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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 15, 17, 7:41 pm
  #5881  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Among other things, DL is likely hoping to discourage stricter regulation through voluntary change.
The DL government affairs office indeed isn't stupid in wanting DL to get in front of just that.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 7:42 pm
  #5882  
 
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Sure it would. The idea is that you up the compensation until someone bites. That person is a person for whom the delay would probably cause the least inconvenience, because they were willing to bid lower than everyone else.
And if this is all done at the gate rather than on the plane, no dragging would have been required. That is the simple solution. If the flight is fully boarded, staff that can't be accommodated in the jump seat don't go and the only ones that should be removed are non-revs. No non-revs--then the people remaining at the gate are SOL. Boarding people and then deciding you have a problem is just asking for it. It becomes a hostage negotiation at that point and nobody wants that while they are waiting on a plane.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 7:48 pm
  #5883  
 
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
And if this is all done at the gate rather than on the plane, no dragging would have been required. That is the simple solution. If the flight is fully boarded, staff that can't be accommodated in the jump seat don't go and the only ones that should be removed are non-revs. No non-revs--then the people remaining at the gate are SOL. Boarding people and then deciding you have a problem is just asking for it. It becomes a hostage negotiation at that point and nobody wants that while they are waiting on a plane.
Even in a situation where people have already boarded, all they have to do is announce that they will be raising compensation in $100 increments. Anyone wishing to deplane for that amount of money should press his/her call button. The amount will be raised every 15 seconds. In case more people volunteer than are needed, the FIRST ones to press the call button receive priority.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 7:52 pm
  #5884  
 
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Originally Posted by NorthwestFlyer View Post
Just Saw the United Airlines Re-Accommodation video shot from the beginning. Dr. Dao was real surly before the incident and told the flight attendant that he was going to Sue 'United Airlines' before he was even touched. The plot thickens
Funny aside, but he also has his seat in the recline position during his pre-police cell phone conversation.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 7:57 pm
  #5885  
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Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
Am trying to figure out if the luggage really matters in the story?
I think it demonstrates a serious lack of concern for a passenger that United just had removed from an airplane in less than a civil fashion. What did United think the guy was going to wear for the next 24 hours?
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Old Apr 15, 17, 8:01 pm
  #5886  
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Has anyone read if the GA for this UX flight out of ORD was actual UA staff or with a contractor (RPA or otherwise)?
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Old Apr 15, 17, 8:11 pm
  #5887  
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Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
Am trying to figure out if the luggage really matters in the story?
Why not. What exactly do you want the passenger to do till the next day, assuming his toileteries, change of clothes are all in the check in baggage?

In Asia, if a passenger is offloaded, his check in baggage is as well, regardless if it takes 10/20/30 minutes to locate in the cargo hold.

The aircraft will not depart with the baggage of a passenger who is no longer on board.

Same for passengers who are a no show at the gate BUT have checked in with check in baggage.

Once the gate closes and the passenger has not arrived, doors are closed on the aircraft and the baggage team remove that passenger's bags before the pilot is given the all clear to push back and to start engines.

They won't let the late arriving passenger on onc3e the gate is closed and the flight manifest and load sheet has been passed to the pilots.

Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
Yeah, it does. If someone, because of their schedule, etc, chooses to be inconvienced it is problembly less of an inconvenience than someone who doesn't choose. Or at least their inconvenience is in line with the payment. That's why airlines need to eliminate IDB in most cases and only do VDBs.
It's not a difficult thing. If you need 4 seats for crew members urgently, fine but STOP the passengers at check in (the last 4 passengers maybe?), advise them the flight is overbooked and they will be compensated and put on the next flight.

Don't let passengers check in, drop their check in luggage, go to the gate, and then board and are seated and ready to leave, and then come in and say sorry you can't fly.

What utter nonsense.

This problem was caused by flight ops, restrictive corporate rules that do not allow the staff to use common sense, some decency and above all, some humility.

It's not the passenger's fault the airline needed 4 crew members at the destination pronto.

And nobody has asked, WHY didn't the airline ferry the 4 pax on the flight leaving an hour later instead?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 16, 17 at 1:38 am Reason: mergering consecutive posts by same member
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Old Apr 15, 17, 8:17 pm
  #5888  
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
Funny aside, but he also has his seat in the recline position during his pre-police cell phone conversation.
It makes it easier to get in and out of the seat, given how badly cramped the seats are. If he was going to get off the plane, seat being reclined may be the way to more easily get up and out of a non-aisle seat without grabbing onto the seatback in front of the passenger. Or maybe this was yet another case of a UA seat that reclines based on passenger weight/pressure even without use of the recline button. I've had those on US too.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 8:18 pm
  #5889  
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
My uncle's, friend's, cousin's, daughter's, hairdresser said......I get the fact that upping the amount could and probably would have avoided the situation.
Again, I'm not supporting or agreeing with the way things turned out.
But, the problem is, you have a physician who has stated he needed to be at his destination TODAY as he had appointments the following morning with patients.

How is upping the amount going to solve this medical issue?

This is where logic went out the window with UA and their superbly trained GA.

And the pilots should have probably intervened and used a bit of common sense in the matter instead of shutting themselves in the cockpit when things began to escalate.

This may not have gone south if they got approval for one of the paxing pilots was given approval to take the jump seat in the cockpit.

But, again, nobody thinks outside the box with UA.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
If he settles, $10mn+ is possible given the press coverage, but it would be extraordinarly disproportionate to the actual personal damages.
And at the same time Erin Andrews got $55M and Hulk Hogan $130M+ (later settled for 31M)... As with anything law, sentences and settlements are almost never proportional to damages or to what other got previously or in the future.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 8:42 pm
  #5891  
 
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
I don't have to live in a UX station to know how crew scheduling works. My point was simply that it's easy to say they could do this or they could do that. I'm not talking about what could happen in the future or what has happened on other occasions. I'm simply referring to this one instance in time, without the benefit of hindsight, and responding to the post that said "customers were put last". At the time the decisions were made, I can see how and why some of the decision were made and done so with the thought that they would inconvenience the least amount of customers.

Again, I'm not supporting or agreeing with the way things turned out.
when OM comes out in a public TV interview and says:

"We have not provided our frontline supervisors and managers and individuals with the proper procedures that would allow them to use their common sense."

"They all have an incredible amount of common sense, and this issue could have been solved by that," he added. "This is on me. I have to fix that, and I think that's something we can do."

To me that says there were available options that did not require mental gymnastics or moving mountains.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/united-ceo-...ry?id=46746594
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Old Apr 15, 17, 8:52 pm
  #5892  
 
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Originally Posted by pauq View Post
And at the same time Erin Andrews got $55M and Hulk Hogan $130M+ (later settled for 31M)... As with anything law, sentences and settlements are almost never proportional to damages or to what other got previously or in the future.
This is true - though note both took over 4 years to get to trial and the examples I gave were primarily from the jurisdiction this will take place.

By then...well if the history of the airline industry is a guide...who knows what the landscape / mood is - or even if we're in another cycle of airline bankruptcies.

The nuts and bolts will be a lot less interesting to the non-aviation public than a celebrity who has been constantly in the media for years and years involved in a case of a sexual nature.

Who has the patience for 4 years when UA is ready to write a large check now.

Last edited by cerealmarketer; Apr 15, 17 at 9:00 pm
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by wolf72 View Post
But, the problem is, you have a physician who has stated he needed to be at his destination TODAY as he had appointments the following morning with patients.

How is upping the amount going to solve this medical issue?

This is where logic went out the window with UA and their superbly trained GA.

And the pilots should have probably intervened and used a bit of common sense in the matter instead of shutting themselves in the cockpit when things began to escalate.

This may not have gone south if they got approval for one of the paxing pilots was given approval to take the jump seat in the cockpit.

But, again, nobody thinks outside the box with UA.
You don't up the offer only to Dr. Dao, you up the offer in general. You need 4 seats, and there must be holidaymakers or people returning home and not going to work the next day, that can take a day's delay in exchange for a hotel room, some food and a sufficient sum of cash, or a voucher they can actually use.

Was the $1350 number the I keep seeing the required IDB compensation for this situation? (Sorry for not knowing this myself). Did they ever TRY to do a VDB offer in which they said, "we'll give you a ticket out at X time tomorrow, plus $1350 CASH"?

If they were going to have to pay $1350 IDB and didn't try that as VDB, then (!)
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:07 pm
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Another thought, what is to stop the Dr.'s attorney for pressing real charges for assault and battery?
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:08 pm
  #5895  
 
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Originally Posted by prestonh View Post
Another thought, what is to stop the Dr.'s attorney for pressing real charges for assault and battery?
Now we're talking, but a lot less interesting to this forum to see the negligent cops charged.

I think only seeing Munoz in jail will satisfy the mob bandwagon until it moves on to the next cause.
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