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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, 7:29 pm
  #5236  
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Originally Posted by Ber2dca View Post
Crew working hours and rest times are legally regulated in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14 "Aeronautics and Space". So it is against the law, even if it is the sort of law you don't typically get arrested for when you break it.
Not only that but also this regulation like many others is a consequence of fatal incidents caused by fatigued crew.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:37 pm
  #5237  
 
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Originally Posted by planeluvr View Post
What are the Chicago aviation police?

Q: How many aviation officers are there?

A: About 300. Working at the city's two major airports, they are a mix of part- and full-time cops, and some work as police in other departments, said Adam Rosen, a spokesman for Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents them. Full-timers earn between $50,000 and $88,000 a year and cost the city about $19 million a year.
I'm starting to wonder why this department even exists. They are unarmed and have apparently been trained to "run and hide" in the event of an active shooter scenario. They are not allowed to patrol outside the secure areas of the airport. Sounds to me like they basically work as bouncers for the airlines full time. Little surprise it came to this. Perhaps its time for the airlines and not the taxpayers to pay for their own goons.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:40 pm
  #5238  
 
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Originally Posted by robinhood View Post
I'm starting to wonder why this department even exists. They are unarmed and have apparently been trained to "run and hide" in the event of an active shooter scenario. They are not allowed to patrol outside the secure areas of the airport. Sounds to me like they basically work as bouncers for the airlines full time. Little surprise it came to this. Perhaps its time for the airlines and not the taxpayers to pay for their own goons.
So, you could say they do on the ground what FAM's do in the air?

Kinda like FAM wannabe's.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:43 pm
  #5239  
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Originally Posted by planeluvr View Post
What are the Chicago aviation police?

Q: How many aviation officers are there?

A: About 300. Working at the city's two major airports, they are a mix of part- and full-time cops, and some work as police in other departments, said Adam Rosen, a spokesman for Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents them. Full-timers earn between $50,000 and $88,000 a year and cost the city about $19 million a year.
A quote from the linked article:
"They cannot carry weapons but must be state-certified police officers."
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:43 pm
  #5240  
 
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Originally Posted by Allan38103 View Post
So, you could say they do on the ground what FAM's do in the air?

Kinda like FAM wannabe's.
Are FAMs "police"
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:47 pm
  #5241  
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Originally Posted by desi View Post
...
Did you notice in the clips, seating in front of Dr Dao trying so hard to pretend that nothing wrong is happening. Pax like the nice lady complaining with "oh my god. what are you doing to him" are almost non-existent.
I don't know if this point has been made yet, but that lady that kept saying "OMG what are you doing to him" is a real heroine. Her voice came out loud and clear on the video. She said what people were thinking but didn't say.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:48 pm
  #5242  
 
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Originally Posted by Ausriver View Post
I am pretty sure after this, UA will not have to pull any pax out.

AS THEY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO FILL THEIR FLIGHT FULL...so no more oversold flights.
Sadly, that's not true. There are people on this forum, in this thread, who have pledged to buy United tickets because they feel this incident is blown out of proportion.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 14, 17 at 2:09 am Reason: Discuss the issues, not the poster(s)
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:48 pm
  #5243  
 
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Originally Posted by umustbjokim View Post
I like the idea of tying it to my level of inconvenience, rather than only the cost/duration of flight. If they are still getting me where I was going, those are somewhat irrelevant, as I am still getting basically what I payed for.

If I'm delayed 22 hours on a short, $200 flight that is generally going to be more disruptive than a 2 hour delay on a longer, more expensive flight. Why not have your sliding scale also relate to the delay in getting me to where I'm going? Would also incentivize airline to get me there as expeditiously as possible.
Not a bad idea.

Unfortunately the math gets too complicated for most at this point.

So we could force airlines to abide by an IDB formula composed of 1) a $1,500 base charge; 2) a scheduled flight duration charge of $2.5 per minute; as well as 3) an inconvenience charge of $2.5 per minute. How about that? And then add multipliers based on class of travel after all three are added up (x1 for Y, x2 for long-haul J or short-haul F, x3 for long-haul F)

For example:

Let's say I am flying DFW-HKG on AA F. And I am IDB'd (which will be rare because very, very few pay cash for AA long-haul F), and I am forced to take the same flight 24 hours later.

1) $1,500 base charge.
2) DFW-HKG is a 990-minute flight, which translates to $2,475
3) 24-hour delay of 1440-minutes, which translates to $3,600.

Add that all up and multiply by three because you are flying F -- and you get an IDB package of $22,725.

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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:52 pm
  #5244  
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Even assuming that Republic had no other way of complying with crew duty rules than putting the crew on this flight (which is far from clear), that does not excuse its actions. For example, they could have planned better or they could have offered more more to passengers.

By your own argument, Republic could not cancel this flight, so offering what would otherwise be a very high amount would seem a reasonable course in this specific instance, even if it might not be in the usual case.

Their own poor planning does not justify them breaching the CoC.

How did they not figure out until the flight was boarded that they needed to move crew and that they had no other alternatives?

EDIT: I agree with worldlux's post a few back.
IIRC the deadheading crew work for Trans States, not Republic. It was a case of one UX carrier helping another, perhaps at UA's orders.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:55 pm
  #5245  
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Originally Posted by minnyfly View Post
You clearly do not understand how airlines operate and how they have to comply with government rules and contractual rules regarding crew duties. There was no other alternative for the Republic operations department to maintain the operations of the flight(s) needed by the deadheading crew. Either they got on this flight, or there would be disruptions the next day.

$2,000 a seat? I've never ever heard of a VDB this high, and that would create an incentive for the airline to cancel a flight instead. We don't want that outcome either.
I'm a little bit unsure how canceling the entire flight would have gotten their crew to Louisville. They apparently had an offer for $1600 and turned it down. This was an overnight delay possibly.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:56 pm
  #5246  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IIRC the deadheading crew work for Trans States, not Republic. It was a case of one UX carrier helping another, perhaps at UA's orders.
Which when you think about it makes the claim that there was some Force Majeure reason for the IDB even more ridiculous...it's not even the same company that IDBed!
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:58 pm
  #5247  
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Originally Posted by DrunkCargo View Post
Agreed. Or just eliminate any cap. Leave it to market forces and VDB process. It will potentially introduce delays for pushback, but at some point airline will have to stop attempting to VDB this flight, and move to next flight..

What I find interesting though, is it removes power from airline to breach contract, which also is troublesome to reconcile with right to contract. But that's academic. Basically, the public wants more regulation here, more protection from some parental org, like FAA or DOT or whatever.
There isn't a cap on VDB as I understand it. All they need to do is force virtually everything to VDB. Some details to work out but basically that solves it.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:59 pm
  #5248  
 
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"Chicago (aviation security) employees should not be doing the dirty work for the 'friendly skies' airline."


https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2017...-united-flight
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:59 pm
  #5249  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
A quote from the linked article:
"They cannot carry weapons but must be state-certified police officers."
The situation has to be seen in the context of a 'scandal' of sorts regarding the fact they're not armed and would thus be unable to intervene in a terrorist incident. The media narrative at the time was that they *should* be armed, for what it's worth.

The officers wanted to be armed and want to be able to do these things, the Chicago Department of Aviation didn't want it. It was pointed out by the media that they wear police insignia and thus people would expect them to be able to assist in such incidents. It's likely that any argument on whether they should wear gear saying Police is based on that question.

The fact that the aviation cops are disgruntled and at loggerheads with CDA management perhaps also illustrates why the CDA, unlike United, basically publicly washed their hands off their employees within hours of the story appearing.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 8:01 pm
  #5250  
 
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
I'm a little bit unsure how canceling the entire flight would have gotten their crew to Louisville. They apparently had an offer for $1600 and turned it down. This was an overnight delay possibly.
Here's the funny thing... whoever was booting people off the flight was clearly not thinking straight. They had gotten 75% success rate "forcing" people to leave the flight when Dr. Dao balked ... So, statistically speaking, had they asked (at most) 2 other people to leave involuntarily, they would have almost surely succeeded in getting their 4 empty seats, conflict free.

Why "authorities" are not trained in pragmatic conflict avoidance strategies, I will never understand...
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