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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 16, 17, 8:37 am
  #5956  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NYC: UA 1K, DL Platinum, AAirpass, Avis PC
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
There were no police present. Chicago police were not on scene.
That's right - it's Chicago Aviation Dept "Police" - at least that's what the Tribune calls it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...413-story.html
cerealmarketer is offline  
Old Apr 16, 17, 8:42 am
  #5957  
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
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.
Of course they should have investigated or, better yet, they shouldn't have gone to the gate at all. However, in practice, airport cops and airport security tend to take the side of the airline without questioning the situation.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 8:45 am
  #5958  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Of course they should have investigated or, better yet, they shouldn't have gone to the gate at all. However, in practice, airport cops and airport security tend to take the side of the airline without questioning the situation.
Looking at the early video where he's talking, there is only one officer present, with a woman with a black and white dress and ID tags behind him.

That officer speaks into his radio mic during the discussion.

Perhaps after his assessment the 'bouncer' goon was called.

What's clear is 3 officers didn't rush on and grab him suddenly.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 8:51 am
  #5959  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Among other things, DL is likely hoping to discourage stricter regulation through voluntary change.
I could see a great delta commercial. Get Anderson to do it:

"I'm sure you have all seen the video of the poor Asian man beaten by united airlines when he would not get off their plane so his seat could be given to united crew. [play video] well I want you to know that we treat are customers right, and have upped our compensation, so in an overbook situation, we make it worth your while, no blood letting required".

Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Has anyone read if the GA for this UX flight out of ORD was actual UA staff or with a contractor (RPA or otherwise)?
I had the same question, but assume it was Ua as united is not trying to blame anyone else and I think they run all gates at ord.

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.
+1000. Hard to believe they would not send this out more widely. They obviously are seeing book away, otherwise would not have done this, but then why only GS?

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.
I believe you are correct, but any source? I've not seen anything saying this.
Originally Posted by Miles Ahead View Post
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.
E-mail blasts cost a few k, no idea why all MP members would not get something similar. More tone deft communication.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 8:57 am
  #5960  
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
That's right - it's Chicago Aviation Dept "Police" - at least that's what the Tribune calls it.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...413-story.html
They are not allowed to wear "POLICE" marked jackets as one was seen doing in the video. They are unarmed and have no or very limited arrest authority. There has been a great deal of confusion about this groups exact status but I would rank them in the category of mall security.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 8:59 am
  #5961  
 
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I too am very surprised by the lack of communication to MP members, at all levels. I wonder if this is part of their strategy of hoping this all just blows away soon, or just part of their PR incompetence?
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Old Apr 16, 17, 9:03 am
  #5962  
 
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Originally Posted by blueman2 View Post
I too am very surprised by the lack of communication to MP members, at all levels. I wonder if this is part of their strategy of hoping this all just blows away soon, or just part of their PR incompetence?
GS are 'us'. 1K and below are 'them'. That's been clear to a lot of people on this board for some time now.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 9:11 am
  #5963  
 
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Something in the LA Times article caught my attention ..."battered against an arm rest and dragged off the plane after he refused to give up his seat to an off-duty United employee." Were these "off-duty employees" the same term as employees that have to work the next day or were they truly off-duty employees that just wanted to go home??? Are we 100% sure passengers were kicked out for attendants that had to work the next day or was it the gate agent trying to get his or her friend home and screw a paying passenger? I don't know the answer.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...413-story.html
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Old Apr 16, 17, 9:45 am
  #5964  
 
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Just watching Lisa Bloom on MSNBC referring to United's "very shabby" behavior.
On the same newscast. Ali Velshi said the problem is not just the beatdown of Dr. Dao, but how "United and its CEO" acted after that beatdown.

If CEO Munoz thinks hiding will save his job (he's been hiding for how many days now?), it's a good bet he's sadly mistaken. More episodes of United beatings of passengers are in various Sunday newspapers. Seems to be escalating and United's Crisis PR firm is doing a poor job if it doesn't get CEO Munoz in public and get him in public fast.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 10:00 am
  #5965  
 
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Originally Posted by kentflyer View Post
Just watching Lisa Bloom on MSNBC referring to United's "very shabby" behavior.
On the same newscast. Ali Velshi said the problem is not just the beatdown of Dr. Dao, but how "United and its CEO" acted after that beatdown.

If CEO Munoz thinks hiding will save his job (he's been hiding for how many days now?), it's a good bet he's sadly mistaken. More episodes of United beatings of passengers are in various Sunday newspapers. Seems to be escalating and United's Crisis PR firm is doing a poor job if it doesn't get CEO Munoz in public and get him in public fast.
Does UA even have a crisis PR firm?

I can't help but feel that UA is being stingy as usual and trying to "wing it".
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Old Apr 16, 17, 10:38 am
  #5966  
 
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
. That's why airlines need to eliminate IDB in most cases and only do VDBs.
Yes!!

It is as simple as that. Dont overbook if VDB is not working.

Restaurants dont throw you out once you are seated and placed order just because someone more important showed up.

Hotels dont check you in and drag you out of shower because some employee needed a room.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 10:40 am
  #5967  
 
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Originally Posted by kentflyer View Post
Chicaloca,

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.

Thank you for clarifying that. Those are details I'd missed in the information overload that was this story.

My perception of the story has always been that each entity shared at least some degree of blame for this:

United for not handling this before boarding
Republic for apparently not providing adequate notice of the need for the 4 seats for its crew
The police for unnecessary roughness
The doctor for resisting the direction of the crew which many of us know from flying is the law of the land once one steps foot on a plane.

The GA's at ORD are definitely not among the most friendly and this post certainly shifts more blame on to United than I'd previously placed.

The whole thing is just such an embarrassing mess, and no doubt Delta is grateful because its drawn out recovery from the Georgia storms really took a backseat.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 10:42 am
  #5968  
 
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Originally Posted by wcaldog View Post
Something in the LA Times article caught my attention ..."battered against an arm rest and dragged off the plane after he refused to give up his seat to an off-duty United employee." Were these "off-duty employees" the same term as employees that have to work the next day or were they truly off-duty employees that just wanted to go home??? Are we 100% sure passengers were kicked out for attendants that had to work the next day or was it the gate agent trying to get his or her friend home and screw a paying passenger? I don't know the answer.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...413-story.html
About 1000+ posts on this thread is based on United partner acting "for the greater good" (sic) and those employees while off-duty at that moment were needed to operate a flight at Louisville.

Even if that is not rue, how does it change the narrative of the bigger picture

a) IDB needs to stop
b) LEO brutality need to stop
c) Victim blamingshameful mentality need to stop
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Old Apr 16, 17, 10:45 am
  #5969  
 
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Originally Posted by chicaloca453 View Post
Thank you for clarifying that. Those are details I'd missed in the information overload that was this story.

My perception of the story has always been that each entity shared at least some degree of blame for this:

United for not handling this before boarding
Republic for apparently not providing adequate notice of the need for the 4 seats for its crew
The police for unnecessary roughness
The doctor for resisting the direction of the crew which many of us know from flying is the law of the land once one steps foot on a plane.

The GA's at ORD are definitely not among the most friendly and this post certainly shifts more blame on to United than I'd previously placed.

The whole thing is just such an embarrassing mess, and no doubt Delta is grateful because its drawn out recovery from the Georgia storms really took a backseat.
There is no "law of land" that mandates you to follow instructions of Gate Agent, correct? He may be guilty of not being "practical" but no court is going to assign "blame" to him.
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Old Apr 16, 17, 11:06 am
  #5970  
 
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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?
Of course, he will be. (or some variation of it)

City of Chicago is more liable here than UA and might end up paying more than UA.
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