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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 14, 17, 7:25 pm
  #5656  
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Originally Posted by TomMM View Post
If he did state something along the line of "you will have to drag me off", seems like he was willing to risk bodily harm.
Or not. "You'll have to drag me off" could have been the hyperbolic boast of someone calling the security goons' bluff.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:26 pm
  #5657  
 
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Originally Posted by bigboy View Post
Big companies have policies that limit what front line employees can do. That's how big companies scale - through process and policies. Not saying it was right, but there's only so much that a GA felt like he/she could do.
So the GA has the authority to call in law enforcement in a non-emergency but not the authority to engage management to be more creative?
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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:29 pm
  #5658  
 
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Or not. "You'll have to drag me off" could have been the hyperbolic boast of someone calling the security goons' bluff.
And we see how well that worked out.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:49 pm
  #5659  
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Originally Posted by JNelson113 View Post
People fleeing Vietnam had their lives at risk and had to be on rickety boats for weeks to try to get to safety. They had no options.

Dr. Dao had the option to get off the plane. He was asked nicely by multiple people. He told the security folks to drag him off. When they tried he screamed like a banshee and grabbed on to the seat. Was United in the right? No. Did he make the situation much worse for himself? Yes.
Maybe if he fled East Germany across the Berlin Wall , you'd have a point.

A person dies on a rickety boat due to mother nature. Not goons.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:58 pm
  #5660  
 
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Originally Posted by MrTemporal View Post
If United can't understand its 20+ pages terms of service how are we passengers supposed to understand it?
Correction. If hundreds of very smart people who are into flyer programs so much that they are members of FT can't agree to what the CoC means, then how is any ordinary passenger supposed to?
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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:59 pm
  #5661  
 
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Originally Posted by ChaseTheMiles View Post
Agreed. Especially when I saw how she described the sequence of event, or rather, a revised sequence by saying Dr. Dao started the violence. Here's what she wrote:

"The passenger was forcibly removed by federal aviation security (the disturbing clip that everyone is talking about) after running back into the secured area after being escorted out once. Once he did that, like it or not, they (law enforcement) were under full discretion of the law to apply necessary force to remove the threat. I’m not saying it’s pretty, but the only one who actually broke a law was the passenger. There’s a reason for these laws–it’s called 9/11.... "

She apparently lives in an alternate world, or is trying to convince us with alternate facts. Luckily we've have so many videos and eyewitness accounts that we know that Dr. Dao was sitting in his seats when he was (probably punched in the face first) dragged out, with blood already showing dripping from his mouth.

If she thinks that's the same as "escorted out," she has no credibility. And the videos filmed of him being dragged out was from the first time, not later as she wrote.

At this time, I really wonder if a lawyer for the big bully is behind the article.
It also wasn't "federal Aviation Security", the goons were employed the airport, not the feds.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 7:59 pm
  #5662  
 
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
CNN will be covering scorpiongate in a few minutes, in their ongoing series "UA cannot do anything right", tune in folks...
Given that no one watches CNN (or any of the cable news channels) anymore, this is the last thing about which United cares....
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:18 pm
  #5663  
 
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
CNN will be covering scorpiongate in a few minutes, in their ongoing series "UA cannot do anything right", tune in folks...
The scorpion was Oscar's pet. Oscar was also very upset at the way the scorpion was treated. He said no scorpion should be treated that way.

Oscar was also upset that FlyerTalk does not have a separate thread on the protection of scorpions.

Within 30 days United will have a policy on how to properly treat scorpions found on a plane and this will be given priority over the IDB policy issue.

This thread has now hit No. 2 in terms of replies on the United forum, counting down to the No. 1 spot.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:19 pm
  #5664  
 
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Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
It also wasn't "federal Aviation Security", the goons were employed the airport, not the feds.
Amazing how UA gets all the blame, when it falls clearly first on the entitled passenger and second on the officers who removed him. UA made some errors but the passenger caused the problem. Pretty stupid story all the way around. I'm getting a big charge out of all the judges on social media.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:25 pm
  #5665  
 
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Originally Posted by jsn55 View Post
Amazing how UA gets all the blame, when it falls clearly first on the entitled passenger and second on the officers who removed him. UA made some errors but the passenger caused the problem. Pretty stupid story all the way around. I'm getting a big charge out of all the judges on social media.
This is a typical event cascade that leads to a disaster. If the binoculars hadn't been locked in a cabinet, if the second officer hadn't been changed and taken the key with him, if E.J. Smith hadn't ignored the ice warnings, etc, then Titanic wouldn't have gone to the bottom. What kickstarted this entire scenario was UA's refusal to offer enough money to entice volunteers. WIthout that, none of the rest of the stuff would have happened. DL will offer up to $9950 to get people off the plane. Why didn't UA do it?
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:27 pm
  #5666  
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Just what does "craft friendly policies" mean? I understand employee friendly and customer friendly, but craft friendly? Does that mean make everyone happy?
Here the word craft is a verb, meaning to make (with connotations of making something carefully by hand, so that it's precise and customized), formulate or possibly design.

It has nothing to do with craftspeople or artisans, nor handicrafts.

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Apr 14, 17 at 10:55 pm
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:36 pm
  #5667  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Here the word craft is a verb, meaning to make (with connotations of making something carefully by hand, so that it's precise and customized), formulate or possibly design.
Yes. The phrase was "craft friendly policies," not "craft-friendly policies."
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:39 pm
  #5668  
 
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Originally Posted by Imstevek View Post
I didn't get the letter, but my spam filter catches most United stuff.



I find a passenger who won't follow the requests/demands of the crew a security issue. In this case, he may resist demands because he feels his job is more important than the rest of us on board (DYKWIA) or some other arcane reason, but I don't want said passenger determining what requests he's going to follow, and which ones he won't.

I don't support much of what happened in this disgusting incident, but this is a case of everyone involved looking bad, not as one-sided as the general public, and to my surprise, the FT membership, is portraying.
On the one hand, I'd rather not have people choosing which requests to follow. I do recognize that this causes potential issues.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as an unreasonable request and I'd rather not be expected to accommodate those. For example, if you've paid for F/J and the passenger on the other side of the aisle is "uncomfortable" with you despite no verbal or physical contact, is it a reasonable request to have you move back to Y? There have been a few stray stories of this on foreign carriers (including one where I swear I heard that the pax was asked to switch with the "offended" customer's significant other).

Now, I know that reasonable/unreasonable is a subjective matter and there are many of us that would adhere to what many would consider to be an absurd request because we felt it was reasonable (e.g. being offered a go-around-your-...-to-get-to-your-elbow routing as the alternative). But with that being said, if anything there need to be more stringent limits on what is a "reasonable" request from airline staff that one is expected to comply with.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:41 pm
  #5669  
 
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
This is a typical event cascade that leads to a disaster. If the binoculars hadn't been locked in a cabinet, if the second officer hadn't been changed and taken the key with him, if E.J. Smith hadn't ignored the ice warnings, etc, then Titanic wouldn't have gone to the bottom. What kickstarted this entire scenario was UA's refusal to offer enough money to entice volunteers. WIthout that, none of the rest of the stuff would have happened. DL will offer up to $9950 to get people off the plane. Why didn't UA do it?
This is one of the many locus of outrage. At some point, United decided that saving a few thousand bucks (by limiting what their GA can offer) is more important to them than keeping a paying customer on a plane. Who cares the inconvenience it causes the involuntarily bumped customer, $800 is worth more to United.
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Old Apr 14, 17, 8:53 pm
  #5670  
 
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Originally Posted by newaliases View Post
This is one of the many locus of outrage. At some point, United decided that saving a few thousand bucks (by limiting what their GA can offer) is more important to them than keeping a paying customer on a plane. Who cares the inconvenience it causes the involuntarily bumped customer, $800 is worth more to United.
$800 in vouchers doesn't cost the $800 cash money, though, and I think everybody who flies enough to have encountered VDB/IDB a few times knows that. So what the policy really said was "put us out the IDB amount instead of the lesser VDB amount, because for some reason we like losing money".
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