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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 17, 17, 9:16 pm
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Mrs deek and I each received this e-mail a couple hours ago; a well written and seemingly sincere letter.

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Old Apr 17, 17, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What are GAs supposed to do when they have "must ride" "reservations" but the must ride crew hasn't yet appeared at the gate?

To me, common sense would say to announce a request for volunteers and find four before boarding starts, but tell they that you're not sure whether their seats will be needed so you're not processing the rebookings and comp just yet. Keep the volunteers' boarding passes and don't reassign their seats. Wait for the positive space crew as late as possible and (I guess) contact OPS to ask whether you should delay the flight in order to wait for the crew to appear.
I would expect similar to how many regional airlines manage weight & balance issues which are common on smaller planes, especially with weather. Includes your presumption of asking for volunteers to stand aside during boarding.

My experience has been that the GA begins boarding until the plane is about half full. Stops. Checks with Pilot. Gets permission to board 2-3 more people (sometimes pulling ahead those without rollerboards - guessing someone is guesstimating pax & baggage weight). Rinse & repeat until Pilot says stop. Any remaining pax get VDB or IDB as appropriate.

Happened to me once on USAir. Lingered too long in the lounge, they were already holding back passengers when I arrived at gate. Got bypassed due to my rollerboard. Look on the GA's face when he realized he IDB a CP on a very expensive short hop (200 miles) was priceless. Ended up gate hopping to try for a stand by slot instead of waiting for my confirmed last flight of the day from the lounge. But the check was sweet!
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Old Apr 17, 17, 9:18 pm
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 413
People, you simply vote with your wallets. I don't live in the US but visit now and then. I will never fly on United again and whilst me alone isn't going to make much difference, the collective amount of people who will book on other airlines (especially people from asia) will hurt United and their bottom line. Their financials over the next few months will be very interesting indeed
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Old Apr 17, 17, 9:20 pm
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I was a lucky recipient (1K)!

Given how carefully this message was vetted, you'd think the grammar/structure of the very first sentence would be better, no? As is, Oscar Munoz is calling himself one of UA's most valued customers.

Why not write, "as you are one of our most valued customers, I...."

That's the sort of thing that's going to lose my trust.
Kannai is offline  
Old Apr 17, 17, 9:24 pm
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: United Mileage Plus Premier
Posts: 710
I never get these emails from Oscar....but it is just words and what is really needed are actions. the 3411 event was everyone's fault, no one was right, the events related in this story are even more disturbing to me. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b01566972250cf. United has some serious issues, that is not new, there is an "us against them" culture that was cultivated by the previous leadership and it does not go away overnight. It took years to create it, it will take more years to repair the damage. In the mean time, people will keep flying UA because in too many cases, we no longer have other real options.
gene2632 is offline  
Old Apr 17, 17, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Mollyann500 View Post
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.
I remember getting a paper letter from then-CEO James Goodwin in September 2000, apologizing for the "summer from hell" labor meltdown. It, too, concluded with these words, more or less.

17 years later and they're still promising to change.

Nothing ever changes.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 9:41 pm
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
I'm sure that the rest of us will receive something soon. Email blasts like this take hours and hours to send ut.
Really? When they announced those MP devaluations, the emails seemed to hit everyone's accounts all at once...
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Old Apr 17, 17, 9:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Carl Johnson View Post
What I gather from comments that have been made in the thread is, the thread record for the UA thread is 6300 posts. I don't know what the record for fastest 6000 posts is, but I would guess that for UA, and maybe for all of flyertalk, it's likely this one. The incident happened on April 9.
I just happened to start read the comments when there were under 10 pages. And the pages were piling up about 5 times faster than I coul read.

Originally Posted by Ber2dca View Post
This is by no means uncommon. Don't think people working for tech companies know the EULAs for their products very well either. It's not something staff are encouraged to learn about either. Staff are given their procedures and that's that.

The last thing you want is your frontline staff thinking they're experts on your legal agreements and then get dragged into legal arguments with customers (who could be trained lawyers).
Heaven help us all if they're untrained lawyers.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
I remember getting a paper letter from then-CEO James Goodwin in September 2000, apologizing for the "summer from hell" labor meltdown. It, too, concluded with these words, more or less.

17 years later and they're still promising to change.

Nothing ever changes.
The CEOs have changed, if nothing else.
transportprof is offline  
Old Apr 17, 17, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
I'm sure that the rest of us will receive something soon. Email blasts like this take hours and hours to send ut.
Yep, no love for this 1K.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 11:10 pm
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Nothing in my email inbox yet....

My name is towards the end of the alphabet, does that make a difference?
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Old Apr 17, 17, 11:28 pm
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Indeed ... they just can't get their act together

Why just GS and 1K? Do they not care about the others?

Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
I think that's part of the culture problem at UA. He still doesn't get it.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 12:09 am
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Originally Posted by Carl Johnson View Post
What would be the passenger response to an announcement describing the situation and asking for volunteers? What would be the lowest passenger bid for a VDB, do you think?
Sure, but if there comes to be a law prohibiting deplaning passengers after boarding, if the airline follows the law, in this case they would be barred from even considering asking for volunteers so there would be no VDBs, much less IDBs. They would be legally compelled to go on with the departure, that's the point of the example complementing the original post. Same thing would happen if airlines voluntarily get to put this in the COC overriding other clauses that let them take passengers out, they would be breaching the COC if they did anything about this situation.

Some people are saying that, once boarded, passengers should be totally immune from deboarding either voluntary or involuntary for any reason whatsoever that is not related to safety or security. But it should make no sense to put a blanket and absolute ban on DBs just because passengers are boarded or because whatever. A multitude of unforeseen situations can happen and airlines should be able to decide if a situation merits doing VDBs or IDBs at any point, as long as there are clear guidelines that exemplify the kinds of situations and cause-effect relationships that merit so. Perhaps VDBs after boarding, or before boarding but with seats already assigned, and IDBs not due to overbooking, could be documented to the FAA (protecting passengers' privacy especially in medical situations) and such statistics published.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by Ocn Vw 1K View Post
WHQ has sent to 1Ks a round of email apologies and planned changes, as per the above post. Just received mine. Very similar to Oscar's message a few days ago to GSs.
1Ks aren't at much risk of being IDB'd though. Why limit comms to them?
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Old Apr 18, 17, 12:22 am
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
I also got "the letter" just now. It included Oscar's email address. I think I'll reply to him.
Don't expect any response anytime soon. I already sent an eMail to that address on April 12th and yet have to receive any response...

Greetings - Dirk
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