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EWR gate agents blame “unruly” passengers to solve oversale

EWR gate agents blame “unruly” passengers to solve oversale

Old May 27, 2024, 9:22 am
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by PlungeTEX
I agree that jp12687 is in the minority. But remember that this was not an offer for Y passengers. But J passengers, most of whom had presumably had a hefty sum (this flight was nearly sold out more than a month in advance when my mother purchased her ticket for nearly $6K) or a boat load of miles. All of whom were bound for an “in” European vacation destination. The demographics of the cabin scream cash-rich, time-poor vacationers where time is indeed more valuable than money. That said, my guess is somewhere between $3500 and $10K, they could have picked off 3 people. But the fact they couldn’t on that route on that day for $3500 is not surprising.
This is the part I didn't get from the very start of this thread. Wouldn't there have been an attempt to get a PE or Y passenger to accept a VDB coupled with a compensated downgrade from J to clear the oversold seats?
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Old May 27, 2024, 9:29 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
This is the part I didn't get from the very start of this thread. Wouldn't there have been an attempt to get a PE or Y passenger to accept a VDB coupled with a compensated downgrade from J to clear the oversold seats?
there are so many places this story doesn’t hold water it isn’t clear where to start. It sounds like a typical EWR Charlie Foxtrot which then just took on a social media type persona.

I don’t think anyone is being untruthful, there is just mass misunderstanding and then tumor like story growth.

‘’removing a passenger from a flight roster for behaviour has *some* paperwork associated with it , I bet. * denoted sarcasm.
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Old May 27, 2024, 10:08 am
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by PlungeTEX
..your basis for disagreeing with my post is that you know the gate agents and they wouldn’t do this, and you were at the gate and they were doing the best they could?...
It's still a pretty strong argument.
But then so are the two observations of your mother.

I'd hate to be on the jury of this one when one has to deal with conflicting credible information.
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Old May 27, 2024, 11:05 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by PlungeTEX
one of which similarly resulted in a stand off with the GAs causing a delay because the VDB offer wasn’t high enough and UA wouldn’t increase it.
VDB offers are by definition voluntary…if they are not high enough and no one bites, UA can always go the IDB route. maybe not good PR, etc., or good for pax loyalty, but it is an option. So whether the VDB offer is ‘high enough’ seems highly subjective, at least IME.


Originally Posted by jp12687
this. I’ve had $10k cash (not credit) offers before. It’s n business travel if I can adjust meetings I’ve taken it. But on holiday travel- even $10k won’t get me to budge on my free time with family. $3k? I wouldn’t be delayed voluntarily 5 hours for that.
id take it in a heartbeat, assuming it wasn’t something like a criuse where the new flight would cause me to miss it.

I knew a family that used to fly from YYZ to S. Florida, maybe FLL, ever Xmas holiday. They would book the busiest days, and every year, would VDB as those flights were always oversold…many times multiple days in a row. That always paid for the following year.

Originally Posted by JimInOhio
This is the part I didn't get from the very start of this thread. Wouldn't there have been an attempt to get a PE or Y passenger to accept a VDB coupled with a compensated downgrade from J to clear the oversold seats?
because now you are looking for 2 pax to deal with for every 1. 6 pax now instead of 3. 3 to VDB, then 3 to downgrade. I suspect this makes it much more idifficult.

I don’t typically book J, but suspect if I did, would be way more likely to take VDB vs. downgrade.
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Old May 27, 2024, 11:13 am
  #65  
 
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Love the attempts to understand EWR gate agent behavior (and to discount what was observed because it “doesn’t make sense”). I’ve observed some pretty insane power trips by GAs over the years, back to Continental days, and all the memorable ones have been at Newark. Yes, the passengers are more aggressive, but there have always seemed to be some real bad apples there. Such behavior is rarely rational - petty, sure, but let’s face it, these are hardly aviation masterminds.

I think it’s immediately suspect for an oversold flight to have ‘unruly’ passengers refused boarding. If that happened here, I would fully believe the OP’s mother. Whether premeditated or merely anticipated after a multi hour delay, doesn’t matter. And boarding economy before Polaris similarly has all the hallmarks of out of control GAs.
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Old May 27, 2024, 11:33 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe
….

because now you are looking for 2 pax to deal with for every 1. 6 pax now instead of 3. 3 to VDB, then 3 to downgrade. I suspect this makes it much more idifficult.

I don’t typically book J, but suspect if I did, would be way more likely to take VDB vs. downgrade.
Yes, of course it impacts more people but you’ve expanded your pool of passengers for a VDB from 34 to over 200. How many extra hours did the GAs have to make that work?
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Old May 27, 2024, 11:33 am
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by lamphs
is there not an algorithm that determines the order of IDBs if there are not enough volunteers?
There is. The computer has a prioritized list showing the order in which passengers would be involuntarily denied boarding, if that was required.

And all boarding-related compensation is in the form of ETCs or actual cash? I haven't volunteered for sometime, so I don't recall.
There is no cash. The "cash" payments are made by check with the check's payee name matching the name of the passenger who was IDB'd. Volunteers are paid via voucher.
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Old May 27, 2024, 11:36 am
  #68  
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With that many J pax, not finding 3 takers for $3.5k seems very unusual to me. I would have taken that in a heartbeat.

An IDB becomes reportable, but in the end UA would end up paying less. It is just so rare to have premium cabin oversells these days, not a lot of other examples to go by.
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Old May 27, 2024, 11:43 am
  #69  
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Regardless of what actually transpired (which probably would need the firsthand account of one of those pax or the GA), I think it’s pretty amazing that the captain of the flight is on here and gave this report. Thank you.
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Old May 27, 2024, 2:16 pm
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by nnn
Regardless of what actually transpired (which probably would need the firsthand account of one of those pax or the GA), I think it’s pretty amazing that the captain of the flight is on here and gave this report. Thank you.
This is why I believe we need to stop discussing this basis for the passengers being denied boarding (and that the title of the thread should be changed to reflect new information given by Captain).

We have accused GA of denying boarding because passengers were unruly. The Captain has told us that is not the case. The Captain even provided OP with verifiable information that placed he or her in the boarding area at the time. Why should we not believe the Captain and accept that the OP account of what transpired was either inaccurate, misrepresented or incomplete?

There are a few United employees - pilots, FAs, maintenance and maybe others that dont come to my mind right now - who have been gracious to contribute their time to this forum for several years. They do so threading a fine line between what they can and cannot say on 'social media' and sometimes may well be risking their position to share information with us. In my view, we should be thankful for their contributions and the last thing we should do is challenge what they tell us and potentially alienate them. They have been part of this forum for years and there is no reason I can think for them to suddenly make up a story - what is there to gain?

I too find it amazing that we got the feedback from the captain; I am sure there is more he or she could say about the incident but cannot disclose, so if they say that the GAs did not deny passenger boarding on grounds stated by OP, I, for one, accept that as certainty. (I know I am sort of in broad terms discussing posters which may breach FT rules, so if that is a problem Mods can delete.)
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Old May 27, 2024, 3:58 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by ani90
This is why I believe we need to stop discussing this basis for the passengers being denied boarding (and that the title of the thread should be changed to reflect new information given by Captain).

We have accused GA of denying boarding because passengers were unruly. The Captain has told us that is not the case. The Captain even provided OP with verifiable information that placed he or her in the boarding area at the time. Why should we not believe the Captain and accept that the OP account of what transpired was either inaccurate, misrepresented or incomplete?

There are a few United employees - pilots, FAs, maintenance and maybe others that dont come to my mind right now - who have been gracious to contribute their time to this forum for several years. They do so threading a fine line between what they can and cannot say on 'social media' and sometimes may well be risking their position to share information with us. In my view, we should be thankful for their contributions and the last thing we should do is challenge what they tell us and potentially alienate them. They have been part of this forum for years and there is no reason I can think for them to suddenly make up a story - what is there to gain?

I too find it amazing that we got the feedback from the captain; I am sure there is more he or she could say about the incident but cannot disclose, so if they say that the GAs did not deny passenger boarding on grounds stated by OP, I, for one, accept that as certainty. (I know I am sort of in broad terms discussing posters which may breach FT rules, so if that is a problem Mods can delete.)
Was the captain hanging out in the boarding area when the offloading occurred?

The captain provided a character testimonial. That's worth something, but it's not a conclusive report.

I also appreciate the participation from UA employees here — and I find it valuable, so as an aside, thank you to all pilots, gate agents, flight attendants who contribute — but there are a lot of aspects of the customer travel experience that employees simply don't experience and thus don't know about.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Manoa Chris
And boarding economy before Polaris similarly has all the hallmarks of out of control GAs.
This is the one thing that gives me pause -- why on earth would the GA's create a "Hunger Games" environment on a flight that is this delayed and everyone is obviously tired and not at their best? I guess one answer is trying to get VDB vs. IDB -- but it seems bit over the top even for EWR...
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:28 pm
  #73  
 
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Wow, has this thread reached five pages?

It's just an airline, folks.... A simple conveyance from Point A to Point B. Hearing so many of you discuss every nuance of every aspect of United Airlines is mind-blowing. I show up, fly the plane, go home, and don't think twice about UA until my next trip. Some of you should try it!
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:31 pm
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe
..I don’t typically book J, but suspect if I did, would be way more likely to take VDB vs. downgrade.
The true FlyerTalker spirit .

Originally Posted by ani90
This is why I believe we need to stop discussing this basis for the passengers being denied boarding (and that the title of the thread should be changed to reflect new information given by Captain).
Aren't you free to do so????
Why do you need a consensus on this?

..Why should we not believe the Captain and accept that the OP account of what transpired was either inaccurate..
Again, you are free to do so and it's a reasonable stance. But the OP's account is pretty solid too. Even though both are not first hand accounts.
This is FlyerTalk after all and not an airline forum.
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Old May 27, 2024, 4:39 pm
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by 757FO
Wow, has this thread reached five pages?

It's just an airline, folks.... A simple conveyance from Point A to Point B. Hearing so many of you discuss every nuance of every aspect of United Airlines is mind-blowing. I show up, fly the plane, go home, and don't think twice about UA until my next trip. Some of you should try it!
Honestly -- this was NOT the perspective I expected - but I get it -- it's just a job to you.

However, for those of us with careers in the hospitality business -- and the airlines -- for many people it's more than that. Also -- given EWR's well deserved reputation for treating people like crap, and the fact that many of us have spent $5k+ on a ticket and then not being allowed to travel through no fault of their own -- and many / most of us experiencing this personally -- we can ALL relate to the frustration -- and well, people get passionate I guess -- doubly so here lol!

It's a way for people to vent, to learn, and to hopefully avoid issues in the future -- yes it gets colorful, for one I'm fine with that!
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Last edited by bmwe92fan; May 27, 2024 at 4:45 pm Reason: typos
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