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Design the new process to solve IVDB (a constructive, positive thread)

Design the new process to solve IVDB (a constructive, positive thread)

Old Apr 12, 17, 11:24 am
  #1  
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Design the new process to solve IVDB (a constructive, positive thread)

This is not a thread to discuss anything related to the recent incident. I've had enough of that. Whatever your opinions, it's time to move on to something constructive.

United's recently announced they will not involuntarily remove passengers with force (at least, that's what's being reported). I want to hear ideas on the best way for that to work.

Some possible topics:

Should the amount paid to give up your seat be increased? If so, should there be a cap? Should it continue to be offered in voucher format, should it be a no-restrictions credit, or should it be a check?

Should there be some sort of "immunity idol" designation that requires them to be left on board? An example would be specific professions - healthcare providers, first responders, etc. And should there be some sort of process by which everyone's asked to give some response as to why they shouldn't be bumped? In other words, should only people who can't give a reasonable answer as to why being bumped would significantly impact them be eligible to be bumped?

Should there be increased discussion amongst the crew and passengers about a deadlocked situation? For example, should the crew notify everyone on board that we have a passenger that cannot or will not leave and ask for more volunteers and continue to do that until the deadlock is resolved? Should the person unwilling to leave be required to stand up and give a reason to everyone else as to why?

Is there a better process by which bumped passengers can get to their destination faster? Can airlines cooperate better to handle these passengers and ensure less delay than is typical under the current system?

Please keep this positive and constructive. The goal is to design a superior process that gets the plane in the air and creates a win-win-win-win situation for the airline, the crew, the passengers who get bumped, and the passengers waiting for the situation to be resolved.

If this isn't an appropriate new thread to start, my apologies. I just think we need a forum to allow constructive dialogue about the whole process with none of the venom that we've all seen in threads about the specific incident in question.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 11:33 am
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Could be built into the app as an auction. Each person would have the opportunity to place a bid for what they are willing to take as compensation. You could have it for both points and miles or combination. United then has the ability to pick the lowest bidders
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Old Apr 12, 17, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by htran88 View Post
Could be built into the app as an auction. Each person would have the opportunity to place a bid for what they are willing to take as compensation. You could have it for both points and miles or combination. United then has the ability to pick the lowest bidders
This is exactly my thought: I'm surprised an airline hasn't come out and said "Our goal is zero IDB and we think we can get incredibly close with a couple simple features in our app." An auction inside the app is the obvious/easy way to implement. I would think that would work on any of the Big 4 where app usage is at least sufficient enough to generate participation and meaningful bids.

Could even be a cost-saver for the airline: you might pick up a few people who *want* a couple extra hours and will put in low bids. Plus if miles were offered, I lot of FF'ers would happy play that game, which works out better for the airlines' books than gift cards/vouchers or obviously cash.

You could augment with a manual process involving gate agents (if app penetration is too low or for certain international markets), but my guess is that your typical domestic flight would attract sufficient bidders to avoid the IDBs just through the app.

There would be no need for rules about profession, status, etc. No caps needed.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by htran88 View Post
Could be built into the app as an auction. Each person would have the opportunity to place a bid for what they are willing to take as compensation. You could have it for both points and miles or combination. United then has the ability to pick the lowest bidders
This would be somewhat complicated by having to specify which flight you are willing to be bumped onto - I would bid different amounts for a flight in two hours and a flight the next day at 2:55pm. The bid would have to include whether you want a hotel/meal for overnight bumps.


In general I think the IDB compensation formula needs to change to incent the airline to get the passenger on the next possible flight. Right now, the airline wins by pushing a bumped passenger to the next flight with unsold seats, in the case of 3411 that was to the 2:55pm departure... I suspect they wouldn't have had this issue if they were guaranteeing a seat on the first flight in the morning.

If the airline had to pay the IDB compensation amount for each subsequent departure that the passenger was not accomodated on, there would be an incentive to find a volunteer on the earlier flights. Then you're looking at several tubes of 70 possible volunteers, and the odds of finding someone with flexible plans goes up.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by htran88 View Post
Could be built into the app as an auction. Each person would have the opportunity to place a bid for what they are willing to take as compensation. You could have it for both points and miles or combination. United then has the ability to pick the lowest bidders
Because they have time to do that and not delay a flight?

This thread, even though you said its not related to the incident, is just a knee jerk reaction to it.

The easiest fix: update your CoC legal terms to cover your butt when you IDB someone and offer more compensation for VDB. If UA offered $1500+ for cases like last week they need people to VDB we'd still talking about lack up upgrades and if R space would clear.

I'm taking a break from FT until this normal service has resumed.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by thejaredhuang View Post
This thread, even though you said its not related to the incident, is just a knee jerk reaction to it.
Actually, I've seen well-thought-out proposals for how a seamless VDB auction would work for a few years now. App penetration is the game-changer that would enable this.

The easiest fix: update your CoC legal terms to cover your butt when you IDB someone and offer more compensation for VDB. If UA offered $1500+ for cases like last week they need people to VDB we'd still talking about lack up upgrades and if R space would clear.
Well, their butts are already covered when it comes to IDB...as long as they don't kick people in the process. U.S. carriers can just chip off a small amount of money and the passenger really has no rights.

Agree with you on the VDB: in seems like in the incident, they just stopped the process at $800, which for an overnight delay ridiculously low unless someone *wants* to be in Chicago an extra night. Go to $1500, and I imagine somebody bites. But if they had this functionality in the app, they'd quickly get exactly to the right amount, and well *before* passengers boarded, thus getting the flight out of the gate much faster.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 12, 17 at 2:58 pm Reason: Using symbols, spaces or other methods to mask vulgarities is not allowed.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Actually, I've seen well-thought-out proposals for how a seamless VDB auction would work for a few years now. App penetration is the game-changer that would enable this.



Well, their butts are already covered when it comes to IDB...as long as they don't kick people in the process. U.S. carriers can just chip off a small amount of money and the passenger really has no rights.

Agree with you on the VDB: in seems like in the incident, they just stopped the process at $800, which for an overnight delay ridiculously low unless someone *wants* to be in Chicago an extra night. Go to $1500, and I imagine somebody bites. But if they had this functionality in the app, they'd quickly get exactly to the right amount, and well *before* passengers boarded, thus getting the flight out of the gate much faster.

Exactly. I think that apart from some types of equipment downgrades, say above a threshold of seats lost, there should be no IDBs - ever. Pay the price to get the VDBs. There will almost always be a price that will get the VDBs. Any other system runs the risk of terribly inconveniencing passengers who trusted you to get them somewhere about on time.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 12, 17 at 2:58 pm Reason: Quote updated to reflect Moderator edit
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Old Apr 12, 17, 12:49 pm
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I think the one thing that stuck out to me was that if the airline had simply offered the same $800 voucher they had, but instead a six hour van ride to SDF that night instead of a hotel room and flying out almost 24 hours later they may have had much greater success in getting volunteers.

Alternatively I would expect you will see them offering cash as a VDB incentive when necessary instead of using it only for IDB.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 12:54 pm
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The media has reported the $800 vouchers offered in the recent incident have "restrictions." Is that correct? I thought a UA voucher could be spent like cash for UA flights?

If there are restrictions, they need to get rid of them. Even better, given the bumped pax a check.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by KansasMike View Post
The media has reported the $800 vouchers offered in the recent incident have "restrictions." Is that correct? I thought a UA voucher could be spent like cash for UA flights?
Restrictions just like any other UA ETC. Expires in one year, one ETC per pax per ticket. All listed in this wiki. If you're planning on flying UA it's fine but it's not as easily spent as cash.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
...There will almost always be a price that will get the VDBs....
There will always be a price - and it's the obvious answer to avoid such incidents.

That addresses the passengers needs, but there's a lot that also has to be accounted for behind the scenes. My understanding is a partner's crew needed to be transported. In this case - who should bear the financial brunt of displacing passengers? United? United would have to work out new agreements with partner airlines (passing the costs on to them) allowing United to offer any amount of money to make room for their employees. The potential for fraud also goes up with GAs being able to offer significantly more $ - UA would have to beef up surveillance of the IDB payouts.

The best answer is to take caps off the $ payouts and play catch up with all the behind-the-scenes details that people overlook.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 1:06 pm
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A Dutch auction for standby seats could make sense, but with VDB, there are too many variables. For one thing, if UA only takes VDB from its app, they are going to miss out on most passengers. This means you could bid $1,000 cash and still have a good chance of winning because it's just you and a handful of other people on that RJ who bothered with this app before you arrived at the gate. But if the gate agent makes announcements like they do now, where everyone hears about it, they might not need to offer quite that much for a short flight.

The biggest issue IMO is that the VDB offer is in UA dollars. Sure, try that first (since it's so cheap for the carrier), and if you get some takers but not enough, then offer cash, and keep increasing it to, say, $1,500. If that's still not enough, then IDB people and give them the same money as the VDB people plus some extra compensation because they were "volunteered" by UA.

I think the IDB compensation should be increased to 5x fare (total fare you paid, not just for that segment), minimum $1,000, no maximum. Watch IDB fall like a rock.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 1:10 pm
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fix the holes in UA's IDB rules in their Contract of Carriage

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...age.aspx#sec25

1) Doesn't appear to address INTRASTATE travel. UA flies many routes that are wholly within a particular state. What is the policy for a flight from IAH-DFW or SFO-SAN?
2) There's still no written policy on who and and how IDB victims are a selected.
3) No mandate to use other carriers even if that other carrier has the quickest resolution route for the victim
4) It appears that UA calculates IDB compensation based upon the segment, not including connections....so if you have 50 dollar segment onto a 2000 dollar transcontinental leg, and you lose your flights, UA says they're only on the hook for 50 x the compensation multiplier. Even if the connecting flight is on UA. This is complete BS
5) No compensation for yanking you for a deadhead if the flight originates outside the US or Canada unless the origination country mandates it.

---

This is what it should say. If the policies were like these below, I suspect that UA would be much less likely to overbook and persons IVDBed would be in a much better position.

1) A minimum of 1000 dollars will be paid in cash if a person is IVDBed and as a result, ends up at their destination more than 4 hours after the originally scheduled flight.
2) UA will transport an IVDBed person on the first flight to the destination, at the IVDBed request, regardless of the cost to UA if there is space available on another carrier
3) UA shall provide hotel and meals for the IVDBed person during the time they are being delayed. Hotel and meal choices shall be at least of a quality provided to UA pilots under their contract.
4) UA shall pay, in addition to other compensation, any prior booked hotel and other pre-paid charges unusable by the IVDBed person as a proximate result of the cancellation. This should include parking fees as well
5) These rules shall apply as a minimum on all UA operated OR managed flights OR flights where over 75% of the paid passengers are using United websites or reservations staff to purchase.
6) The specific metric to determine the IVDB selectee will be as follows:
a) The following people shall be usually be exempt: MP Elite passengers flying on purchased tickets, persons holding a seat who have been provided that flight in return for a prior VDB or IVDB, persons with a qualified disability, unaccompanied minors flying as such, and flight operations, maintenance personnel flying on positive space for direct flight operations reasons for UA flights.
b) The first selections shall be those flying on airline provided tickets under the employee flying benefits. Then those flying for purposes of UA non-flight operations business. Then non-elite passengers flying on miles. Then the passengers will be sorted by fare paid for travel between the origin and destination. If there is a tie, then the tie breakers will be (in order)...total time of travel, recovery time using UA metal, time of checkin, and time of purchase.
c) In the even that sufficient IVDB passengers are not available using the metrics above, the procedure should be as follows: 1) elites flying on non-revenue tickets, 2) then the criteria established in section b above by elite tier.

So when someone gets IVDBed, they'd be paid, they'd be taken care of properly, and they'd be kept whole to the greatest extent possible.

Heck, I think many people would WANT to be IVDBed under my fair proposal. I'll bet the other pax would be willing to trade with Dr Dao.

Last edited by TominLazybrook; Apr 12, 17 at 1:46 pm
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Old Apr 12, 17, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by htran88 View Post
Could be built into the app as an auction. Each person would have the opportunity to place a bid for what they are willing to take as compensation. You could have it for both points and miles or combination. United then has the ability to pick the lowest bidders
I use my phone solely as a phone, and I never carry it on an international itinerary. A process like this would bypass me and others like me, including non-frequent flyers who might not know about or use an app like this.

I was on a shortish oversold DL flight a week ago. There's a checkin option to volunteer for a bump, including specifying the amount you will accept (up to $500, IIRC). The GA asked for volunteers, without mentioning an amount. I was the only one to approach the podium. I was offered $400 for the next available flight, nearly 8 hours later. I countered with $600, but decided against it when I realized it also meant a downgrade from business to middle seat E+.

The next GA announcement included the offer of $600. Three people immediately headed for the podium and the first one took the offer.

One good thing about DL's plan is that when you volunteer as you check in, you are volunteering to consider the offer, you are not bound to accept it. I can't imagine a circumstance where I'd be willing to commit to a set amount without knowing what my replacement flight would be like (departure time and seating), particularly when a downgrade is a very real possibility.
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Old Apr 12, 17, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by thejaredhuang View Post
This thread, even though you said its not related to the incident, is just a knee jerk reaction to it.

The easiest fix: update your CoC legal terms to cover your butt when you IDB someone and offer more compensation for VDB. If UA offered $1500+ for cases like last week they need people to VDB we'd still talking about lack up upgrades and if R space would clear.

I'm taking a break from FT until this normal service has resumed.
This or at least from the UA forum. All these different threads are getting exhausting.
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