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United Airlines Kicks Elderly Professor Couple Off Late-Night Flight

United Airlines Kicks Elderly Professor Couple Off Late-Night Flight

Old Sep 13, 19, 11:23 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
And btw, the reference to the author's airline stock holdings is undoubtedly mandated by Forbes' disclosure policies. That some here believe that somehow reflects on the quality of the journalism is [deleted to conform to FT rules].
People aren't upset the author disclosed his stock holding. The outrage stems from his ownership of the fictional SouthwestERN Airlines! If he can't be bothered to learn the name of the fourth largest US airline...
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:25 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by sexykitten7 View Post
People aren't upset the author disclosed his stock holding. The outrage stems from his ownership of the fictional SouthwestERN Airlines! If he can't be bothered to learn the name of the fourth largest US airline...
Maybe he studied journalism at Northwestern University.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:40 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
If it were me, I'd be rather concerned about the fact Forbes included an underacted copy of the boarding pass - with details including like their Frequent Flyer number (it's masked in the text, but not in the barcode).

It's amazing sometimes what sort of information you can get out of United with nothing more than a name and an FF number...
No useful information to be had since I suspect they won't be flying UA much. (By choice or otherwise)
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:40 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Any unwanted touching is assault. (Not all assaults will be, or should be, prosecuted). And, again, I'm assuming this is painted as rosily as possible for the soon-to-be-plaintiffs.
No idea what sensitivity people have, but I tap people all the time, for stupid stuff like your kid's shoe fell off, you dropped your wallet, let me help you with that. Never once have people overreacted, ever. Instead they are thankful I took the time to care. UA has self created a toxic environment for everyone, passengers and employees. Most employees are fine, and it's the few that create the toxic environment, just as a few bad passengers do so as well. However status passengers with no previous issues lead to me to believe this is the FA on a power trip, not the couple.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:44 am
  #50  
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FAs sometimes touch passengers, for example to wake someone for breakfast. Can the FA then be fired for assaulting the customer?
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:51 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
No idea what sensitivity people have, but I tap people all the time, for stupid stuff like your kid's shoe fell off, you dropped your wallet, let me help you with that. Never once have people overreacted, ever. Instead they are thankful I took the time to care.
You presumably weren't in an argument with these people at the time.

Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
UA has self created a toxic environment for everyone, passengers and employees. Most employees are fine, and it's the few that create the toxic environment, just as a few bad passengers do so as well.
I must have a high tolerance for that particular toxin. I've rarely noticed -- out of hundreds of UA flights, I can think of approximately two FAs that seemed to be in a really bad mood.

Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
However status passengers with no previous issues lead to me to believe this is the FA on a power trip, not the couple.
Presumably, they didn't run into a similar situation before. It doesn't mean that they were above using this to their advantage when it happened. Or, hell, maybe they were fine until they decided they "had to" prove that they were right, at which point they managed to get themselves kicked off of the plane, and they're now trying to line their pockets as a result.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
FAs sometimes touch passengers, for example to wake someone for breakfast. Can the FA then be fired for assaulting the customer?
I imagine that UA management would use approximately the same standards in assessing a claim that a prosecutor would if someone brought them a case. Waking someone up doesn't rise the level of a fireable offense, just as no prosecutor would file charges against the FA for it.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:56 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
What could she have possibly done to the stewardess? Pinch her? Sock her on the back of the head? Grab her butt?

They were in their correct seats, and the plane was about to leave: there was no real urgency in getting the flight attendant's immediate attention.
I have yet to physically touch a FA to get their attention, as I normally can make verbal or non-verbal gestures to do so (and if I can't I wait until I can).

The couple's urgency in getting the FA's immediate attention stems from their anger/rage over what had transpired; this is exactly the reason why I believe they weren't particularly gentle in their approach. Adrenaline has that effect.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
FAs sometimes touch passengers, for example to wake someone for breakfast. Can the FA then be fired for assaulting the customer?
If he or she touches the passenger in an angry, rage filled state: yes, potentially.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 11:58 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Any unwanted touching is assault. (Not all assaults will be, or should be, prosecuted). And, again, I'm assuming this is painted as rosily as possible for the soon-to-be-plaintiffs.
I find that excessively legalistic and challenge that FA to demand charges be pressed against grandma for criminal assault based on her tapping his/her elbow. It's utterly laughable.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 13, 19 at 2:00 pm Reason: discuss the issue; not the poster(s)
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Old Sep 13, 19, 12:02 pm
  #54  
 
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I'd also point out 21 A2 boarded with BG5. This does not mean the pax was merely entitled to BG5. I doubt either of the complainants ascertained 21 A2 was actually designated BG5, and that this was even mentioned highlights their tendency towards pettiness. I lean towards the assumption that the complainants were being ignored because the crew were trying to tend to legitimate issues onboard.

If civil suit soon I hope they hire smart lawyers.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 12:17 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
Most employees are fine, and it's the few that create the toxic environment...
Hopefully, UA not only has a "Passenger Incident Review Committee," but also an "Employee Incident Review Committee." Overreacting/hysterical employees reflect badly on a company and they should be subject to review and appropriate counseling, training, and discipline. It is hoped that HR/Corporate Security has reviewed this FA's record and had a conversation with the FA about how the FA could have de-escalated the situation without affecting the entire plane.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 12:57 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
The couple's urgency in getting the FA's immediate attention stems from their anger/rage over what had transpired; this is exactly the reason why I believe they weren't particularly gentle in their approach. Adrenaline has that effect.
That's my belief as well.

Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
I find that excessively legalistic and challenge that FA to demand charges be pressed against grandma for criminal assault based on her tapping his/her elbow. It's utterly laughable.
I was intentionally trying not to suggest that. As I said, not all assaults are prosecuted, nor should they be. It doesn't change the fact that it's assault.

The attitude that "the customer is always right" is one of the biggest problems that we have as a culture, because it leads to service employees being treated like dirt.

Is it possible that the couple was entirely in the right? Sure, but it doesn't seem likely. It sounds like both sides are at fault -- the FA, for insisting that the couple was lying about the boarding pass (why would they lie?), and then the couple, for escalating the situation after they were already seated in their seats.

If they'd simply dropped the matter, they would have flown and had a story to tell about the ridiculous FA. Instead, it seems that they were determined to get the last word, and look where it's gotten them.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 13, 19 at 2:02 pm Reason: removed response to deleted content
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Old Sep 13, 19, 1:14 pm
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Any unwanted touching is assault. (Not all assaults will be, or should be, prosecuted). And, again, I'm assuming this is painted as rosily as possible for the soon-to-be-plaintiffs.
That's completely wrong. By that logic bumping to someone on a crowded subway on accident would be consider assault based on your strict definition. Are you really going to call it assault if a passenger hits you while walking down a narrowbody aisle? Trivializing assault like this only hurts those who experience real trauma.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
FAs sometimes touch passengers, for example to wake someone for breakfast. Can the FA then be fired for assaulting the customer?
Difference is how they touch the customer and the context. You are expected to be woken up (in fact you have to if you're going to land), and also the manner you are woken up is not an awkward touch on the elbow.

Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
I find that excessively legalistic and challenge that FA to demand charges be pressed against grandma for criminal assault based on her tapping his/her elbow. It's utterly laughable.
Based on what I see here, I agree that is a bit of an overreaction, but again to me the elbow is a weird place to tap someone to get their attention.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 13, 19 at 2:03 pm Reason: Updated quote of deleted content
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Old Sep 13, 19, 1:20 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by quantumslip View Post
That's completely wrong. By that logic bumping to someone on a crowded subway on accident would be consider assault based on your strict definition. Are you really going to call it assault if a passenger hits you while walking down a narrowbody aisle? Trivializing assault like this only hurts those who experience real trauma.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/assault

Sorry, the law does include the word "Intentional," which I left out. But I'm not wrong, and I'm not trivializing anything.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 1:23 pm
  #59  
 
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Ambulance chasers. 66 and 68 - cry me a river? These two need to recognize the POTUS of the USA is 73 and his two biggest competitors in 2020 are 76 & 78 yo old. So, they lost me at elderly as unless they require a walking stick or wheelchair they are able bodied individuals.
I hope airline bans them permanently since they will have to defend a lawsuit anyway.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 1:23 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That's my belief as well.


I was intentionally trying not to suggest that. As I said, not all assaults are prosecuted, nor should they be. It doesn't change the fact that it's assault.


I mean, you can assume anything that you like, but I take umbrage to your assumption. I cast down on the veracity of the report because it's ridiculously hyperbolic, not because I fly United. The attitude that "the customer is always right" is one of the biggest problems that we have as a culture, because it leads to service employees being treated like dirt.

Is it possible that the couple was entirely in the right? Sure, but it doesn't seem likely. It sounds like both sides are at fault -- the FA, for insisting that the couple was lying about the boarding pass (why would they lie?), and then the couple, for escalating the situation after they were already seated in their seats.

If they'd simply dropped the matter, they would have flown and had a story to tell about the ridiculous FA. Instead, it seems that they were determined to get the last word, and look where it's gotten them.
Sorry, but in this case it doesn't seem like the service employee was treated like dirt. It sounded like the passengers were.
Were they responsible for duplicate BPs?
Were they the ones who lost one of 4 BPs?
Did they accuse themselves of not having a BP (a ridiculous assertion since they were onboard, implying incompetence of the Gate Crew)?
And were they at fault, once being accused of lying, for trying to show their accuser that, yes, they actually had a BP for that seat on this flight, once it was found?
And for this they got booted? And I'm sorry, maybe your experiences have been different than mine, but I've found a much higher than average number of entitled pissants wearing the UA uniform.
So I really don't think much of this sad tale has been spun. We'll just have to disagree, since neither of us were there.
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