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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 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 18, 17, 12:12 pm
  #6181  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
So, if nothing else, the Dao incident, with all the other ones in the press piled on in the last week may spell the end of the Munoz era. But who UA get? Will they be better? Will they be worse?
I can answer the first question with 110% certainty: Scott Kirby. As to the second? Hard to judge. I was impressed with what Kirby said on the 1Q call today, he gets the problem, but how he fixes it? No idea. How much he follows Parker's approach at AA (which has not worked out so great) is unclear.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 12:22 pm
  #6182  
 
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Originally Posted by Bear4Asian View Post
This is very depressing to read. If it's true about the entrenched employees in control why would anyone want to lead the company. And how can it ever Change?

Ugh!
It was Jim (James) not Dick (Richard) Goodwin, and Gerrald Greenwald was NOT hated. He is/was the UA version of CO's Bethune. The unions did NOT force him out, he was there for the ESOP, the ESOP was ending, they did reject/veto his hand picked successor, Edwardson though. The Allegis (Ferris) deal was bad timing, it was a failure not due to being undermined, but due to over committing in the travel industry expansion at a time where the entire industry's economy retracted. Instead of a managed exposure on a single front, it expanded the exposure to hotels and car rentals as well, not a good thing when the entire sector retracts.

Glenn Tilton was no employee protector. Federal laws were changed after him to NOT allow the same style pension raiding he did.

Noone turned on Smisek, he was not liked by UA (the larger of the 2 entities) from day 1. The CO employees, saw him as the heir to Bethune, but they quickly learned he was not.

Last edited by fastair; Apr 18, 17 at 12:27 pm
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Old Apr 18, 17, 12:27 pm
  #6183  
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Originally Posted by Rdenney View Post
Everyone will willingly sell back their seat at some price. The challenge here was to find the four (out of 70) that were willing to sell it back most cheaply. For the right price, I'll take a day of leave if necessary, if I'm not specifically obligated the next day.
Airline X wants to buy your seat. In doing so you will have to overnight at airport Xray and miss a day of work tomorrow.

I value my time. So I would need compensation for a lost day of work or lost day of leave. I would need reasonable accommodations for the night plus meals since I won't be home, ground transportation, and a flight accommodation for at least the same cabin for the next days flight.

If the airline wants the seat they need to step up and make it right.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 12:27 pm
  #6184  
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Moderator note.

While the growing number of posts meta-discussing the airline's different CEOs are interesting in the apt thread, they're taking this thread more off-topic. Let's refocus on the issues immediately surrounding the UA 3411 incident on 9 April 2017. Thanks, Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 1:53 pm
  #6185  
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I have seen discussions wondering if any United employee involved in Dr. Dao being removed from his flight would be fired. Apparently the answer is NO.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...bacle-ceo-says

United Continental Holdings Inc. won’t fire anyone over last week’s incident in which a passenger was dragged off a plane, an episode that sparked worldwide condemnation of the airline.

“It was a system failure across various areas, so there was never a consideration for firing an employee or anyone around it,” Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz said Tuesday on a conference call with analysts. He acknowledged “lots of conjecture” about his own fate at the nation’s third-largest carrier and said “the buck stops here.”
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Old Apr 18, 17, 1:55 pm
  #6186  
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So it's OK for a UA employee to lie (or at least misstate the facts if you prefer) about the details of an incident that leads to an enormous amount of bad publicity?
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Old Apr 18, 17, 2:38 pm
  #6187  
 
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A smoldering hellscape. Love the language and the visual image. Nice post.

See Forbes article on UA's systemic abuse of its customers: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhar.../#6da1754cbb10

I have maintained for years that UAL's employees would be much happier if they could fly empty airplanes around the globe, without all those pesky passengers. I have pledged to help them attain that happy state.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 2:46 pm
  #6188  
 
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Originally Posted by Ocn Vw 1K View Post
While the growing number of posts meta-discussing the airline's different CEOs are interesting in the apt thread, they're taking this thread more off-topic. Let's refocus on the issues immediately surrounding the UA 3411 incident on 9 April 2017. Thanks, Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator.
Agreed, but that might be a good topic for a separate thread, the UA & CO CEOs and how they led / delayed - us to the current toxic situation at the merged United.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 3:03 pm
  #6189  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
It was Jim (James) not Dick (Richard) Goodwin, and Gerrald Greenwald was NOT hated. He is/was the UA version of CO's Bethune. The unions did NOT force him out, he was there for the ESOP, the ESOP was ending, they did reject/veto his hand picked successor, Edwardson though. The Allegis (Ferris) deal was bad timing, it was a failure not due to being undermined, but due to over committing in the travel industry expansion at a time where the entire industry's economy retracted. Instead of a managed exposure on a single front, it expanded the exposure to hotels and car rentals as well, not a good thing when the entire sector retracts.

Glenn Tilton was no employee protector. Federal laws were changed after him to NOT allow the same style pension raiding he did.

Noone turned on Smisek, he was not liked by UA (the larger of the 2 entities) from day 1. The CO employees, saw him as the heir to Bethune, but they quickly learned he was not.
I don't get the sense Ferris ever really recovered from the 1985 pilot strike, and that really drove a wedge in mgmt / front line relations. He was gone in 2 years, Allegis was the 'excuse.'

Wolf eluded to it in his exit interview with the press - he had never seen such vitriol from people who didn't even know him yet. I think one pilot union labor leader in particular made things tough - forced the rejection of Greenwald's successor, etc.

And whatever blood brewed back then seems to have carried over, watered down some by the generations, but still very much in the United diaspora.

Some of it was circular, with labor leveraging the biggest pay increases late in economic expansions, right before the cycle turned, which only added to the distrust.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 3:39 pm
  #6190  
 
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
I'm still scratching my head on the basics. Ok, no other flights to SDF.

What about flights to LEX or CVG? What about flights from Midway. Was outside of the box thinking used at all?
Outside the box thinking not allowed. UA policies, to save money, encourage reroutes to remain on UA. And reimbursement for ground transport costs gets tricky as the amounts could be $$$.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 5:07 pm
  #6191  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
There is one, and only one group of people that can bring change to United, or any other airline for that matter. Yet they keep buying their tickets and accepting this level of service.

So it must not be all that bad for the majority.
The problem with this theory is that there is often a monopoly or duopoly on flights at many airports; for ORD-SDF, you're either going to fly American or United. If American is full, what real flying choice do you have? Moreover, it's not like a box pops up before you finalize the itinerary that says, "In the interests of transparency, please note that we price the last segment at $36, which means that if we IDB you on that leg, by law we'll owe you at most $144, no matter how much later the flight we put you on. If you disagree with us bumping you once you're seated, you'll get dragged off (gently, we hope)."

In the absence of real consumer power vis-a-vis airlines, regulations must set sensible standards.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 5:18 pm
  #6192  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
There is one, and only one group of people that can bring change to United, or any other airline for that matter. Yet they keep buying their tickets and accepting this level of service.
Do you mean congress or the elite ffp members?!!
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Old Apr 18, 17, 5:22 pm
  #6193  
 
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Originally Posted by rowingman View Post
See Forbes article on UA's systemic abuse of its customers: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhar.../#6da1754cbb10

I have maintained for years that UAL's employees would be much happier if they could fly empty airplanes around the globe, without all those pesky passengers. I have pledged to help them attain that happy state.
You or I should trust an article that can't even correctly state the year and method of Smisek's departure?

The author is clearly a hater than is going to hate. What he should be writing about is how DL's desire for "operational excellence" led to their biggest meltdown in history and subsequent fraud towards hundreds of thousands of customers. Instead he's only letting his extreme bias show.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 5:47 pm
  #6194  
 
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Originally Posted by GrokGrok View Post
The problem with this theory is that there is often a monopoly or duopoly on flights at many airports; for ORD-SDF, you're either going to fly American or United. If American is full, what real flying choice do you have? Moreover, it's not like a box pops up before you finalize the itinerary that says, "In the interests of transparency, please note that we price the last segment at $36, which means that if we IDB you on that leg, by law we'll owe you at most $144, no matter how much later the flight we put you on. If you disagree with us bumping you once you're seated, you'll get dragged off (gently, we hope)."

In the absence of real consumer power vis-a-vis airlines, regulations must set sensible standards.
1) MDW-SDF on Southwest
2) ORD-CLT-SDF on AA
3) ORD-ATL-SDF on Delta
4) ORD-MSP-SDF on Delta
5) ORD-DTW-SDF on Delta
6) If you originated anywhere else (like LAX for example), then the number of non-UA itineraries is exponentially more than just a flight from Chicago
7) if your destination is not really Louisville, KY, but some small town up to 100 miles away, then more options exist such as CVG or LEX or IND or EVV
8) car
9) bus
10) not bother with the trip at all

We don't need the government to try to help us, with the exception of stopping mergers of large airlines. This isn't Ma Bell where you need to break up a monopoly.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 6:06 pm
  #6195  
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Airline X wants to buy your seat. In doing so you will have to overnight at airport Xray and miss a day of work tomorrow.

I value my time. So I would need compensation for a lost day of work or lost day of leave. I would need reasonable accommodations for the night plus meals since I won't be home, ground transportation, and a flight accommodation for at least the same cabin for the next days flight.

If the airline wants the seat they need to step up and make it right.
Exactly, everyone has a price and as many have mentioned before this post, a few more hundred bucks and someone would have jumped at the offer. (I would have taken $1,400, maybe $1,200) That said, United decided to use local law enforcement muscle, put a passenger under huge duress, threatened jail time, threatened to be physically thrown off the plane, and then we all saw it happen - was manhandled, lifted over two seats then head slammed into the arm rest, lost teeth, suffered heavy concussion, bleeding profusely, carpet burns to the back and more. Can't wait for a court to determine whether the removal was in fact lawful, I doubt it is pursuant to IDB. That leads to breach of contract, as well as give rise to a tort claim. Hopefully lots of punitive damages awarded too but no doubt this will settle out of court.
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