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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 21, 17, 5:19 pm
  #6421  
 
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I find this particularly relevant...or ironic. PR team at UA could have handled this wildly different. Culture and C-Suite is also relevant but..

http://www.prweek.com/article/143120...era-ceo-hubris

"The best way to avoid having some poor PR officer dig a company out of a morass is not to create one in the first place through CEO hubris. Ethics has to be in the captain’s chair, driving all of the decisions of an organization from the CEO’s statements to the way front-line employees interact with the public. Putting respect back in the equation through encouraging CEOs to use ethical and servant leadership styles might stop the crisis of hubris that is at hand."
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Old Apr 21, 17, 6:00 pm
  #6422  
 
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
When you think you're just expressing yourself, but a gate agent or FA tells her supervisor or a LEO you appeared "threatening," it's he-said, she-said, and game over, you lose.

This is the standard dynamic in customer interactions with airline employees. Has been for years. You have no leverage.
Except now there are camera phones everywhere and the dynamic is changing.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 6:57 pm
  #6423  
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Originally Posted by bergamini View Post
Except now there are camera phones everywhere and the dynamic is changing.
And they rarely capture the whole story.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 10:35 pm
  #6424  
 
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Originally Posted by mdkowals View Post
The captain may liable. If aviation law really is pulled heavily from maritime law (which in turn pulls in a lot of military concepts), then the captain is responsible for everything on that happens onboard that vessel, and it really doesn't matter whether or not the captain knew specifically of this incident.


Note the terms "Captain" and "First Officer" and the military-like ranking bars they wear on their shoulders. The leadership argument would be that the captain sets the expectations with the flight crew (another borrowed military concept), including the flight attendants. It was therefore the captain's lack of leadership that prevented the flight attendants from intervening when the gate agent (a guest on the captain's vessel) went rogue and called the cops.


For the overwhelming amount of commercial air travel, the Captain is just the pilot, and the First Officer is just the co-pilot. They are executing the "job" of flying an airline and "job" of Captain and First Officer. But it really wouldn't be surprising of those military roots aren't buried in a whole lot of places in the legal realm and wouldn't creep right back up in a case like this.
A highly dubious set of speculations.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 11:14 pm
  #6425  
 
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire View Post
I find this particularly relevant...or ironic. PR team at UA could have handled this wildly different. Culture and C-Suite is also relevant but..

http://www.prweek.com/article/143120...era-ceo-hubris

"The best way to avoid having some poor PR officer dig a company out of a morass is not to create one in the first place through CEO hubris. Ethics has to be in the captain’s chair, driving all of the decisions of an organization from the CEO’s statements to the way front-line employees interact with the public. Putting respect back in the equation through encouraging CEOs to use ethical and servant leadership styles might stop the crisis of hubris that is at hand."
I am not certain it is an issue of ethics. We don't know for certain but I would not be surprised if the CEO was briefed and his first response sound reasonable to him until the video came out. Once the video came out the reaction was oh-my-god what did we do.

They did not prioritise meeting their commitment to get this customer safely to his final destination on time over a host of other things going on. As a customer that is a key attribute of why I chose to give an airline my money. They missed the mark. I think that is a customer experience issue.

This security force or police force or what ever the correct term you have in the US for United airlines bouncers is a different story. They clearly have an ethics problem.
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Old Apr 21, 17, 11:17 pm
  #6426  
 
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Originally Posted by erlich View Post
A highly dubious set of speculations.
In the video where United airlines officials testified to a Chicago city council committee, United airlines clearly said the captain is in charge and that the captain was not the person who called for the security people to show up.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:03 am
  #6427  
 
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Details are still coming in but it looks like AA employees haven't learned much from UA's actions in the past few weeks.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...-incident.html

Hopefully UA staff have gotten the clue by now.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:14 am
  #6428  
 
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Statement from United AFA MEC:

http://unitedafa.org/news/details.aspx?id=18776
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Old Apr 22, 17, 12:19 am
  #6429  
 
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Originally Posted by JOSECONLSCREW28 View Post
"First and foremost, Flight Attendants had no role in this event and never would."

Maybe this is part of the problem. Should they have intervened if the GA and captain were unwilling or unable to in a "never" event that "should never take place against any person on our planes"? Seems if their primary role is safety they would/should intervene if the safety of a pax is threatened by "an event of violence [that] should never take place"?
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Old Apr 22, 17, 2:38 am
  #6430  
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Originally Posted by MahiMahi524 View Post
"First and foremost, Flight Attendants had no role in this event and never would."

Maybe this is part of the problem. Should they have intervened if the GA and captain were unwilling or unable to in a "never" event that "should never take place against any person on our planes"? Seems if their primary role is safety they would/should intervene if the safety of a pax is threatened by "an event of violence [that] should never take place"?

If the doors are still open, GA's still have a final say on boarding/disembarkation of passengers and the final flight manifest to hand over the the technical crew flying the aircraft including weight/fuel/number of souls, no?
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Old Apr 22, 17, 5:16 am
  #6431  
 
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Originally Posted by joder View Post
Details are still coming in but it looks like AA employees haven't learned much from UA's actions in the past few weeks.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...-incident.html

Hopefully UA staff have gotten the clue by now.
Compare AA's immediate reaction to UA's:

"The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care," the statement added. "In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.”

American Airlines added that they took "special care" of the woman and her family, and upgraded them to "first class for the remainder of their international trip."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ion/100779840/
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Old Apr 22, 17, 6:54 am
  #6432  
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And Munoz should be gone. The brass neck of untouchable CEOs never ceases to amaze me. I would be ashamed to back Munoz like the board is doing.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 7:57 am
  #6433  
 
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Compare AA's immediate reaction to UA's:

"The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care," the statement added. "In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.”

American Airlines added that they took "special care" of the woman and her family, and upgraded them to "first class for the remainder of their international trip."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ion/100779840/
Interesting to watch this video. Things that were different from the UA incident:
- The AA Captain was out of the cockpit, and listening to both sides of the story.
- Other passengers were sticking up for the passenger who was being mistreated.
- When a male passenger threatened the FA who allegedly mistreated the passenger, the Captain did not overreact and throw the male passenger off the plane for being "belligerent". He clearly knew that someone on his crew was at least partially responsible.
- In contrast to what Muñoz did, AA management removed the employee from duty while the situation is investigated, and hasn't made public statements about what may have happened before all of the facts come in.

Last edited by STS-134; Apr 22, 17 at 8:22 am Reason: I believe the guy out of the cockpit was the Captain. I can see 4 stripes on his uniform.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 8:11 am
  #6434  
 
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Interesting to watch this video. Things that were different from the UA incident:
- The AA Captain or First Officer was out of the cockpit, and listening to both sides of the story.
- Other passengers were sticking up for the passenger who was being mistreated.
- When a male passenger threatened the FA who allegedly mistreated the passenger, the Captain/First Officer did not overreact and throw the male passenger off the plane for being "belligerent". He clearly knew that someone on his crew was at least partially responsible.
- In contrast to what Muñoz did, AA management removed the employee from duty while the situation is investigated, and hasn't made public statements about what may have happened before all of the facts come in.
What I like about the AA response (that was missing in the UA response) is that AA clearly indicated we have certain values and we expect out people to live up to them. Positive move in setting clear expectations.
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Old Apr 22, 17, 8:39 am
  #6435  
 
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
AA clearly indicated we have certain values and we expect out people to live up to them.
The problem isn't that United didn't live up to its values. The problem is that it did. Values like:
  1. A dollar today is more important than many dollars in the future.
  2. The job of the GA is to follow the rules, not apply common sense.
  3. Rules can be bent for employees, but must be rigidly adhered to for customers.
  4. Passengers are, if not exactly the enemy, an unavoidable nuisance.
  5. It's OK to misidentify a complaining passenger as a threat to the plane's safety.

United decided that it was cheaper to IDB passengers than to let VDB compensation get too high, and if the passenger complained, send security over to remove him. Then the crew on the spot felt, for whatever reason or past instruction, that the same procedure should be used inside a tiny metal tube. With entirely foreseeable results.
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