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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, 8:57 pm
  #5281  
 
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Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
How do you figure that? What does it cost to operate an Embraer (we figure $8k per hour for a G4) so the only calculation is if the paid fares minus $6400 is more or less than the cost of operating the flight. Thereafter, you have to consider the costs of inconvenience to customers (not important to United) and the costs of getting the plane and crew (not the 4 passengers, but the flight crew operating the flight) to their next staging area.

The plane that went to Kentucky had an onward flight to somewhere and the crew had an onward flight as well. Even if the flight were cancelled, the equipment and crew had to get there somehow and a full flight, operated at break even (or at a loss) is still cheaper than moving an empty plane.

Airlines hate to cancel flights. It is really expensive.
They could get the plane to SDF still--cancel the flight, deplane everyone, send them to Customer Service, put the 4 crew onboard, ferry to SDF. Avoid a scene with who is bumped and who's not by bumping everyone essentially--but it's not bumping because the flight was canceled.

May not be the right thing to do, but I'm sure they are thinking of doing it this way sometimes in the future if they have to--not only at UA either.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 8:58 pm
  #5282  
 
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Will this thread be all time record on FT?
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Old Apr 13, 17, 8:58 pm
  #5283  
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Originally Posted by JNelson113 View Post
But . . . . if you ask a person to leave the plane and he refuses, you then allow him to fly? I think that's quite a security risk, because he has just shown that he believes that his authority over the flight is superior to that of the flight crew. I would not want to fly on a plane with someone who will not obey crew commands. Many people will now say that the incident was handled incorrectly, etc. Granted. But once he has shown that he won't obey crew commands he must deplane.
FA to passenger: 'please don't breastfeed at your seat because other passengers find the display offensive'
Passenger: 'I need to feed my baby'
FA: 'call security, this passenger is now a threat for disobeying crew instructions'.

Doesn't wash.

That you did not follow one [unlawful] crew instruction doesn't indicate that you won't follow others that are lawful, or that have disrespect for 'authority'.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:01 pm
  #5284  
 
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Originally Posted by robinhood View Post
Average joes on the other hand, prepare to be re-accomodated!
How they manhandled the 69year old doctor is really upsetting to me. And the way Munoz reacted was really ill prepared. And Munoz is still scheduled to receive $13 million is bonus this year!

As a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and a fellow USC alumni, he could, and should, have handled it a lot better.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:06 pm
  #5285  
 
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
Your posts seem to consistently imply that UA should be protected (by the cops in this case) from market forces. If they did cancel they would also be canceling lots of connections ( I doubt there are many non-stops from Louisville). And upsetting a lot of people. If they had half a brain, questionable I acknowledge, they would operate the flight from Louisville even with a slight loss (not sure I buy that on a nearly full flight but whatever) if they had to. All their flights don't make money every day. IDB is very bad customer service except in very few cases ( equipment downgrades for instance) where it's unavoidable. This wasn't close to one of those cases.
Are you saying that companies should not be afforded protections too? When those protections will benefit consumers as well? There will always be uncommon, unfortunate circumstances where IDB becomes necessary and is good customer service as a whole for the aggregate consumer.

Hypothetical example: Let's say that due to inclement weather creating crew legality difficulties on a full ORD-SDF flight, the return SDF-ORD flight, the last flight of the day, would be cancelled if reserve deadhead employees weren't accepted. The choice is either to inconvenience four people for a few hours or the next day, or inconvenience a whole planeload of passengers by stranding them overnight in SDF. The former is clearly a better option as a whole. But if you regulate denied boarding to be prohibitively expensive, the latter will be chosen. Now you have over-regulated and protected nobody.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:07 pm
  #5286  
 
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Originally Posted by t_cliff View Post
Will this thread be all time record on FT?
It will not come even close to the record.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:08 pm
  #5287  
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Originally Posted by UAzip View Post
They could get the plane to SDF still--cancel the flight, deplane everyone, send them to Customer Service, put the 4 crew onboard, ferry to SDF. Avoid a scene with who is bumped and who's not by bumping everyone essentially--but it's not bumping because the flight was canceled.

May not be the right thing to do, but I'm sure they are thinking of doing it this way sometimes in the future if they have to--not only at UA either.
That is so economically inferior I don't even know how to begin. Just pay to get VDBs. This really isn't complicated.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:09 pm
  #5288  
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Originally Posted by muji View Post
By wearing the shirts saying "police" they presented themselves as police officers, not as security personnel.
Impersonating a police officer is a crime.
Could this turn into a much larger scandal for the city of Chicago? Would an arrest made under false pretense be something that could be challenged?
Cheers
Howie
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:10 pm
  #5289  
 
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The Canadians issued a statement, that IDB wont be tolerated in Canada by any airline...
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:12 pm
  #5290  
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Originally Posted by minnyfly View Post
Are you saying that companies should not be afforded protections too? When those protections will benefit consumers as well? There will always be uncommon, unfortunate circumstances where IDB becomes necessary and is good customer service as a whole for the aggregate consumer.

Hypothetical example: Let's say that due to inclement weather creating crew legality difficulties on a full ORD-SDF flight, the return SDF-ORD flight, the last flight of the day, would be cancelled if reserve deadhead employees weren't accepted. The choice is either to inconvenience four people for a few hours or the next day, or inconvenience a whole planeload of passengers by stranding them overnight in SDF. The former is clearly a better option as a whole. But if you regulate denied boarding to be prohibitively expensive, the latter will be chosen. Now you have over-regulated and protected nobody.
It isn't a better deal for the four people picked to spend an extra day at ORD if they don't want to or can't. People getting IBDs aren't being protected. If an airline needs seats at the very last minute they can pay market for them in the form of VDBs. The choice isn't cancel the flight or IDB, it's VDB or IDB.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:15 pm
  #5291  
 
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Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
Why does that phrase always remind me of a funeral director?
Yes, they mean after your body is beaten and dragged across the aircraft floor, they will handle you with respect and dignity.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:17 pm
  #5292  
 
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
It isn't a better deal for the four people picked to spend an extra day at ORD if they don't want to or can't. People getting IBDs aren't being protected. If an airline needs seats at the very last minute they can pay market for them in the form of VDBs. The choice isn't cancel the flight or IDB, it's VDB or IDB.
And last minute seat purchases are expensive (isn't that the theory with revenue management ), so the airline needs to pay up for those four seats they need.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:18 pm
  #5293  
 
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Originally Posted by t_cliff View Post
Is that legal to cancel a fully boarded flight for this reason?
No, but just like a cop can always find a valid reason to pull you over when driving (every driver violates some driving law every 4 minutes of driving - weaving in a lane, crossing a line, one mile over the limit, too slow etc), an airline can always find a reason to cancel a flight (crew time out, weather, medical emergency [pilot ate at Taco Bell the previous night], mechanical issue [every plane always has some sort of mechanical issue] etc)


Oh, and Taco Bell is my favorite fast food place. When I was stationed in Europe, I actually went out of my way to bring back Taco Bell from the states (burritos travel well, tacos don't and some locations would actually sell you the basic ingredients if you had a good enough reason) and visited both Taco Bells in my greater area (one in London - Piccadilly and one in Saudi - Riyadh)
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:18 pm
  #5294  
 
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Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
How do you figure that? What does it cost to operate an Embraer (we figure $8k per hour for a G4) so the only calculation is if the paid fares minus $6400 is more or less than the cost of operating the flight. Thereafter, you have to consider the costs of inconvenience to customers (not important to United) and the costs of getting the plane and crew (not the 4 passengers, but the flight crew operating the flight) to their next staging area.

The plane that went to Kentucky had an onward flight to somewhere and the crew had an onward flight as well. Even if the flight were cancelled, the equipment and crew had to get there somehow and a full flight, operated at break even (or at a loss) is still cheaper than moving an empty plane.

Airlines hate to cancel flights. It is really expensive.
Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
How would it cost less than $6400 to rebook 70 passengers? I'm lost. I'll dig for your post but that seems hard to believe.
One estimate is the rough estimate I made earlier and can do it again. Delta is estimating that of the 4,000 flights cancelled and many more delayed (6,000 is a conservative estimate via FlightAware totaling 10,000 flights affected) by their meltdown without paying proper compensation, it will cost them 125m in operating income. That is only a $12,500 average for a mainline flight that we can estimate averaged at least 150 seats ($83.33 per person). We're dealing with a 70-seat aircraft and four passengers ($5,833 per flight if we keep the income ratio equal). Divide that by four and you've reached only $1,458 per person. It doesn't take long to create an incentive to delay the other flight and rebook whoever needs it, potentially creating even worse individual inconveniences (like misconnecting the only flight of the day)
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Old Apr 13, 17, 9:19 pm
  #5295  
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Originally Posted by t_cliff View Post
Will this thread be all time record on FT?
Only if you want it to.
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