Good perspective in the WP comments:
"The truly shocking thing here is that violence - with the real possibility of serious injury - was viewed as appropriate in a situation that was purely logistical. The airline wanted seats for its own employees. This was not an emergency - such as a terrorist attack or a drunk passenger endangering people. The lack of judgment is stunning. There is no way that violence was justified."
You can't put a man into debt unless you have the capacity for violence to enforce it. He doesn't pay you back, you break his legs, or take his sons and daughters as slaves. Today we have reduced the violence. Now companies ruin credit, get a Sheriff to evict someone from a house foreclosure, harass you with phone calls .. it's a less violence but it's still a form of it.
This violence is also the origin of money (and debt). A conqueror takes a country. That leader needs to pay his army (they are expensive). So you take the area you took and they can only pay taxes with coins; your coins specifically. Only soldiers have those coins, so you leave a garrison that gets paid from the debt you put the people in.
Before the US destroyed Libya, it had the highest GDP in Africa and no debt to the WMF. Today, the "rebels" the US imported are now in debt to the WMF and the people no longer have free electricity or education.
Any kind of property requires violence to exist. If I say "this is my land" and you disagree, the only way I can enforce my claim is through violence. Debt is just a specific case of a general phenomenon. (This applies to communal property, too.)
> Before the US destroyed Libya, it had the highest GDP in Africa
Do you have a source for this? I see Libya's GDP circa 2005 at $41 billion (in 2005 U.S. dollars) . South Africa's 2005 GDP was $260 billion in current U.S. dollars  (bit over $200 billion in 2005 U.S. dollars ).
The debt motive for the invasion makes little sense. American banks made more money on Ghadaffi's Libya .
In "original" societies it is not abnormal for 50% of males to die violent deads. In our societies it is less than 2% as far as i remember. Including two world wars!
So the violence of debt is not that relevant in the big picture.
You borrow £20 from your friends, if you don't pay there is moaning but not usually more. You borrow £100k for a mortgage and don't pay and they may change the locks and put someone else in your house but don't usually hit you.
The United violence has nothing to do with debt.
This is an internal business matter for a private company, and United had several alternatives.
United didn't have to overbook the flight in the first place.
United could have accommodated their additional crew on a competing airline or private plane.
United could have offered more compensation to volunteers to leave the flight.
There is absolutely no reason for a taxpayer-funded police force to intervene in this private matter. The passenger violated no laws.
I will point out that it is not United that "chose" violence. They asked the police to intervene. The state is supposed to have a monopoly on physical force, so they did.
Now, for the police, violence has always been normal, or normalized.
Consider the appropriate responses:
1. An airline should not call in the police when dealing with customers because they can reasonably expect violence.
2. The police should be retrained not to use violence. (Is this reasonable? You can imagine other instances where this where this would endanger them.)
3. As a society, we should not let police deal with "civil" situations where violence might occur. Perhaps we need another "force"?
And so on.
edit: clarity of last point
That is absolutely reasonable. In many countries, police are trained to de-escalate potentially hostile situations. Only in the US and probably a couple of police states are police officers required to escalate to violence.
And it's that tendency to escalate to violence that makes police a threat to society.
It's not that simple. The police in the US are trained to de-escalate situations too. That doesn't stop police violence from occurring either in the US or elsewhere (there is no shortage of horrific stories of police abuse from western/central Europe as well, for example).
Are you sure? I've never heard of it. I have heard of a police officer who was fired for de-escalating a situation through his training as a marine.
Maybe some police department do train their officers to de-escalate, but it's very clear that many don't. In fact, many US police officers are overly eager to de-escalate.
> That doesn't stop police violence from occurring either in the US or elsewhere (there is no shortage of horrific stories of police abuse from western/central Europe as well, for example).
Compared to the US, there is absolutely a shortage of stories about police abuse in western/central Europe. Yes, it happens, but not on that scale, and the kind of police violence that Americans have come to accept as normal is not considered acceptable in most of Europe.
Wonder why. Because it's not newsworthy.
Sure, but practically speaking if you have a realistic understanding of how most US police forces operate, you know that involving them in any kind of dispute greatly increases the chance of violence and harm for all involved. YMMV per locality and situation, but it's a pretty sensible rule of thumb that police involvement equals increased risk of violence, even in previously nonviolent conflicts.
Which is sad and unnecessary. I think it directly results from the prevalence of "warrior mentality" in US police training and operations. They are trained to view all citizens as potential enemy combatants to be dominated, rather than innocents to be protected; they are trained to put the safety of themselves and other officers above the safety of the citizenry; and they are trained to, if not always escalate, certainly to err on the side of escalation if there is any hint of violent action or ill intent from the citizens they interact with.
Obviously not the case here, but in general, when anyone could realistically be carrying a gun, I don't think the current situation is a big surprise.
This is kinda the point of OP, police violence has become so common-place that we take it as normal happenstance when it's used. There's an air of expected guilt for anyone on the receiving side of the violence but no doubt whatsoever on whether the violence was necessary in the first place.
The biggest difference is most of the time when an officer abuses the public in the EU they are fired and criminally charged
In the US they are given a 3-5 day paid vacation while the police union and the dept find away to cover up the event, and the insurance company for the dept strong arms the victim into taking a no fault settlement that rarely even covers the medical costs for the victim
Even being fired for cause just means getting the same job in the next town over.
“In the US, police training lasts on average 19 weeks,” she writes, while “in much of Europe that would be unthinkable. In Germany, for example, police train for at least 130 weeks - http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/7709638
This passenger violated no laws but the CPD willingly intervened as an agent of the corporation.
Guys with guns weren't required. United could have offered more compensation to volunteers or accommodated their crew on competing airlines.
In related news, we learn that Barclay's "received assistance from a US law enforcement agency" to unmask a whistleblower.
Law enforcement have become lackeys of corporations, when their job should be to protect ordinary people from these abuses.
I'm willing to bet it wouldn't be too difficult to place charges of some sort on him. Not complying with police orders might be one, trespass might be another.
I've never heard of trespass being used in this situation.
Since he appeared to be reasonably passive, I suspect it would be difficult to charge him with anything.
An aviation attorney commented about this and seemed to suggest it's very gray: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/04/10/united-airlines-remove...
Yes, there's a fairly wide belief in this, including by many leaders in law enforcement; that is, that American police have been trained in a means which over-encourages use of force, and that this should be changed (in some places, the work has begun an implementing such a change.)
A key write-up of this is: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/248654.pdf
> I will point out that it is not United that "chose" violence. They asked the police to intervene.
Asking the police to intervene because the state has a monopoly on violence, so they are free to use it in ways you are not, is choosing violence, even if the police might also veto that choice. So the issue is exactly that United chose violence.
You're asking the police, a third-party representing the state and its acknowledged monopoly on legitimate use of force, to become involved. That doesn't necessarily mean that the resolution will or must be violent.
The only thing the police have that United lacks in this circumstance is the monopoly on violence; by asking the police to become involved, United is asking for violence, by force or it's explicit or implied threat, to be deployed to resolve this situation.
It's true that police can use mechanisms other than force or explicit threat, but so can United without involving the police. The only reason to involve the police is because they are violence, at least in the form of implied threat of force.
The only thing the police have that United lacks in this circumstance is the monopoly on violence
United can't act as a third-party moderator, which can be useful in confrontations like this. The police can act in this role. Yes, part of their authority in this role is that they represent law enforcement, and the potential for use of force.
One point that perhaps has been made elsewhere in the submission comments but not in this thread is that simply arresting the man is a use of force, regardless of whether the man allows himself to be arrested peacefully or otherwise. In my mind that's significantly different from dragging someone off of a plane or beating them, though those, too, are uses of force. Is arresting someone peaceably violence? I'd argue not, though I'm open to hearing other thoughts on this.
I've been trying to express that just asking for the police is not requesting that the resolution would necessarily be violent, that there are other options available by having the police there, while clearly acknowledging that the police, as law enforcement, are an extension of the monopoly on legitimate use of force (which is a type of violence). Reading the responses I've received, it seems that I haven't been particularly effective in making that point.
In the interest of learning how to better express myself, would you point out to me how I could have done a better job? In particular, what phrases or statements did I make that prompted your response? I believe the only meaningful difference between what you've written and what I've tried to express is that the only purpose of the police in the situation is the use of force (or the potential use of force). Is that a correct assessment in your eyes?
Much more useful would be deescalation and mediation, but that is not the training given to US police.
It seems like large portions of the police force in the US and the perception of it has degenerated to be some brutish muscle. It's concerning how much that is accepted.
I hate to sound like an old guy but I do remember when police used to try to resolve issues. Much like many police interactions I've witnessed in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
Police used to try to get everyone to calm down and figure out a solution that did not involve the need to get violent or anyone going to jail.
For instance, in this case, the police could have asked the doctor why he didn't want to deplane. With that knowledge they could have approached the United crew and informed them that this was a doctor who had to be at work tomorrow and imply that getting their four staff to another location seemed to be less important, so maybe they could find another passenger or find another solution.
If United persisted, the police should have gone back to the doctor and said, "Listen, we're on your side. They're being a-holes. But, it's their plane and they're asking you to leave which means you're trespassing and failing to follow the orders of a flight crew. We don't not want to arrest you or have to remove you by force, but we're boxed in a corner here. Just come with us and we'll help you file a complaint."
It definitely should not have been requested of them, but it's possible laws were broken.
The objection here is that violence wasn't sufficiently gated, and nor was violence minimally applied -- the airline could've just paid people to get off with a real offer, and not a dishonest offer where people suspect they're going to get tricked by funny coupons and vouchers.
Surely the flight attendants politely asked the man to leave, and when he refused they called their manager who did the same, and only at that stage did they call the police, who also probably asked the man to leave first, before finally resorting to dragging him out.
At the end of the day, the plane is owned by United, and they have every right to uninvite him from their property, at which point he is trespassing, and it becomes a police matter. Sure, they might violate their own ToS on their tickets at that point, but that's a purely civil matter.
Maybe, maybe not. Airlines are heavily subsidized by the US government in exchange for regulation so they will offer service to rural areas which might not otherwise be viable to run an airline into our out of. There are also laws and regulations which turn disobedience of airline personnel into a federal offense in particular situations.
Whether these, combined with this passenger's situation, turns this from a civil to a federal matter is something I'd leave for the lawyers.
In the end, this is going to cost United a TON. United could have flown a plane with only those 4 employees on it for way less than the hit they are about to take.
Of course very few people will defend the airline's actions here, but while saying you won't ever fly United again is easy, is competition really strong enough among (in this case) US domestic airlines to enforce that boycott?
I am guessing most people will simply opt for United if their flights are the most convenient for them, and leave the boycotting to someone else.
I suspect not just because talk is cheap, but also because we have come to accept the current state of affairs surround air travel. From the moment you step into an airport until you depart at your destination, you submit. You'll docilely submit to standing in a queue being treated as a potential terrorist to the point of being shouted at if you don't comply fast enough or simply don't understand what is required of you, and (for most of us who can't afford first or business class) you'll submit to being treated as a third rate citizen. Flying means keeping your head down and submitting until you regain your sovereignty at your point of destination.
Flying sucks, and we grudgingly accept it in lieu of alternatives, or because we actually believe that this treatment is necessary for our safety. Next week people will have mostly forgotten about this incident and will fly United without a second thought if the need arises.
However, I am curious. Once they made the decision to remove him. How could they have done so if he didn't want to move? A taser?
Even on a plane full of game theorists, willing to bid up to a million dollars, you're still probably miles away from the amount this will cost in negative PR, to say the least.
Sure, you can try to go to the courts to get monetary compensation for that, but you can't force them to provide the service.
The public has pretty well demonstrated that they prefer lower-price tickets over a higher-quality flying experience. So the airlines are giving the public what (the majority of) the public wants - a crappy, but cheap, experience.
In future one might consider, "how likely are they to violently drag me off a plane?"
That's the source of the brand damage here: many people (rightly or not) will be wondering whether the same thing might happen to them if they fly United, and decide it's not worth the risk.
Plus, I am not a lawyer, but I think IDB means just that -- boarding. Once you board the airline cannot change its mind, not for commercial reasons (although it might be able to weasel out of that by getting everyone off and re-boarding without some people). Again, take with a grain of salt; this is just what I heard.
Lots of things were legally allowed established practices until they were not; people realized they were unethical and immoral, hopefully people will begin to realize this practice is also unethical and work to abolish legal overselling
But overbooking is almost certainly right. Look, fact is that some pax won't show up for their reservation. Without overbooking, planes would fly emptier, wasting money and damaging the environment.
The airlines have fairly good predictions in most cases, and people have different preferences, so that almost always in the small number of cases where there is not enough space you can get people to get bumped voluntarily. It's really a win-win.
Sure, the flight would be delayed, perhaps significantly, but the impact of that would pale in comparison to this horrendous PR controversy.
Section 25 doesn't apply, they were not denied boarding. And I don't see anything in section 21 they've violated either. Their forced removal seems to be the airline violating their own contract, not the passenger.
Then there's not much to fear, because I don't see anyone at all finding this normal. It's on every news site and social network, everyone is deeply disturbed about these events.
If anything this clearly shows that violence is FAR from normal in peoples' mind.
I'm on the doctor's side, United should not overbook a plane and bump a customer to get their own people on board, but when someone refuses to leave what other options do you have? Taze him and drag him off? You'll have to use force to remove someone.
1. continue escalating their shitty voucher bribes : sooner or later someone's gonna bite
2. arrange alternate air transport for the crew : they're already in an airport, and 2 of their competitors (American, Southwest) have multiple direct flights between Chicago and Louisville each day
3. arrange ground transport : otherwise known as renting a car and driving. Not super fun, but I've had ironically had United pull that shit on me from NYC to DC - i.e. they cancelled a flight and put us on an overnight coach bus. If it's good enough for customers, it's good enough for the crew.
4. suck it up and delay whatever flight that crew was scheduled for. It sucks, but it was their mistake to overbook and this isn't a safety-critical situation.
Bottom line, there are about 951 different ways to tackle this problem and they chose the absolutely worst one out of the bunch. That kind of stupidity is legitimately impressive to behold.
Isn't there a good chance this happened anyway? I heard the plane was grounded for 2 hours.
What else can you do?! Am I right?!
How do you feel?
It is dark, rainy and tomorrow at 8 you have a job interview in the city.
You better pack up nicely and quickly, because I'll call the cops otherwise.
Let me know if you feel like you'd understand the situation.
They should not get into this situation. At ALL. They should, like they normally do, handle overbooking at the boarding stage -- by either offering compensation or by issuing IDB checks to people they choose to prevent from boarding.
What happened is major mistake and is morally despicable. I hope the passenger gets punitive damages.
Pay another airline to ship your employees. This is nothing but horrible planning on United's part. Worst case: Google Maps says a 5-hour drive separates Chicago from Louisville.
In the free market, you offer enough money until someone decides that the offer is good enough. Everybody has a price.
In a fascist place, you call the thugs to punch an asian doctor unconscious, so that he can be dragged away from his (paid) seat, so that employees can take their (free) seats
Ok, we're offering $10,000 to anyone who gets off.
I see twenty hands and we only need four.
How about $8,000, ok, down to 19 hands.
10 minutes later, and they probably would have ended up paying LESS than $800/seat.
DOT, Air passenger "Bill of Rights"
> If the substitute transportation is scheduled to get you to your destination more than two hours later (four hours internationally), or if the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, the compensation doubles (400% of your one-way fare, $1350 maximum).
Our society is less violent today than even recent history and continued reductions are more likely than not.
Which I don't mean we shouldn't be concerned about unnecessary use of force, I mean that it requires very careful measurement to say that violence is being normalized (Rather than rejected).
Unfortunately, the way this played out was pretty terrible. My hope would be that events like this could move United (and other airlines) to having more transparent overbooking policies and compensating people fairly, but that's not likely.
But my understanding from the article is that the problem here was not overselling; they decided to give priority to moving their employees around over providing the contracted service to ticketed passengers. It's hard to see how that's justifiable even by the letter of the law.
With that said, don't drag people off your flights. No matter what it costs you to get staff where they need to be when you make this mistake, it'll be cheaper than the negative publicity of a physical altercation removing a passenger (even if you need to retask a commuter aircraft just to relocate the crew, or ask another carrier to get them there).
Edited: for clarity.
If a doctor gets physically assaulted by Chicago's Aviation Authority staff because you didn't leave four seats free on your flight, you most assuredly fucked up.
Of course, that just gives a hecker's veto to anyone insubordinate enough to refuse to leave. What they probably should have done was select another passenger, and have police waiting for the recalcitrant passenger at the destination airport: that would satisfy the need to get personnel to their destination and ensure punishment for someone violating his contract and wouldn't cause a scene.
The moment you've escalated to "we've selected people at random, and we are willing to eject people by violence or arrest them on the other end" you've already lost.
No, what they should have done is exactly what other airlines do when they are overbooked: keep raising the voucher amount until someone volunteers to get off.
I, for one, am absolutely not interested in any vouchers that probably come with a shit ton of fine print, which makes them either unatractive, or impossible to redeem. Or probably both.
No need for violence.
I think that randomly selecting passengers is the 'other arrangements' their policy works out.
I agree that they should have increased vouchers past $800, but I disagree that it's guaranteed that there would be enough takers at e.g. $1,000 per, or even $2,000 per.
And I'm shocked at the downvotes: flight crew instructions have the force of Federal law; people who violate Federal law get arrested. The biggest mistake United made here was allowing there to be a disturbance in the first place, which caused a PR disaster. 'Man arrested on landing for refusing to leave plane' is a much better PR situation than 'man dragged bodily from plane.' Granted, 'United pays record-setting $100,000 in vouchers to convince four passengers to give up seats' is probably better PR still.
To do what, exactly?
"Rule 21: Refusal of Transport: UA shall have the right to refuse to transport or shall have the right to remove from the aircraft at any point, any Passenger for the following reasons:"
"H. Safety – Whenever refusal or removal of a Passenger may be necessary for the safety of such Passenger or other Passengers or members of the crew including, but not limited to: "
"2. Passengers who fail to comply with or interfere with the duties of the members of the flight crew, federal regulations, or security directives;"
Or, if not trespassing, would you like "breach of contract" or something? I'm sure they could find something; I'm neither very creative or experienced when it comes to making up criminal charges in order to punish people for interfering with my profit.
Are you sure about that
What is clear, though, is that he had a right to be on his seat before the whole sorry mess started. They probably could get him for "interfering with a flight crew" or some such crap after they asked him to leave.
While passengers usually do get the short end of the stick (and in the case of United it appears that the stick is always covered in shit, but I digress) I think the situation in Europe is a lot better.
When bumped, or even if you experience extended delays the airline must compensate you in cash. No useless vouchers, which are hard to redeem. There are a few exceptions, were that doesn't apply, namely if delays are beyond their control. Mechanical problems, however, don't count because it's their duty to properly maintain their gear.
Passenger rights within the EU are clearly spelled out and airlines can't subvert them by mealy mouthed "contracts of carriage"
I'd also wager that this wouldn't have escalated to this point virtually anywhere in Europe. Since the "smack him in the face and that'll teach him to comply" philosophy of policing seems much less aparent.
1. You are correct that is what they CoC states, however its not like this is really a free market (ie. the customer didn't really have a choice but to accept those terms). United, and all commercial airlines, effectively have a monopoly license. So, it wasn't really a free and open market that produced those CoC terms.
2. As sign of the "bad faith" of United's contract, the reverse situation is not permitted. That is, a customer who chooses not to fly at the last minute doesn't get to reschedule - and in many cases will simply forfeit his money. So, on one end of this contract a government monopoly can kick you off a flight via force based on whim (breaking the implied contract that they were going to service you), but on the other end the customer either has no other competitor choice nor has any recourse once they've handed over their money.
At some point, every US carrier has has or will have to IDB people, and they all have a policy that gives them as much leeway as possible under federal regulations to do so.
Now we have groups who place abandoning a cat on the same level as abandoning a child, as an example. It's going to be very difficult on agreeing what is "ethical" when in the "me" society it translates to "what is ethical for me, right now, based on my current views of some form of science/philosophy/religion/spirituality/etc and what happened to me personally when I was growing up"
If only one company decided to overbook, then sure, I agree with you. But if it were a law, and every airline was forced not to overbook, then it simply means the ticket prices would be a little higher. And if because of those slightly higher ticket prices, the airline might have to retire a plane or two, then so be it, but no airline would go bankrupt because of it.
We have all sorts of laws that protect consumers and employees that "hurt" the absolute maximization of profit. This wouldn't be any different. When it's a law, it just means everyone plays at a higher standard and prices are a little higher than they would be without those protections.
Also, Canada is likely going to pass such a law soon:
I don't have the contract at hand, but by the above wording, the man was already boarded...
EDIT: Still unsure as to the legality of this. IDB is well established, but the fact that everyone has boarded is a different matter. Reading the contract of carriage did not bring any more light to this point. And let's be clear, denying someone and removing someone are very different. At least one source says it does matter (unknown reputability) "This is important because involuntary denied boarding only applies when passengers have been fully checked in (including baggage) and are at the gate at a specified time, typically 30 minutes before scheduled departure." https://thepointsguy.com/2014/12/what-to-do-if-your-flight-i...
While the rules aren't printed very well (I just scanned United's Contract of Carriage, and the Federal Code), I believe it counts as an IDB even if you are physically on the airplane.
Airlines should make a better effort to avoid overbooking. If they can get away with this kind of despicable behaviour, they'll never improve.
If they don't get their crew to the other airport, the next day a full plane load of people (or more, due to knock-on effects) might have been denied a flight.
However, mistakes happen. For operational reasons, now the flight had a smaller capacity. Could have been that the seatbelt for a seat didn't work, or weight & balance issues.
At that point, it strikes me as perfectly legit to seek volunteers, and then, well, disembark pax involuntarily (while giving them all the help and compensation that they're entitled to, and more).
That's hardly "intentionally screwing over paying passengers".
Sure, mistakes happen. But the real mistake here is that the airline punishes passengers for the airline's mistakes. They should be taking responsibility for their own mistakes, rather than take them out on their customers.
Given this situation with an overbooked plane due to their own stupid lack of planning, they could and should have offered more money until someone did volunteer. That would have been cheaper than this travesty, and not a single person would have complained about it. Instead, they short-sightedly try to save some money by having the police (who also don't work for free) drag a perfectly legitimate customer out of the plane.
It's a distressing rejection of responsibility for their own actions.
The actual penalty is 4x the cost of the segment. Note this is not what you paid for the ticket on your credit card divided by two (in the event of a direct round trip ticket). This guy was likely owed somewhere in the range of a few hundred bucks as a ORD-SDF segment is likely worth about $50-100 after fees are excluded.
The $1350 is simply the max, your ticket has to be worth at least $337.50 for that to matter - at which time it's against you of course.
Think you'd probably have to fire congress to make that limit and multiplier higher :)
The law says
>Compensation shall be 400% of the fare to the passenger's destination or first stopover, with a maximum of $1,350, if the carrier does not offer alternate transportation
Stopover is defined in the law as
>>Stopover means a deliberate interruption of a journey by the passenger, scheduled to exceed 4 hours, at a point between the place of departure and the final destination.
Thus the carrier is responsible for 4x the total cost of the ticket, from Pick to destination unless the connecting layover is more than 4 hours in length
as to the point on "after fees excluded" the law requires compensation based on the full fare
fare is defined as
>>Fare means the price paid for air transportation including all mandatory taxes and fees
SO while some fees may be included, if they are optional addons like baggage fees, upgrades, drinks, meals, etc. Any mandatory fees and taxation must be included
When a family member, or associate of Congress gets hit with this experience, then maybe the fines get adjusted accordingly.
Anyway, hopefully the guy gets a good lawyer.
No, it's a United policy:
The airline hasn't commented yet on why they didn't go above 800, when they could go to 1350.
Voluntary compensation is entirely different - they are free to offer whatever they like to get someone off the flight. Involuntary unfortunately incentives keeping those limits low as a matter of airline policy though, of course. They can force someone off a plane for usually far less than $800 if they feel like taking a customer good will hit. This ORD-SDF flight certainly was nowhere near $1350 in IDB comp - likely less than $300 in mandatory IDB comp based on average ticket prices.
I've seen these offers go as high as $2,000 during significant service disruptions on major airlines. This is a corporate policy failure, as I'm sure the gate agent was only allowed to authorize up to $800 for that flight or something dumb.
They rolled the dice on saving a few hundred bucks against their reputation this time. I think it's safe to say they lost badly on that calculation.
They were told to save cash, and by golly, they saved that cash.
We have mileage runs and mattress runs already; why can't we have bump runs as well?
Someone get Carl Weathers on the phone!
It's a multi-day play.
United have a price they were willing to cost the seat, they were unwilling to bear the cost.
Either way, it's United's PR disaster to handle.
Ah wait, I think it's some formula based on miles and delay.
Regardless, it's some arbitrary cap for no good reason.
Learn from my lesson though, try negotiating before you accept, not after. Not sure if it would have made a difference, but definitely less embarrassing.
I guess we should film everything while traveling. Editing the laughter together with the dragging and screaming would be golden...
Ubiquitous surveillance of citizens is bad. Ubiquitous surveillance by citizens is good.
But if you have to take people off the aircraft, that looks like a last minute decision made by the airline to move staff.
The best approach would have been to up the reward/incentive.
Does this imply you're much more likely to get picked for last-minute eviction if you didn't check anything in?
I've flown on budget flights before that have a similar case where your checked lugagage is not necessarily on your flight to the destination but could be on a later one. Even much later. Very few guarantees before they actually start paying out for lost or delayed baggage.
They're also allowed to ship your baggage to you or hand deliver with a shipping courier.
In this case, denying IDB would force the airlines to pay the passengers whatever it cost to get them to voluntary leave the plane. This constitutes a penalty for overbooking to the point where they have to refuse carriage, and also just compensation for those inconvenienced.
Not that I'm saying this makes United's behavior acceptable - I have no idea how they managed to load the plane before realizing they needed extra seats - just that the law is, in this case, on their side.
Edit: changed he to they.
But also just as certainly he can tell you to leave the aircraft for refusing.
There literally is absolutely no legal right for you to stay on that vessel after the captain requests you leave.
Plenty of incidents support this on a practical level - captains remove people rarely but not unheard of for silly and discriminatory reasons. They likely get disciplined after the fact by the company, but in the moment you have zero recourse as a passenger who was asked to leave. Your options are to grab your bag and walk off, or be removed and possibly go to jail. Either way you are pleading your case on the ground.
What exactly did I say that wasn't true? If a captain removes people for discrimination, then they are removing choice from individual based on making choice for group. People don't want to hear a racist's rationalizations, so as a group decision it might be a good one, especially given it is related to in-flight matters (or the prediction it will be related to in-flight matters). Again, I state that the captain is only allowed (legally) to remove choice for individual when the group (all people in plane) are denied things related to in-flight matters.
Laws are typically rational.
I will note my response was directed to the claim that if they ask you to do something, you must do so. I'm stating that I do not believe, in all cases, the captain has the rational right, by law, to remove choice from an individual if they are not threatening choice for group. That's not to say the captain can't and won't do a removal, but it is irrational to remove choice from individual if they are not threatening group. That also implies it might not pass the muster of law, and a passenger would not be "guilty" of breaking a law by resisting removal. And besides, four people had to go, so the choice to remove that one individual's right to choice was removed by randomness or judgement, both of which are irrational actions.
The captain (afaik) can remove you for wearing blue shoes, and you must leave. He will face zero legal consequences for that action, but of course is subject to company discipline. In the absurd case the captain somehow owns the airline itself, I think there would be zero recourse available to an arbitrarily removed passenger other than IDB compensation and a refund of the ticket.
I also think the level of force in this case can certainly be argued - but I don't think the United crew will face any legal liability even if the officers do. Had they used a bit more discretion I'm quite certain this guy would have no case whatsoever even if physically removed against his will. Knocking him out of course is excessive, and I believe that is a separate argument.
I didn't intend to call you wrong, that wasn't the greatest choice of words. I'm simply stating this has been my understanding of the legal implications for some time now, as explained to me by casual conversation with various lawyers over the years since it's a curious subject for me.
This sounds to be like strictly a contract of carriage violation by the passenger, it is a civil matter, not criminal. I think the airline can't physically coerce the passenger individually once they're in the plane. They can remove his luggage and just wait until that passenger, or some other passenger, complies. But physically removing someone not engaged in criminal activity itself becomes assault.
United unfortunately is probably legally in the right here. However this is a major fuck up and it will take them a while to clear this black PR mark from their record.
Anyone searching for it will find "United" might find this "Airline drags doctor off the flight because they wanted to fly their employees instead" for years to come. Hopefully it was really worth getting those employees there...
While clueless idiots are now making a huge shitstorm on social media, and then fly United next week because it's $3.50 cheaper.
So, not sure that will have any impact on United's actual numbers.
You can't just refuse to leave an aircraft when instructed to do so by the crew. The reason simply doesn't matter - the time to fight about that is off the aircraft.
It may be considered excessive force however - which likely opens up avenues for assault and similar charges. Heck if I know though, IANAL and now I'm well off into the speculation weeds.
As I read the article, the police showed up, and he still refused to leave the aircraft. You can't just refuse when the cops tell you to leave. There are going to be physical consequences for that.
> It may be considered excessive force however
Yes, it may.
Remember, the law is different depending on your income and status. Large companies are like very rich people. They can and do often get away with murder.
The cops are likely waiting until the passenger is off the plane to take him into custody.
Actually the real police might well have told United to increase the voucher amount like any civilized human organization would do. The gate agent then looked outside and picked out the biggest meanest baggage handler she saw. I really doubt the Sky Marshals want any part of this disaster.