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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


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.


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.


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
United Airlines
Poll: Your Opinion of United Airlines
Poll link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KP68GYG
Results link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/results...Q6B2B/instant/
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 13, 17, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by Flyer1M View Post
If United was willing to pay $2.2M fine on the Chairmans Flight and keep Jeff out of jail (plus Jeff got his approx $8M bonus) this is going to be at least a $5M settlement.
$5 million won't cover the attorneys' discovery phase. We are talking stratospheric money here.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
4. GA filed a false report.
This is what I've especially been wondering about. Is this for a fact now? What did the GA report?
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Old Apr 13, 17, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by johnden View Post
Thanks for your point of view. I'm totally onboard with the contract issues. However I still believe any private business can have you removed from their property at any time for any reason (landlord/tenant and other exceptions apply). The contract may protect a person from prosecution for trespassing, allow them recourse in civil court, etc. I don't believe the contract in any way prevents a business from asking law enforcement to remove an uncooperative customer, either before or after payment, it only provides recourse for the customer after they are removed from the property.
There's not that many businesses whose contract provides for the customer to be on the business's property. Transportation and lodging, that's pretty much it.

Now , another example might be selling widgets. You sell a widget to a customer, then discover either you (the seller) priced the widget wrong or promised more widgets to your customers than you could deliver. Can you have the police come and take the widgets from a customer?
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Old Apr 13, 17, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by transportbiz View Post
The Chicago PD, took immediate action on their part, there was no hand-wringing of what to do, or what to say. It was decisive, fast response the officer in charge was put on leave, pending an investigation. Period.

You're not following this are you? Chicago PD was not involved in this.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
The attorney specifically said he did not see basis for a class action. But a trial built around the Dao incident can do broad public good by driving regulatory changes.

United will no doubt offer a massive sum to make this go away. The question is whether the aim here is to make Dao + lawyers rich, or change United forcibly.
Agreeing with Dao's lawyers on some changes could blunt the drive for regulatory change, especially if the settlement is blessed by a court. It could be in UA's interest to agree as part of a settlement.

Asking for changes is a good move by the lawyers. If nothing else, it makes them appear more sympathetic and not just greedy.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Are you kidding? This is a crystallizing moment. Dao's legal team wants it to be. Many more who have been yanked off United planes, threatened or lied to by United employees, had United renege on promises, etc. are going to emerge from the woodwork.

Then consider the testimony of right-thinking, probably former UA people who have nothing to lose by describing the toxic culture they observed.

It's pile-on time. The next few months could be catastrophic. From a karma standpoint, boy, does United Airlines have it coming. And there's no real way out; attacking customers in court instead of in the cabin only makes things worse.
No, I'm not kidding. You're right about how bad it will be but I really didn't fully comprehend that until I saw information about the lawyers comments and started to see the other stories about people having various bad experiences with UA.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:00 am
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To set an example, could China revoke UA's landing rights?
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
You are not obligated to follow illegitimate instructions from law enforcement. If you disagree, please cite a specific relevant law or controlling case. Or read back through this thread, where the point has been discussed numerous times.
If a LEO decides to arrest you, resisting actively, even in illegitimate cases, opens up the potential to be charged with a variety of additional crimes.

Aside from the legality, unless your goal is to protest and/or draw attention, refusing orders from a LEO when they seem inclined to use force and/or arrest powers serves no utility. Our legal system is not setup to handle such issues on the street, these battles are best for the courts post-arrest.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:01 am
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United or Republic Gate Agents

The question of the hour, in United Airlines defense is, were the gate agents handling United 3411 on April 9, 2017 (Operated by Republic Airlines) employees of "United" or "Republic"? The traveling public has been duped into thinking that a "United Express" flight is operated by "United" employees. This is not the case. The pilots, flight attendants and in most cases the gate agents DO NOT WORK FOR, OR ARE THEY TRAINED in the same manner as "United" employees. It is in most cases not the same experience on "Express" as on "United".
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by FGunawan View Post
This is what I've especially been wondering about. Is this for a fact now? What did the GA report?
I've seen a screen shot of a PNR note of the sort typically entered by GAs, saying Dao struck a LEO aboard the aircraft, which was demonstrably false. It may have been the basis for Munoz' earlier claim that Dao was "belligerent," in which case the GA did multiple kinds of damage.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by George Purcell View Post
What that means is that even after they face planted him and gave him serious, visible injuries they didn't even have EMS to treat him in the terminal!
Wrong, he was taken away by ambulance to the hospital.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by Boxsterguy View Post
The question of the hour, in United Airlines defense is, were the gate agents handling United 3411 on April 9, 2017 (Operated by Republic Airlines) employees of "United" or "Republic"? The traveling public has been duped into thinking that a "United Express" flight is operated by "United" employees. This is not the case. The pilots, flight attendants and in most cases the gate agents DO NOT WORK FOR, OR ARE THEY TRAINED in the same manner as "United" employees. It is in most cases not the same experience on "Express" as on "United".
All gate agents at ORD are United Airlines employees irrespective of it being a mainline or Express aircraft.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:05 am
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Overbooking: A Less than Modest Proposal

Overbooking is specifically desirable (for both customers and airlines) because it makes airlines more efficient, allowing them to serve customers for cheaper costs.

Overbooking is critical to allowing connections to work profitably. The hub and spoke model that many domestic airlines use lean heavily on that ability. Imagine flying from A to C via B, and your AB segment is delayed by weather and you miss your connection. The airline uses overbooking to ensure that they can effectively and efficiently service large numbers of passengers flowing through B to a variety of destinations while trying to minimize the portion of their capacity that goes to waste. This is beneficial to both the airline and the majority of customers. It is obviously not beneficial to most of the folks who get bumped (though given that there is compensation involved, and given that there are people who go out of their way to try to get bumped, it may well be beneficial to some of them as well).

If airlines were not allowed to overbook, they would likely either require the customer to make every segment (and if you're delayed, tough luck, the seat you paid for on BC was available and reserved for you), or prices will increase for everyone to make up for the additional capacity that is lost. This is worse for both the airlines and the majority of customers. It is ostensibly better for the 0.04% of passengers who get bumped.

A much more likely outcome IMO is that the IDB caps will increase or be eliminated, and possibly all IDB will go away altogether, or require fairly substantial VDB offerings first.

I should add that the connection model is an essential one to providing service to regional and low volume airports, and their respective areas of the country. Airlines that only move point to point are not flying to Des Moines. So ensuring the profitable success of the hub and spoke model is often considered to be in the national public interest.

Last edited by dmaneyapanda; Apr 13, 17 at 11:10 am
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by Boxsterguy View Post
The traveling public has been duped into thinking that a "United Express" flight is operated by "United" employees. This is not the case. The pilots, flight attendants and in most cases the gate agents DO NOT WORK FOR, OR ARE THEY TRAINED in the same manner as "United" employees.
If United tries to weasel out of this by shoving Republic between itself and the lawyers, media, regulators, etc. it will double the outrage. You paint the planes up in UA colors, you sell the flight, you want people to think it's your flight... you better act like it's your flight.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
$5 million won't cover the attorneys' discovery phase. We are talking stratospheric money here.
I agree.

A jury gave a woman $2.7M in 1994 because McDonalds coffee was too hot. That was a long time ago.

United will be punished heavily here. I dont see them getting away with less than $100M.
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