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EWR gate agents blame “unruly” passengers to solve oversale

EWR gate agents blame “unruly” passengers to solve oversale

Old May 26, 2024, 12:34 am
  #31  
 
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EWR-ATH was also oversold by 1 seat last Friday and they were giving 2000$ for same day flight through FRA.
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Old May 26, 2024, 12:46 am
  #32  
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After UA has offered as much compensation it wants to, it can involuntarily offload passengers - “unruly” passengers aren’t required. UA’s protocol for selecting the unfortunate ones isn’t public. They may choose passengers who get their attention. Standing around whining loudly without status might help grumpy GAs with their decision . Not because they are unruly, but because they made themselves noticeable.

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; May 26, 2024 at 12:54 am
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Old May 26, 2024, 12:58 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
After UA has offered as much compensation it wants to, it can involuntarily offload passengers - “unruly” passengers aren’t required. UA’s protocol for selecting the unfortunate ones isn’t public. They may choose passengers who get their attention. Standing around whining loudly without status might help grumpy GAs with their decision . Not because they are unruly, but because they made themselves noticeable.
which is appalling regardless of whether they claim unruly as the reason or not. UA should really quickly move the VDB offer up to where it is accepted. Post Dao, 10K was what I recall the airlines saying. But then if not, IDB per policy. And do it quickly. Over sales should not delay flights (note the majority of the delay here was mechanical but an extra hour was then added due to the oversale).
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Old May 26, 2024, 4:57 am
  #34  
 
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$3000?
Why aren't my flights ever oversold?
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Old May 26, 2024, 7:46 am
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH
Doesn’t work like that. Telling two passengers there aren’t seats, telling them to contact customer service, and close the flight is far more expedient than the documentation required post-incident to deny boarding to unruly passengers. Putting their names to an unruly passenger report leaves them exposed to dispute vs just denying boarding because UA’s overbooked the flight. A GA takes on zero risk in latter.

Pretty hard to see how making up an unruly passenger offload makes a GAs duties any easier/quicker. Count me as a doubter.

I’ve had my share of EWR GA experiences dating to CO days and I have no doubt they don’t need to make up any other excuse besides, “Sorry, the flights overbooked”. Sometimes, they don’t even say “Sorry”.
At EWR, I could see people doing it just because of a culture of meanness. Even if it IS more trouble.
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Old May 26, 2024, 9:45 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by PlungeTEX
My mother came to meet us in DBV on EWR-DBV last night. She was in paid J. The flight was more than 3 hours late due to a mechanical. At the gate they announced that Polaris was oversold by 3. Y and W sold out so rebooking option was the next day. They offered 2500 and then 3000. No one took it. They then said only Y and W could board. Even 1Ks in J were refused. Not sure if there were GS but no J passengers boarded. Offer went to 3500. No takers. She was in the front of the queue and ultimately heard the gate agents scheming that they would call a supervisor to solve the issue by claiming unruly passengers. There had been no unruly behavior. Indeed shortly thereafter as boarding was still held while the entire Y and W cabins had boarded, a couple expressed their irritation that they had paid lots of money for their vacation which was being unnecessarily delayed which was then backed up by an elderly woman. Not aggressive, unruly or physical - an assessment backed up by many other passengers. Sure enough gate agents claimed them to be unruly and offloaded them. The elderly woman’s husband of course refused to fly which explains why the fight went out 32/34. Presumably one of those two was crew rest.

fWIW I rarely post second hand stories. But given it’s my mother, and she was a lifelong frequent traveler during her career and now in retirement who has the context and experience, I trust the facts are accurate.
With absolutely all due respect to your mom, I think she may have misheard. I know the gate agents managing this flight personally, and there is no way they would have done this. I spoke with them multiple times as the flight was boarding, and they were doing their best to make it all work. (if you were in the gate area, you would have seen me. I was discussing the rivalry between HNK Rijeka and Dinamo Zagreb football clubs with some of the former players, which elicited a number of laughs from the paxs.)
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Old May 26, 2024, 12:13 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH

Pretty hard to see how making up an unruly passenger offload makes a GAs duties any easier/quicker. Count me as a doubter.

exactly my point upthread. Sure, maybe they’ll just do what works to get them home quicker in a moment of short-sighted thinking, but I suspect any competent GA would realize the consequences of paperwork and investigations that would surely show such behavior as unacceptable and lead to consequences - something they presumably wouldn’t want to deal with.

as an aside, many, many years ago I was involved in a dispute at a DL gate in ATL where this was first-hand, where boarding agent was trying to close a delayed flight with about two dozen of not having boarded because our BPs beeped and system didnt think they were valid. Luckily, before the door was closed, desk agent figured out what was going on and told us to just get onboard and find an empty seat (lucky for us, was an uneventful flight otherwise since I’m sure none of us were ever properly boarded, bolstered by the fact I had to beg DL to reinstate the return as that segment was canceled by the time we touched down in ATL). Eventually, return was reinstated and all ended up ok, but I always had thoughts about what would have happened if there was an incident enroute and no record of us onboard.

even first-hand reports often are missing relevant details, so I wouldn’t trust second hand reporting, even if OP is not intentionally trying to deceive.
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Old May 26, 2024, 1:33 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by 757FO
..I think she may have misheard..
But then she would have also had to misinterpret the lack of unruliness of the other pax .... which strikes me as very unlikely.

Specific UA staff growing criminal energy based on a misguided ambition sounds closer to reality to me.

Not that this is a generic pattern but given the outrageous accusations and lies I have been delivered by GAs and CS representatives this doesn't sound too outlandish to me.
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Old May 26, 2024, 1:54 pm
  #39  
 
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Questions for my own curiosity.

is there not an algorithm that determines the order of IDBs if there are not enough volunteers?

And all boarding-related compensation is in the form of ETCs or actual cash? I havent volunteered for sometime, so I don't recall.
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Old May 26, 2024, 2:03 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by weero
But then she would have also had to misinterpret the lack of unruliness of the other pax .... which strikes me as very unlikely.

Specific UA staff growing criminal energy based on a misguided ambition sounds closer to reality to me.

Not that this is a generic pattern but given the outrageous accusations and lies I have been delivered by GAs and CS representatives this doesn't sound too outlandish to me.
I can't speak to your past experiences, and I am sorry if a UA employee lied to you. But in this case, I'm more than sure it was a misunderstanding, or possibly someone made a comment in jest.
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Old May 26, 2024, 2:06 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by 757FO
With absolutely all due respect to your mom, I think she may have misheard. I know the gate agents managing this flight personally, and there is no way they would have done this. I spoke with them multiple times as the flight was boarding, and they were doing their best to make it all work. (if you were in the gate area, you would have seen me. I was discussing the rivalry between HNK Rijeka and Dinamo Zagreb football clubs with some of the former players, which elicited a number of laughs from the paxs.)
So what’s the punch line here though? That the passengers who were offloaded were in fact unruly? Or that the passengers selected were those deemed first in line for IDB based on UA policy? Or something else?

Also - if you are able to - curious in what capacity you were speaking to them? Assume you weren’t captain on the flight given your handle?

Originally Posted by lamphs
Questions for my own curiosity.

is there not an algorithm that determines the order of IDBs if there are not enough volunteers?

And all boarding-related compensation is in the form of ETCs or actual cash? I havent volunteered for sometime, so I don't recall.
IDB has to be cash by law but VDB is usually ETC on pretty much any airline in the world as far as I know.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 28, 2024 at 3:35 pm
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Old May 26, 2024, 2:35 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by 757FO
I can't speak to your past experiences, and I am sorry if a UA employee lied to you. But in this case, I'm more than sure it was a misunderstanding, or possibly someone made a comment in jest.
In isolation, I agree with you. But that doesn't square with the OP's account that the agents regurgitated the "unruly pitch". It reeks very much like the unforgivable happened here.

But I agree that our past exposures probably vary a lot.
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Old May 26, 2024, 2:40 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by PlungeTEX
So what’s the punch line here though? That the passengers who were offloaded were in fact unruly? Or that the passengers selected were those deemed first in line for IDB based on UA policy? Or something else?

Also - if you are able to - curious in what capacity you were speaking to them? Assume you weren’t captain on the flight given your handle?
I was the captain. I created my account when I was still an FO, 7 years ago.

And no punchline, just sharing my piece of the story. I am sorry you had a negative experience. When do you fly home?
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Old May 26, 2024, 2:54 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by 757FO
I was the captain. I created my account when I was still an FO, 7 years ago.

And no punchline, just sharing my piece of the story. I am sorry you had a negative experience. When do you fly home?
Thank you for sharing. I do genuinely appreciate it as I’m sure the broader forum does. She flies home next week. And FWIW, she is so angry about the experience that she wouldn’t book UA on her next ticket to Europe this fall as she had planned.

But back to the point, as captain, didn’t you receive some type of explanation as to how the issue was resolved? I fly a lot - and a 3 person oversale in J during boarding doesn’t happen every day.
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Old May 26, 2024, 2:55 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by 757FO
I was the captain.
Originally Posted by 757FO
I know the gate agents managing this flight personally, and there is no way they would have done this. I spoke with them multiple times as the flight was boarding, and they were doing their best to make it all work
Maybe on this basis we don't need to discuss this anymore?
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