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Old 04-10-2017, 10:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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United Airlines Has Passenger Forcibly Removed On Overbooked Flight

This is outrageous - no passenger should be treated this way:

United Passenger Dragged Off Plane After Airline Overbooked Flight - Video of Crazy United Flight

I hope they sue the fuck out of United.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I flew up here on United. When you buy the ticket, it does say that in an overbooking situation they will ask for volunteers, and if nobody does, passengers will be denied boarding in a certain order depending on factors like priority and time of booking. But I was under the impression that business if necessary would take place at the gate.

The story I read says that the company offered a hotel room and $400, and then $800 for someone to volunteer to take a flight the next day, but not a single person bit, so they had to resort to the sorting hat. Interestingly, if you are involuntarily bumped from a flight due to a controllable issue like overbooking, by law you're actually entitled to four times the ticket price in compensation, up to a certain limit (like $1500 or so, not exactly sure).

Obviously nobody wanted to leave, so I understand calling security to remove the guy from the plane, but I don't know what the heck they bloodied him for, that can't have been necessary. Why couldn't they have just brought some police in that situation? I bet the guy would much more likely have left if told to by a cop rather than some un-uniformed security meatball.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yikes, that wasn't the end of it either. Apparently a few minutes after they took him off, the guy got away from security and ran back onto the plane:

Quote:
In another video, the man runs back onto the plane, his clothes still mussed from his forcible ejection, frantically repeating: “I have to go home. I have to go home.”

“He was kind of dazed and confused,” Bridges said. He recalled a group of high school students leaving the plane in disgust at that point, their adult escort explaining to other passengers: “They don’t need to see this anymore.”

The airline eventually cleared everyone from the plane, Bridges said, and did not let them back on until the man was removed a second time — in a stretcher.
From WaPo
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't give a fuck about the airlines and their wanting to overbook a bit for the no-shows, as far as I'm concerned they should never overbook. I hope any lawsuit drags such shady dealings into the spotlight.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashiri View Post
I don't give a fuck about the airlines and their wanting to overbook a bit for the no-shows, as far as I'm concerned they should never overbook. I hope any lawsuit drags such shady dealings into the spotlight.
The world ain't what it used to be. Things that should provoke outrage from the masses, now merely feeds their endless desire for schadenfreude.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've been bumped from a long-distance flight. KLM from Lyon to Amsterdam to Jarkarta.

In Lyon, they said there was a "computer problem" so we'd have to get our boarding cards for Jakarta in Amsterdam. Except it was overbooked, so we had to wait at the gate, only to be told 'ah, sorry'.

Worse, we were part of a delegation of ten from a Certain Organisation. Five got to board. We didn't, and were made to hang around Schiphol airport for HOURS while they tried to rebook us the following day. They said we could either have compensation or vouchers for other flights (cash, please).

After a lot of hours, we were given vouchers for the airport restaurants, which had all closed by then. Joy.

Then, they rather reluctantly gave us all cash and put us on a flight the day after, with the night at an airport hotel (whose restaurants had also all closed).

The upside? One of our group happened to have brought some booze, so we shared that in an (empty, "closed") bar at the hotel before getting a little sleep.

We finally flew on Malaysia Airlines, which was in fact lovely. And got, if I remember, EUR 600 for the inconvenience. That was the good part, but instead of arriving in Indonesia and having a day off after the flight (to get over that and the jet lag), we arrived, and then and worked the following morning after a few hours sleep and, in total, 43 hours from A to Z.

Sure, the EUR 600 were most welcome, but the hours and hours and HOURS of waiting around, plus the fact that KLM are *not* supposed to break up groups travelling together, made it all rather challenging. I was so tired that the first day, after work, I walked straight into a glass wall, and spent another 24 hours with the earth moving rather interestingly (but had to work anyway).

Short version? I hate the overbooking thing too. I've been through it more than once but this was at least the one where I got compensation.

Don't EVER, (ever ever EVER) fly on airlines that are not part of IATA. You don't get compensation. You don't automatically get rerouted.

I could tell more horror stories of Tanzania, and 33 hours between there and home, and having to pay for the flight from Amsterdam to Lyon (and a Certain Organisation taking three months to reimburse me), the chaotic airport in Kenya when we finally got on a flight out of Tanzania, and, and, and.

I quite frankly bullshitted my way onto a flight for which I had a confirmation slip but no ticket, to at least get as far as Europe). Thanks, Kenya airways. I owe you. Blame the utter chaos in Nairobi

After that, I said that no way was I ever going to take a non-IATA flight ever again. And I didn't.

In fact, I am once again rather glad I don't do all these long flights any more.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristiano View Post
This is outrageous - no passenger should be treated this way:

United Passenger Dragged Off Plane After Airline Overbooked Flight - Video of Crazy United Flight

I hope they sue the fuck out of United.
He could but it's unlikely he would win.

Quote:
The supply constraints have been great for boosting ticket yields but can prove detrimental when it comes to oversales. That’s one of the lessons United may be seeing in the aftermath of the dragged-passenger episode. But as for the man United removed, he probably has little legal recourse. This is because of the “broad discretion” airlines have under their carriage contracts, said Dan Lear, an attorney in Seattle. The carrier also could argue that a passenger who refuses instructions to exit has become belligerent and thus “a security risk” for the crew, he said.
United under fire for dragging passenger off overbooked flight
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashiri View Post
I don't give a fuck about the airlines and their wanting to overbook a bit for the no-shows, as far as I'm concerned they should never overbook. I hope any lawsuit drags such shady dealings into the spotlight.
Overbooking never made sense to me. Just do not let people cancel for free. Passengers on the flight win if someone does not show (which would happen less if said person had to pay) because they get more space. The airline wins because less $$ spent for the trip (maintenance, fuel, various supplies). The only person who does not win is the person who skipped the flight (and how often does that happen really).

Yes, I admit it sucks to miss your flight. That is your problem though, it should not be the fault of everyone else.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My first trip to England I took the then-brand-new Virgin Atlantic. They'd overbooked coach and the airport was a zoo. After some anxious waiting during which I really thought I'd be bumped, I ended up in first class. My one and only first class flight ever, lol.
I did get bumped once, when an unexpected stewardess strike on Air Jamaica left them short staffed. I had to wait 6 hours for the next flight. This was back in the stone age of no cellphones or much in the way of PCs, so the airline let us write a fax to our families explaining the situation. Except all that got through to my parents was "your daughter will not be leaving Jamaica". They thought I'd been busted or something. 🙄

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Old 04-10-2017, 02:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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[...] all that got through to my parents was "your daughter will not be leaving Jamaica".
That almost sounds like the plot hook for a Liam Neeson film.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I heard Romana's parents have a very particular set of skills...
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The situation with this passenger sounds like a mistake on United's part. If they knew the flight was overbooked, they should not have checked everyone in. Check in the priority passengers (first class, mileage members, full fare economy, etc.) until you reach the last group for which you don't have seats. Then selectively check in the last group in whatever order your policy says (earliest booking or whatever) until you reach full. The leftovers don't get checked in at all, and should not be boarded.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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This is a case where the market could have been used to solve the problem, if the airline didn't have the option of bypassing the market and resorting to force. Just increase the reward for leaving the flight until someone accepted it. $1000 cash? $1000 cash on the spot? $2000? Or book their own deadheads on another airline? There were lots of options for the airline that didn't involve this kind of bad publicity.

Or they could simply redesign their seating:

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Old 04-10-2017, 03:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Obviously nobody wanted to leave, so I understand calling security to remove the guy from the plane, but I don't know what the heck they bloodied him for, that can't have been necessary. Why couldn't they have just brought some police in that situation? I bet the guy would much more likely have left if told to by a cop rather than some un-uniformed security meatball.
In the video it shows two uniformed police officers escorting the man out, so the police were there and the man did not leave on his own accord. It showed a person in plain clothes, probably a US marshal, dragging the passenger out of his seat. Doesn't seem like any security guard meatballs were involved.
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes, by all means, throw THE DOCTOR WHO HAS TO BE AT THE HOSPITAL off the plane. I am kind of shocked passengers just set by and let this happen to this man. First their insane ban of leggings, and now this. That sort of mentality does not give me trust that United could even fly a plane. Reason 57 why I will NEVER fly on a commercial plane.
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm curious about how and why they selected this man to be the unlucky person to have to leave the plane.

Of course they responded with violent action, when he refused. That's all we ever seem to do in this country anymore. It's the go-to response to everything.

I loathe flying with a passion. We pay for the privilege of being treated like cattle, an endless source of fees, and them perhaps not even providing the service that you have already paid for.
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Let's Boycott United Airlines
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquility too View Post
In the video it shows two uniformed police officers escorting the man out, so the police were there and the man did not leave on his own accord. It showed a person in plain clothes, probably a US marshal, dragging the passenger out of his seat. Doesn't seem like any security guard meatballs were involved.
Ah okay. I've been unable to get the video clip working on my phone so I just saw like a screen capture of some guy in a dark shirt and jeans but no visible markings. If there actually were cops present then it seems to me the police should be getting more scrutiny for this situation than the airline, since obviously the police were called to fix the situation, not make it worse.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm curious about how and why they selected this man to be the unlucky person to have to leave the plane.
According to my ticket fine print, if they find no volunteers to give up their seats, they start with the lowest fare class ("limited economy" I think it's called) and bump people in kind of reverse chronological order, starting with the very last person to have booked the flight and working back from there. According to the news there was a couple who was bumped first, and this guy was next in the line after them.

I wouldn't be surprised if most airlines do it that way; it's the least unfair method. The airline can't really skip people because they claim a more urgent need to fly than the other passengers; literally everyone on the plane is a doctor who has patient appointments tomorrow, or a guy going to a funeral tomorrow, or a lady who's expected to be back to work tomorrow, or a parent with a kid in the hospital, etc and the airline's not going to triage people by making value judgments about whose situation is the most dire.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:46 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Officer who removed passenger placed on leave

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An aviation security officer who dragged a passenger off of an overbooked United Airlines (UAL.N) flight to make room for employees has been placed on leave, Chicago authorities said on Monday.

The officer -- one of three involved in the Sunday night incident -- did not follow protocol, according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Aviation, and as a result "has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation."

"The actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department," the statement said.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:46 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I wouldn't be surprised if most airlines do it that way; it's the least unfair method.
No, the least unfair method is to prioritize paying passengers over staff.

They have fold-down jump-seats for deadheading staff, for god's sake. They should have used those before dumping people. And if they used them up first, then start offering more money until they're no longer overbooked. And if they don't like how much that costs, then don't overbook. It's all the cost of doing business, it's nothing that justifies police intervention.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:48 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
According to my ticket fine print, if they find no volunteers to give up their seats, they start with the lowest fare class ("limited economy" I think it's called) and bump people in kind of reverse chronological order, starting with the very last person to have booked the flight and working back from there. According to the news there was a couple who was bumped first, and this guy was next in the line after them.

I wouldn't be surprised if most airlines do it that way; it's the least unfair method. The airline can't really skip people because they claim a more urgent need to fly than the other passengers; literally everyone on the plane is a doctor who has patient appointments tomorrow, or a guy going to a funeral tomorrow, or a lady who's expected to be back to work tomorrow, or a parent with a kid in the hospital, etc and the airline's not going to triage people by making value judgments about whose situation is the most dire.
Then they shouldn't be overselling tickets. Simple as that. What other business does this? I get it, they don't want planes that aren't completely cattle-packed, but that is part of their business. Does any other form of transport do this? Trains? Buses? No? Then why do we let air companies do it? Heck, do other businesses get away with this? How about a stadium? Do they say, "Sorry, we oversold tickets, you may not enter.

We, as consumers, aren't responsible for their business plan.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Then they shouldn't be overselling tickets. Simple as that. What other business does this? I get it, they don't want planes that aren't completely cattle-packed, but that is part of their business. Does any other form of transport do this? Trains? Buses? No? Then why do we let air companies do it? Heck, do other businesses get away with this? How about a stadium? Do they say, "Sorry, we oversold tickets, you may not enter.

We, as consumers, aren't responsible for their business plan.
They have to come up with the money for those CEO salaries and bonuses somehow!

I remember when flying used to be fun. An experience. Even coach. People would spiff up a bit, wear some nice clothes, and you were treated decently. Now, I dread it.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:00 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolene Benoir View Post
Then they shouldn't be overselling tickets. Simple as that. What other business does this? I get it, they don't want planes that aren't completely cattle-packed, but that is part of their business. Does any other form of transport do this? Trains? Buses? No? Then why do we let air companies do it? Heck, do other businesses get away with this? How about a stadium? Do they say, "Sorry, we oversold tickets, you may not enter.

We, as consumers, aren't responsible for their business plan.
I think hotels can also overbook, same reasoning. Although, hotels are first check-in, first serve period, so if more people show up than rooms nobody who's already checked in is getting thrown out. And of course like the airline, the hotel has to pay for an alternate room somewhere else for you.
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