Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

United Airlines left mom in wheelchair stranded in New Jersey

United Airlines left mom in wheelchair stranded in New Jersey

Reply

Old Sep 14, 17, 1:44 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 8,941
I'd like to see more info, rather than take just the son's version. Was she bumped, or did she miss boarding? "Bumped" as used by the son, may be completely different than what we know "bumped" as. What time did her inbound land? Was she met by a porter? Did she approach the gate before door closing and have her BP rejected? Etc.

If it was a deliberate face-to-face bump, the GA should be fired. Today. Nevermind the union. If it was a mind-numbingly, world-class stupid action by the GA, UA should not just slap his/her wrist. The public will want to know that they will not have to run into the same person in a customer-facing capacity.

United needs to get out and explain exactly went on instead of letting the son's version be the only one out there. Either confirm it or provide more details if the son's story is not the entire story. United's PR people appear to be bottom-of-the-barrel types.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Sep 14, 17 at 1:58 pm
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 1:52 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,412
Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
United has made very clear that this was an IDB: See e.g. http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea....hair-12-hours/
That's just a repeat of the son's assertion. There's no new information there.

Look, it's entirely possible that an IDB occurred, contrary to common sense and policy. It's also possible that hundreds of other people walked past the confused woman in a wheelchair and didn't offer their seat (charitably, most wouldn't have realized what was going on). Occam's razor suggests that a cancellation -- or, perhaps, a late arrival from DCA -- are more likely causes, however. I'll believe otherwise when there's more evidence to support it.
jsloan is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 1:52 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 8,144
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
What if she was "bumped" because the flight was cancelled? That's the only interpretation that really seems to make sense to me, barring additional information.
Or maybe she was booked on a short connection and wasn't able to get through EWR fast enough to make it? Too many possibilities here. DCA-EWR can easily arrive in A, which means quite a bit of logistical "fun".
findark is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 1:58 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Programs: WN, AA, UA, DL
Posts: 1,313
Anyone that writes a conclusion when we clearly don't have even half the story is only exposing themselves.

Meanwhile I'll sit back and wait for the real facts to come out. And let's put it this way. It takes two parties participating to simply be "left in the airport".
minnyfly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 2:00 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 5,123
A question that I had was the passenger's Mother independent enough to stay at a hotel on her own and did not require the care of an attendant? Also the Mother refused the hotel so any further compensation is really hard to come by.

I wonder if she refused the food vouchers as well?
danielonn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 2:18 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Programs: All the programs!
Posts: 883
Oscar, I don't think you're employees are getting the message of turning around the airline. Seems they're turning their backs on you and your customers.
oopl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 2:30 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: DYKWIA, UA GS, UA MM, SPG Plat (100)
Posts: 1,453
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Not really. She would have gotten a wheelchair to the taxi / shuttle, and presumably once she got to the counter in the morning (or possibly even at the shuttle door). That's as far as I would reasonably expect UA's requirement of care to extend....
Seriously? So United only needs to get her to the curb and if she has to crawl on and off the shuttle and crawl to the Hotel desk and to her room, well that's just her tough luck isn't it?

Could it possibly be that's the reason they don't allow IDBing disabled people....
porciuscato is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 2:32 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: GYY
Programs: IHG Platinum, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, UA Gold
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
United has made very clear that this was an IDB: See e.g. http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea....hair-12-hours/
That article has been updated (near the bottom, labelled "Update 2"); United says this was a misconnect.

"United follows up to say that they did not bump this passenger. According to spokesperson Maddie King, “the customer missed her flight.” "
Kadomony is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 2:34 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,412
Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
Seriously? So United only needs to get her to the curb and if she has to crawl on and off the shuttle and crawl to the Hotel desk and to her room, well that's just her tough luck isn't it?

Could it possibly be that's the reason they don't allow IDBing disabled people....
Would you expect the wheelchair attendant to ride on the shuttle and take her all the way to her room?

Assistance is provided inside the airport. I wouldn't have an expectation of assistance outside the airport. Now, it's possible that someone at the hotel would have taken care of her -- I'd hope so, in fact -- but that's beyond what I'd consider the responsibility of the airline.

The truth is, "passenger with limited mobility who cannot navigate a hotel shuttle gets stranded, alone, overnight" was never a story that was going to have a happy ending.
seat38a and AugustusM like this.
jsloan is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 2:45 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 8,941
Originally Posted by Kadomony View Post
That article has been updated (near the bottom, labelled "Update 2"); United says this was a misconnect"
You're confusing some with info that runs contrary to what they want to believe they've read. The son said "United said they bumped her". Who ya gonna believe?
IAH-OIL-TRASH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 2:53 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K, DL, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 8,144
Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
You're confusing some with info that runs contrary to what they want to believe they've read. The son said "United said they bumped her". Who ya gonna believe?
I tend to believe United that pax was a misconnect. IDB is extremely rare, much more so than the chance the a second-hand story of someone turned away from the gate (possibly with the aircraft still there) because she missed the end of boarding being described as "getting bumped".
RandomBaritone likes this.
findark is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 3:06 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: 6 year GS, now MM Jeff-ugee, *wood LTPlt, VX Gold, SkyPeso PLT
Posts: 6,052
Originally Posted by findark View Post
I tend to believe United that pax was a misconnect. IDB is extremely rare, much more so than the chance the a second-hand story of someone turned away from the gate (possibly with the aircraft still there) because she missed the end of boarding being described as "getting bumped".
This is what Gary reports:

"According to spokesperson Maddie King, “the customer missed her flight.” She arrived on United and was to depart on United and travel between the two planes via United-arranged wheel chair and she didn’t make it before the doors closed. But apparently they didn’t oversell the aircraft."

Frankly that story is worse, if true. United arrange transit between planes, United does not say her inbound flight was late, but she did not "make it before the doors closed" and they left her there.

United's spicy-person would have said "we are horribly sorry, her inbound was late, and as such she missed her connection" or something less horrible if it here true. Rather it appears (if spicy-person is to be believed.... ) that United failed to get the passenger to their plane on time, and then did not reopen the door to seat them.

Well we all know that departing OT is now the new holy grail at UA, passengers be damned.
spin88 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 3:09 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: STL
Programs: UA Platinum, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,250
Originally Posted by brooks_87 View Post
Could also be titled: "Man abandons impaired, wheelchair-bound mother at airport."
Somehow that detail seems to be lost on everyone that is jumping on the UA is horrible bandwagon.

The original article states the following piece of information:
"His 77-year old mother travels in a wheelchair and according to Williams is easily confused". That alone should have been a red flag that there was the potential for error.

Even in the best of circumstances, it is irresponsible for anyone to blindly entrust in the care of an individual who is "easily confused" to airport workers. He says airport workers "basically take responsibility for that person until they arrive at their destination." I'm sorry but just because you order a wheelchair for someone doesn't make them/the airline liable for the responsibility of that individual until they are delivered to someone on the other end. Unaccompanied minor? Yeah in that scenario I'll buy it, but not here.

Could it have been handled better? Sure, but you can't just assume that when you drop someone off at the counter and they are wheeled away by someone making $10/hr that you will have nothing to worry about until they land at their final destination.

I get the point that she wasn't able to go to the hotel because of mobility restriction. And in a perfect world a GA could have wheeled her out of the airport, arranged transportation from/to the airport, got her settled into the hotel, had a meal sent to her room, and then put her back on the plane the next day. But the reality, and the liability of any such scenario really begs the question of to what extent is UA (or any airline) expected to go? If she had a car accident on the way to hotel; fell in the shower, etc.....everyone would still be blaming UA. Sure there is a certain standard of care, but the only reason this is even a story is because people are trying to somehow correlate it the Dao incident. It seems like there was some confusion as to whether or not she was on the flight.....but let's be honest here its a failure on the son's part to assume that she got to where she was going and only became alarmed the next day. If it was my mother she would be traveling with a cell phone and call me to confirm that she completed every segment of that journey and if there was an issue make sure I had an alternate plan before the airline did.
Statman and RandomBaritone like this.
qukslvr619 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 3:10 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 7,412
According to spokesperson Maddie King, “the customer missed her flight.” She arrived on United and was to depart on United and travel between the two planes via United-arranged wheel chair and she didn’t make it before the doors closed. But apparently they didn’t oversell the aircraft.
Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
Frankly that story is worse, if true. United arrange transit between planes, United does not say her inbound flight was late, but she did not "make it before the doors closed" and they left her there.
You're attributing Gary Leff's words to United. All he claims that he was told is that "the customer missed her flight." No additional details were provided. There's still not enough information to know what happened here.
jsloan is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 17, 3:20 pm
  #30  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Gold 1.8MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 44,815
Understanding you "arrange" for the service with the airline, at EWR, who staffs / operates the wheelchair service?
Does UA or is it the airport?
I know this varies at airports but have never paid attention at EWR.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread