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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 19, 17, 2:47 pm
  #6271  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Volume and to some extent guaranteed spending come with the corporate contracts. It's the same reason they give good discounts in exchange for signing the corporate travel contracts.

The "no IDB for you" policy could be implicit or it could be a confidential provision of the individual contract.

Government fares are discounted and still have the no IDB provision. Others seem to accept it, if they're aware, including on routes that are heavy with government travelers.
One way a big corp could effectively get a "no IDB" provision would be to simply negotiate basic Premier Silver comps for their travelers. (That's how I got my first basic 2P status.) That takes your IDB probability to essentially zero.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:01 pm
  #6272  
 
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Wink The storm is coming

Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
But could there be action taken under the theory that United did not disclose what compensation individuals might be entitled to for denial of boarding, instead implying the most folks would get would be United vouchers rather than cash? Isn't there a requirement for a written document be provided to passengers about their rights ... I wonder if most gates even have copies of this document available to the GA? Was Dr. Dao told before he was dragged off that he would be entitled to compensation other than the $800 vouchers he had previously refused and is this a common occurrence?
United is going what into what I call the hurricane. Every hurricane always starts with a drop of water. That is the Dr. dao case. That case if they don't pay whatever the initial offer(id say 200 mil) is to settle will have MAJOR ramifications. The lawyer who is 6 stars will show a pattern of this behavior. They will bring in IDB people from other flights to tell their story to show that pattern during Daos case to inflict maximum damage.

Then comes the initial part of the storm. 69 passengers have major trauma including children that will haunt them till the end of their days. Children are under psychiatric evaluation on a daily basis. They have started failing school, feel there is no reason to live due to how the new society they witness works. Experts come in. Doctors. More lawyers.
Each case is settled. The will be tried individually over time to maximize news coverage. Major payouts for all average 2 mil each * 69 people. 138 mil.

Say they go to trial, they don't pay the massive sum initially offered. They get the pattern of malice they are looking for. The Dao case ends. Now comes the maximum winds near the eyewall. Category 5 here. 200 mph. They gather every single person on United that has this issue with IDB, pulled off a plane. File a class action. This will be in the hundreds of millions maybe even 500 mil or more. Especially if they determine its a breach of contract to offer it without telling them they don't have to, its on the airline. There is no eye in this storm. No relief just constant pummeling.

You have to stop the first drop. That is what the United's defensive team right now is telling their board. Pay whatever sum they want. Otherwise your going to get blown away and drown.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:01 pm
  #6273  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
One way a big corp could effectively get a "no IDB" provision would be to simply negotiate basic Premier Silver comps for their travelers. (That's how I got my first basic 2P status.) That takes your IDB probability to essentially zero.
I wonder if that is the case @ hubs like SFO, IAH, etc?

Some of my flights @sfo have almost nobody in groups 3-4-5.

Of course, you generally only need a couple of volunteers, so anybody in 4 or 5 will do

Also the numbers would start to add up when some companies (like mine) have >50k employees worldwide, and many who travel. Not sure how many silvers are left - I think at one point the estimate was 1 million Silvers but that was pre-merger with CO.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:21 pm
  #6274  
 
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Originally Posted by nitzer View Post
United is going what into what I call the hurricane. Every hurricane always starts with a drop of water. That is the Dr. dao case. That case if they don't pay whatever the initial offer(id say 200 mil) is to settle will have MAJOR ramifications. The lawyer who is 6 stars will show a pattern of this behavior. They will bring in IDB people from other flights to tell their story to show that pattern during Daos case to inflict maximum damage.

Then comes the initial part of the storm. 69 passengers have major trauma including children that will haunt them till the end of their days. Children are under psychiatric evaluation on a daily basis. They have started failing school, feel there is no reason to live due to how the new society they witness works. Experts come in. Doctors. More lawyers.
Each case is settled. The will be tried individually over time to maximize news coverage. Major payouts for all average 2 mil each * 69 people. 138 mil.

Say they go to trial, they don't pay the massive sum initially offered. They get the pattern of malice they are looking for. The Dao case ends. Now comes the maximum winds near the eyewall. Category 5 here. 200 mph. They gather every single person on United that has this issue with IDB, pulled off a plane. File a class action. This will be in the hundreds of millions maybe even 500 mil or more. Especially if they determine its a breach of contract to offer it without telling them they don't have to, its on the airline. There is no eye in this storm. No relief just constant pummeling.

You have to stop the first drop. That is what the United's defensive team right now is telling their board. Pay whatever sum they want. Otherwise your going to get blown away and drown.
I was speaking with a friend of mine about this case, and he told me a few months ago he was denied boarding because of a weight and balance issue. He was not offered anything in the way of compensation by the gate agent, and when he insisted he should get something a supervisor was called who gave him a voucher for United. I suspect that investigation is going to show that gate agents have been prompted to not disclose the actual compensation required for IDB, and instead have been directed to push these vouchers.

Should be interesting.

I'm also interested in seeing how a suit is settled with the airport police, because if airlines can no longer leverage the threat of physical force to have passengers cave in to the offers, that will completely take away their ability to force passengers to disembark due to situations such as these.

http://www.seattletimes.com/life/tra...h-go-for-cash/

Above is an article discussing problems with the actual value of these vouchers.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:29 pm
  #6275  
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A friend of mine whose job puts him in frequent contact with senior management of all US airlines told me the other day that no one in the industry is gloating at United's expense. One very senior exec told him "this isn't just bad for United, it's bad for all of us."
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:51 pm
  #6276  
 
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Wink The future

Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
I was speaking with a friend of mine about this case, and he told me a few months ago he was denied boarding because of a weight and balance issue. He was not offered anything in the way of compensation by the gate agent, and when he insisted he should get something a supervisor was called who gave him a voucher for United. I suspect that investigation is going to show that gate agents have been prompted to not disclose the actual compensation required for IDB, and instead have been directed to push these vouchers.

Should be interesting.

I'm also interested in seeing how a suit is settled with the airport police, because if airlines can no longer leverage the threat of physical force to have passengers cave in to the offers, that will completely take away their ability to force passengers to disembark due to situations such as these.
I believe IDB will be extinct after all this. VDB on the other hand will be alive and well. We are a capitalist society and both republicans and democrats alike get along here. I own the seat I payed for. The airline wants it, this is how much its worth to me. You can probably enter that in when you purchase you ticket. Your going to miss your own wedding 100k. Its just a 2 day business trip 3k, instead of holiday inn its the ritz carlton executive suite.

Overbooking will be gone as we know it. They can book to maximum. There will be, or already is a rule that if you have not checked 45 minutes before the flight they can put someone else in your seat. If they do add a passenger and he gets your empty seat. They refund you the price of your ticket. No double dipping. Again I might not be there but I paid for the seat and its non refundable. The new passenger bill of rights will state this. I own the seat till it reaches the destination. Period. You want it, it will cost you what i paid, its not free.

The longer the trial goes and the announcements go out about how the real operations work. The more congress, dot, faa will change the system. Public opinion will force it.

Due to 9/11 I don't think much will happen as far as the police. The only thing that will come of this is that they will be trained better on what questions to ask in order to determine if they need to be there, including talking to the passenger. Also the airline must be required to charge the passenger with a crime, i mean like right then and there. That way they have their back covered. Anything else and you have what is going on now. If they did that here and United dropped the suit. United would be guilty 100% for this and the cop not so much.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:02 pm
  #6277  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
A friend of mine whose job puts him in frequent contact with senior management of all US airlines told me the other day that no one in the industry is gloating at United's expense. One very senior exec told him "this isn't just bad for United, it's bad for all of us."
Probably because they all have these little small-print rules, unwritten rules, various shadow policies and behaviors that will now be broadcast across North America and China.

If the Dr. Dao case goes to trial it will be a media story for awhile. Even though UA might be technically 'within the rights of the CoC' to remove someone, doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.

The threat of the class action lawsuit is particularly terrifying for the airline industry. A media firestorm of broken promises, missed events and bad service.


........meanwhile at the Dao lawyers office

Caller - Hello, I am looking for information on a class action lawsuit and if I can be apart of it, I also was mistreated.
Lawyers secretary - Certainly, your name please?
Caller - Joe Smith
Lawyers secretary - What I can do is take your name and details and we will contact you


10 minutes later

Caller - Hello, I am looking for information on a class action lawsuit and if I can be apart of it, I also was mistreated.
Lawyers secretary - Certainly, your name please?
Caller - Murray Bannerman
Lawyers secretary - What I can do is take your name and details and we will contact you


10 minutes later


Caller - Hello, I am looking for information on a class action lawsuit and if I can be apart of it, I also was mistreated.
Lawyers secretary - Certainly, your name please?
Caller - Ying Hoon Chan
Lawyers secretary - How soon can you come down, we'd love to talk to you.



United is going to lose very badly on this. I really hope Dr. Dao takes them for a lot, including a genuine public apology and absolute new policies and rules for situations of overbooking and denied boardings.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:06 pm
  #6278  
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Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
I suspect that investigation is going to show that gate agents have been prompted to not disclose the actual compensation required for IDB, and instead have been directed to push these vouchers.
It would take those lawyers about a half a beer to show UA front-liners routinely conceal a customer's options and benefits, hoping not to have to give out what they're obligated to give out.

If you take a bump, UA hope you don't know enough to specify cash and will accept worthless vouchers. If you're on a mech delay, UA hopes you won't ask for food, etc. vouchers. If you misconnect, UA hopes you'll buy the "bad weather" line and not press for a hotel. If you're stranded but there's a suitable alternative itinerary on another carrier, UA will claim you can't be booked over and hope you believe it. If things go south in Europe, UA hopes you don't know to invoke Reg 261/2004.

UA is always playing chess against you. Nothing is volunteered. Everyone knows this.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:07 pm
  #6279  
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Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
I was speaking with a friend of mine about this case, and he told me a few months ago he was denied boarding because of a weight and balance issue. He was not offered anything in the way of compensation by the gate agent, and when he insisted he should get something a supervisor was called who gave him a voucher for United. I suspect that investigation is going to show that gate agents have been prompted to not disclose the actual compensation required for IDB, and instead have been directed to push these vouchers.
dot says airlines don't have to pay for idb if safety or w+b concerns on certain small aircraft (i think up to 50 seats?)
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:23 pm
  #6280  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
One way a big corp could effectively get a "no IDB" provision would be to simply negotiate basic Premier Silver comps for their travelers. (That's how I got my first basic 2P status.) That takes your IDB probability to essentially zero.
Good point. I wonder the extent to which UA is currently doing this.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:23 pm
  #6281  
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Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
I was speaking with a friend of mine about this case, and he told me a few months ago he was denied boarding because of a weight and balance issue. He was not offered anything in the way of compensation by the gate agent, and when he insisted he should get something a supervisor was called who gave him a voucher for United.
I've experienced almst exactly the same thing only in my case I was already on-board when they redid W&B.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:31 pm
  #6282  
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Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
I was speaking with a friend of mine about this case, and he told me a few months ago he was denied boarding because of a weight and balance issue. He was not offered anything in the way of compensation by the gate agent, and when he insisted he should get something a supervisor was called who gave him a voucher for United. I suspect that investigation is going to show that gate agents have been prompted to not disclose the actual compensation required for IDB, and instead have been directed to push these vouchers.

Should be interesting.

I'm also interested in seeing how a suit is settled with the airport police, because if airlines can no longer leverage the threat of physical force to have passengers cave in to the offers, that will completely take away their ability to force passengers to disembark due to situations such as these.

http://www.seattletimes.com/life/tra...h-go-for-cash/

Above is an article discussing problems with the actual value of these vouchers.
Unless it was a very small aircraft and therefore exempt from IDB compensation for weight and balance issues, the friend can still demand the cash. He should be able to do this either if he wasn't advised in writing of his rights to compensation or if he didn't sign a statement accepting the voucher as his compensation.

If UA has been advising GAs and supervisors to behave this way, it's evil.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:41 pm
  #6283  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Government fares are discounted and still have the no IDB provision. Others seem to accept it, if they're aware, including on routes that are heavy with government travelers.
It's incorrect that there is a "no IDB provision" for government tickets (either full Y or discounted coach). I've personally witnessed government travelers being IDB'd (never happened to me though).

The provision for government travelers and IDBs is that we're not allowed to accept IDB compensation - it must be returned to the airline or not accepted. We are allowed to volunteer and accept VDB compensation however.

[and now back to your regularly scheduled thread]
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:46 pm
  #6284  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Unless it was a very small aircraft and therefore exempt from IDB compensation for weight and balance issues, the friend can still demand the cash. He should be able to do this either if he wasn't advised in writing of his rights to compensation or if he didn't sign a statement accepting the voucher as his compensation.

If UA has been advising GAs and supervisors to behave this way, it's evil.
Delta got in big trouble for this in 2012 https://www.transportation.gov/brief...ensation-rules Which is part of why their VDB policies are better at this point, they were trying to keep their noses clean.

If the OP's friend was not on a 50 seater, he should file a DOT complaint. DOT will want to hear about this.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 4:51 pm
  #6285  
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Originally Posted by DrPSB View Post
I was speaking with a friend of mine about this case, and he told me a few months ago he was denied boarding because of a weight and balance issue. He was not offered anything in the way of compensation by the gate agent, and when he insisted he should get something a supervisor was called who gave him a voucher for United. I suspect that investigation is going to show that gate agents have been prompted to not disclose the actual compensation required for IDB, and instead have been directed to push these vouchers.
If it's for w&b on a small plane (<=60 seats), they don't have to pay anything, script or cash.
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