United airlines

Discussion in 'World Events' started by birch, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    To have an illegal act I am reasonably sure that one needs to break a law and the term illegal does not apply to contract law.

    As you mention contract law I would expect that the contract between the passenger and the company included a part where the parties, yes the doctor, had agreed that the company could request the passenger to leave, maybe referring to making room for their staff or otherwise, so I think one may find that by not leaving when requested the passenger was in breach of contract.

    I would say at the point where he was in breach of contract he could then be deemed a trespasser and reasonable force applied to remove him. But force will not be an issue for the company because the company did not use force, the force came from the police I believe.

    The next point is failing to obey the police takes the matter out of the companies control and liability and it is doubtful the passenger could even claim, against the police that he was subjected to unreasonable force, and be successful.

    Now we could expect the company will roll over and settle which raises the question is that acting in the best interest of the shareholders and given the share price has probably suffered as much as it will from this incident it would seem the interest of the shareholders would be best served by fighting the doctors claim which I am reasonably confident may be thrown out for lack of ground to bring any action.

    If I were the CEO I would feel my duty to shareholders would be not to pay out upon a claim which would not be successful if it went to trial.

    And if the shares are still down I would be buying as in a month or two it would seem, all things being equal, that the shares will recover.

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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The pilots union involved has released a letter - they think poorly of the Chicago Department of Aviation's employee behavior. http://fortune.com/2017/04/14/united-airlines-pilots-video/

    And they mention this:
    Michael 345 likes this.
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    Watch the video. The police were present, but it was the airline security who forcibly removed him.

    I did watch the video. He was injured when they dragged him out of his seat and smacked his face into the armrest.

    Whether he refused to stand up after that, no one can say, since I would imagine after a knock to the head as severe as that, it would be disorienting to say the least. He was never given the chance to stand up after he was removed from his seat. He was grabbed and dragged right away.

    Oh, I believe in obeying the law just as much as you do. But in situations where 'the law' is doing something that will endanger myself or my family for no good reason, then I would object. What about you?

    Or would you just take it and accept the risk to your safety if said police officer or security officer acted in an unreasonable manner that resulted in a risk to you or your loved ones?

    In this instance, the actions of the security officer endangered the lives of other passengers. Not to mention caused them undue mental stress, caused them to be late to their destination.

    What gets me about this case is that they knew they needed those seats prior to allowing passengers to board the plane. They asked the first time prior to boarding. They then allowed all passengers to board, before then saying that they would force 4 passengers to vacate their seats for their crew, without even bothering to see whether those passengers were in a position to vacate those seats. A doctor needed to get home to see his patients should have been allowed to remain on board for obvious reasons. In short, it was poorly implemented right from the get go.

    What they should have done is spoken to the passengers they had bumped off the plane prior to allowing them to board. That would have resulted in less injuries, both physical and psychological, less time wasted and they should have provided other means for those passengers to reach their destination, such as booking them on other flights with other airlines, is one example, instead of offering them a limited $800 credit, that restricted their ability to get to their destination that day.

    It wasn't randomly drawn as you seem to suggest.

    However, his selection wasn’t random. He was chosen based on a series of criteria.

    Based on United Airlines’ Contract of Carriage (more on that later), passengers with disabilities and unaccompanied minors are the least likely to bumped from a flight.

    For everyone else, the contract states that the airline made the decision based a passenger’s frequent flyer status, the layout of his or her itinerary (whether the passenger has a connecting flight), the fare class of the ticket, and the time he or she checked into the flight.

    This means passengers who are more expensive tickets, higher frequent flyer status, and checked in early are less likely to be bumped.

    What was most disturbing is as this was happening, even before security were called in, other people volunteered to give up their seats to allow him to stay, and they were denied. If the issue was the need for those seats for their crew, (the flight was not overbooked, every passenger for that flight arrived and checked in to the flight and no one canceled as they were hoping some would have canceled, none did, resulting in the issue that arose) then any who volunteered should have been listened to. But they weren't interested in the seats that were being offered and volunteered by others on the flight by that point. Which seems somewhat malicious and uncalled for.

    If they truly needed those seats, then they could simply have taken the seats of those who immediately volunteered when the gentleman advised he needed to get home to see his patients. But the airline refused. Why do you think that is?

    At the end of the day, United Airlines have severely damaged their reputation in a variety of ways. The brutality of their security staff for one, their refusal to negotiate with passengers prior to allowing them to board, their paltry credit system which made those getting off the flight finding it harder to get home, the manner in which they handled it during and after the fracas, not to mention prior to it, when they allowed everyone to board before then announcing that they were going to call names out and 4 would be required to vacate their seats, when they knew they needed those seats much earlier on and still allowed everyone to board the plane regardless.

    Normally if they bump someone from a seat, they do not allow them to board and give the person time to make other arrangements, usually before they even get to the airport, but at the latest, when they are checking in and before they board the plane. What United Airlines did was exceptionally unprofessional and if they are that disorganised that they allow passengers to board and then kicking them off right before take off, when they knew prior to passengers boarding that they needed 4 seats, then it just makes one wonder about how far that level of incompetence actually goes.

    Having been bumped off a flight once (was apparently an emergency about a dying relative and someone needing a seat, since I was flying alone, in business class and had no connecting flight, I was advised when I got to the airport and was checking in, after being asked about my schedule and if I could manage a slight delay - since I was going for just one day and was returning that evening, and I had given myself 2 hours on landing to reach my meeting, it was fine) , and they booked a seat for me on the next available fight with a different airline. I lost approximately 30 minutes of my time, was bumped up to first class. No fuss and I was quite well compensated for it. They (United Airlines) did not even offer credit that would allow those forced off the plane to book with a different airline or even rent a car to get to their destination.

    What United Airlines did from start to end was exceptionally unprofessional.
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  7. dsdsds Valued Senior Member

    The airlines are greedy capitalistic bastards. As I have mentioned, most of us can't fathom, let alone appreciate the level of complexity in technology, security, scheduling -- it takes to fly. Yet we assume and expect the same level of service as we do when buying a coffee or buying a cell phone. There is risk when flying. You want to talk out-of-line logic? When was the last time an airline company lost >1 billion value because of technical or security breakdown? Yet one single stubborn idiot who would not take $1000 to get off the plane and resulting social media ranting and raving caused this much depreciation? And because airlines are greedy capitalistic bastards (This won't change btw), who do you think will (ultimately) be affected? The ticket prices will increase, guaranteed. While cost hikes to improve safety and security are easy to justify, would people pay more to improve service and remove overbooking practices? not so sure.
  8. dsdsds Valued Senior Member

    How exactly did the law endanger that man? That passenger RESISTED instructions, RESISTED to comply, and PHYSICALLY RESISTED to be removed from the plane. He endagered himself by CHOOSING to resist. How could this not be clear? Also, your comment about "..for no good reason...", who judges the reason? Does a suspect or the crowd witnessing a confrontation get to decide if the police has a "good reason"?
  9. Bells Staff Member

    For one thing, they allowed all the passengers to board the plane, before advising them that 4 would be bumped from the flight for their crew, after their requests for volunteers to give up their seats prior to boarding, failed to encourage 4 volunteers to give up said seats.

    The initial request for 4 volunteers was made prior to the passengers boarding the plane. They then allowed all passengers to board the plane, before advising them that 4 would be forced to give up their seats.

    When one refused, they did not ask everyone to disembark, but instead, had their own security and police officers enter the plane and the airline security then forcibly and violently removed him from his seat, despite other passengers volunteering their seats when they heard him tell the crew that he was a doctor with patients to see. They ignored those requests and instead, had him forcibly removed from the plane.

    They endangered him and all the other passengers by allowing them all to get on the plane to begin with, by failing to negotiate properly and by then delaying the flight for hours, as they then had to do a huge clean up because of all the blood, thereby resulting in the crew needing to get on that flight, being delayed anyway.

    Still not sinking in?

    They should never have allowed any of the passengers on the plane, when they knew that some passengers would be forced to disembark immediately for their crew.

    What makes this time so rare is that they knowingly allowed all passengers to get on the plane and then told them of their decision to bump 4 people. They knew about needing 4 seats before the passengers got on the plane. Made the initial request before they boarded and then allowed all passengers to board the plane before opting for removing them from their seats.

    When the doctor advised the crew of the reasons as to why he had to get to his destination, other passengers immediately volunteered to get off in his place and were refused. That is when security were called in, when he refused to leave his seat because he has patients to see and needed to get home that day. A good doctor stands up for his or her patients and puts them first. The airline crew and security should simply have taken up the offer of the others who volunteered to go in his place. The airline and their crew endangered everyone by allowing them to board in the first place, with the full knowledge that some would be forced to leave the plane after they had boarded.

    Well yes.

    Are you telling me that if a police officer points a gun at you, you would not even consider why he or she was doing it and whether they had good reason to do so?

    Are you telling me that if you saw a police officer beating someone to a pulp, you would not even pause to figure out why?

    Basic human decency saw the passengers respond as human beings and demanded the brutality stop immediately. I guess what they saw was not what you deem it to be. If people fail or refuse to speak up in the face of unnecessary and dangerous brutality, and instead look for excuses to look away, than really, what does that make you?

    The airline stuffed up. Royally. While they have the right to bump people from flights, how they did it was atrocious and completely unprofessional and disorganised. You know, good customer service goes a long way. When a company goes out of its way to mistreat a paying customer in this fashion, then they will face a public backlash and their reputation will tank, as it rightly has in this instance.
  10. birch Valued Senior Member

    i didn't know about this part. that is just trying to push your weight around and you better know who is boss, sort of thing around here. that's united and i've flown with them before. it's weird they call themselves the 'friendly' when they are the least friendliest. heheh.
  11. dsdsds Valued Senior Member

    Yes, mistakes were made. Many mistakes. he may have had legal cause. Still does not excuse him from resisting authority which is the reason it got ugly. Sue them aftwards.

    Still not sinking in?
    Yes I would "pause to figure out why", "consider why..".. Would I physically resist?, would I run?, would I interfere with their process? would I even argue? No. Would you?
  12. birch Valued Senior Member

    your reasoning is full shit. it makes me wonder why you are treating airlines as so untouchable and putting all the responsiblity on the customer in this obvious fiasco that the airlines need to address more on their end which would be clear to anyone that is sane. your disingenous 'hype' comes from your lies that prices would 'have' to increase and oh it would be so much more work to 'improve safety and security'. wtf are you on about? what safety and security? this is more about logistics and what not to do as much as doing. strongarming or bullying or physical assault wasn't necessary. they also escalated this situation because they didn't want to be flexible when it was their 'place' to be since it was 'their' fault. this is what i mean by you are wrong on several levels. can you compute it?
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    I did not know this. Can you point me at an article that covers it?
  14. birch Valued Senior Member

    it got ugly because united was fucked up in how it handled it. she just told you that some others came forward to volunteer after knowing the doctor needed to get to his destination asap but you ignore that. it's rather bad character to not place blame where it mostly is deserved which was with united themselves. they needed volunteers and they had them but they wouldn't consider it. suspicious isn't it? they were looking to get ugly, asshole, and didn't care if it disrupted others or delayed flight wasn't as much a priority. it was like some battle of wills or competition for them. no better than 'you do as we say cuz we are boss here'. it also shows how inconsiderate they were and without normal human flexibility in considering an individual's personal situation and none of this factors into your cold blooded obtuse thinking. are you a bot? lmfao.
  15. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    thats the issue united botched in their contract of carriage once he was boarded their contract prevents a passenger from being bumped for the reason of employee needing the seat. pre boarding yes but not post boarding.
  16. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    I agree that United completely screwed this up - literally any other course of action would have been better. However, to your specific assertion they apparently have a legal counter argument:

    At the same time, the incident stemmed from something any airline claims the right to do. Buried in United's "Contract of Carriage" is a line saying the airline can deny boarding to passengers if the flight is overbooked:

    "If a flight is Oversold, no one may be denied boarding against his/her will until UA or other carrier personnel first ask for volunteers who will give up their reservations willingly in exchange for compensation as determined by UA. If there are not enough volunteers, other Passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with UA’s boarding priority."

    United does not define "boarding" in its contract, but an airline representative told Business Insider that boarding refers to any period before the plane physically takes off. So you can be told to leave the plane at any point before liftoff — even after you've boarded.
    (Emphasis mine)

    It's going to be one of those "definition of is is" thingies...
  17. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Well the company seems to have a problem then.
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Nobody knew that all customers of airlines waive their rights to service at any time. Nobody reads that fine print on the back of their ticket. It's a bullshit stipulation snuck in for corporate reasons to prevent lawsuits. So he resisted giving up his seat. Others offered their's as a result and were ignored. The Airlines screwed up big time. And now they are paying for it out the ass. Such are the effects of a failed policy which in fact they have even changed in admission they screwed up. What more do we need? Tired rationalizations from the corporate goosesteppers?
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member


    Indeed. It also says they have the right - in fact, obligation - to remove a passenger that is causing a problem.

    While the passenger may feel he is being treated unjustly in being forced to leave (and his insistence that he not was the one causing the problem the first place), it is not his right to resist then and there.

    When security and the police showed up, the resistance phase was done.

    Imagine of you were stopped by a cop on the road, who said you ran a stop sign. You may disagree, and there will be a place for that - but you don't get to defend your 'rights' by speeding off.
    Not the best analogy, but the fact is,you don't have the 'right' to resist the police (or the security).
  20. birch Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way with the airlines and no one would care. if he had not resisted, nothing would have been done to review or change policy for the better. They screwed up because he had already paid and had every right to get to his destination BECAUSE they could have upped compensation even beyond the 1350 (which they did not try) in this particular situation, besides the fact it was their screw-up or logistical mistake.

    Your analogy isn't quite right because a more apt one would be if you were in a restaurant and already seated and already had reservations and they decide to bump you for another group/person even though it was their mistake and called security/police and because you resist, they proceed to drag you out. sorry, it was still the fault of the restaurant and not the customer and this resistance on his part is what has brought to light what they should not get away with or be allowed to keep doing policy wise as well as treating customers willynilly as if their time and rights are secondary.

    you have to consider that the letter of the law does not mean it's a good law or rule. legal does not mean it's necessarily justified, sound, rational or the best policy/course of action. that's why laws or policy get subject to review and changed or modified.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  21. Bells Staff Member

    Sure. Here is one:

    On Sunday, Mr. Bridges said that when he arrived at the gate about 20 minutes before boarding, United had announced that the flight was overbooked; the airline was offering $400 vouchers to anyone who would give up their seat, Mr. Bridges said.

    As the passengers boarded the plane, “there was no indication anything was wrong,” Mr. Bridges said.

    An airline employee came on board and said United needed four people to get off, Mr. Bridges said, adding that the airline had by then increased its incentive to an $800 voucher. The airline later said that it offered up to $1,000 in compensation.

    Mr. Hobart, the United spokesman, confirmed that United sought passengers willing to give up their seats with compensation but that none stepped forward.

    Another United employee told passengers that the plane would not leave until four people got off, Mr. Bridges said. The employee specified that the airline had four United employees who needed to get to Louisville, he said.

    Four passengers were selected to be bumped, and three left without incident, Mr. Hobart said.

    They first sought volunteers to give up their seats, prior to allowing them all to board. The passengers were then told that 4 would be picked by crew to leave the plane, after they had all boarded and settled in their seats.

    They have since admitted that the flight was not over-booked.

    What happened was that the flight was fully booked and all passengers had turned up. More often than not, people cancel at the last minute or fail to show up. On this occasion, everyone who booked a seat on the plane actually showed up. So every seat was taken. Four UA crew needed to get on the flight. So they asked for 4 people to volunteer their seats. When none came forward to volunteer, they then allowed to flight to board and then announced that 4 would be chosen by the crew, and would be made to leave the plane for their crew.

    Their claims that they overbooked is actually false. It wasn't overbooked. Everyone simply showed up for their flight.

    Which is where they will probably come undone. They advised passengers that they were overbooked, when they actually weren't. They are also required to provide a letter to those they bump, advising them of their rights and the credit they are giving them as compensation, that does not appear to have happened either. There is also the fact that the Chicago Department of Aviation have advised that the airport security officer who dragged the man across those seats and then off the plane violently, "was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department."..
  22. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    That would seem to add a wrinkle - hard to predict how this will turn out but it is definitely going to cost United millions, perhaps billions of dollars - if they even survive.

    As to the article I quoted, the definition of "boarding" was a point of interest for me - like most, apparently including PJ, I always thought the word applied to actually getting on the plane (you know, "boarding" it) but it looks like I had it wrong. Assuming that the article turns out to have it right...
  23. Bells Staff Member

    It has already cost them millions, as their shares took a nosedive after this became public.

    Then of course was the other nosedive, when the company memo became public, where the airline blamed the passenger, and again when they then released a public statement contradicting that staff memo.

    The manner in which they leave the wording and definition so vague, is going to cost them if this gentleman sues. The two uniformed officers were speaking to him quite calmly and it hadn't escalated too badly at that point. He was explaining to them why he had to remain on the flight and it was quite calm. It was when the third airport officer approached and then acted in a violent manner toward the man, that things quickly escalated as the man apparently walked up to him, told him he was getting off the flight and then reached over and banged his head on the armrest and dragged him across the two seats into the aisle. Passengers reported that the man appeared unconscious as he was being dragged off the plane and when he ran back onto the plane moments later, he appeared disoriented and highly distressed as passengers tried to calm him down. The violence against him also occurred after he had told them that he wished to speak to his lawyer.

    The fact that the Chicago Department of Aviation have come out and said that the actions of that security officer was not part of their standard operating procedure is going to be the kicker. Just as the flight not actually being overbooked as they claimed, is going to be interesting.

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