did see several people interviewed supporting the FA and the flight crew. And until you happen to see the sworn statements from passengers, I'm not sure anyone can say in absolute terms that EVERY passenger did or did not support United or the Mother. I only know that I DID see an interview with other passengers who did support United.

I heard several people saying UA did the right thing, but it was not clear if they were even on the plane, and I did not hear anyone on the plane other than Heglund quoted, and certainly no one who from context heard/saw the interaction as it was going on. Several people (I count 5 so far) have come forward to back the Mom, who were right there and heard/saw it all.

Again, if I missed something, and someone knows of an article/tv interview with someone who actually saw what happened who backs up UA, please provide a link. I've not found it.

p.s. Here is what the NYT says, having waited a few days and looked at the various reports:

"In videos taken during the incident and in subsequent news reports, fellow passengers have defended the family and criticized the flight attendant, pilot and airline for being insensitive to the girl’s needs and for overreacting to behavior that is not uncommon."

Again if anyone knows of a report of someone who was actually on the plane and heard/saw a threat, it would add to the conversation to have a link to it.


Originally Posted by Martina70 (Post 24831112)
Absolutely, an actual threat was made .
...
A desperate/frustrated/exploitive/manipulative (pick your own adjective) mother on no uncertain terms told flight crew that unless her child was given an item from the first class menu, that she might hurt someone.

It WAS a threat...

I respectfully disagree that what we have seen quoted (actually in quotes) was a threat. Several people who were there, on the plane, and heard/saw what happens said it was not a threat. Context and tone matters, and neither you or I were there.

If you have a news article that quotes anyone who was there and saw/heard what happens and said it was a threat, please provide it.

Finally, as noted above, I respectfully think you and others are misreading what was said as a threat to harm others, I don't read it/understand it that way. Again, those who were there are the ones that matter, and we have the FA on one side, and so far several people (not counting the mom) on the other.

I think this piece sums up my view of what likely happened, and puts it in the context of both ignorance and overreaction:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...autistic-child

Martina70 May 17, 15 11:20 pm


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831300)
If she was a danger or made a threat, she is removed, and finds her own way home. We all know that, lots of examples of this. Hell, the guy who claimed he could hack UAs systems had his tickets cancelled. It is very clear that United put her on a DL flight, signed over her ticket. They could only do that if they decided she was not a threat. I seriously doubt that if United had concluded she was a threat that they could legally just dump her on DL.

p.s. this being FT, home of the pedantic, AS also flies it....



A claim was made that she had scratched her dad by a poster. I have not seen that in a single news report, and the Mom denies that (which is what I linked to, quoting her side of the story). Absent someone saying scratching occurred, and a link to it, I linked to the something that said its not true. No, I don't take the mom on faith, but I will be willing to bet that if she was scratching at people, hurt or hit someone, there would be a report on it.

[And p.s. in the news reports the mom said "when she begins to scratch." From context, plus my limited understanding of autism that probably means herself, not someone else. I'll let someone with training in this area add anything further, but IMHO many on this board are reading too much into the comment, as the FA may (or may not) have.]

I agree with the bolded part, which I think is an underlying truth, which makes it hard for me to understand everyone jumping to UAs defense is such a one sided way here. Any of us who have flown enough have seen the power tripping FA/GA (and not just on UA) and that just so rings true here. Again I'm not blaming the pilots, but IMHO the decision by the FA appears to have been an overreaction.

As to "comparative fault" very well may be true. I don't know, and I don't see anything in any article that lets me even guess at such fault. I am Not saying it does not exist, but evidently this girl (if the parents are to be believed) has flown a lot, and made it PDX-IAH-MCO-IAH uneventfully. This says the parents can't be totally out to lunch.



I heard several people saying UA did the right thing, but it was not clear if they were even on the plane, and I did not hear anyone on the plane other than Heglund quoted, and certainly no one who from context heard/saw the interaction as it was going on. Several people (I count 5 so far) have come forward to back the Mom, who were right there and heard/saw it all.

Again, if I missed something, and someone knows of an article/tv interview with someone who actually saw what happened who backs up UA, please provide a link. I've not found it.



I respectfully disagree that what we have seen quoted (actually in quotes) was a threat. Several people who were there, on the plane, and heard/saw what happens said it was not a threat. Context and tone matters, and neither you or I were there.

If you have a news article that quotes anyone who was there and saw/heard what happens and said it was a threat, please provide it.

Finally, as noted above, I respectfully think you and others are misreading what was said as a threat to harm others, I don't read it/understand it that way. Again, those who were there are the ones that matter, and we have the FA on one side, and so far several people (not counting the mom) on the other.

Hello Spin, the mother's own account , either given on facebook or to a news source (.she has given plenty of interviews so it's couched a little differently each time) said "If she reaches melt down mode and starts to scratch someone, will you help then?".

Even if she said, "she will start to scratch" the mother still left it open to interpretation.

Let's say that this was a FA on a power trip ( I'm not saying it, but I will humor it for arguments sake) and they got into a pissing competition with this mother. She gave him a pretty big clip of ammo, when she said what she said- and it was enough to get the plane diverted.

This situation was created when the mother (parents) failed to plan and make the provisions needed in order for their daughter to have a successful journey.

The plane was diverted because the mother issued a threat, in order to get the FA to remedy what ultimately was her problem and issue to deal with.

greg99 May 17, 15 11:22 pm


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831300)
If she was a danger or made a threat, she is removed, and finds her own way home. We all know that, lots of examples of this. Hell, the guy who claimed he could hack UAs systems had his tickets cancelled. It is very clear that United put her on a DL flight, signed over her ticket. They could only do that if they decided she was not a threat. I seriously doubt that if United had concluded she was a threat that they could legally just dump her on DL.

Sure they can - after figuring out what happened on the plane and determining (undoubtedly in consultation with DL) whether or not it was likely to happen again, they very easily could determine that any sort of concern about disruptive behavior had passed, and that it was safe for the family to travel.



Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831300)
Absent someone saying scratching occured, and a link to it, I liked to the something that said its not true. No, I don't take the mom on faith, but I will be willing to bet that if she was scratching at people, there would be a report on it. [And p.s. in the news reports the mom said "when she begins to scratch" from context, plus my limited understanding of autism that probably means herself, not someone else. I'll let someone with training in this area add anything further, but IMHO many on this board are reading too much into the comment, as the FA may (or may not) have.

You're selectively ignoring Mom's own words. The relevant issue (as she wrote in her own post) is that she told the F/A that if she didn't get hot food, she was going to have a meltdown and scratch. That's disruptive behavior, and disruptive behavior can get a flight diverted.


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831300)
Again I'm not blaming the pilots, but IMHO the decision by the FA appears to have been an overreaction.

Which decision? The decision to follow airline policy and not serve a first class meal to an economy class passenger? The decision to tell the captain that the parent of a child had warned the F/A that her child might become disruptive?


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831300)
As to "comparative fault" very well may be true. I don't know, and I don't see anything in any article that lets me even guess at such fault. Not saying it does not exist, but evidently this girl (if the parents are to be believed) has flown a lot, and made it PDX-IAH-MCO-IAH uneventfully. This says the parents can't be totally out to lunch.

Allow me to break this down:

(A) Mom wrote in her FB post: "Juliette will not eat cold food and had refused her dinner prior to the flight"

(B) Warm food was available at IAH to take on the plane.

(C) Mom acknowledged in her FB post that she did not pack warm food for her daughter for the flight.


It doesn't take Aristotle to figure out from Mom's own words that the parents could have prevented this situation with a modicum of planning prior to boarding the plane.


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831300)
Finally, as noted above, I respectfully think you and others are misreading what was said as a threat to harm others, I don't read it/understand it that way. Again, those who were there are the ones that matter, and we have the FA on one side, and so far several people (not counting the mom) on the other.

I already cited in my previous post the language from Mom's own FB post:

Frustrated I said, after she has a melt down and tries to scratch in frustration, will you help her then?
According to Mom's words (which I'm prepared to accept as persuasive evidence of what she said on board), she didn't identify who her daughter would scratch. In the absence of such identification, it's reasonable for a F/A to assume that the daughter *might* scratch someone other than herself, and communicate that to the captain.

You comment that it's hard for you to understand why people jump to UA's defense here.

I think it's because I have kids myself with some complicated situations (I don't want to go into details), and because we travel with them all over the world, but go to enormous lengths to prepare for those trips and carry all of the supplies we might foreseeably need on board.

As a result, I have *no* sympathy for a parent who tries to publicly blame and shame UA for not providing her daughter with something to which she was not entitled, but which Mom foreseeably could and should have provided for her daughter herself.

That's why I jump to UA's defense in this case. I don't care how badly UA may or may not have behaved, it doesn't excuse Mom's poor behavior.

Greg

Tchiowa May 17, 15 11:26 pm


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831101)
No, the mother did not "make a threat" or at least not one that I heard.

The mother admitted to it. Read her FB page.



Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831101)
Please cite me to the witnesses (other than Hedland in row 2, who did not/can't have seen what was happening) who say there was a threat.

The mother.


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831101)
What is relevant is that UA sent them, and the ticket, over to DL. That says as clear as can be, that having assessed what happened, UA decided there was no threat .

The mother made the threat based on the daughter not eating. She got something to eat on the ground and the mother apparently retracted the threat.


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831101)
Ipso facto, the FA made the wrong call. Maybe she felt it was the right call at the time, but in hindsight UA decided it was not the right call.

Nope. UA has backed the FA all the way. It was the right call. In fact it was the only call the FA could make.

In our litigious society "zero tolerance" is the name of the game on airplanes. Imagine if the FA had brushed it off and the girl had gone ballistic and injured someone. Millions of dollars of lawsuits plus FT would be full of posts about why UA didn't take the threat seriously.

Originally Posted by pruss2ny (Post 24831188)
and as for the opinion of other people on the flight who don't support UA (except for those that do), as other posters have pointed out: once the mom made the threat that her girl might start scratching and potentially assaulting others, it was game over. it doesn't matter if other passengers heard the threat or not. it was a statement, that the mother acknowledged she made, that threatened the girl might harm herself or others.

^^

spin88 May 17, 15 11:42 pm


Originally Posted by Martina70 (Post 24831361)
Hello Spin, the mother's own account , either given on facebook or to a news source (.she has given plenty of interviews so it's couched a little differently each time) said "If she reaches melt down mode and starts to scratch someone, will you help then?".

Even if she said, "she will start to scratch" the mother still left it open to interpretation.

Let's say that this was a FA on a power trip ( I'm not saying it, but I will humor it for arguments sake) and they got into a pissing competition with this mother. She gave him a pretty big clip of ammo, when she said what she said- and it was enough to get the plane diverted.

This situation was created when the mother (parents) failed to plan and make the provisions needed in order for their daughter to have a successful journey.

The plane was diverted because the mother issued a threat, in order to get the FA to remedy what ultimately was her problem and issue to deal with.

Lots of what I might call sloppy reporting, the reports that actually quote her don't add "someone", at least not that I have seen. I've not read the exact words she wrote on her facebook post, but I believe the NYT and ABC would quote her correctly, and they did not use these words.

The ABC peice (which directly quotes the mom, puts what she said in quotes) is very clear that any comment came at the end, as the mom was trying to prevent a problem.

I strongly disagree that there is any evidence in the ABC piece or otherwise that the mom did a bad job of prepairing. I'll let this piece speak for my view, it says it better than I could: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...autistic-child


Originally Posted by greg99 (Post 24831366)
Sure they can - after figuring out what happened on the plane and determining (undoubtedly in consultation with DL) whether or not it was likely to happen again, they very easily could determine that any sort of concern about disruptive behavior had passed, and that it was safe for the family to travel.

.....

I think it's because I have kids myself with some complicated situations (I don't want to go into details), and because we travel with them all over the world, but go to enormous lengths to prepare for those trips and carry all of the supplies we might foreseeably need on board.

Yes, the police and paramedics AND UA personnel talked to folks and then UA put this girl on a DL flight. That is a clear as can be, there was no issue that required a divert. If the ABC piece is correct, the police and paramedics were going to leave her on the UA plane!

I ask you to read the Psch Today piece and ask is what that author talks about is partially driving your views.


Originally Posted by Tchiowa (Post 24831372)
The mother admitted to it. Read her FB page.

I don't read it that way, and so far no one on this thread (the mob crying for the scalp of Dr. Beagle ;)) has been able to link to a single witnesses who was there and saw/heard what was said and viewed it as a threat. As the NYT summarized it:

"In videos taken during the incident and in subsequent news reports, fellow passengers have defended the family and criticized the flight attendant, pilot and airline for being insensitive to the girl’s needs and for overreacting to behavior that is not uncommon."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/14/tr...tic-child.html

Sorry I'm taking the grey ladies summary over yours. :D

Martina70 May 17, 15 11:58 pm


Originally Posted by greg99 (Post 24831207)
That being said, the parents and what seems to be a substantial portion of the Autism community are claiming that this was somehow a situation that was entirely of UA's making (see., e.g., from Mom's FB post):


They are choosing to completely disregard any possibility of comparative negligence on the part of the parents for the situation that ultimately led to the diversion.

This is the part of the situation that troubles me.

*All* of us on this board (at least any of us who actually fly UA on a regular basis) know that UA customer service can be atrocious and that there are offensive UA employees whose primary skill seems to be taking a bad situation and making it worse. It's entirely possible (perhaps even likely) that this is the case here.

BUT - to disregard the parents' clear responsibility (at least in part) for what happened on that flight on the basis of some imagined conspiracy against people with a medical condition is offensive.

Greg

This mother really offends me for a couple of reasons...that even if she was given 'bad service' (and no. I don't think being refused the availability of first class offerings as bad service)

a) she has taken the position that it was because her child is autistic, they were denied service -despite that no one else in coach was given the 'privilege' of which she was denied

b) that she should have been given this opportunity to order from first class because her child is autistic

c) that eccomy passengers being refused first class service is a crime against poverty

d) the poverty activist had no issues of pulling the DYKWIA card and informing the FA of her platinum status in the hope that it would get them to yield to her demand for first class amenities

e) the poverty activist who just took her family on what has to be a costly excursion to Disneyworld and claims that her and her daughter are well travelled is also claiming systematic discrimination and classism.

spin88 May 18, 15 12:10 am


Originally Posted by Martina70 (Post 24831433)
This mother really offends me for a couple of reasons...that even if she was given 'bad service' (and no. I don't think being refused the availability of first class offerings as bad service)

a) she has taken the position that it was because her child is autistic, they were denied service -despite that no one else in coach was given the 'privilege' of which she was denied

b) that she should have been given this opportunity to order from first class because her child is autistic

c) that eccomy passengers being refused first class service is a crime against poverty

d) the poverty activist had no issues of pulling the DYKWIA card and informing the FA of her platinum status in the hope that it would get them to yield to her demand for first class amenities

e) the poverty activist who just took her family on what has to be a costly excursion to Disneyworld and claims that her and her daughter are well travelled is also claiming systematic discrimination and classism.

I have no idea where you are getting any of this from, certainly not any article who quoted her. If ABC is to be believed, she bought a warm BOB sandwich to try to address the issue, it arrived cold. FA was not helpful, then and only then she asked to "buy" a FC meal. I provided the link above, if I am incorrect in my summary of the situation, please explain how.

I can recall several years ago on a lunch flight, FA asked us if anyone was not eating or would give us their meal as there was a elderly person who they were afraid was having a diabetic issue, and they wanted to give them a meal. Several of us volunteered. Generally in my experience people are nice, ok most people are nice. Its sad to me that rather than trying to fix difficult situations some people use them as an opportunity to let their inner scrudge out, try to show how much smarter they are.

I will leave responding to your effort to equate this mother to the Bolsheviks to others. :o

greg99 May 18, 15 12:15 am


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831395)
I strongly disagree that there is any evidence in the ABC piece or otherwise that the mom did a bad job of prepairing.

Since you're responding only selectively to other posters' comments and ignoring others (including mine), let me ask you these two questions specifically:

Did the mother say in her FB post (https://www.facebook.com/donna.m.bee...16056981803855) that "Juliette will not eat cold food"?

Did the mother pack warm food?

If the answer to the first question is "yes" and the second question is "no," (by the way, those *are* the answers) then I'm comfortable saying that the mother did not do a good job of preparing to travel with her daughter.

If you think that the mother failing to pack warm food when she knew her daughter hadn't eaten and wouldn't eat cold food constitutes good preparation, then we're never going to come to a common ground as to how this should have been resolved.


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831395)
I'll let this piece speak for my view, it says it better than I could: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...autistic-child

...

I ask you to read the Psch Today piece and ask is what that author talks about is partially driving your views.

I'll spare you the effort and quote what I'm guessing you would think are relevant passages from that article:


There is always a peanut gallery of harpies who are ready to pounce on victims and lecture them about how they have to take responsibility for all the many, many rules they broke and all the things they woulda-coulda-shoulda done differently. Rarely do they find fault with powerful people in positions of authority, no matter how out of line those authorities behave.

They blame the victim in order to make themselves feel safer: That bad thing happened to that person because that person did this and this and this wrong. I, on the other hand, would never make those mistakes, and so "that bad thing" will never happen to me. This is sometimes referred to as false empowerment—deluding yourself into believing you are more powerful and infallible than you really are.
The answer is, no, I don't identify with that, and I think the article is pablum.

It's not blaming the victim when the "victim" takes to the public press claiming effectively that (a) UA hates children with autism disorder, (b) that UA was somehow obligated to provide her daughter with warm food, and (c) that UA had acted illegally, and (d) suggesting that this is somehow akin to class warfare against the poor, without (e) acknowledging any form of responsibility for her daughter's situation.

The article of your pop psych article is correct that we all make mistakes, especially as parents. What we don't all do is go to the media and point fingers at other parties in hopes of making a political statement, all the while trying to avoid any semblance of parental responsibility.

Greg

fastair May 18, 15 1:28 am


Originally Posted by greg99 (Post 24831207)
The one person who is blameless in this situation is the daughter. It was clearly a horrible experience for her, and I'm saddened by the thought that she went through what was an incredibly uncomfortable experience.

I wasn't there, but just reading mom's FB post, it didn't sound like it was a horrible experience for the daughter, far less clearly horrible. It appeared from mom's own post that daughter was fine, watching a Disney flick with no knowledge of the battle her mother was fighting. Remember, this is a professional activist. look at her FB posts on other things. It's nothing against her, but she is an activist who tries to sway people's opinions by ostracising them or giving them a guilt trip. I take everything with a grain of salt when dealing with any activist as they will try to make most little things into big things. I mean how long did she say she kept trying to get the flight attendants to do what she asked? I think it was 40 min before she then made a threatening statement about her daughter assaulting other passengers.

The world needs activists. Aircraft in flight don't. Back on the ground at the gate with the door open, be an activist, at 30,000 feet, wrong place to try to make a point. Unfortunately, she is being rewarded for doing so. Not quite the level of MSbP, but not far from it either, especially if her daughter did nothing disruptive but mom made it out to be as if she was going to.

Unfortunately, none of us really know the daughter, none of us know what she is likely to do or is capable of. The crew didn't know either, mom said that she might commit assault against other passengers, maybe that was a realistic outcome, maybe it wasn't, but unless it was realistic, it was the wrong card to play (unless of course you wanted to make an issue for your cause, which she has now done) if it was realistic, then who could fault the airline from diverting. Disability or not, go onboard a plane, fly away, and tell the crew that there is a very realistic possibility that your family will start assaulting other passengers. Make no mention of a disability. Most likely, they will divert. So a claim of discrimination is off base. When they treat people the same regardless of protected characteristic, it is not discrimination, but equal treatment. Equal treatment is the absence of discrimination, not the presence of it, so she needs to throw that word out and find a different avenue.

spin88 May 18, 15 1:45 am


Originally Posted by greg99 (Post 24831465)
Since you're responding only selectively to other posters' comments and ignoring others (including mine), let me ask you these two questions specifically:

Did the mother say in her FB post (https://www.facebook.com/donna.m.bee...16056981803855) that "Juliette will not eat cold food"?

Did the mother pack warm food?

If the answer to the first question is "yes" and the second question is "no," (by the way, those *are* the answers) then I'm comfortable saying that the mother did not do a good job of preparing to travel with her daughter.

Yes, and she also says that she would not eat any of the food they had brought, which is internally inconsistent, otherwise they would not have brought it. Mom bought a chicken sandwich (per multiple reports) which turned out to be not hot and FA would not warm it. The sandwich is designed to be served warm:

"Chicken & Swiss Focaccia $9.49

Tomato focaccia with chicken breast, Swiss cheese, arugula and roasted tomatoes

May be served warm on select aircraft"

That would have been a quick fix, but evidently the FA was not going to do this to fix the situation.

But my real question is - given that I have kids - how exactly was the mom supposed to keep the food warm. Was she supposed to being a microwave, plug it in? Perhaps the oven? How about a MSR stove? :o

As the article I cited to suggests, you are simply Monday morning quarterbacking. This was an issue that any good FA would have quickly solved, and it appears (from the overreaction) that this FA did not want to help solve it, then went on a power trip.

When the DOT raises a stink (they will per the ADA), and no passengers support UAs view - BTB, I'm still waiting for all of those links to the legions of folks on the plane who heard/saw a threat - I've not seen them in any report I have run across, United will fold like a cheap suit.

And the really funny thing that United in the past has trumpeted its work to help autistic kids fly:

https://hub.united.com/en-us/news/co...th-autism.aspx

Guess that good PR is sort-o-shot-to-hell... ;)


BTB, for the many posters who keep insisting that on her FB page the mom said her daughter would scratch "someone" well that - and the news reports saying that, is flat out wrong. Here is exactly what the mom said: "Frustrated I said, after she has a melt down and tries to scratch in frustration, will you help her then?" https://www.facebook.com/donna.m.bee...16056981803855

BTB (again) - and so far not one has posted a link to any passenger hearing/seeing a threat - not a single one.

pruss2ny May 18, 15 7:01 am


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831300)
If she was a danger or made a threat, she is removed, and finds her own way home. .. It is very clear that United put her on a DL flight, signed over her ticket. They could only do that if they decided she was not a threat. I seriously doubt that if United had concluded she was a threat that they could legally just dump her on DL.

p.s. this being FT, home of the pedantic, AS also flies it....

1. touche on flight schedules SLC/PDX but in fairness AS has 1 codeshare on a cr700 + 1 other nonstop v 5 nonstops/day on Delta .... so i think u are allowing that it makes sense if she gets dropped on another flight, its likely Delta

2. i think i get where u are coming from now (altho still disagree)...u seem fixated on whether or not the girl was a threat. "the legions" of evil posters (myself included) who align w/ UA are focused on whether or not a threat was made.

think alot of us "siding" w/ UA feel the mom's statement (to the effect of 'if she doesn't get a hot meal, will u help me once she has a meltdown and starts scratching') is simply defined a threat of potential violence against the girl and/or other passengers safety.

> since the mom is quoted as having allowed she said it in numerous interviews, i don't think there is any reason to respond to the request to prove that a threat was made
> if u don't view that statement as a threatening statement, then i think thats where we go off the rails

JBord May 18, 15 7:38 am


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831699)
BTB (again) - and so far not one has posted a link to any passenger hearing/seeing a threat - not a single one. Oh well.


After reading all your posts, it seems to me the only new argument you're introducing to this thread is whether or not the mother's statement can be interpreted as a threat.

It's a valid point. If she didn't make a threat, I would be much less sure of UA's action and position. We read the statement, which the mother said she made, but we don't have the context. Was she crying hopelessly or was she snarling angrily? I might not consider the former as a threat. Words can mean different things.

Based on what I've seen, I interpret it as a threat, however small and unlikely it may have been. So did the FA, and reported it to the captain. As much as we can all agree that UA's customer service could use improvement, I don't think that a decision to divert is something flight crews easily arrive at. I typically fly ~90 segments a year and have been lucky enough to have only diversions for weather. I've seen medical problems on board, I've seen disruptive passengers (obviously not the cockpit-rushers, but more similar to the "howling" autistic child in this case), and I've seen people argue with a flight attendant. But never a diversion for any of those situations.

The pilot thought in this case a diversion was appropriate, based on the FA interpreting the threat.

I'm just not ready to jump to the position that a threat was not made, when in my experience, it takes a lot to cause a diversion.

You can believe the "witnesses" who stuck around to support the mother and give their quotes, as the mother asked them to (as seen on video), while the UA supporters likely just left the situation alone and went to their next flight. I suspect that if this ever gets to the stage of sworn affidavits/testimony, we'll see a much different story from passengers.

So, was it a threat or not? That's really all that's left to discuss at this point, and I don't know that we'll arrive at a definitive answer here. The other stuff doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if the mother was prepared, if the daughter ate a meal at IAH, if the flight attendant was polite or snarky about the meal he brought, if the daughter was really going to have a meltdown or what that would consist of. All that matters is was a threat made or not. After that, the captain has to make a decision on how to best respond.

weero May 18, 15 8:49 am


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831101)
..I do put stock into what at this point multiple witnesses who were in earshot have said..

Any source that they were close enough and could assert that the mother positively made no threat? That all sounds intriguing.
Nothing else matters and no one, not even the UA employees claim that the daughter posed a threat.

I don't see that as a threat, perhaps you do, [B]but not a single passenger has come forward to back up the FA's version
It is not so much just a version. So you are certain that the FA lied and no threat was made? Do you have a an idea what the motive was given the major inconvenience of a diversion? Qui bono?

But not a single poster on this thread has bothered to address the fact that - having interviewed people - UA then put her on a DL flight! No way they would do this if they did not think the FA overracted.
Later. That was after the situation was assessed on the ground. I see not the slightest conflict or contradiction there. Also do not forget that UA could not have taken them themselves, so they had to find alternative transport.

.. I can tell you, the airlines don't pass on dangerous passengers to other airlines.
Of course they do. Even real threats. The BNC guy who beat up an entire SQ crew on the way here also was handed to QF.

United's actions speak louder than any words their PR department can invent.
I agree. And I applaud this crew for seeing thing through. Well done UA.

LaserSailor May 18, 15 9:38 am


Originally Posted by JBord (Post 24832548)
So, was it a threat or not? That's really all that's left to discuss at this point, and I don't know that we'll arrive at a definitive answer here. ....



...... After that, the captain has to make a decision on how to best respond.

The only thing that matters was did the FA perceive it as a threat. We will never reach understanding of that here.

Once the FAs are calling the front cabin on any passenger conduct issue, a diversion is imminent if you aren't close to destination.

MSPeconomist May 18, 15 9:42 am

With all the current hysteria about exposure to the blood of strangers, someone could interpret a statement even that one will make oneself bleed as a threat to others. Blood could also put an aircraft out of service for a while.

mduell May 18, 15 11:08 am


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831699)
Yes, and she also says that she would not eat any of the food they had brought, which is internally inconsistent, otherwise they would not have brought it. Mom bought a chicken sandwich (per multiple reports) which turned out to be not hot and FA would not warm it. The sandwich is designed to be served warm:

"Chicken & Swiss Focaccia $9.49

Tomato focaccia with chicken breast, Swiss cheese, arugula and roasted tomatoes

May be served warm on select aircraft"

That would have been a quick fix, but evidently the FA was not going to do this to fix the situation.

Did this flight have the appropriate equipment and was it operable at the time? I think there's a reason they stuck the "May"/"select" in there.


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831699)
When the DOT raises a stink (they will per the ADA)

I suspect the DOT is well aware the ADA doesn't apply to air transportation, per the statutory text.

theddo May 18, 15 11:31 am


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24831699)
The sandwich is designed to be served warm:

"Chicken & Swiss Focaccia $9.49

Tomato focaccia with chicken breast, Swiss cheese, arugula and roasted tomatoes

May be served warm on select aircraft"

That would have been a quick fix, but evidently the FA was not going to do this to fix the situation.

So she purchased something which may be served hot. Perhaps she should've asked the FAs first.

phltraveler May 18, 15 4:31 pm


Originally Posted by theddo (Post 24833759)
So she purchased something which may be served hot. Perhaps she should've asked the FAs first.

From an ABC article:


Beegle said Juliette wanted a hot meal, so Beegle bought a chicken sandwich on the plane and asked the flight crew to warm it in a microwave. The crew refused, she said, telling her the sandwich would get soggy.
It seems like the most probable reason the sandwich was not warmed was that the aircraft did not have sufficient equipment to properly warm it...

Additionally, via another article:

“I asked the flight attendant if they had anything hot, because Juliette is very particular about her food,” said Beegle. “If it's warm she won't eat it, if it's cold she won't eat it, it has to have steam rolling off of it.
So the sandwich merely being warmed per the description in Hemispheres magazine (again, which "may" be "warmed" on "select" aircraft) isn't sufficient apparently, per the mother.

greg99 May 18, 15 4:38 pm


Originally Posted by phltraveler (Post 24835311)

“I asked the flight attendant if they had anything hot, because Juliette is very particular about her food,” said Beegle. “If it's warm she won't eat it, if it's cold she won't eat it, it has to have steam rolling off of it.”

So the sandwich merely being warmed per the description in Hemispheres magazine (again, which "may" be "warmed" on "select" aircraft) isn't sufficient apparently, per the mother.

How has the family successfully flown in the past?

Even when I fly intercontinental F on good airlines (i.e., not a US carrier), I still don't get food with steam rolling off of it.

How can it possibly be UA's fault that they didn't have steaming hot food in Y on a domestic flight?

Greg

LAXOGG May 18, 15 4:45 pm


Originally Posted by LaserSailor (Post 24833133)
The only thing that matters was did the FA perceive it as a threat. We will never reach understanding of that here.

Once the FAs are calling the front cabin on any passenger conduct issue, a diversion is imminent if you aren't close to destination.

Agree......end of story. This is clearly not another OJGate

Crazyboutflying May 18, 15 6:46 pm


Originally Posted by halls120 (Post 24822319)
^^

Best post of this thread.

Absolutely...reasoned and logical

spin88 May 18, 15 9:16 pm


Originally Posted by pruss2ny (Post 24832389)
2. i think i get where u are coming from now (altho still disagree)...u seem fixated on whether or not the girl was a threat. "the legions" of evil posters (myself included) who align w/ UA are focused on whether or not a threat was made.

think alot of us "siding" w/ UA feel the mom's statement (to the effect of 'if she doesn't get a hot meal, will u help me once she has a meltdown and starts scratching') is simply defined a threat of potential violence against the girl and/or other passengers safety.

> since the mom is quoted as having allowed she said it in numerous interviews, i don't think there is any reason to respond to the request to prove that a threat was made
> if u don't view that statement as a threatening statement, then i think thats where we go off the rails

My focus is not if the girl was a theat (no there is absolutely no arguement that she was). My focus is on if the mom made a threat. If she did then, its different. A threat is (1) what was said, and (2) the context in which it is said, and (3) the tone and inflection with which it is said. If I say to my friend, "hey man, I'm gonna kill you" He will immediately see from my tone its not a threat. If some crazy person calls the cops, the cops show up and quickly figure out a crazy person called them, no threat. If some biker in Wako says "I'm gonna kill you" well different story.

There are two options, mom made what could legitimately be considered a "threat" by a reasonable person, or no such threat was made. What about 3/4 of the posters on this thead say mom said "scratch someone" is NOT what the mom put on her FB post, and not what media reports which quote her as saying its just wrong. Other posters have wrongly claimed the girl actually scratched someone. None of this happened.

I think you agree with me that what the mom said could be, or could not be constured as a threat. I think you would also agree with me what nothing she said was a per se threat. So context/inflection matters.

Mustering the evidence, UA put her on a DL flight, police and parametics were just going to leave her on the flight. Pilot demanded she be removed. That says that once they landed and someone who did not cause the plane to devert looked at the situation, they realized it was never a situation. Hindsight is 20/20.

But at the time, was it reasonable to view a threat as having been made? This is why I keep coming back to that fact that everyone who heard/saw what happened thought the FA badly overreacted, there was no threat.

A bunch of people claimed there were witnesses to back up the FA, these folks have now gone radio silent, there are no witness to back up the FA, and at least 5 (one who reports several others) who back the mom.

In this context it is the FA vs. the mom + 5-6 witnesses. I give the edge to the 6, not the one, particular given the well documented propensity for certain FAs to go all power mad.


Originally Posted by JBord (Post 24832548)
After reading all your posts, it seems to me the only new argument you're introducing to this thread is whether or not the mother's statement can be interpreted as a threat.

It's a valid point. If she didn't make a threat, I would be much less sure of UA's action and position. We read the statement, which the mother said she made, but we don't have the context. Was she crying hopelessly or was she snarling angrily? I might not consider the former as a threat. Words can mean different things.

Based on what I've seen, I interpret it as a threat, however small and unlikely it may have been.

....

You can believe the "witnesses" who stuck around to support the mother and give their quotes, as the mother asked them to (as seen on video), while the UA supporters likely just left the situation alone and went to their next flight. I suspect that if this ever gets to the stage of sworn affidavits/testimony, we'll see a much different story from passengers.

So, was it a threat or not? That's really all that's left to discuss at this point, and I don't know that we'll arrive at a definitive answer here.

The other stuff doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if the mother was prepared, if the daughter ate a meal at IAH, if the flight attendant was polite or snarky about the meal he brought, if the daughter was really going to have a meltdown or what that would consist of. All that matters is was a threat made or not. After that, the captain has to make a decision on how to best respond.

I basically agree with you (particularly the bolded part) although I reach a different conclusion, basically on the weight of the evidence (its at least 5 witness with no ax to grind vs. the FA).. I also think that UAs PR department will have reached out to passengers if they thought it would help them, this has become a PR storm, and it is not making UA look good. Trust me, if UA could get a passenger who was actually there to say the mom was yelling/mad/looked violent, etc, they would be jumping at it.

I do think that some of the details if correct paint UA in a bad light. E.g. selling her a sandwich, and then, despite a reasonable request refusing to warm it. Last I looked the A319/320 have an oven. The FA may not have wanted to help out, but he could have. That causes me to again not want to credit the FA here.


Originally Posted by mduell (Post 24833631)
Did this flight have the appropriate equipment and was it operable at the time? I think there's a reason they stuck the "May"/"select" in there.

Do you really need me to answer this question. Of course it did, the A319/320 have ovens, they could easily have warmed something for the mom, you know this. But that would be "austism-friendly" :D And before you say "but were they working" of course they were, they then gave her warm food (some rice) from FC.


Originally Posted by greg99 (Post 24835337)
How has the family successfully flown in the past?

Even when I fly intercontinental F on good airlines (i.e., not a US carrier), I still don't get food with steam rolling off of it.

How can it possibly be UA's fault that they didn't have steaming hot food in Y on a domestic flight?

Greg

If we put our thinking caps on here, there are two possible answers. The first is that on every single flight, since she was little, and going oversees, the airline warmed up the food so there "was steam rolling off it" or second as I suspect she is not quite as picky, and is more like my (younger) kids who sometimes turn up their nose at cold food. Regardless, that the family has traveled a lot -including PDX-IAH-MCO-IAH - with no incident makes me think the FA did not handle this well.

JOSECONLSCREW28 May 18, 15 10:18 pm

According to an employee who met the flight when it diverted to SLC there is a lot more to the story then what the media or bloggers are protraying. Unfortunately she wasn't able to go into much detail about it. So it looks like we are only hearing part of what really happened.

spin88 May 18, 15 10:34 pm


Originally Posted by JOSECONLSCREW28 (Post 24836544)
According to an employee who met the flight when it diverted to SLC there is a lot more to the story then what the media or bloggers are protraying. Unfortunately she wasn't able to go into much detail about it. So it looks like we are only hearing part of what really happened.

That may be, and those who actually saw what happened are the key. But at this point, 5 folks w/o an ax to grind are on record saying that the FA overreacted. So far there is nothing reported to supports the FA reasonably seeing a threat. Not saying it is not possible, just that it has not yet happened.

If there is litigation, we can pull over a bowl of pop-corn. :D

leonidas May 18, 15 11:00 pm

Paranoia + crappy planes + disgruntled employees = fantastic flying experience.

Tchiowa May 18, 15 11:09 pm


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24836588)
That may be, and those who actually saw what happened are the key. But at this point, 5 folks w/o an ax to grind are on record saying that the FA overreacted. So far there is nothing reported to supports the FA reasonably seeing a threat. Not saying it is not possible, just that it has not yet happened.

If there is litigation, we can pull over a bowl of pop-corn. :D

Remember the scene in the movie "A Few Good Men" where Tom Cruise is the lawyer and he's practicing a cross examination using his friends as witnesses. He asks something like "Is there any direct evidence of violence?" to which the response is "You mean other than the dead body?"?

This is being played over and over in this thread. A lot of people asking for or claiming there isn't any evidence of a threat.

You mean other than the mother admitting she made the threat?

suzy1K May 18, 15 11:23 pm

1) WFBF (Want First Buy First)
2) UAL would likely fire a FA for just about any excuse (if they could - the union couldn't help on this one) so please appreciate that the FA likely thought long & hard about serving a first class meal to an economy passenger, especially in this particular instance with all the fuss & fury. It goes beyond wanting to help the young girl, despite whatever the mom was up to.
Also, the FA surely would have suspected that other pax might be recording his/her actions or planning on writing into customer service about (or tweeting) the extraneous meal service. No good deed goes unpunished. [Its not like when a nice FA slips you a warm chocolate chip cookie when you're sitting in the bulkhead on a red-eye where nobody else might notice - ahhh warm pre-merger memories]

There are probably active (or ex) crew members on this forum who can comment further on this.

Martina70 May 18, 15 11:57 pm


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24836359)
My focus is not if the girl was a theat (no there is absolutely no arguement that she was). My focus is on if the mom made a threat. If she did then, its different. A threat is (1) what was said, and (2) the context in which it is said, and (3) the tone and inflection with which it is said. If I say to my friend, "hey man, I'm gonna kill you" He will immediately see from my tone its not a threat. If some crazy person calls the cops, the cops show up and quickly figure out a crazy person called them, no threat. If some biker in Wako says "I'm gonna kill you" well different story.
l.

Even if you want to believe the most sanitized accounts of what the mother said, that she might scratch..rather that she might scratch someone
even if you want to believe that she said this also couched with a pretty please and a thank you....'context' and 'validity' matters very little.

If that was the case, we wouldn't hear about folks being arrested or fined for making 'jokes' about threats.



https://www.yahoo.com/travel/doctors...e-104158537382.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...orism-Act.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...orism-Act.html

Those are just the first three links that came up

Are you so certain that context and tone are decisive enough that you would be willing to make the same types of 'jokes' or vents?

reamworks May 19, 15 5:58 am


Originally Posted by spin88 (Post 24836588)
But at this point, 5 folks w/o an ax to grind are on record saying that the FA overreacted. :D

Every passenger who was delayed by the stop in SLC has an ax to grind.

JBord May 19, 15 8:44 am


Originally Posted by reamworks (Post 24837546)
Every passenger who was delayed by the stop in SLC has an ax to grind.

Not to mention how many of these people only saw and heard bits of the total interaction.

Next time you're in an airport, take 5 minutes to just people watch. Air travelers might be the most unaware people in the world. They wear headphones, they have their eyes on a screen, they walk in a crowd of people and suddenly stop or turn around and are shocked that someone else was in the hallway with them.
Same thing on a lot of flights.

It would be interesting to see some of these folks under cross examination I think.

rufflesinc May 19, 15 8:47 am


Originally Posted by JOSECONLSCREW28 (Post 24836544)
According to an employee who met the flight when it diverted to SLC there is a lot more to the story then what the media or bloggers are protraying. Unfortunately she wasn't able to go into much detail about it.

:rolleyes: Like a child claiming to have an awesome secret they can't tell you.

JBord May 19, 15 8:52 am


Originally Posted by rufflesinc (Post 24838231)
:rolleyes: Like a child claiming to have an awesome secret they can't tell you.

Ummm, there's a lawsuit being threatened and this person could be a witness. Likely orders from UA's attorneys.

Would you risk your employment like this, if in a similar situation?

wrp96 May 19, 15 11:42 am


Originally Posted by JBord (Post 24838205)
Not to mention how many of these people only saw and heard bits of the total interaction.

Next time you're in an airport, take 5 minutes to just people watch. Air travelers might be the most unaware people in the world. They wear headphones, they have their eyes on a screen, they walk in a crowd of people and suddenly stop or turn around and are shocked that someone else was in the hallway with them.
Same thing on a lot of flights.

For example, in SJO yesterday, all the boards for all the airlines had signs stating the airport was closed due to volcanic ash. And every agent was notifying everyone individually about the reason, and rebooking connections, etc. And yet a person seated next to me in the gate area was complaining about how terrible our airline was because they delayed our flight, "because they can't maintain their planes." People see what they want to see, and hear what they want to hear.

Loren Pechtel May 19, 15 12:27 pm


Originally Posted by JOSECONLSCREW28 (Post 24836544)
According to an employee who met the flight when it diverted to SLC there is a lot more to the story then what the media or bloggers are protraying. Unfortunately she wasn't able to go into much detail about it. So it looks like we are only hearing part of what really happened.

That's what usually happens--privacy rules don't permit revealing what really happened.

rufflesinc May 19, 15 1:43 pm


Originally Posted by JBord (Post 24838258)
Ummm, there's a lawsuit being threatened and this person could be a witness. Likely orders from UA's attorneys.

Would you risk your employment like this, if in a similar situation?

Then they shouldn't have said ANYTHING.

LarryJ May 19, 15 2:20 pm


Originally Posted by rufflesinc (Post 24838231)
:rolleyes: Like a child claiming to have an awesome secret they can't tell you.

Every airline that I've ever worked for, and I've worked for six airlines, has had policies that prohibit making public statements with such details.

nnn May 19, 15 4:05 pm


Originally Posted by rufflesinc (Post 24839960)
Then they shouldn't have said ANYTHING.

It's a bit unclear as to why you care.

rufflesinc May 19, 15 5:33 pm


Originally Posted by LarryJ (Post 24840127)
Every airline that I've ever worked for, and I've worked for six airlines, has had policies that prohibit making public statements with such details.

Sure, then that person shouldn't even indicated they knew anything.

rufflesinc May 19, 15 5:34 pm


Originally Posted by nnn (Post 24840614)
It's a bit unclear as to why you care.

Same reason why anyone of us cares on this 400+ post thread. because the internet.

LarryJ May 19, 15 6:13 pm


Originally Posted by rufflesinc (Post 24840934)
Sure, then that person shouldn't even indicated they knew anything.

Not everyone is as perfect and you and I.


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