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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, 10:12 pm
  #5911  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
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.
On the other hand, UA would be smart if they don't play any games and settle this ASAP.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:15 pm
  #5912  
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
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.
I just don't buy that argument. From Dao's viewpoint he was the only customer that matterer at that time. His needs were not anywhere near first on the minds of United.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:18 pm
  #5913  
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
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.
He's only 69. Could still live another 20 years.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:25 pm
  #5914  
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
He's only 69. Could still live another 20 years.
Could but not likely. Most men don't live to 89. And right now he can enjoy a few mil more than 5 years or so down the road.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:27 pm
  #5915  
 
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Originally Posted by MY-OTHER-BROTHER-"TED" View Post
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!"
My 5th year flying as 1K out of Denver. They see us as the enemy. Management is bad, but the front line is seriously out to get you.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:36 pm
  #5916  
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Please excuse me if this has been asked and answered. Prior to anyone being forcefully moved from point A to point B, without their consent, someone needs to make a lawful citizens arrest, and the "suspect" needs to be verbally informed of that fact, prior to a hand being laid on him/her. The UAL employee needed to make a verbal citizens arrest (for a crime) and the security guys would then be allowed to physically enforce that citizens arrest for the employee.

As I have witnessed in my previous encounters, the airline calls the cops to have someone removed from an aircraft. After this is accomplished, sometimes with a tussle, as soon as the guy is off the plane, slam goes the door and the plane takes off leaving the cop with a pi$$ed off pax and a false arrest. I've seen it numerous times, but this was back in the late 60's & early 70's. To cover one's self, always get a signed citizens arrest form, prior to doing anything.

Looks like if any of this would have happened, in advance, 3 of Chicago's finest wouldn't be on suspension.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:43 pm
  #5917  
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Originally Posted by MY-OTHER-BROTHER-"TED" View Post
Please excuse me if this has been asked and answered. Prior to anyone being forcefully moved from point A to point B, without their consent, someone needs to make a lawful citizens arrest, and the "suspect" needs to be verbally informed of that fact, prior to a hand being laid on him/her. The UAL employee needed to make a verbal citizens arrest (for a crime) and the security guys would then be allowed to physically enforce that citizens arrest for the employee.

As I have witnessed in my previous encounters, the airline calls the cops to have someone removed from an aircraft. After this is accomplished, sometimes with a tussle, as soon as the guy is off the plane, slam goes the door and the plane takes off leaving the cop with a pi$$ed off pax and a false arrest. I've seen it numerous times, but this was back in the late 60's & early 70's. To cover one's self, always get a signed citizens arrest form, prior to doing anything.

Looks like if any of this would have happened, in advance, 3 of Chicago's finest wouldn't be on suspension.
Not Chicago police. City of Chicago Aviation Department security people. Been a lot of discussion if they are truly police or not but it is for sure they are not regular CPD.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:46 pm
  #5918  
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
What proof do you have that there were other viable options that would impact less customers? I readily admit I might have missed it so if you have it, by all means point me in that direction. If UA could have put the crew on another carrier's flight, then they could also have put their passengers on that flight. Has it been confirmed that other airlines' flights had seats available?
The flight of the incident (UA3411) was scheduled at 17:40, AA3509 was scheduled for 18:40. Not impossible but one hour is a very short time to do everything needed; even with available seats they might have needed AA to cooperate in some way, including possibly delaying their flight a bit.

I think nobody will offer proof of other viable options because, other than the AA option and than sending an aircraft carrying only the crew, it's very unlikely there was any. Then of course we'd have environmentalists decrying UA for wasting fuel by ferrying 4 crew members in an otherwise empty plane and then bringing back the same plane to Chicago with 0 pax, instead of just inconveniencing 4 passengers in some way.

Ultimately they were only 5 hours away by road. Even more, any bumped pax would probably have been earlier at their home or hotel in Louisville had they been shuttled by road rather than taking the next UA flight.
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Old Apr 15, 17, 10:57 pm
  #5919  
 
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I've been following the aftermath of this incident with unabated interest. Now I'm just waiting for the epilogue in which the "Communicator of the Year" gets "re-accommodated," whether forcibly or not.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 12:11 am
  #5920  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Not Chicago police. City of Chicago Aviation Department security people. Been a lot of discussion if they are truly police or not but it is for sure they are not regular CPD.
When I flew through ORD on Friday, I stopped a CPD officer and asked him about this. He was in the full police uniform. He said that the security people did not have the full police training, don't carry guns and can't arrest people.

I find American police great at de-escalating situations. The guy who did the dragging definitely was not good at that. I definitely would like to see the report from the Aviation Department on this incident.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 12:27 am
  #5921  
 
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Pilot's Wife defense ofmUA is getting demolished on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/thepilotwif...=page_internal

Hwr defense is getting demolished but she is taking it well. Appreciate the class but she's probably happy for all of the attention to her blog!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 16, 17 at 1:49 am Reason: repaired link
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Old Apr 16, 17, 1:11 am
  #5922  
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Originally Posted by newaliases View Post
https://www.facebook.com/thepilotwifelife/?ref=page_internal

Hwr defense is getting demolished but she is taking it well. Appreciate the class but she's probably happy for all of the attention to her blog!
Quoting a post tends to result in a link that works, but not this time.

Link that we can click, please?
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Old Apr 16, 17, 1:17 am
  #5923  
 
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Originally Posted by dvlsadvc8 View Post
Air travel is not a right, it is a convenience. Like anything purchased, buyer beware. On the bright side, you do have the right to buy or charter a private aircraft to meet or exceed your travel requirements/expectations. If you can't afford that, never fear, other options are yet available. You can book passage via train or bus; even better, drive yourself. The likelihood of being "beaten, bullied, concussed, humiliated, or booted" from your private vehicle are slim to none.
In the general sense air travel is not a "right" in that I don't have the right to demand that United send a plane in to pick me up at my local airport (which they don't serve). Nothing is saying that any company has to provide passenger air service...and if they didn't, we'd probably have a better rail network instead. Frankly I wish I lived in a world where that was more or less the case (yes, in theory I can take the train...and in my case I very often do...but for many city pairs doing so isn't an option/isn't an option without a painfully long bus ride and for many others it isn't practical). However, once I've paid United for a flight from A to B at a given time there also comes a point that they need to deliver. Why? Because I've purchased the right to that product in exchange for consideration (usually money).

Now, if I don't meet my terms of the contract (for example, timely check-in) they can deny transportation. I'm the one breaching the contract, technically. But if I check all of the boxes and they don't have a reason to breach beyond "Oops, we screwed up" then that's a problem if they choose to breach at the last minute. And if they try to load a clause into their contract saying, in essence, they can choose to do that without compensation then even absent the formal IDB rules I suspect their contracts would go out the window as being "unconscionable". As an analogy with retail, "buyer beware" does not apply if you sell me a lemon.

I get it, downgauged equipment can happen at the last minute because MX happens and weather happens. As noted in a few posts, weather alone can be enough (though in some cases I'd counter that an intermediate fuel stop would be the better option, I also know that there are city pairs that's not really an option for and other cases where that would be a logistical mess). That's why we need some form of rules to allow for IDB.

There's a difference between that sort of situation and "tactical overbooking", however, and that might be another differentiation to make in the IDB rules: If there's been a change of aircraft resulting in a loss of capacity or capacity has to be cut for other safety reasons, that's one thing. If the airline is playing the lottery on someone no-showing and they lose (or they "suddenly need more seats" for some reason), though, that's another.

The rub of all this is that there should be more scrutiny of IDB incidents and some limitations on when/where someone can be IDBed. I'd like to see a middle ground between the CAB-mismanaged situation in the 60s and 70s (where they slow-walked into irrelevance or shot-down new airline applications, among other things) and the post-ADA environment.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 1:33 am
  #5924  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Quoting a post tends to result in a link that works, but not this time.

Link that we can click, please?
Flyertalk does not permit brand new members to post active links, IIRC.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 1:37 am
  #5925  
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Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
Flyertalk does not permit brand new members to post active links, IIRC.
Sorry, you're right. I didn't notice that the post was by a new member.
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