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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


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.


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.


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
United Airlines
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 16, 17, 1:46 am
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I have to say I wouldn't mind being dragged along the floor by a couple of bigger chaps, have a couple of teeth knocked out, and suffer a concussion, and then get a few million dollars. I used to do it for nothing playing rugby!
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Old Apr 16, 17, 2:10 am
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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?
Try this one: https://thepilotwifelife.wordpress.c...t-flight-3411/

I've learned that posting things from FB linked material rarely works unless you are also on FB at the time. Or at aleast have an account and can log in.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 2:11 am
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Originally Posted by sw3 View Post
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.
Right, and with a good VDB offer one or more people might have decided to drive.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by wolf72 View Post
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.

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?
It wasn't the next flight available. It was nearly 24 hours later.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 2:25 am
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
It wasn't the next flight available. It was nearly 24 hours later.
There was a rival airline leaving an hour later to the same destination.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 4:23 am
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Forgive me if this has been discussed already. I'm afraid that I'm not up to reading 395 pages of this thread which isn't exactly light reading so I'll just ask my question. Why do you all think United didn't shift some of the blame back to Republic? After all, it was the Republic flight crew that chose to play eenie meenie miney mo on who was bumped and it was the Republic flight crew who called the authorities in. It was also Republic flight crew, not UA flight crew, that they were bumping to transport. I realize that UA Express was the flagged carrier, but this event could have easily happened on a Delta or American flight given that all three contract with United. I'd think that all this "I'm never flying United again" crap could have been shut down if people understood that they might encounter this airline flying Delta or American as well.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 4:38 am
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Originally Posted by chicaloca453 View Post
Forgive me if this has been discussed already. I'm afraid that I'm not up to reading 395 pages of this thread which isn't exactly light reading so I'll just ask my question. Why do you all think United didn't shift some of the blame back to Republic?
This would go down too well with the public. The average passenger checks in at a United branded desk, gets a United branded boarding pass with a United flight number, wait at the gate with United in big letters on the screen, boards an aircraft with United written in huge letters on the fuselage, etc. and thinks that all of it is indeed United airlines.

The average passenger will probably not bother with the fact that the crew and the aircraft are operated by another company.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 4:42 am
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Originally Posted by dvlsadvc8 View Post
United did nothing illegal. What transpired was excessive force by LEO, not United. Again, I am sure the GA called security expecting the passenger to comply, not resist law enforcement. [Moderator edit]?
You seem to forget that the LEOs were summoned by UA. No surprise, sadly.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
The customer service issue began when United decided to stuff 4 employees on a fully book airplane at the last second. The person who bid $1600 might have settled for $1350 but that offer was never made.

United and its employees failed on every level.

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.
So they forcibly eject a passenger from a flight, and send his luggage on to his destination.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 16, 17 at 11:39 am Reason: Discuss the issues, not the poster
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Old Apr 16, 17, 4:43 am
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This is being directed at United because it was an United GA who called in the three airport goons to administer the beatdown to an elderly doctor. In all my years of flying, I've found Delta to be especially gracious in these situations and American to be pretty helpful. United's rude "us vs them" approach to IDB/VDB situations is what drove this situation and the violent beatdown that resulted.

Then the United GA lied in a written incident report and said Dr. Dao "struck an officer". That lie was repeated by CEO Munoz in his communication to United employees. A corporate culture that has led to lies like this and the beatdown of an elderly doctor is why United, not Republic, is being called to account.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 5:31 am
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I cant count the number of times I've been on a UA flight where they've asked for volunteers due to overbooking, but the only thing they offer is their worthless "vouchers."

In many of those cases, had they offered cash on the barrel or a voucher good for guaranteed, R/T ticket to anywhere UA flies with no restrictions, I would've taken it.

But I have too many unused vouchers because they are worthless. In fact they are insulting. UA is counting on suckers rogering up for them.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
So they forcibly eject a passenger from a flight, and send his luggage on to his destination.
The TSA is ok with involuntary separation of passenger and baggage.

Offloading his luggage would have further delayed the plane and increased UA's costs of baggage handling with which they would eventually stiff us with? This, I don't buy entirely.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 16, 17 at 11:39 am Reason: Quote updated to reflect Moderator edit
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Old Apr 16, 17, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by kentflyer View Post

Then the United GA lied in a written incident report and said Dr. Dao "struck an officer". That lie was repeated by CEO Munoz in his communication to United employees. A corporate culture that has led to lies like this and the beatdown of an elderly doctor is why United, not Republic, is being called to account.
Saying it's a lie doesn't have any basis at this point.

The agent / supervisor could have (and by procedure should have) taken the word of the officer regarding 'struck the officer'.

What does the police report say?

And watching the video it's possible during the 3 - 5 seconds he's screaming and the officer is trying to pull him out Dao hit, grabbed or pushed toward the officer. Even the slightest touch gets police up in arms which is a whole other discussion beyond this incident. It's all obscured from the video vantage point by the officer's bodies, and also obscured from anyone in the aisle.

I can see the officer putting something like that in a writeup given how brutally sensitive officers are to any sort of movement during an arrest or simply to CYA when the gate agent / supervisor sees a bleeding man being pulled off.

The crime in the public interest is that the police union prevents the department from releasing their names so we can do some background check on the officer's history.


"As part of our review, two additional officers have been placed on administrative leave until further notice. The employees’ collective bargaining agreement prohibits the CDA from releasing their names at this time."

What fun overly powerful unions are.

The communication problem by Oscar's team was including the unverified incident writeup details in the employee communique so quickly - though I guess any employee could pull them up in the reservation record. And could have taken the police report at face value.

There should have been a press conference with United and the Chicago PD jointly early on.

Last edited by cerealmarketer; Apr 16, 17 at 5:56 am
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Old Apr 16, 17, 5:42 am
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You can delegate authority but not responsibility. Something the CEO is unable to grasp.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 5:49 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The TSA is ok with involuntary separation of passenger and baggage.
Even in Europe, where the authorities tend to be strict not to allow unaccompanied luggage on a plane, involuntary separation of passenger and luggage is allowed.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by PaulInTheSky View Post
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.
Intl flights have positive bag match rules. For Domestic flights, Airlines can transport passengers and their bags separately, as long as it is the airlines decision. Can't be the passenger's decision.

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.
This is nowhere close to being accurate information on arrest procedures. And as this passenger did not commit any crime, it totally unrelated to the discussion at hand.
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