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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, 7:50 pm
  #6301  
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Originally Posted by wolf72 View Post
I really would like to know the names of the GA who were responsible for this and for their faces to be shown to the world...the world deserves to know who these people are by name and face so we can see true evil.
Fortunately the agent is represented by a union, which could provide her counsel if needed, but hasn't Mr Munoz already said her job is safe? Doesn't look like he agrees with you on the "true evil" part, that's for sure.

If this happened in Brunei, would she be extended the same courtesies if employed by an airline there, or would there be a rush to get her fired and off the property without any due process?
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:01 pm
  #6302  
 
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Originally Posted by cur View Post
-ceo, trying to keep boosting morale, "takes care of employees" by saying he has their back in this situation.
I agree this, and I would have done the same if I were in this situation.

But this was not what Oscar did. He attacked the customer first without getting all the facts. I don't think he knew back then whether the GA followed the SOP or not. The safest thing is to offer his sympathy and say that he believes all United employees are trying their best to serve our customer. A generic statement can calm everyone down. Why adding more fuel to the fire? Because now people would think that Oscar was lied to. Who lied to him about the customer being disruptive and belligerent? Who else? I think this puts the GA in a much worse situation.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:03 pm
  #6303  
 
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I have deliberately stayed out of this debate - I share many of the concerns, and am not so eloquent.

But one different data point on the 'PR gaffe'/'tonedeafness' angle.

I was pleased/reassured to receive an email from OM on Monday pledging to do better ... and thought to respond *very briefly* to GS making three simple points

1) Like many, I had been horrified by the videos (irrespective of right/wrongs, etc)
2) I was then further disturbed by the tone-deafness of United's original responses.
3) I thanked United for changing their tone, and hoped that the email I had just received was a sign that work was continuing to ensure neither United colleagues nor passengers were ever placed in a similar position again

Need I say that over two days later, I have yet to receive a reply?

I don't claim my points were particularly original, but some acknowledgement ...
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:11 pm
  #6304  
 
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Fortunately the agent is represented by a union, which could provide her counsel if needed, but hasn't Mr Munoz already said her job is safe? Doesn't look like he agrees with you on the "true evil" part, that's for sure.
I'll skirt the whole evil discussion part but this is exactly why airlines are terrible in the US- there's no accountability in the end. Most UA loyalists in this (and the other fallout) thread are secretly wishing for this to just blow over without any real, systematic change- and if the passengers think that way I wouldn't be surprised that employees and corporate are banking on that too.

And yes you'd be fired in Asia for not doing your job well- what a novel concept these days...
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:12 pm
  #6305  
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Originally Posted by HoyaSFOIAD View Post
Honest question: do you actually believe the GAs (who by the way did not lay a hand on Dr. Dao) fit the definition of "true evil"? Seems like an incredibly low bar if so.
A lot of people I know, me included have talked about this and are amazed none of the UA ground staff have been named. They have remained out of the spotlight and UA is covering up for them and protecting them which we think (and I think) is wrong.

If the good doctor can have his name dragged through the mud, it is time the UA staff who caused this mess were named..the flight operations officer right down to the flight crew (pilots included) and ground staff including which person/individual was responsible for targeting the 68 year old passenger.

It is only fair.

Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Fortunately the agent is represented by a union, which could provide her counsel if needed, but hasn't Mr Munoz already said her job is safe? Doesn't look like he agrees with you on the "true evil" part, that's for sure.

If this happened in Brunei, would she be extended the same courtesies if employed by an airline there, or would there be a rush to get her fired and off the property without any due process?
I am american by the way. Just because a person lives and work's overseas, doesn't mean they are a different race, color or breed.

And there are no unions in RBA. The manager and staff in questioned would have been brought before a management tribunal after an investigation was carried out and they would have been named in the media.

Originally Posted by HoyaSFOIAD View Post
Honest question: do you actually believe the GAs (who by the way did not lay a hand on Dr. Dao) fit the definition of "true evil"? Seems like an incredibly low bar if so.

Sadly, over the 30 years of flying I have done both home and abroad with american airliners and the way passengers get treated/talked down to has left me with a very very low opinion of american service staff working for airlines and working on airliners.

Sorry to disappoint you but what happened with the good doctor was going to happen one day, and it did.

I could go ahead and list examples from the past 10 years of passengers being badly mistreated by FA's and GA's..but I don't think its neccessary. Everyone knows what kind of a reputation our GA's and FA's have as it is...and it isn't very pleasant reading.

Some how, our culture and our way of doing things has become so anti-customer service..people in the airlines have forgotten simple humane ways to treat passengers...and how to be pleasant and to just be rational and sensible in how they go about doing their jobs.

A large percentage of those hired to work in the airline industry would not get hired to work in the hotel line because they are simply too arrogant, too stuck up and do not have the qualities needed for customer service...but they are hired none the less because of low standards.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 19, 17 at 9:51 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member -- please use multi-quote
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:19 pm
  #6306  
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Originally Posted by Enhancements View Post
And yes you'd be fired in Asia for not doing your job well- what a novel concept these days...
Well, in the particular incident we're discussing today, it's not clear that the agent deserves any discipline at all and may have been following published UA policy. Hard to fire someone who is following company policy and has the public support of the CEO. I would hope the same would hold for UA employees in Asia.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:20 pm
  #6307  
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Originally Posted by Enhancements View Post
I'll skirt the whole evil discussion part but this is exactly why airlines are terrible in the US- there's no accountability in the end. Most UA loyalists in this (and the other fallout) thread are secretly wishing for this to just blow over without any real, systematic change- and if the passengers think that way I wouldn't be surprised that employees and corporate are banking on that too.

And yes you'd be fired in Asia for not doing your job well- what a novel concept these days...

For better or for worse, the unions are at times, the big big problem.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:27 pm
  #6308  
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Originally Posted by wolf72 View Post
And there are no unions in RBA. The manager and staff in questioned would have been brought before a management tribunal after an investigation was carried out and they would have been named in the media.
Well, glad I'm not an airline employee in Brunei. Doesn't sound like airline employees there would have the level of protection/legal representation, airline employees have in the U.S. Just not sure of the need to publicize airline employees name immediately and who, exactly, that benefits. If I was the employee,and had followed written protocols, I would not want my name out there while a police investigation and internal investigation might still be underway.

If Mr. Munoz hadn't offered his support, the UA gate agent may very well have been in need of union appointed legal representation. She still may need legal help, which UA should provide as her employer, on any civil cases going forward.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
Well, in the particular incident we're discussing today, it's not clear that the agent deserves any discipline at all and may have been following published UA policy. Hard to fire someone who is following company policy and has the public support of the CEO. I would hope the same would hold for UA employees in Asia.
We really don't know whether the GA was doing his/her job properly. It would be nice to have more transparency. There's a lot we don't know. I hope the particulars come out at Mr. Dao's trial, if there is one.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:00 pm
  #6310  
 
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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.
Your numbers are much too big. If I were on that plane and witnessed the incident, I wouldn't have any claim for any trauma caused by witnessing it. I'd feel indignation, but not any kind of danger or anxiety. Your 200 million figure, I think it would be malpractice for a lawyer to recommend sticking at a demand like that and going to trial in the face of a reasonable offer. And the 2 million figure, no witness has any claim anywhere near that size.

Dr. Dao's responsibility is to himself. He has no obligation to onlookers, he has no obligation to crusade for justice. He should make his own choices. As soon as he asks my opinion, I'll think the matter over and tell him what I think. But I'm not sitting by my phone waiting for it to ring.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:09 pm
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Originally Posted by HoyaSFOIAD View Post
Honest question: do you actually believe the GAs (who by the way did not lay a hand on Dr. Dao) fit the definition of "true evil"? Seems like an incredibly low bar if so.
That information is not any kind of information I can use to benefit myself or help me to make any decision about anything, and it is certain that releasing it will cause thousands of people to contact this person and make nasty remarks and disparage her to other people, and there is a significant risk that it will put her in real physical danger.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Carl Johnson View Post
Your numbers are much too big. If I were on that plane and witnessed the incident, I wouldn't have any claim for any trauma caused by witnessing it. I'd feel indignation, but not any kind of danger or anxiety. Your 200 million figure, I think it would be malpractice for a lawyer to recommend sticking at a demand like that and going to trial in the face of a reasonable offer. And the 2 million figure, no witness has any claim anywhere near that size.

Dr. Dao's responsibility is to himself. He has no obligation to onlookers, he has no obligation to crusade for justice. He should make his own choices. As soon as he asks my opinion, I'll think the matter over and tell him what I think. But I'm not sitting by my phone waiting for it to ring.
While the figures may not be as high as suggested, they will be much higher than most think. And I do think the others on board will have a case as well. People sue and settle for much less..
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Old Apr 19, 17, 10:20 pm
  #6313  
 
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Originally Posted by Carl Johnson View Post
That information is not any kind of information I can use to benefit myself or help me to make any decision about anything, and it is certain that releasing it will cause thousands of people to contact this person and make nasty remarks and disparage her to other people, and there is a significant risk that it will put her in real physical danger.
Did you mean to quote the poster I was quoting? You and I are in total agreement. I think the GA was just following procedure and that releasing their name is lunacy.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 10:26 pm
  #6314  
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Originally Posted by HoyaSFOIAD View Post
Did you mean to quote the poster I was quoting? You and I are in total agreement. I think the GA was just following procedure and that releasing their name is lunacy.
But releasing the passenger's name because he was asian was not lunancy right?

Amazing logic!
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Old Apr 19, 17, 10:32 pm
  #6315  
 
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Originally Posted by Carl Johnson View Post
That information is not any kind of information I can use to benefit myself or help me to make any decision about anything, and it is certain that releasing it will cause thousands of people to contact this person and make nasty remarks and disparage her to other people, and there is a significant risk that it will put her in real physical danger.
I have been very constructively critical of United on this situation, but executive management and the board created the culture at United. There is no need to bring the gate agent's names into this. The fish rots from the head, and that is Munoz, executive management and the board.

There are a lot of crazy people in this country and you don't want to condemn violence by generating more violence by releasing agent's names.

When you get to people 60 and over there is a good chance their health may not be amenable to an IDB, and may even risk committing prohibited disability discrimination. And when you are dealing with a doctor, in terms of "the greater good," he may have patients who waited months for an appointment, so his IDB could have possibly created the risk of serious harm to some patients.

The police or security officers names are likely to be brought up though.
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