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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 18, 17, 6:54 pm
  #6196  
 
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
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.
If it turns out to be lawful, would that mean UA has no fault in anything regarding this incident?
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Old Apr 18, 17, 6:59 pm
  #6197  
 
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
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.
Were any mainline UA employees directly involved in this whole fiasco? UX airplane operated by Republic, security provided by airport / city of Chicago, GA outsourced (?).

Many FTer's would point out that UX vs UA is a "distinction without a difference", and that may be true from a customer perspective. But from the point of view of UA trying to improve service, having so much of the customer-facing operation outsourced to third parties makes it hard to drive change.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 7:15 pm
  #6198  
 
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Originally Posted by GregoryGardner View Post
Were any mainline UA employees directly involved in this whole fiasco? UX airplane operated by Republic, security provided by airport / city of Chicago, GA outsourced (?).

Many FTer's would point out that UX vs UA is a "distinction without a difference", and that may be true from a customer perspective. But from the point of view of UA trying to improve service, having so much of the customer-facing operation outsourced to third parties makes it hard to drive change.
Not really. This is just a matter of changing IDB policies. A new flow chart should do it.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 7:22 pm
  #6199  
 
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Originally Posted by blueman2 View Post
Not saying they are right, but look at the quote:



Yes, they showed up after boarding was complete, but had put in the request 1 hour before hand. Oddly, the change Oscar made that crews must reserve 1 hour before hand, would NOT have changed this situation!
And this is why the GA went to the wall on getting them boarded. She messed up, forgot 4 crew were coming and let the whole plane board. Obviously, she should have held 4 seats before general boarding. Now it was not just UA Ops that messed up, it was HER butt on the line.
And UA corporate culture being what it's been...that's how we got here.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 7:24 pm
  #6200  
 
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Originally Posted by GregoryGardner View Post
Were any mainline UA employees directly involved in this whole fiasco? UX airplane operated by Republic, security provided by airport / city of Chicago, GA outsourced (?).

Many FTer's would point out that UX vs UA is a "distinction without a difference", and that may be true from a customer perspective. But from the point of view of UA trying to improve service, having so much of the customer-facing operation outsourced to third parties makes it hard to drive change.
Gate Agents at ORD are all mainline employees. No outsourced GAs.

Also reports that Management was involved, which is certainly UA as well.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 7:53 pm
  #6201  
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Just saw the guys lawyer talk. This will never see the inside of a courtroom.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 8:17 pm
  #6202  
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Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
If it turns out to be lawful, would that mean UA has no fault in anything regarding this incident?
It is not that simple though, just because you have a right to does not mean you can abuse that right either, examples including using unreasonable force, being negligent/careless.

But it is quite clear what the CEO thinks regarding this; "no one should ever be mistreated this way", "so this never happens again", and "we can't do that" are some things he has said that suggests what happened, should never happen at all or ever again (regardless of what right they had).

As I said, if this ever goes to Court, I do wish a decision can be made on the lawfulness of the eviction - this would make it black and white in terms of removal of a passenger once on the plane. It lets us passengers know for certain what our rights are once I am seated in my seat, just in case of that 1 in a 1,000,000 situation.

Anyway but I doubt it would end up that way though, this will definitely end up with an out of court settlement with large quantum, no admission of liability/fault on United's part and of course everything will be confidential and we can only speculate.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 8:51 pm
  #6203  
 
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It seems that this saga continues to have life on TV & radio. It made Saturday Night Live. The Sunday Morning political / major news type shows. Conservative talk radio on Monday. Tonight's evening news where Munoz said nobody will be fired (except maybe him) and too early to tell if bookings are down. I Goggled United and clicked on news. There was a story "United FA Slaps Child," turns out that was caught quickly and labelled as "Fake News." A business news story said not likely United will lose any money. Colbert & Falon took off last week so they lost a lot of good material.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 8:52 pm
  #6204  
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
It is not that simple though, just because you have a right to does not mean you can abuse that right either, examples including using unreasonable force, being negligent/careless.

But it is quite clear what the CEO thinks regarding this; "no one should ever be mistreated this way", "so this never happens again", and "we can't do that" are some things he has said that suggests what happened, should never happen at all or ever again (regardless of what right they had).

As I said, if this ever goes to Court, I do wish a decision can be made on the lawfulness of the eviction - this would make it black and white in terms of removal of a passenger once on the plane. It lets us passengers know for certain what our rights are once I am seated in my seat, just in case of that 1 in a 1,000,000 situation.

Anyway but I doubt it would end up that way though, this will definitely end up with an out of court settlement with large quantum, no admission of liability/fault on United's part and of course everything will be confidential and we can only speculate.
Do you think the authorities that actually caused the injuries are at fault in any way? I think a larger part of a settlement will come from that side. UA set it in motion, but they did not cause the actual physical injuries to Dr. Dao.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 9:01 pm
  #6205  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Do you think the authorities that actually caused the injuries are at fault in any way? I think a larger part of a settlement will come from that side. UA set it in motion, but they did not cause the actual physical injuries to Dr. Dao.
I agree. My personal prediction is that the agreement will be that liability is split up, something like 2% Dr Dao, 49% UA, 49% Chicago. Maybe Chicago pays more than UA because they are the ones who physically caused the injuries. But maybe UA pays more than Chicago because they are the ones who started it and told their goons to get him out.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 9:02 pm
  #6206  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Do you think the authorities that actually caused the injuries are at fault in any way? I think a larger part of a settlement will come from that side. UA set it in motion, but they did not cause the actual physical injuries to Dr. Dao.
Are these "authorities" in any way protected by government immunity to tort liability? United may be the deep pocket?

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...=58&ActID=2062
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Old Apr 18, 17, 9:06 pm
  #6207  
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Originally Posted by BF263533 View Post
Are these "authorities" in any way protected by government immunity to tort liability? United may be the deep pocket?

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...=58&ActID=2062
I have no idea, that's what the courts are for.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 9:38 pm
  #6208  
 
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Originally Posted by GregoryGardner View Post
Were any mainline UA employees directly involved in this whole fiasco? UX airplane operated by Republic, security provided by airport / city of Chicago, GA outsourced (?).

Many FTer's would point out that UX vs UA is a "distinction without a difference", and that may be true from a customer perspective. But from the point of view of UA trying to improve service, having so much of the customer-facing operation outsourced to third parties makes it hard to drive change.
UA is the organisation that sold the ticket to the passenger. I would think they are responsible for their sub-contractors (regionals and the security service they called and used).
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Old Apr 18, 17, 10:44 pm
  #6209  
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
UA is the organisation that sold the ticket to the passenger. I would think they are responsible for their sub-contractors (regionals and the security service they called and used).
The GA is a UA employee. She's the one who called the cops.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The GA is a UA employee. She's the one who called the cops.
It's still hard for me to get my arms around it being the fault of the person who called the cops. It's not like she said, "Please go in there and beat him"
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