Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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}

    Hide Wikipost
Old Apr 13, 18, 1:33 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
WELCOME, THREAD GUIDELINES and SUMMARY PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

If you are new to us, welcome to FlyerTalk! Who we are: FlyerTalk features discussions and chat boards that cover the most up-to-date traveler information; an interactive community dedicated to the topic of travel (not politics or arguments about politics or religion, etc. – those discussion are best in the OMNI forum)

The incident discussed in this thread has touched a nerve for many, and many posters are passionate about their opinions and concerns. However we should still have a civil and respectful discussion of this topic. This is because FlyerTalk is meant to be a friendly, helpful, and collegial community. (Rule 12.)

1. The normal FlyerTalk Rules apply. (Including not discussing moderation actions in thread). Please be particularly attentive to "discussing the idea and not the poster" when you have a disagreement. Civility and mutual respect are still expected and are what we owe each other as a community.

2. You are expected to respect the FlyerTalk community's diversity, and therefore refrain from posting inflammatory comments about race, religion, culture, politics, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Do not cite, copy, or report on such.

3. While you can disagree with an opinion, the holder of that opinion has the same right to their opinion as you have to yours. We request all to respect that and disagree or discuss their point of views without getting overly personal and without attacking the other poster(s). This is expected as a requirement in FT Rule 12.

4. Overly exaggerative posts as well as posts with information that has been posted several times previously may be summarily deleted.

5. In addition, those who repeatedly fail to comply with FlyerTalk Rules, may be subjected to FlyerTalk disciplinary actions and, e.g., have membership privileges suspended, or masked from this forum.

If you have questions about the Rules or concerns about what another has posted in this or other threads in this forum, please do not post about that. Rather, notify the moderators by using the alert symbol within each post or email or send a private message to us moderators.

Let’s have this discussion in a way that, when we look back on it, we can be proud of how we handled ourselves as a community.

The United Moderator team:
J.Edward
l'etoile
Ocn Vw 1K
Pat89339
WineCountryUA

N.B. PLEASE do not alter the contents of this moderator note
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
Print Wikipost

Old Apr 16, 17, 6:11 am
  #5941  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,319
Originally Posted by ksu View Post
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.
Indeed. But here the TSA supposedly screens all passenger checked in luggage before it's delivered to the plane, supposedly allowing the airlines and passengers more flexibility. But if someone is being offloaded by security/police, their luggage ought to come off still.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 6:32 am
  #5942  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 39,763
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
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.
So because TSA permits it, UA can inconvenience a passenger more than just by removing them from a flight.

Fly the Friendly Skies indeed.
halls120 is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 6:45 am
  #5943  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: DAY
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; Marriott LT Plat Premier (+AMB); Amex MR; Chase UR; Hertz PC; Global Entry
Posts: 7,359
Originally Posted by villox View Post
Anyone else get this email this morning? Not sure if it only went to GS (and I couldn't find it in this impossible thread):



Dear Mr. villox,

I've heard a lot of understandable anger and disappointment this week from customers and, as one of our most valued customers, I wanted to be sure you heard directly from me.

The awful event that occurred on Flight 3411 has elicited many responses from our customers: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments. For me personally, I'd add shame. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

In addition to offering my profound apologies to the customer forcibly removed, as well as all the passengers aboard that particular flight, I also offer my sincere apology to you for not living up to the values you expect of us.

Our customers' satisfaction must be the center of everything we do and your opinion of our service is the measure of our success. We know we did not measure up, and for that we will redouble our efforts to earn your trust.

This situation has provided a humbling learning experience from which we will take immediate, concrete action. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to make this right so nothing like this ever happens again.

First, we are committing that United will not ask law enforcement officers to remove passengers from our flights unless it is a matter of safety and security. Second, we've started a thorough review of policies that govern crew movement, incentivizing volunteers in these situations and how we handle oversold situations. Third, we will fully review and improve our training programs to ensure our employees are prepared and empowered to put our customers first. Our values will guide everything we do. We'll communicate the results of our review and the actions we will take by April 30.

You expect more from us and I promise we can and will be better. I am committed to putting proof behind our promise.

Thank you for granting us the opportunity to re-earn your trust.

Sincerely,
Oscar Munoz
CEO
United Airlines

I find it very interesting that only GS members were found worthy of an email from Oscar.

I was expecting to have received something by now, but I guess I had forgotten the value that United places on 1Ks...and the rest of the M+ membership.

They really have no clue.
goodeats21 is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 6:59 am
  #5944  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 88,319
Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
So because TSA permits it, UA can inconvenience a passenger more than just by removing them from a flight.

Fly the Friendly Skies indeed.
In some regard indeed. As I indicated earlier, I don't like what UA did here.

Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
I find it very interesting that only GS members were found worthy of an email from Oscar.

I was expecting to have received something by now, but I guess I had forgotten the value that United places on 1Ks...and the rest of the M+ membership.

They really have no clue.
UA -- much akin to the other US airline industry cartel kingpins -- have management that think the only really valuable customers are GS (or the equivalent) level of customers. This kind of customer email circulation from UA shows just how little UA thinks of the rest of its customer base.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 16, 17 at 11:44 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
GUWonder is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 7:35 am
  #5945  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,468
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
UA -- much akin to the other US airline industry cartel kingpins -- have management that think the only really valuable customers are GS (or the equivalent) level of customers. This kind of customer email circulation from UA shows just how little UA thinks of the rest of its customer base.

Indeed.

Just another example of why Oscar won that PR Communicator of the Year Award just a few weeks ago!

http://www.prweek.com/article/142690...municator-year

Oscar should fly at least 3 transcon roundtrips in E- middle seats to help atone for his tone deaf communications.

Already media is eagerly dredging up other examples of poor UA service --whether substantiated or not.

http://nypost.com/2017/04/15/former-...d-flight-suit/

This fiasco--the gift (to other airlines) that just keeps giving.

Last edited by Globehopper; Apr 16, 17 at 7:49 am Reason: Typo
Globehopper is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 7:43 am
  #5946  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,468
Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
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.

Plus United has worked hard to promote the concept that a regional carrier DBA United is essentially the same as flying mainline United. Of course we know the economic reasons why United (and AA, DL) elect to do this.

Then coupled with the fact that PR Communicator of the Year Oscar doubled-down and "apologized" by sending a message of support to all his employees, including regional affiliates.

United owns this fiasco.
Globehopper is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 7:56 am
  #5947  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 39,763
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
UA -- much akin to the other US airline industry cartel kingpins -- have management that think the only really valuable customers are GS (or the equivalent) level of customers. This kind of customer email circulation from UA shows just how little UA thinks of the rest of its customer base.
I'm going to remember Oscar's lack of concern when I plan future travel.
halls120 is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:08 am
  #5948  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 83,931
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? 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.
The GA was a UA employee. She's the one who handled the pathetic VDB attempt and then the IDBs. She also apparently was the person who called for the police to come. The police were called by UA, not Republic.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:10 am
  #5949  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 39,763
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The GA was a UA employee. She's the one who handled the pathetic VDB attempt and then the IDBs. She also apparently was the person who called for the police to come. The police were called by UA, not Republic.
She is also the one who lied about the passenger striking a LEO.
halls120 is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:14 am
  #5950  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 83,931
Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
She is also the one who lied about the passenger striking a LEO.
She lied too about the passenger being belligerent.

Who knows what she might have said when she called the cops.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:24 am
  #5951  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 15,819
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? 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.
A well known large telephone company uses contractors for installs and repairs. These contractors use vans that are branded with the parent companies logo. If you needed service and the company dispatched a contractor, driving equipment badged with the well known companies logo, and you later had a problem who would you call?
Boggie Dog is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:24 am
  #5952  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NYC: UA 1K, DL Platinum, AAirpass, Avis PC
Posts: 4,513
Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
She is also the one who lied about the passenger striking a LEO.
We don't know she lied about the LEO - it's a baseless accusation - as baseless as saying he struck the officer.

It's possible the cop did the reporting to her. Looking at that video it's hard to see how she could see past the bodies, nor can you see her in the aisle.

It's also possible he also could have 'struck' by the overly sensitive definition the police uses.

It's also possible she put it in there without any comment from the LEO.

We also don't know what happened when the cameras weren't rolling. We have passengers who said he remained calm, we have another who did the filming and said he became 'angry' and muttered something about Asian before the cameras were rolling.

Not defending anyone - just laying out what is fact vs speculation and accusation.
cerealmarketer is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:28 am
  #5953  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
Posts: 8,230
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Who knows what she might have said when she called the cops.
That doesn't exonerate the cops though. They are not private security of UA and should've investigated, i.e. ask what the hell is going on before taken any decision.
WorldLux is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:29 am
  #5954  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 15,819
Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
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.

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/uni...tuation-again/

"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.
There were no police present. Chicago police were not on scene.
Boggie Dog is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:30 am
  #5955  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: DCA
Programs: United 1K 2MM, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,586
Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
I find it very interesting that only GS members were found worthy of an email from Oscar.
Interesting, but not surprising. Since this whole escapade began by United trying to save a buck, why be surprised that United didn't send a message to all the M+ members? Might have cost them a whole dollar.
Miles Ahead is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread