Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Involuntary Denied Boarding on Baby's First Flight

Old Sep 24, 16, 12:05 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Global321
From the United Website...

Rule 25 Denied Boarding Compensation

Denied Boarding (U.S.A./Canadian Flight Origin) - When there is an Oversold UA flight that originates in the U.S.A. or Canada, the following provisions apply:
1. Request for Volunteers
a. UA will request Passengers who are willing to relinquish their confirmed reserved space in exchange for compensation in an amount determined by UA (including but not limited to check or an electronic travel certificate). The travel certificate will be valid only for travel on UA or designated Codeshare partners for one year from the date of issue and will have no refund value. If a Passenger is asked to volunteer, UA will not later deny boarding to that Passenger involuntarily unless that Passenger was informed at the time he was asked to volunteer that there was a possibility of being denied boarding involuntarily and of the amount of compensation to which he/she would have been entitled in that event. The request for volunteers and the selection of such person to be denied space will be in a manner determined solely by UA.
2. Boarding Priorities - If a flight is Oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his/her will until UA or other carrier personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservations willingly in exchange for compensation as determined by UA. If there are not enough volunteers, other Passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UAís boarding priority:
a. Passengers who are Qualified Individuals with Disabilities, unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 years, or minors between the ages of 5 to 15 years who use the unaccompanied minor service, will be the last to be involuntarily denied boarding if it is determined by UA that such denial would constitute a hardship.
b. The priority of all other confirmed passengers may be determined based on a passengerís fare class, itinerary, status of frequent flyer program membership, and the time in which the passenger presents him/herself for check-in without advanced seat assignment.
3. Transportation for Passengers Denied Boarding - When UA is unable to provide previously confirmed space due to an Oversold flight, UA will provide transportation to such Passengers who have been denied boarding whether voluntarily or involuntarily in accordance with the provisions below.
a. UA will transport the Passenger on its own flight to the Destination without Stopover on its next flight on which space is available at no additional cost to the Passenger, regardless of class of service.
b. If space is available on another Carrierís flight regardless of class of service, such flights may be used upon Unitedís sole discretion and the Passengerís request at no additional cost to the Passenger only if such flight provides an earlier arrival than the UA flight offered in 3) a) above.
4. Compensation for Passengers Denied Boarding Involuntarily
a. For passengers traveling in interstate transportation between points within the United States, subject to the EXCEPTIONS in section d) below, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight at the rate of 200% of the fare to the Passengerís first Stopover or, if none, Destination, with a maximum of 675 USD if UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passengerís Destination or first Stopover more than one hour but less than two hours after the planned arrival time of the Passengerís original flight. If UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passengerís Destination or first Stopover more than two hours after the planned arrival time of the Passengerís original flight, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight at the rate of 400% of the fare to the Passengerís first Stopover or, if none, Destination with a maximum of 1350 USD.
b. For passengers traveling from the United States to a foreign point, subject to the EXCEPTIONS in section d) below, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight originating at a U.S. airport at the rate of 200% of the fare to the Passengerís first Stopover or, if none, Destination, with a maximum of 675 USD if UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passengerís Destination or first Stopover more than one hour but less than four hours after the planned arrival time of the Passengerís original flight. If UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passengerís Destination or first Stopover more than four hours after the planned arrival time of the Passengerís original flight, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight at the rate of 400% of the fare to the Passengerís first Stopover or, if none, Destination with a maximum of 1350 USD.
c. For passengers traveling from Canada to a foreign point, subject to the EXCEPTIONS in section d) below, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight originating at a Canadian airport with a maximum of 200 CAD if UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passengerís Destination or first Stopover more than one hour but less than four hours after the planned arrival time of the Passengerís original flight. If UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passengerís Destination or first Stopover more than four hours after the planned arrival time of the Passengerís original flight, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight with a maximum of 300 CAD. At the passengerís request, compensation in the form of check, wire transfer, visa card, or a travel voucher will be made by UA, and if accepted by the Passenger, the Passenger will provide a signed receipt to UA.
d. EXCEPTIONS: A Passenger denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight shall not be eligible for denied boarding compensation if:
The flight is cancelled;
The Passenger holding a Ticket for confirmed reserved space does not comply fully with the requirements in this Contract of Carriage Requirements regarding ticketing, check-in, reconfirmation procedures, and acceptance for transportation;
The flight for which the Passenger holds confirmed reserved space is unable to accommodate the Passenger because of substitution of equipment of lesser capacity when required by operational or safety reasons or, on an aircraft with a designed passenger capacity of 60 or fewer seats, the flight for which the passenger holds confirmed reserved space is unable to accommodate that passenger due to weight/balance restrictions when required by operational or safety reasons;
The Passenger is offered accommodations or is seated in a section of the aircraft other than that specified on his/her ticket at no extra charge. Provided, if a Passenger is seated in a section for which a lower fare applies, the Passenger will be entitled to a refund applicable to the difference in fares;
The Passenger is accommodated on Alternate Transportation at no extra cost, which at the time such arrangements are made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the Passengerís next Stopover, (if any), or at the Destination, not later than 60 minutes after the planned arrival time of the flight on which the Passenger held confirmed reserved space;
The Passenger is an employee of UA or of another Carrier or other person traveling without a confirmed reserved space; or
The Passenger does not present him/herself at the loading gate for boarding at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled domestic departures, and 30 minutes prior to scheduled international departures. See Rule 5 D) for additional information regarding boarding cut-off times.
5. Payment Time and Form for Passengers Traveling Between Points within the United States or from the United States to a Foreign Point
a. Compensation in the form of check will be made by UA on the day and at the place where the failure to provide confirmed reserved space occurs, and if accepted by the Passenger, the Passenger will provide a signed receipt to UA. However, when UA has arranged, for the Passengerís convenience, Alternate Transportation that departs before the compensation to the Passenger under this provision can be prepared and given to the Passenger, the compensation shall be sent by mail or other means to the Passenger within 24 hours thereafter.
b. UA may offer free or reduced rate air transportation in lieu of a check payment due under this Rule, if the value of the transportation credit offered is equal to or greater than the monetary compensation otherwise due and UA informs the Passenger of the amount and that the Passenger may decline the transportation benefit and receive the monetary compensation.
6. Limitation of Liability - If UAís offer of compensation pursuant to the above provisions is accepted by the Passenger, such payment will constitute full compensation for all actual or anticipatory damages incurred or to be incurred by the Passenger as a result of UAís failure to provide the Passenger with confirmed reserved space. If UAís offer of compensation pursuant to the above provisions is not accepted, UAís liability is limited to actual damages proved not to exceed 1350 USD per Ticketed Passenger as a result of UAís failure to provide the Passenger with confirmed reserved space. Passenger will be responsible for providing documentation of all actual damages claimed. UA shall not be liable for any punitive, consequential or special damages arising out of or in connection with UAís failure to provide the Passenger with confirmed reserved space.
[/INDENT]
B. Denied Boarding Non-U.S.A./Canada Flight Origin - Where there is an Oversold UA flight that originates outside the U.S.A. or Canada, no compensation will be provided except where required by local or international laws regulating Oversold flights.
Print Wikipost

Involuntary Denied Boarding on Baby's First Flight

Old Oct 6, 15, 11:51 am
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by WR Cage
In reviewing the original post, I do note one item that may trip up the claim for IDB. Specifically the OP makes numerous mentions of requiring to be seated together. While in most circumstances this is not a problem, on the ERJ145 the seats are 1X2. MEM-IAH is chock full of RJ145 with one daily CR7. The problem for the OP is they might have gotten a BP with seats, but they weren't together. If so, then the OP was not IDB but rather removed themselves from the flight. Under this scenario the OP does not have an IDB claim.
While we did say it was our strong preference to sit together, neither one of us were given the option to get on the plane at all. Despite the fact that we were assigned seats on the first plane and have multiple email confirmations to prove it, when we checked in (more than an hour before departure), our boarding passes had three asterisks where a seat number should have been and we were told, not that our assigned seats had been given away, but that their records never showed assigned seats to begin with. When we presented the first boarding passes we were told to stand aside until all passengers with seat assignments had been boarded. The second boarding passes that we received via email said "see gate agent" where the ticket number should have been.
jljones000 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:01 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Orlando, FL, US
Programs: DL-Dirt Medallion;US-Cast Iron Preferred; HH-Gold; Avis First
Posts: 3,613
Originally Posted by Often1
5. The fact that UA offered you cash suggests that it acknowledges the IDB. Anything else would be a simple customer service gesture which would come in the form of some miles or a credit useable for other UA travel. It was simply miscalculated and it is true that the agent with whom you dealt has no authority to vary that.
Assuming it was really a check and not vouchers. If they were in fact vouchers, and the agent was trying to get them to sign something, it sounds like UA was trying to turn them into "volunteers".
djk7 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:10 pm
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
On each flight, did the GA really ask for volunteers and make compensation offers for VDBs? If not, it's another DOT violation.
They did not make any announcements over the loudspeaker or in any other manner that we could hear on either flight. It didn't seem as though they were making any effort to find volunteers on the first flight. On the second flight, they told us they were looking for volunteers, but apparently they never found any. Part of our problem with this whole process is the complete lack of communication.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
When the OP abandoned the trip, can UA claim that they would have been on the very next flight and thus that the delay, at least for the second IDB, was not very long? OP might want to check if ther were further flights to the destination that day. I think it's unlikely, as otherwise the supervisor who offered them the check and paperwork would have given them boarding passes for the next flight. If they had already communicated their intent to cancel the trip at that point, would UA be obligated to refund their tickets on the spot rather than through a later refund process by mail?
When we were not allowed to board the 6:20PM flight, we were told that they would not be able to get us on a plane until tomorrow. The supervisor left us alone at an empty gate for the next two hours while she was getting our comp. While she was gone, we heard another boarding call for a Houston-bound flight. It was not a United flight, but my understanding is that they are supposed to at least try and work with other airlines to get you to your destination on the same day as scheduled, if possible.
jljones000 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:17 pm
  #19  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,211
Originally Posted by jljones000
It was not a United flight, but my understanding is that they are supposed to at least try and work with other airlines to get you to your destination on the same day as scheduled, if possible.
This is not an obligation. And that flight may have also been full.

Originally Posted by jljones000
(4) For the second flight, we received an actual email confirmation with PDF boarding passes attached.
Does it have seat assignments?

Originally Posted by jljones000
How would we go about finding this info?
You can use the Saudia website to see the fare breakdown if the ticket is still open. Or the original receipt may have the fare breakdown on it.

Originally Posted by jljones000
(6) Regarding "abandoned travel," my understanding is that once you have been IDB'd, in addition to the comp, you can ask for an involuntary refund of the full fare and book your own travel. We asked for this too, but were denied.
If it was booked as a r/t ticket you are entitled to a full refund. If booked as two one-way trips you are not. But you probably should have requested this at the initial IDB point, not later.
Originally Posted by jljones000
Lastly, we received our luggage back around 30 hours after checking it. Is there any standard "delayed luggage" comp that United provides?
No, especially not if you're at your home airport which it sounds like you are.
Originally Posted by jljones000
I didn't see it in the contract of carriage, but I didn't know if they typically make some small offer to keep you from claiming the max damages under the contract terms.
The max you're due is $0 so no need for that.

Originally Posted by Often1
Unless OP is lying (which doesn't seem to be the case as the surrounding facts, while irrelevant, are not worth fabricating):
Or confused. Or misunderstood things. That happens a lot with complicated policies.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:24 pm
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by djk7
Assuming it was really a check and not vouchers. If they were in fact vouchers, and the agent was trying to get them to sign something, it sounds like UA was trying to turn them into "volunteers".
The supervisor told me she had a "check" in the amount of $370. I glanced at it and it looked like a check; however, since I told her there was no way I would accept that amount, she would not let me see the check or the paperwork that she had told me I would have to sign in order to get the check. I called the Memphis airport the next day and spoke with a United rep who told me that the paperwork that the supervisor refused to provide me when I told her I would not accept their offer was, in fact, the written IDB rights statement that the DOT regs require United to provide.

If that is true, then United intentionally withheld the written statement of rights from me based on my refusal to accept their insufficient offer. At this point, I can't figure out of United trains their supervisors to act in bad faith or if they have just have such substandard compliance procedures that something this egregious could take place.
jljones000 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:24 pm
  #21  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 100,080
Originally Posted by jljones000
They did not make any announcements over the loudspeaker or in any other manner that we could hear on either flight. It didn't seem as though they were making any effort to find volunteers on the first flight. On the second flight, they told us they were looking for volunteers, but apparently they never found any. Part of our problem with this whole process is the complete lack of communication.



When we were not allowed to board the 6:20PM flight, we were told that they would not be able to get us on a plane until tomorrow. The supervisor left us alone at an empty gate for the next two hours while she was getting our comp. While she was gone, we heard another boarding call for a Houston-bound flight. It was not a United flight, but my understanding is that they are supposed to at least try and work with other airlines to get you to your destination on the same day as scheduled, if possible.
A two hour wait is horrendous for what should be a simple calculation. It sounds like UA was hoping that you would just go away. It also effectively precludes you from buying a ticket on another carrier for the same night.

It depends. Some airlines avoid rebooking you onto another carrier, especially one that isn't a partner. It's almost impossible if there isn't an interline agreement with the other
carrier, for example Southwest.

When the phone agent booked you onto the second flight, did he/she say what you seat assignments would be? Were there seat assignments on those boarding passes? See gate agent could mean that the ticket wasn't reissued for the new flight or that the gate agent would need to "convert your tickets to paper tickets."
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:29 pm
  #22  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 100,080
Originally Posted by jljones000
The supervisor told me she had a "check" in the amount of $370. I glanced at it and it looked like a check; however, since I told her there was no way I would accept that amount, she would not let me see the check or the paperwork that she had told me I would have to sign in order to get the check. I called the Memphis airport the next day and spoke with a United rep who told me that the paperwork that the supervisor refused to provide me when I told her I would not accept their offer was, in fact, the written IDB rights statement that the DOT regs require United to provide.

If that is true, then United intentionally withheld the written statement of rights from me based on my refusal to accept their insufficient offer. At this point, I can't figure out of United trains their supervisors to act in bad faith or if they have just have such substandard compliance procedures that something this egregious could take place.
Again, this counds like something that's a DOT violation. They cannot require you to accept an offer in order to give you the written statement advising you of your rights, although I guess they could ask you to sign that you've been given the written statement of your rights.

Were there other IDBs (or VDBs) that you observed on the two flights?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:37 pm
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston
Programs: UA Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 12,116
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
On each flight, did the GA really ask for volunteers and make compensation offers for VDBs? If not, it's another DOT violation.
What is the specific requirement the GA does it? Could be done via email or at checkin.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
OP should look at the UA CoC statements about IDBs very carefully. UA is required to have policies and to follow them regarding priority order for IDBs. Most carriers have language to protect hardship cases from IDBs, where hardship can include unaccompanied minors, young children, lap infants, the handicapped, the very elderly, etc. If one of these applies to you, it's a further violation of DOT regulations.
OP is not a hardship case in UA CoC:

Passengers who are Qualified Individuals with Disabilities, unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 years, or minors between the ages of 12 and 17 who use the unaccompanied minor service, will be the last to be involuntarily denied boarding if it is determined by UA that such denial would constitute a hardship.

Originally Posted by WR Cage
In reviewing the original post, I do note one item that may trip up the claim for IDB. Specifically the OP makes numerous mentions of requiring to be seated together. While in most circumstances this is not a problem, on the ERJ145 the seats are 1X2. MEM-IAH is chock full of RJ145 with one daily CR7. The problem for the OP is they might have gotten a BP with seats, but they weren't together. If so, then the OP was not IDB but rather removed themselves from the flight. Under this scenario the OP does not have an IDB claim.
Also the oxygen mask issue, extras only available in a few seats on the RJs.

We're missing a lot of details, particularly with regard to the second DB and the OP's demands of UA agents at various points. Too hard to predict what UA will say, will have to wait and see if the OP follows up after UA's response.

Last edited by mduell; Oct 6, 15 at 12:45 pm
mduell is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:44 pm
  #24  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
When the phone agent booked you onto the second flight, did he/she say what you seat assignments would be? Were there seat assignments on those boarding passes? See gate agent could mean that the ticket wasn't reissued for the new flight or that the gate agent would need to "convert your tickets to paper tickets."
The phone agent told my wife that in her system, she could see two open seats together and that she had booked us on the flight, but that because it was so close to the departure time, she was locked out from actually assigning us those two seats. My wife put the telephone on speaker mode and let the telephone agent explain this to the onsite supervisor that we had been trying to work with. The supervisor told the telephone agent that her system was wrong and there are not seats available because the flight is overbooked. The telephone agent told the supervisor she was wrong and that we should be assigned the two available seats. The telephone agent eventually apologized to us that she couldn't override the system and assign us the seats that she knew to be available.

The PDF boarding passes that we received via the telephone agent were for the second flight. There would have been no need to convert them to paper because they had bar codes that were scanable. They were valid boarding passes, just without seat assignments.
jljones000 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:45 pm
  #25  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 100,080
Originally Posted by mduell
What is the specific requirement the GA does it? Could be done via email or at checkin.



Also the oxygen mask issue, extras only available in a few seats on the RJs.

We're missing a lot of details, particularly with regard to the second DB and the OP's demands of UA agents at various points. Too hard to predict what UA will say, will have to wait and see if the OP follows up after UA's response.
I don't know what procedures for soliciting volunteers are permitted, but if the OP and spouse were the only IDBs on the second flight, this would suggest that UA didn't know that this flight was oversold until the gate, when OP and spouse were booked onto the plane by the phone agent.

I'm wondering too whether it was the same GA for both flights.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:53 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Programs: UA MM, MB LifeTit
Posts: 1,776
FYI, don't fuss so much about sitting together. Once on the plane you can almost certainly arrange a swap, especially with a baby along for the ride.
EricH is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:54 pm
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by mduell
We're missing a lot of details, particularly with regard to the second DB and the OP's demands of UA agents at various points. Too hard to predict what UA will say, will have to wait and see if the OP follows up after UA's response.
You guys/gals have already been super helpful in getting prepared for my next chat with United!

What other details do you think would be helpful?
jljones000 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 12:55 pm
  #28  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Finally back in Boston after escaping from New York
Posts: 13,623
What a nightmare. Sounds like a lesson in "how to violate as many DOT regulations as possible." Good luck, OP.

BTW, we appreciate all the follow-up. So often, we get hit-and-run complaints. I think I can speak for others when I say that I hope you continue to update us and let us know how things are going.

Mike
mikeef is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 1:00 pm
  #29  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 100,080
Originally Posted by jljones000
You guys/gals have already been super helpful in getting prepared for my next chat with United!

What other details do you think would be helpful?
Organize your thoughts in bullet points on a list, in some sort of logical order, either chronologically or by significance. Figure out what you want to say, as calmly and clearly as possible. What do you want to accomplish in the call?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Oct 6, 15, 1:02 pm
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
I don't know what procedures for soliciting volunteers are permitted, but if the OP and spouse were the only IDBs on the second flight, this would suggest that UA didn't know that this flight was oversold until the gate, when OP and spouse were booked onto the plane by the phone agent.

I'm wondering too whether it was the same GA for both flights.
There was a girl who was also denied boarding for the second flight, but she was only trying to catch that flight because her earlier flight had been cancelled.

Not sure if it was the same gate agent since we were never actually able to speak with the first gate agent and by the time we were dealing with the second flight, we were talking to a supervisor that had been involved in the first DB.
jljones000 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread