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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, 8:09 pm
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Originally Posted by quantumslip View Post
And you forget to look up the definition of offensive contact. It is not "oh I think it is offensive".

Looking at the referenced papers, what I see is "offends a reasonable sense of personal dignity". Key word being reasonable. It is not "I think it is", it is reasonable. And "reasonable person" I know is a common test in the courts to determine if others in the same situation would have acted/felt the same.

Was it reasonable in this situation? Honestly I don't know, though I do feel that while not wanted, it wasn't offensive. That's the grey area of this case, and without all the facts and perspectives we can't say 100% for sure either way. Again IANAL.
Here's what california requires for simple battery. If we're going to get petty and legalistic though, the question is whether this is a battery, not an assault as it involves actual touching.
Originally Posted by calcrim 960
The slightest touching can be enough to commit a battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind.
You'd need more facts to determine (like said video). An angry finger poke in to the chest was found to constitute battery, therefore allowing the defendant to act in self-defense in People v. Myers (1998) 61 Cal. App. 4th 328, 335 by shoving the alleged victim. DC and federal law may vary, though california's assualt and battery definition is basically a cut and paste job from every state that had such a law first.

This would never* get charged though. Perfect nullification case.

*DAs have shocked me before with pettiness.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
It's two people. One can walk while the other records.
Well, I thought the point made was that the seated passenger , presumably in the aisle seat, touched the FA on her elbow, BECAUSE the passenger was seated and couldn't reach her shoulder.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:13 pm
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People-facing employees are going to have to start wearing front- and back-facing recording equipment to protect themselves.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:25 pm
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Well - I do know this - for me personally, in this post 9/11 world, I would never touch or grab a flight crew member with their back to me. I don't really do it anyway since it tends to startle people, including myself.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
It's two people. One can walk while the other records.
I think there is confusion about the narrative -- from the Forbes interview

"By this time a gate agent had arrived to assist the flight attendant, and the other person assigned the same seat had been seated elsewhere. When another passenger handed them the dropped boarding pass, the Wientjes say, they tried to get the attention of the flight attendant. They were ignored.

“They had their back to me. I said,“We have the pass here it is,” says Dr. Au. They ignored her “until I tapped her elbow from her seat. “’I just want to show you.’”"

Which is also echoed here in post 75

"I tapped her elbow because i was seated and could not reach her shoulder.
I needed to show her the BP because she had, long before i tapped her elbow, threatened to remove us from the flight because we refused to leave our seat"

Now it seems there was another attempt by the same passenger to show the boarding pass when the FA was at the cockpit

"We would like to submit a video, which shows Jessie walking up to the FA (FA had threatened to take us off the flight and was talking to other crew members near the cockpit, presumably about the same) to show the FA the BP. Jessie started off saying that Jessie did not want troubles and before Jessie could finish her sentence, the FA said aggressively/yelled that "you are coming out...you are coming out". FARK does not accept mp4 file. We will make it into a ytube file and provides the link as soon as it is done. The video will further shows the FA being substantially taller."

I have to admit also being bit confused,

Who took the video if it was near the cockpit? That is a bit of distance from row 21. How many attempts were there to show the boarding pass?
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
People-facing employees are going to have to start wearing front- and back-facing recording equipment to protect themselves.
I'd rather they wear recording equipment to protect the people they're interacting with, but whatever justification is necessary to get it done...
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Old Sep 13, 19, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by mmack View Post
Well, I thought the point made was that the seated passenger , presumably in the aisle seat, touched the FA on her elbow, BECAUSE the passenger was seated and couldn't reach her shoulder.
As is often the case, more information just adds to the confusion. (Reminds me of threads from people who got their MP account closed). One hopes that the video will add clarity but at best, it will be taken out of context as there is no way it will include the entire interaction from the start, just the parts that will interest the media. Whenever I see a video, I always wonder what happened prior that made the person decide to start recording.

Last edited by eng3; Sep 13, 19 at 9:05 pm
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Old Sep 13, 19, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I have seen flight attendants get annoyed, report made-up occurrences, and cause all kinds of issues for passengers who did nothing wrong.
Maybe it's time we started a United DYKIAAFA thread! *

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Old Sep 14, 19, 11:04 am
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk!

If you intend to pursue legal action against United -- I'm on the record as assuming you are, ...
If ppl get poor treatment at hotel or some business they go and post a review with negative feedback, write to cs etc etc.. this is really not dao like situation where things escalated out of control (and i thank pax for remaining calm and avoiding extreme confrontation)
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Old Sep 14, 19, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
...and i thank pax for remaining calm...
You seem to know exactly what happened. Were you there?
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Old Sep 14, 19, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by bagwell View Post
The gate agent only goes by what the computer system gives them for seat assignments, so it wasn't the gate agent that actually assigned dupe seats. May have been a software/computer glitch or something.....I fly twice a week on United and I can't EVER remember seeing dupe seat assignments, except when a PAX is looking at their connecting flight boarding pass in error or back in the old days before the computer assignments.
I got duplicate seat assignments a year or two ago as a result of IRROPS resolution. A whole lot of passengers being reassigned and in fact I lost the seat on my first reroute because the agent trying to help me was trying to make sure of the follow-on flights before printing the BP. She tried finalizing it and found the seat had been booked out from under us so on the next try, she immediately grabbed the seat and confirmed it THEN got the follow-on flights settled. I think I boarded with BG 2, sat in my seat and then had someone come up claiming my seat. I asked to see his BP -- it was hand-written by the help desk counter. I held up my printed BP with the flight and seat assignment and he went off with a FA to get his seat resolved.

Bottom line, mistakes happen. People that insist on making it personal -- passengers, FAs, GAs, whatever -- generally just make a bad situation worse. The thicker someone lays it on, the less inclined I am to believe self-serving stories.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 4:43 pm
Join Date: Sep 2019
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We have been advised not to provide video to avoid unnecessary litigation risks. We will provide instead three documents that UA already has access toa) an email from UA Passenger Incident Review Committee on June 24/25 demanding a response within 96 hours or face a life-time ban from UA (note it was sent to each of us at 1 am, or 2-3 hours after we were removed from the flight), (b) our response to PIRC, outlining the events on the plane, and (c) a decision letter from PIRC at end of August calling us belligerent, etc. Items (a) and (c) are in a single file.

Our PIRC response is a bit long but details most of the events and should clear up the confusions voiced by several contributors.

Please note:
  1. UA PIRC, in its response, did not dispute our description of the events.
  2. PIRC was given a list of potential witnesses (passengers seated in 22C, 22D and 23C, who helped us recovered the BP apparently dropped by the FA). PIRC took 2 months to finish their review, but did not offer any evidence from these witnesses to support their accusations/conclusions/decisions.
  3. The 96 hour deadline is non-negotiable, which in our case was very difficult as my husband’s xxx had a life-threatening stroke during that time and was going to be taken off life support as soon as my husband could travel there (Europe).
  4. UA apparently put me (but not Guill) on a “black list”. I was not allowed to board on the flight next day (involved 3 gate agents), was pulled aside for questioning and was allowed to board only after I promised not to cause troubles on the flight. I was also not allowed to do online check-in on the next trip, on July 5, and had to go to the ticketing counter. The ticketing counter agent said I was blocked but he did not know why. A supervisor had to do the unblocking. I canceled several flights with UA after that last incident.
  5. I contacted the Forbes writer in early or mid-July. He made an inquiry to UA. The next day UA Customer Care/Service called (agent’s name is Marcus) about the "ban" or "blacklist". He had no knowledge of the incident but said he would work to remove the ban. He called back in a day or two and said I was cleared to fly on UA.
  6. Throughout the whole ordeal, no one from UA contacted us about the incident. This is in contrary to the claim of the UA Spokesperson to Forbes: “At United, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism. Following this issue, we reached out to our customers and our team to find out what happened." Sources within the airline also note that they spoke to the Wientjes in July to talk through the incident.” The red text is untrue. No human beings from UA spoke to us about or through the incident.
  7. Finally, we needed to show the BP because the FA and GA were saying we sat in the wrong seats and refused to give them up (they never looked at our BP after the passengers behind us found the BP and passed it on to us). After the other passenger volunteered to take another seat, the FA went to the front and was talking to the pilot. We wanted to make sure she could not misrepresent the fact.
just found out pdf and doc files are not allowed. Can anyone suggest a way for us to upload the pdf/doc files?
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Old Sep 14, 19, 5:48 pm
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You can use a screensaver to save as images (jpeg, for example) then upload. Without info from 3rd party witnesses though, it’s your word vs UA’s.

”Not disputing our version of the events” is not the same as agreeing that your version of the event occurred. If they did agree, the issue would have been resolved in your favor at that point.
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Sep 14, 19 at 5:56 pm
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Old Sep 14, 19, 5:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Jessie and Guill View Post
We have been advised not to provide video to avoid unnecessary litigation risks.
A shame, but fully understandable. ^

In the end, this is just a silly internet forum where participants were discussing and sharing their opinion[s] about a posted news article.
There's really no need to justify yourselves to any of us. Although I would have liked to hear your thoughts on the accuracy of the Forbes article.

We 'voiced' our impressions of a situation in which we could also find ourselves, and tried to sieve through the information at hand, and imagined how we would have handled it,
provided our opinion on how you handled it, and how the FAs behaved (and subsequently the PIRC).

Not sure providing the documents you mentioned would be particularly beneficial, at this point.


P.S.: By the way, you may want to remove the red color from this part of your message: The red text is untrue.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 5:56 pm
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
How is a 5-3 grandmother physically threatening?
Have you met my mamaw?
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