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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 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, 9:12 pm
  #5896  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
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.
He had no intention of getting off the plane until Louisville.

Other possibility...no way to assign which is more likely than the others...

There are also passengers who do it for their own 'comfort'...we've seen the discussions on whether it's polite/rude to recline at the gate, or even in the air.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:13 pm
  #5897  
 
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
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.
It's intriguing along the lines of UA used assault and battery of a hired goon to get out of a contract with a customer instead of negotiating it themselves. I'm thinking that case would be criminal vs. the civil case that has consumed this thread to date. I doubt the prosecuting attorney is looking at this in a rose-colored light from the side of the security detail.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:17 pm
  #5898  
 
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Originally Posted by prestonh View Post
It's intriguing along the lines of UA used assault and battery of a hired goon to get out of a contract with a customer instead of negotiating it themselves. I'm thinking that case would be criminal vs. the civil case that has consumed this thread to date. I doubt the prosecuting attorney is looking at this in a rose-colored light from the side of the security detail.
I'm not a lawyer, just a curious citizen - but who wants the over / under on whether we see a presidential election before this hits a trial. I think it took 6 years for the PG&E gas explosion case to get to trial where the corp was a criminal defendant.

In that one a $562 million ask got reduced to $3 million.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/1...plosion-trial/

Where they got hit was from their state regulator. Which I wonder if the DOT or other regulator is the better venue for energy to be focused for people who have a legitimate desire for the better good of passengers, rather than a vendetta against a single airline that isn't delivering on lifetime elite benefits.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:21 pm
  #5899  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Were customers put first over crew?
It appears they were or at least that was the attempt. Inconvenience the least amount of customers possible the next day by getting this crew there in time to meet crew rest requirements.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:21 pm
  #5900  
 
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
Furthers the narrative that United's IDB policy completely screws the customer. IDB someone but don't let them have their luggage.
And so much for the so called 'Safety/security'. If the pax is not in the flight, their bags are not supposed to be in the flight either. So UA has double standards here. In fact, they have been like this for a while.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:24 pm
  #5901  
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Originally Posted by prestonh View Post
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.
Not in my experience. Too many of these people are irrational, vindictive, confrontational.

We keep talking about UA's problems being tied to restrictive policies and procedures. But the airline's horrible reputation is in large part due to front-liners freelancing their own senseless and brutal problem-solving procedures.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:27 pm
  #5902  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Not in my experience. Too many of these people are irrational, vindictive, confrontational.

We keep talking about UA's problems being tied to restrictive policies and procedures. But the airline's horrible reputation is in large part due to front-liners freelancing their own senseless and brutal problem-solving procedures.
You know the 30+ year history of that better than anyone here.

And once again we may see management eaten alive by that phenomenon, as UA has done to almost every management team since the Ferris / Allegis days.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:28 pm
  #5903  
 
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
I'm not a lawyer, just a curious citizen - but who wants the over / under on whether we see a presidential election before this hits a trial. I think it took 6 years for the PG&E gas explosion case to get to trial where the corp was a criminal defendant.

In that one a $562 million ask got reduced to $3 million.

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/1...plosion-trial/

Where they got hit was from their state regulator. Which I wonder if the DOT or other regulator is the better venue for energy to be focused for people who have a legitimate desire for the better good of passengers, rather than a vendetta against a single airline that isn't delivering on lifetime elite benefits.
But they also paid $565 mil in insurance claims (with I am sure was the tradeoff for no civil suits) and as you said a huge state PUD 1.6 bil. fine.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:30 pm
  #5904  
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Originally Posted by prestonh View Post
"We have not provided our frontline supervisors and managers and individuals with the proper procedures that would allow them to use their common sense."
Come-on --- Common Sense?
There definitely seems to now be a "Sense" of the "Poor Me's" and getting even with pax's for this recent BIG TIME screw-up. i.e.- Yesterday after flying LAS-SFO-XXX-YYY and back YYY-XXX-DEN-LAS trudging thru every one of these airports and boarding every airplane (except the last one) with a roll-a-board, a small handbag, and a backpack, I am challenged in DEN.

Back-story --- Not a single boarding agent even blinked at me until I approached the podium in DEN to inquire about VDB, since my flight was already an hour late and it appeared that they wanted volunteers. G/A to me when I approached, "What do you want/" Me - "Are you requesting volunteers?" G/A, "NO, but you aren't getting on this plane with 3 carry-on's, so which one are you going to give me."
I leave and watch the sneaking around and finger pointing for about 10 minutes, and then as I approach the gate reader, 5 of UAL's finest common sense G/A's are ready to swing into action. After a chat with a supervisor, I surrender one of my bags (her choice) and I am now required to go to baggage claim at terminal 3 in LAS, instead of terminal 1 where my wife was waiting.

My point --- I was lucky the first 5 flights, I know, but the "We'll show-em dude" in DEN went out of his way to be a smart @$$, which he was, and this is why none of them get the BIG PICTURE. Enforce the rules, but be a gentleman, and be polite. We've all dealt with jerks at UAL, and I've had my share over 15 years as a 1K, but don't ya just think that it's time to capitulate just a little bit and use "COMMON SENSE?" I am not the enemy, but there was definitely a sense of we're running the show, and your loyalty doesn't mean anything, Pal!
Never has and never will, especially now that they've got the "Poor Me's!"

Last edited by MY-OTHER-BROTHER-"TED"; Apr 15, 17 at 10:13 pm
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:37 pm
  #5905  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Not in my experience. Too many of these people are irrational, vindictive, confrontational.

We keep talking about UA's problems being tied to restrictive policies and procedures. But the airline's horrible reputation is in large part due to front-liners freelancing their own senseless and brutal problem-solving procedures.
In the pre Smisek era, I had amazing work done by several service directors and shift supervisors involving reroutes, bp codes, ticket reissues, etc. The brains are there, just no freedom to do it anymore is what I gather. But yes the vindictive GA's are more prevalent now and I have learned to keep my head down and do everything to avoid interaction with any of that wildlife lest 'I learn a lesson'. A GA in EWR threatened to call security on me when I was boarding in group 2 and said I needed to check my carry-on. I said there was no way it was full yet and I was the first one she asked (not even half the pax had boarded yet). But I was informed if I did not check my bag I would be denied boarding and met with security. Of course when I got on the plane half the bins were empty and I was steaming but what are you going to do?
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:43 pm
  #5906  
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Originally Posted by wolf72 View Post
And nobody has asked, WHY didn't the airline ferry the 4 pax on the flight leaving an hour later instead?
Later flight was full too? Seems to be the case as UA was going to put Dr Dao on the flight the next afternoon. Putting them on that flight they would not have met their required rest time for their flight the next morning? Could be many reasons why they chose 3411.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 9:49 pm
  #5907  
 
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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.
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.
STS that's pretty much what I said. Up the amount until someone takes it. That doesn't change the inconvenience. Upping the amount doesn't for example suddenly change someone's appointment time or what time they have to get to work, etc. It just means that the inconvenience becomes easier to deal with or less intolerable.

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?
Because someone would accept the VDB amount at some point as UA increases it and then he doesn't have to get off the plane.

Originally Posted by prestonh View Post
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
Reading that first paragraph I'm interpreting that as saying that the front line employees did what they were allowed to do so at that point there were no options available to them. I also haven't seen one way or the other that there were in fact seats available on the flight that left an hour later. Even if there were, would that have caused a timing issue with crew rest?

Last edited by justhere; Apr 15, 17 at 9:58 pm
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:02 pm
  #5908  
 
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
STS that's pretty much what I said. Up the amount until someone takes it. That doesn't change the inconvenience. Upping the amount doesn't for example suddenly change someone's appointment time or what time they have to get to work, etc. It just means that the inconvenience becomes easier to deal with or less intolerable.
Well I am assuming that someone who does accept the offer would:

1. Not have an appointment/work during the time he/she is delayed, OR
2. The missed work is worth less than the amount paid, OR
3. The appointment can be easily rescheduled

The point being, people who would be extremely inconvenienced by the delay would not put in a low bid to get off the plane. Basically, anyone who agrees to get off the plane at a certain price has decided that the money is worth more than the delay. Everyone has his/her own way of valuing these things but presumably everyone goes away happy: the delayed pax are happy with the money and everyone else gets on the flight.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:06 pm
  #5909  
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
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.

Dr. Dao is already fairly old. He would be much better off taking some money now than waiting 4 to 5 years for the legal process to wind its way through the courts. In fact United might want to stall as long as they can.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:11 pm
  #5910  
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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?
It certainly looks like Dao was assaulted. Why not press charges?
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