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Man pulled off of overbooked flight UA3411 (ORD-SDF) 9 Apr 2017 {Settlement reached}

Man pulled off of overbooked flight UA3411 (ORD-SDF) 9 Apr 2017 {Settlement reached}

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Old Apr 13, 18, 1:33 pm   -   Wikipost
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Statement from United Airlines Regarding Resolution with Dr. David Dao - released 27 April 2017
CHICAGO, April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do.
DOT findings related to the UA3411 9 April 2017 IDB incident 12 May 2017

What facts do we know?
  • UA3411, operated by Republic Airways, ORD-SDF on Sunday, April 9, 2017. UA3411 was the second to last flight to SDF for United. AA3509 and UA4771 were the two remaining departures for the day. Also, AA and DL had connecting options providing for same-day arrival in SDF.
  • After the flight was fully boarded, United determined four seats were needed to accommodate crew to SDF for a flight on Monday.
  • United solicited volunteers for VDB. (BUT stopped at $800 in UA$s, not cash). Chose not to go to the levels such as 1350 that airlines have been known to go even in case of weather impacted disruption)
  • After receiving no volunteers for $800 vouchers, a passenger volunteered for $1,600 and was "laughed at" and refused, United determined four passengers to be removed from the flight.
  • One passenger refused and Chicago Aviation Security Officers were called to forcibly remove the passenger.
  • The passenger hit the armrest in the aisle and received a concussion, a broken nose, a bloodied lip, and the loss of two teeth.
  • After being removed from the plane, the passenger re-boarded saying "I need to go home" repeatedly, before being removed again.
  • United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the flight was sold out — but not oversold. Instead, United and regional affiliate Republic Airlines – the unit that operated Flight 3411 – decided they had to remove four passengers from the flight to accommodate crewmembers who were needed in Louisville the next day for a “downline connection.”

United Express Flight 3411 Review and Action Report - released 27 April 2017

Videos

Internal Communication by Oscar Munoz
Oscar Munoz sent an internal communication to UA employees (sources: View From The Wing, Chicago Tribune):
Dear Team,

Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I've included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.

As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.

I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.

Oscar

Summary of Flight 3411
  • On Sunday, April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United's gate agents were approached by crewmembers that were told they needed to board the flight.
  • We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.
  • He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent.
  • Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.
  • Chicago Aviation Security Officers were unable to gain his cooperation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist - running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.
Email sent to all employees at 2:08PM on Tuesday, April 11.
Dear Team,

The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.

I promise you we will do better.

Sincerely,

Oscar
Statement to customers - 27 April 2017
Each flight you take with us represents an important promise we make to you, our customer. It's not simply that we make sure you reach your destination safely and on time, but also that you will be treated with the highest level of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect.

Earlier this month, we broke that trust when a passenger was forcibly removed from one of our planes. We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words.

For the past several weeks, we have been urgently working to answer two questions: How did this happen, and how can we do our best to ensure this never happens again?

It happened because our corporate policies were placed ahead of our shared values. Our procedures got in the way of our employees doing what they know is right.

Fixing that problem starts now with changing how we fly, serve and respect our customers. This is a turning point for all of us here at United – and as CEO, it's my responsibility to make sure that we learn from this experience and redouble our efforts to put our customers at the center of everything we do.

That’s why we announced that we will no longer ask law enforcement to remove customers from a flight and customers will not be required to give up their seat once on board – except in matters of safety or security.

We also know that despite our best efforts, when things don’t go the way they should, we need to be there for you to make things right. There are several new ways we’re going to do just that.

We will increase incentives for voluntary rebooking up to $10,000 and will be eliminating the red tape on permanently lost bags with a new "no-questions-asked" $1,500 reimbursement policy. We will also be rolling out a new app for our employees that will enable them to provide on-the-spot goodwill gestures in the form of miles, travel credit and other amenities when your experience with us misses the mark. You can learn more about these commitments and many other changes at hub.united.com.

While these actions are important, I have found myself reflecting more broadly on the role we play and the responsibilities we have to you and the communities we serve.

I believe we must go further in redefining what United's corporate citizenship looks like in our society. If our chief good as a company is only getting you to and from your destination, that would show a lack of moral imagination on our part. You can and ought to expect more from us, and we intend to live up to those higher expectations in the way we embody social responsibility and civic leadership everywhere we operate. I hope you will see that pledge express itself in our actions going forward, of which these initial, though important, changes are merely a first step.

Our goal should be nothing less than to make you truly proud to say, "I fly United."

Ultimately, the measure of our success is your satisfaction and the past several weeks have moved us to go further than ever before in elevating your experience with us. I know our 87,000 employees have taken this message to heart, and they are as energized as ever to fulfill our promise to serve you better with each flight and earn the trust you’ve given us.

We are working harder than ever for the privilege to serve you and I know we will be stronger, better and the customer-focused airline you expect and deserve.

With Great Gratitude,

Oscar Munoz
CEO
United Airlines
Aftermath
Poll: Your Opinion of United Airlines Reference Material

UA's Customer Commitment says:
Occasionally we may not be able to provide you with a seat on a specific flight, even if you hold a ticket, have checked in, are present to board on time, and comply with other requirements. This is called an oversale, and occurs when restrictions apply to operating a particular flight safely (such as aircraft weight limits); when we have to substitute a smaller aircraft in place of a larger aircraft that was originally scheduled; or if more customers have checked in and are prepared to board than we have available seats.

If your flight is in an oversale situation, you will not be denied a seat until we first ask for volunteers willing to give up their confirmed seats. If there are not enough volunteers, we will deny boarding to passengers in accordance with our written policy on boarding priority. If you are involuntarily denied boarding and have complied with our check-in and other applicable rules, we will give you a written statement that describes your rights and explains how we determine boarding priority for an oversold flight. You will generally be entitled to compensation and transportation on an alternate flight.

We make complete rules for the payment of compensation, as well as our policy about boarding priorities, available at airports we serve. We will follow these rules to ensure you are treated fairly. Please be aware that you may be denied boarding without compensation if you do not check in on time or do not meet certain other requirements, or if we offer you alternative transportation that is planned to arrive at your destination or first stopover no later than one hour after the planned arrival time of your original flight.
CoC is here: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...-carriage.aspx
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:36 pm
  #4486  
 
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
It is entirely supposition on my part, based on the information I had read in numerous places that he had originally volunteered, and then changed his mind when he found out about the schedule.

Assuming that's the case, I find the most likely situation is that he was selected for IDB as a result of his initial request to volunteer rather than whatever the prescribed system for selecting passengers to IDB is, likely because he had already been offloaded in the system.

If he really did NEVER volunteer to take the VDB, then I'm obviously off the reservation here. But if he did, I'm almost certain he ended up being one fo the four IDBs as a result of the initial willingness to VDB.
Beleive issue is not why he was picked for IDB but
a) how a human being was treated (let alone a paying customer)
b) how 9/11 has jaundiced our view for "complying with authority"
c) how badly PR was handled by United

Last edited by desi; Apr 12, 17 at 10:00 pm
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:39 pm
  #4487  
 
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really?

Originally Posted by JNelson113 View Post
Disagree. I am neither and think that it's relevant. There is a lot of interesting info here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...irlines-879032 The man was a sexual predator who abused his position as a physician to exchange drugs for sex. He was the subject of "many complaints" at a hospital where he worked and because of his "disruptive behavior" was referred for anger management counseling. A peer review explicitly stated that "He is generally not forthright regarding details of events" (seems relevant!). His license was suspended for ten years because of all of this and he was convicted of ninety-eight felonies.

Since we don't have the video of the entire incident, start to finish, and are trying to figure out what happened, I think that his past behavior is relevant to what might have been his behavior here. And I'm not convinced that "victim" is the right label to apply here.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:39 pm
  #4488  
 
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Originally Posted by kenn0223 View Post
If I was United I would be pissed at the City of Chicago. It was their guy who did the beating and I'd argue this entire thing is the City's fault. I doubt anyone at United thought they would see a semi-conscious passenger pulled up the aisle because they overbooked the flight. What seems to have happened is a City employee was more than happy to use a significant amount of physical force with (based on the video) with little attempt to diffuse the situation and, clearly, no common sense about context and the clear option to use much less force or just go back to United and say the situation does not justify force. Instead, the City beat the .... out of the guy; not surprising really considering the decades (if not century) long pattern of abuse by the City of Chicago's various law enforcement agencies (of which the Department of Aviation Security is one).

As a matter of principle, you shouldn't call law enforcement unless you are ok with the situation ending violently. Law enforcement does not have the authority to negotiate with the airlines, offer the passenger anything, offer the airline anything, or do anything else of non-violent subsance. They're only relying on the threat of them being there to be enough to move the passenger before the situation escalates to violence. If the situation was not to the point that required a violent escalation, and nobody on the plane reasonably felt they were in physical harm, then there is no reason to involve the police - period.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:40 pm
  #4489  
 
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Originally Posted by JNelson113 View Post
Disagree. I am neither and think that it's relevant. There is a lot of interesting info here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...irlines-879032 The man was a sexual predator who abused his position as a physician to exchange drugs for sex. He was the subject of "many complaints" at a hospital where he worked and because of his "disruptive behavior" was referred for anger management counseling. A peer review explicitly stated that "He is generally not forthright regarding details of events" (seems relevant!). His license was suspended for ten years because of all of this and he was convicted of ninety-eight felonies.

Since we don't have the video of the entire incident, start to finish, and are trying to figure out what happened, I think that his past behavior is relevant to what might have been his behavior here. And I'm not convinced that "victim" is the right label to apply here.
A post like this demonstrates why the discussion of damages could be in the $5 to $10 million dollar range.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:42 pm
  #4490  
 
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
Nope, just his criminal behavior.
Are you trolling for fun at this late hour or serious?
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:46 pm
  #4491  
 
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Originally Posted by mdkowals View Post
As a matter of principle, you shouldn't call law enforcement unless you are ok with the situation ending violently. Law enforcement does not have the authority to negotiate with the airlines, offer the passenger anything, offer the airline anything, or do anything else of non-violent subsance. They're only relying on the threat of them being there to be enough to move the passenger before the situation escalates to violence. If the situation was not to the point that required a violent escalation, and nobody on the plane reasonably felt they were in physical harm, then there is no reason to involve the police - period.
I have seen plenty of folks removed from airplanes in a far less violent manner than the video here shows. Since the video starts after the security guard (based on the press statements not an actual police officer) arrives its hard to say how much verbal discussion there was but every time I've personally witnessed someone physically removed from a plane there was a very long discussion followed by an increasing level of physical force. Here it appears the guy went from 0 to 10 reacting almost as if the passenger had a weapon. I would have expected a much more scaled response.

See here:
and here

Both show a much more professional law enforcement response and force that is properly escalated. In fact, in my brief search, I couldn't find any video of a similar situation that escalated so quickly with so much force without the passenger fighting back.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:47 pm
  #4492  
 
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post

That's ridiculous.

Buy a movie ticket and see if you don't get kicked out for talking on your phone during the movie. Or filming. Or talking a lot.

Nowhere, including airplanes, does buying a ticket preclude the property owner from kicking you out.
He was not asked to leave because he was disrupting.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 12, 17 at 10:44 pm Reason: repaired quote
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:56 pm
  #4493  
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Originally Posted by NotSoOftenFlyer View Post
Tweet from PhilLebeau @LEBeaucarnews
$UAL moving to make amends for the bumped flight debacle is reimbursing all passengers on flight #3411 the entire price of their ticket.
I wonder whether it's a genuine reimbursement, paid in real dollars refunded to the original form of payment, versus a UA voucher for the purchase of additional UA flights with expiration date and other restrictions.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 9:59 pm
  #4494  
 
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Originally Posted by desi View Post
Are you trolling for fun at this late hour or serious?
Serious. He was asked to leave and refused. That's criminal. He was asked to leave by law enforcement and refused. Criminal again. Had he left when asked in either of those cases everything would have been fine.

Originally Posted by desi View Post

He was not asked to leave because he was disrupting.
So? A property owner doesn't need any reason to demand that someone leaves their property.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I wonder whether it's a genuine reimbursement, paid in real dollars refunded to the original form of payment, versus a UA voucher for the purchase of additional UA flights with expiration date and other restrictions.
It's cash, voucher, or miles.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:00 pm
  #4495  
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Originally Posted by kenn0223 View Post
Since the video starts after the security guard (based on the press statements not an actual police officer) arrives its hard to say how much verbal discussion there was
As posted in the wiki there are two videos that have been circulated, including one that includes about 80 seconds of discussion before the more widely publicized video:

Discussion between officer and passenger

Followed by


The two videos do not appear to be contiguous, i.e., it appears there is a gap of time between them. Needless to say, there was certainly some discussion before the incident, what's shown on the first video is relatively benign. One witness said that the passenger was yelling before being removed, which doesn't appear in any of the videos I've seen.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:01 pm
  #4496  
 
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Originally Posted by kenn0223 View Post
Specifically Commissioner Ginger S. Evans, you'd think she would be right up there with Munoz saying they are conducting a full investigation and promise to change. BTW Commission Evans can be reached at [email protected], perhaps we could all ask her what her department is planning to do.

Fun Fact, Commissioner Evans responds personally via her iPad within 10 minutes even at 11pm and it sounds like DOA is taking this very seriously.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:03 pm
  #4497  
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Originally Posted by TominLazybrook View Post
Holes in UA's IDB rules in their Contract of Carriage

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...age.aspx#sec25

1) Doesn't appear to address INTRASTATE travel. UA flies many routes that are wholly within a particular state. What is the policy for a flight from IAH-DFW or SFO-SAN?
2) There's still no written policy on who and and how IDB victims are a selected.
3) No mandate to use other carriers even if that other carrier has the quickest resolution route for the victim
4) It appears that UA calculates IDB compensation based upon the segment, not including connections....so if you have 50 dollar segment onto a 2000 dollar transcontinental leg, and you lose your flights, UA says they're only on the hook for 50 x the compensation multiplier. Even if the connecting flight is on UA. This is complete BS
5) No compensation for yanking you for a deadhead if the flight originates outside the US or Canada unless the origination country mandates it.

---

This is what it should say

1) A minimum of 1000 dollars will be paid in cash if a person is IVDBed and as a result, ends up at their destination more than 4 hours after the originally scheduled flight.
2) UA will transport an IVDBed person on the first flight to the destination, at the IVDBed request, regardless of the cost to UA if there is space available on another carrier
3) UA shall provide hotel and meals for the IVDBed person during the time they are being delayed. Hotel and meal choices shall be at least of a quality provided to UA pilots under their contract.
4) UA shall pay, in addition to other compensation, any prior booked hotel and other pre-paid charges unusable by the IVDBed person as a proximate result of the cancellation.
5) These rules shall apply as a minimum on all UA operated OR managed flights OR flights where over 75% of the paid passengers are using United websites or reservations staff to purchase.
6) The specific metric to determine the IVDB selectee will be as follows:
a) The following people shall be usually be exempt: MP Elite passengers flying on purchased tickets, persons holding a seat who have been provided that flight in return for a prior VDB or IVDB, persons with a qualified disability, unaccompanied minors flying as such, and flight operations, maintenance personnel flying on positive space for direct flight operations reasons for UA flights.
b) The first selections shall be those flying on airline provided tickets under the employee flying benefits. Then those flying for purposes of UA non-flight operations business. Then non-elite passengers flying on miles. Then the passengers will be sorted by fare paid for travel between the origin and destination. If there is a tie, then the tie breakers will be (in order)...total time of travel, recovery time using UA metal, time of checkin, and time of purchase.
c) In the even that sufficient IVDB passengers are not available using the metrics above, the procedure should be as follows: 1) elites flying on non-revenue tickets, 2) then the criteria established in section b above by elite tier.
1) The $1000 IDB minimum compensation shall be paid regardless of the length of the delay whenever passenger is moved to different flights or a different routing. No more re routing through EWR when the passenger originally paid for a more expensive ticket precisely to avoid connecting in EWR, etc. No moving to a less desirable (and probably less expensive when the ticket was purchased) aircraft, no switching from a connection to a nonstop if passenger prefers the connection, etc.

2) This includes carriers with which UA does not interline, in which case the requirement is that UA purchase a normal revenue ticket for the displaced passenger.

Also, in 6), I would argue that award tickets (paid with miles and also any ticket upgraded with an instrument) should be considered the same as revenue tickets in the same class, regardless of whether or not passenger is an elite. On FT, we agree that award tickets aren't "free" nor upgrades when they're paid with miles or with limited certs such as SWUs/GPUs/etc.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:03 pm
  #4498  
 
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Originally Posted by kenn0223 View Post

I have seen plenty of folks removed from airplanes in a far less violent manner than the video here shows. Since the video starts after the security guard (based on the press statements not an actual police officer) arrives its hard to say how much verbal discussion there was but every time I've personally witnessed someone physically removed from a plane there was a very long discussion followed by an increasing level of physical force. Here it appears the guy went from 0 to 10 reacting almost as if the passenger had a weapon. I would have expected a much more scaled response.

See here: Crazy Old Lady Goes Nuts On Plane - YouTube and here Crazy on a plane - YouTube

Both show a much more professional law enforcement response and force that is properly escalated. In fact, in my brief search, I couldn't find any video of a similar situation that escalated so quickly with so much force without the passenger fighting back.
Agree on the speed of the escalation.

Furthermore, did you find any videos where the person being escorted away was a senior citizen who seemed rational a few minutes prior?
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:04 pm
  #4499  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I wonder whether it's a genuine reimbursement, paid in real dollars refunded to the original form of payment, versus a UA voucher for the purchase of additional UA flights with expiration date and other restrictions.
Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
It's cash, voucher, or miles.
As raehl311 said, I read that it was the three options they list, at first it seemed like it would be best to immediately refund the payment to the original form of payment, that would be fast and easy for the airline, but on the flip side there may be some passengers who would prefer an alternative option (e.g., passengers who did not pay for their own tickets).
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Old Apr 12, 17, 10:04 pm
  #4500  
 
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Delete- oops
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