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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
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, 4:52 pm
  #5026  
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Originally Posted by sw3 View Post
The lawyer's text implies that any passenger on any plane anywhere should be a must ride after having a boarding pass printed, his/her fingers touching the boarding pass, having the boarding pass scanned, crossed the plane door, sat inside the plane, stow the carry-on or whatever words are used, hence the whole aviation system would be disrupted if all passengers would be given the absolute and irrevocable right to fly regardless of the consequences.
Was that the passenger's lawyer or the UA CEO that said that?
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:52 pm
  #5027  
 
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I have no idea how this has been established.

If you are on somebody's property, and they insist you leave, you have to leave (there are of course some exceptions, such as living there). And there are specific laws for planes saying as such. When the police tell you to leave, you are certainly committing a crime by staying.

That UA might have violated their own COC is an issue one can debate. But that is a separate issue.

In general, I hate this phrase, but in this case it is perfect - Two wrongs do not make a right.
It's better not to argue by analogy here. There are quite a few posts earlier on which explain why your comparison does not hold water.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:54 pm
  #5028  
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I have no idea how this has been established.

If you are on somebody's property, and they insist you leave, you have to leave (there are of course some exceptions, such as living there). And there are specific laws for planes saying as such. When the police tell you to leave, you are certainly committing a crime by staying.

That UA might have violated their own COC is an issue one can debate. But that is a separate issue.

In general, I hate this phrase, but in this case it is perfect - Two wrongs do not make a right.
Let's assume you're right, although I'm by no means sure of that. In this case I'm guessing 2 wrongs make at least $5,000,000.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:54 pm
  #5029  
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Originally Posted by Jeffw5555 View Post
Please see my post above. When you are on a vessel, maritime law says you must obey the captain. Aviation law derives the same principle. If the captain demands you to do something, you must comply. Your legal recourse from wrongs committed by the captain are only settled once off boarded in either case. Please understand I am not saying the captain is always right.
I wonder the extent to which that still holds absolute. A ship captain asking a black person to vacate a cabin so a white person has somewhere to sleep for the night is not legal.

If a captain is drunk or under the influence of drugs or a mental condition... still need to comply? A drunk pilot showing up for work and demanding the doors be closed and the flight take-off is thankfully challenged these days.

The time for sorting these things out is usually imminent, not after the event.

Perhaps the principles were solid when first determined, hundreds of years ago, but have we moved on since then? The 'law' may still be on the books, but whether they are always enforceable, all of the time... I'm not sure. (Or conversely, if it is still enforceable in the sense the person might be arrested for refusal, would those charges be upheld and thereby diminishing their effectiveness anyway.)
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:54 pm
  #5030  
 
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
If you are on somebody's property, and they insist you leave, you have to leave (there are of course some exceptions, such as living there). And there are specific laws for planes saying as such. When the police tell you to leave, you are certainly committing a crime by staying.
Mr. Dao had an agreement with UA that allowed him to use the property (i.e. the plane operating the flight) for a specific flight. The COC and the contract define the situation in which Mr. Dao can be removed by United Airlines. In light of the facts, I don't think any of the reasons listed in either documents warrants for the removal of Mr. Dao.

And no: If the police tell you to leave, you are certainly not automatically committing a crime by staying. If that was the case, you would see a lot more landlords calling cops to get tenants out that they dislike and that are a day or two late on their rent.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:54 pm
  #5031  
 
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Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
Or ... they allow gate agents to offer real inducements that people will agree to instead of resorting to the threat of bodily harm when there is a need to free up a seat.
But that would be too easy, and doesn't create enough extra lawyer jobs!
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:54 pm
  #5032  
 
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Originally Posted by sw3 View Post
Belligerence does not need to include physical roughness, just like violence and abuse can be verbal (spoken or written) and psychological, not only physical. Defying crew and police requests/instructions/orders, saying I won't get out, threatening to sue, etc. undoubtedly has to qualify as being (verbally) belligerent
Refusal of an unfair request is not belligerence. I know there are law-and-order types who want to believe it is, but we conservatives actually value the individual over the collective, and should relax our law-and-order reflexes when they impinge on our value as individuals.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:55 pm
  #5033  
 
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Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
Or ... they allow gate agents to offer real inducements that people will agree to instead of resorting to the threat of bodily harm when there is a need to free up a seat.
Hadn't checked this thread in a few days, but I see in the wiki that another passenger volunteered to give up their seat for $1600? That is insane if true - because that means UA could've gotten out of all of this for a mere $800 more in monopoly money? Wow. Just wow.

Do the GAs not have any ability to call a supervisor (who can call their supervisor) to get an extra $800 authorized? I mean holy [moderator edit] - that is unbelievable to think about - this 300+ page thread exists merely because an hourly employee at a corporation with a market cap of over $20 billion didn't have the authority to print another $800 in funny money. Damn.

And has this passenger done any interviews? I would've called every major news outlet offering to do an interview if it'd been me. This is just nuts.

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Apr 13, 17 at 7:01 pm Reason: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:57 pm
  #5034  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I had a flight yesterday on AA in a different part of the country. I'm personally glad these four UA employees got onboard, thus sparing the entire aviation system from total shutdown. Otherwise, I'd probably still be driving home right now...
Do you realize how many tens or hundreds of times a day crews need to be shuffled around? It's just that most of the time the need to shuffle them happens before boarding instead of during or after, and crews deadheading won't necessarily be flying in uniform, so nobody notices. Perhaps your flight yesterday on AA was operated by a replacement crew that was able to get to your airport on time after bumping passengers out, but you'll never know.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 4:59 pm
  #5035  
 
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
I have no idea how this has been established.

If you are on somebody's property, and they insist you leave, you have to leave (there are of course some exceptions, such as living there). And there are specific laws for planes saying as such. When the police tell you to leave, you are certainly committing a crime by staying.

That UA might have violated their own COC is an issue one can debate. But that is a separate issue.

In general, I hate this phrase, but in this case it is perfect - Two wrongs do not make a right.
I'll leave the many, many posts addressing that subject as an exercise for the reader.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 5:00 pm
  #5036  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yet, an airline employee should be aware of various international cultures. It's not so surprising that Dr. Dao felt very shamed to have been asked to leave the aircraft. A stubborn refusal to leave is not a surprising reaction.
So we're now down to feelings being a valid reason for not complying with a request to leave? Should an airline be forced to figure out how to IDB based on how embarrassed someone might be it?

To that I give a big - and I'm pretty anti-UA since CO came into the picture.

I'm not saying UA IDBing people after boarding isn't crappy, but shame isn't a valid reason for noncompliance. Getting deboarded certainly sucks, but it's not like he was alone, nor would he have been ridiculed if he got up and left. Inconvenienced and deserving of compensation? You bet. Pissed at UA? For sure.

There's also the fact that the plane is private property, and not complying with a request to leave can be considered trespassing. Whether or not the request is justified is moot at that point - especially when LEOs get involved. At that point, you lose that round - you're not law abiding. On a plane, you're best bet is to get off and fight it out with the GA, Twitter, customer service, etc over compensation and accommodation. Whether voluntarily or forcefully removed, you're not going to be on that flight. Period.

That said, if I were IDB'ed, it'd make my day under most circumstances. The one time UA IDB'ed me in FRA, it worked out very well for me.

Originally Posted by rickg523
Last flight on Sunday night. Next flight Monday afternoon.
They expected 800 bucks of vouchers to get people to call in.
"Sorry boss. United had 4 guys that needed to be at work tomorrow and they offered me some money and a hotel room, so I decided I don't need to be there. See you tomorrow." That's what they had in mind?
And another here.

There's a big difference between taking a voluntary bump and no-showing for work vs. being IDB'ed. Few employers would put up with the former, but with the latter, what are they going to do? If the airline doesn't let you fly, it doesn't let you fly. The best I can do at that point is to do due diligence in finding another way there, if available, or we all roll with the delay. It's just like any weather or mechanical delay. It's travel. It happens. It's happened to all of us at some point. It sucks, but it's the nature of the beast.

If an employer fired me for not getting there because the airline IDB'ed me? I'd question why I even worked for them to begin with.

There's plenty of blame to go around in this situation, and it's really unfortunate it came out the way it did. You have a perfect storm of bad corporate practices, an entitled culture, overzealous police, and social media witch hunts.

I don't think anyone really wins here. Even when he gets his payday, I'm sure Dr. Dao would rather have just gotten to his destination rather than needing surgery and dentures.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 5:04 pm
  #5037  
 
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Originally Posted by Rdenney View Post
Refusal of an unfair request is not belligerence. I know there are law-and-order types who want to believe it is, but we conservatives actually value the individual over the collective, and should relax our law-and-order reflexes when they impinge on our value as individuals.
He also threatened to sue the company and then dared them to use physical force to remove him from the plane ("The only way I'm leaving this seat is if you drag me out").
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Old Apr 13, 17, 5:05 pm
  #5038  
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
So we're now down to feelings being a valid reason for not complying with a request to leave? Should an airline be forced to figure out how to IDB based on how embarrassed someone might be it?

To that I give a big - and I'm pretty anti-UA since CO came into the picture.

I'm not saying UA IDBing people after boarding isn't crappy, but shame isn't a valid reason for noncompliance. Getting deboarded certainly sucks, but it's not like he was alone, nor would he have been ridiculed if he got up and left. Inconvenienced and deserving of compensation? You bet. Pissed at UA? For sure.

There's also the fact that the plane is private property, and not complying with a request to leave can be considered trespassing. Whether or not the request is justified is moot at that point - especially when LEOs get involved. At that point, you lose that round - you're not law abiding. On a plane, you're best bet is to get off and fight it out with the GA, Twitter, customer service, etc over compensation and accommodation. Whether voluntarily or forcefully removed, you're not going to be on that flight. Period.

That said, if I were IDB'ed, it'd make my day under most circumstances. The one time UA IDB'ed me in FRA, it worked out very well for me.



And another here.

There's a big difference between taking a voluntary bump and no-showing for work vs. being IDB'ed. Few employers would put up with the former, but with the latter, what are they going to do? If the airline doesn't let you fly, it doesn't let you fly. The best I can do at that point is to do due diligence in finding another way there, if available, or we all roll with the delay. It's just like any weather or mechanical delay. It's travel. It happens. It's happened to all of us at some point. It sucks, but it's the nature of the beast.

If an employer fired me for not getting there because the airline IDB'ed me? I'd question why I even worked for them to begin with.

There's plenty of blame to go around in this situation, and it's really unfortunate it came out the way it did. You have a perfect storm of bad corporate practices, an entitled culture, overzealous police, and social media witch hunts.

I don't think anyone really wins here. Even when he gets his payday, I'm sure Dr. Dao would rather have just gotten to his destination rather than needing surgery and dentures.

You say "social media witch hunts", I say using the power of social media for consumer protection.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 5:06 pm
  #5039  
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Originally Posted by Rdenney View Post
Except that all the rules of Rule 21 fall under the heading "safety".
Not the case,

RULE 21 REFUSAL OF TRANSPORT

UA shall have the right to refuse to transport or shall have the right to remove from the aircraft at any point, any Passenger for the following reasons:

C. Force Majeure and Other Unforeseeable Conditions – Whenever such action is necessary or advisable by reason of weather or other conditions beyond UA’s control including, but not limited to [...].

Safety is just part H of rule 21, there are 10 parts from A to J.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 5:07 pm
  #5040  
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Originally Posted by lazard View Post
He also threatened to sue the company and then dared them to use physical force to remove him from the plane ("The only way I'm leaving this seat is if you drag me out").
Got it. And this warranted giving him a concussion, breaking his nose, and knocking out two teeth?
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