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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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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 10, 17, 1:26 am
  #1  
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Man pulled off of overbooked flight UA3411 (ORD-SDF) 9 Apr 2017 {Settlement reached}

http://www.courier-journal.com/story...lle/100274374/
I get annoying pop ups on my iPad.


https://mobile.twitter.com/Tyler_Bri...14160042106880

Overbooked and they have to pull people off the plane? What a horrible way to run things.

And he gets back on somehow?
https://mobile.twitter.com/Tyler_Bri...663552/video/1

Love to get the inside story on this.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 1:57 am
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Definitely bad form for the gate agents to board passengers they may have to IDB, but the passenger should have gotten off the plane when asked. The FAA is not amused by passengers who fail to comply with crewmember instructions.

Last edited by BayAreaPilot; Apr 10, 17 at 2:12 am
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Old Apr 10, 17, 2:15 am
  #3  
 
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Horrible

Horrible experience - I cannot understand that an airline is doing this in front of all the passengers - glad that videos made available.

United this year as far as I can tell is doing a horrible job - experienced mechanical breakdowns this and last week. I can only recommend United CEO and executives to pay close attention to a deteriorating performance in 2017.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 2:19 am
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Reading the article I'm a bit confused. It says they needed four people to give up their seats because the flight was overbooked. But it also says they needed the seats for a crew going to SDF to work a flight in the morning....then also called them standby. If they were going to work a flight, they wouldn't be standby, they'd be deadheading. The only thing that would make sense would be that something happened last minute with whatever crew was supposed to work whatever SDF flight Monday morning, and needed to get a replacement crew there on this flight. But that would also mean that the flight wasn't actually technically overbooked with revenue passengers, just that the best way to inconvenience the least amount of people was to bump four people off this flight and get the crew on vs have to cancel or severely delay flight out of SDF tomorrow. That's always a crappy situation, but ultimately makes sense to me.

I suppose it's extremely rare that an airline is unable to find volunteers out of 50+ people, especially given the high money offers. I personally didn't even know what the procedure was for involuntarily denying boarding, but I can definitely see how it can cause a lot of tension. Then again, the flight could've been just as easily canceled for any number of reasons, and the net result would've been the same (worse, technically) for that individual passenger, so I don't quite understand the extreme reaction on his part.

All that said, that video looks horrible. The security officer seemed to go way overboard on the amount of force acceptable in removing the man, who didn't even seem to be aggressive. And to me that is by far the worst part of the entire situation. Which really had nothing to do with United, as he's unaffiliated with them...but yet it'll just be another negative story attached to United's name.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 2:31 am
  #5  
 
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A complete embarrassment for United, let alone a doctor trying to see patients. They should just increase the offer if that's the case.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 3:11 am
  #6  
 
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The pax shouldn't have resisted the crew or police officers. Not fun to get kicked off a plane but he could've taken one of several later flights and gotten to SDF with a minor delay the same night. Instead he got arrested.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 3:21 am
  #7  
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Question. If the airline suddenly discovers it needs 4 seats for a crew set to be sent somewhere, and then ask passengers to give up those seats AFTER they have boarded, doesn't the aircraft then:

-get delayed as the baggage crews search for checked in luggage of the 4 passengers who gave up their seats?

-Delay the departure of the flight?

-Shouldn't the boarding agent hold the minimum 4 seats until 1 hour before flight, then knowing they don't need those 4 seats for emergencies and offering those 4 seats to standby passengers?

Question: if a flight is already full, is it expensive to charter a pvt jet to haul the over booked passengers and the deadhead crew to their destination and to avoid all the hassles and problems that would come their way once they start messing about with the 4 seat search?
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Old Apr 10, 17, 4:00 am
  #8  
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This happened to me in January. Well not me refusing to get off the plane and the police getting involved.

I had a boarding pass (that had been issued in FRA) and was also on my app. Scan the BP to be told my F seat had been given to someone else as my flight was late but I made it to the gate before everyone else from my flight and they all got their seats. They asked if I was okay to sit in Y and I said yes. I just wanted to get home (this was the last leg SFO-SAN). Got on the plane, put my luggage in the overhead, sat in the my newly assigned seat 7A. Then they come back and say I need to get off the plane they do not have a seat for me and a standby passager was getting my seat. Back up the jet way and GA asked me why I refused the Y seat, and I said I did not refuse it and in fact sat in it for a few minutes until told I needed to get off the plane.

Wrote to UA who apologised and said they would look into the situation and get back to me. Of course they never did get back to me to explain or offer any compensation.

So do not know how and why it happened and I was upset as I just wanted to get home - i sympathize /understand the guy not wanting to give up his seat when he was already seated.

BTW - @wolf72, UA did not remove my luggage from the flight. My checked luggage was waiting for me in SAN when I arrived on a later flight. So they do not remove luggage in this situation (apparently).

Last edited by Aussienarelle; Apr 10, 17 at 8:37 am
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Old Apr 10, 17, 4:08 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
This happened to me in January. Well not me refusing to get off the plane and the police getting involved.

I had a boarding pass (that had been issued in FRA) and was also on my app. Scan the BP to be told my F seat had been given to someone else as my flight was late but I made it to the gate before everyone else from my flight and they all got their seats. They asked if I was okay to sit in Y and I said yes. I just wanted to get home (this was the last leg SFO-SAN). Got on the plane, put my luggage in the overhead, sat in the my newly assigned seat 7A. Then they come back and say I need to get off the plane they do not have a seat for me and a standby passager was getting my seat. Back up the jet way and GA asked me why I refused the Y seat, and I said I did not refuse it and in fact sat in it for a few minutes until told I needed to get off the plane.

Wrote to UA who apologised and said they would look into the situation and get back to me. Of course they never did get back to me to explain or offer any compensation.

So do not know how and why it happened and I was upset as I just wanted to get home - i sympathize /understand the guy not wanting to give up his seat when he was already seated.
That's bad. But it show's they had no initiative to check if your flight had landed, despite being a little bit late, or not and to make sure your connection was not screwed up or anything.

This doesn't happen with asian airliners I fly with when I have connections so I wonder if it's a matter of people not doing their job or the system they use being an outdated system and them not being able to access information to keep them informed of your departure and arrival for the connecting flight.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 4:42 am
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And now all the outbound flights from SDF this morning (Monday) are running a 1+ hours late due to "operational difficulties".

Bad form to let a passenger on the airplane then to remove them. Better would have been, offer $1000 bump, get volunteers and announce that the plane would be cancelled if nobody volunteers.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 4:47 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by DENviaLAX View Post
I suppose it's extremely rare that an airline is unable to find volunteers out of 50+ people, especially given the high money offers.
Not really. A few years ago I was in the UC at NRT, and the CSRs were vainly trying to solicit volunteers for downgrading from J to E+ for a 13 hour NRT-ORD flight. No one was taking that offer, no matter how high it got.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 5:25 am
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Originally Posted by getagb View Post
The pax shouldn't have resisted the crew or police officers. Not fun to get kicked off a plane but he could've taken one of several later flights and gotten to SDF with a minor delay the same night. Instead he got arrested.
Apparently the passenger was a physician and he needed to make home to see his patients at the hospital the next day.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by Diabeetus View Post
Apparently the passenger was a physician and he needed to make home to see his patients at the hospital the next day.
I would have been ticked to get pulled off but ORD-SDF is drivable (5.5 hours) if his obligations were truly "urgent".
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Old Apr 10, 17, 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by Diabeetus View Post
Apparently the passenger was a physician and he needed to make home to see his patients at the hospital the next day.
I think it would be more accurate the say "the passenger claimed he was a physician..."

No one has yet published his name, so there would be no way to verify this. If someone wanted to make himself sound important, this would certainly be a thing that they might say.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
Not really. A few years ago I was in the UC at NRT, and the CSRs were vainly trying to solicit volunteers for downgrading from J to E+ for a 13 hour NRT-ORD flight. No one was taking that offer, no matter how high it got.
What was the highest the offers went? I would want a refund of the price different between J and E+ as well so it would have to be a pretty high offer.

The best offer I have witnessed was a $1000 from SJC to Austin on WN. I had a meeting so could not take it, but when I arrived in Austin meeting was cancelled. The lucky guy who got it must have been loving life.
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