They stole his boarding pass, replaced it with another one, lied to him about sitting in the wrong seat. This was done in the hope he'd be stupid enough to think he misread his boarding pass.
I'm not sure how official such a document is, but he might've even be able to sue them for forgery or at least fraud.
Whenever someone asks for my boarding pass, I show them my phone, while the paper copy is safely in my pocket.
When the drama first started I kind of wrote it off: "this must have been a misunderstanding compounded by a single employee's stupidity". But when I found that it was not only condoned, but fully defended by the company top-down, red flags went off. Then, the inevitable outrage led to past stories resurfacing, with a pattern of absurd insensitivity (abused dogs, broken guitars, sexist clothing policies, etc). Then, I started remembering some terrible experiences I've personally had on United. Like the time they left me stranded in India for 2 days (rumor is the staff did this on purpose to protest some new policy around maximum flight times), then made me wait 3+ hours to get approved for a hotel room at 1 am even though I was flying business class (which would have been wrong even if I wasn't business class!) Or the time a gate agent lied to me about contacting a connecting flight, leading me to miss an entire day on my Thailand trip. I have many more of these.
My point here is that United really does seem to have ingrained issues that directly harm their customers. This toxic culture doesn't benefit them in any way, but if nobody cares they'll have no incentive to stop.
You don't think you'd be able to dredge up similarly bad stories for any other airline?
Look, what United did on that flight was pretty awful. But the rest of this to me smacks of the typical rumor mill that spins up when a company has bad PR, which surfaces the typical sort of 2-deviations-below-the-bell-curve scenarios you'll occasionally have when you're a company at United's scale - a scale that employs tens of thousands of people that do not actually all act as one giant United hive mind as much as we'd like them to but rather each as autonomous people that can occasionally do wrong things in a way that has no bearing on the company at large.
(That was a pretty long sentence.)
For what it's worth, I know an employee of United who loves it. But what was that saying about the plural of anecdote again..?
This quote is telling: "When I was a outsourced regional jet captain operating United Express flights between 2010 and 2014 the gate agents in charge of the regional (out-sourced) flights at United hub, Washington-Dulles, were third-party contractors. They were horribly trained and frequently surly. The gates were always crowded, everyone there was angry, nothing worked, it was utter chaos and misery. I absolutely dreaded flying there and did my best to avoid it, Chicago was only a little better."
"I really don’t think the upper management at United has any clue about the nuts and bolts, day to day, inner workings of the company. Post-merger United is too big to fail, too big to manage and far too Balkanized to govern. I fully expect the ugliness to continue at United."
I'm only arguing the supposition that United is a uniquely bad company.
Many other bad companies (that keep United from being unique) haven't stumbled in such a harmful, public way. United did, and we consumers need to make an example out of them.
This is the kind of problem a company can get into when the people making the key decisions operate in terms of "metrics" that don't track reality well enough. Plus when a lot of the work is done by outsourced vendors, they probably don't pass on unquantifiable bad news.
This also played a role in United's frankly abysmal on-time ratings; in order to have enough capacity while moving everything into tiny regional jets, they had to raise the frequency of the flights, which led to logistical clusterfucks at their hubs when they just overloaded the ability of the airport operations to handle that many flights.
Smisek did do it with the long-range 757s he gained in the Continental merger. Smaller plane, less crew...and just enough range to get back if the headwinds are light. If not, it's an unscheduled 90 minute refuel in Canada. Add the time to clear immigration and customs, and now you have 200+ people with a missed connection.
I've had it happen to me, it's not fun.
Meanwhile, airlines are also looking at Airbus, which is talking up a long-range variant of the A321neo for exactly this purpose.
Hitting paying customer head on the armrest until he lost consciousness? I think no. I hope you don't believe "he fell" united version, because that's literally impossible in the economy seats. I may eventually come to terms with the loss of several hundreds dollars (or 1-2 thousand, due to lost car and hotel reservations) but concussion is inexcusable offense for me. I won't tolerate that ever.
That said, I and my family decided over a year ago never to fly United again, based on multiple bad experiences. Independent of this incident, I'm sure we made a good decision.
That doesn't excuse them. All American airlines suck. That problem should be fixed.
LOL, you mean this Southwest?
Wait, maybe you meant this Southwest:
a) They're always more expensive on the flights I take.
b) They hide their fares from aggregators like Google Flights.
"At Southwest, for example, we talk about hiring not for skills but three attributes: a warrior spirit (that is, a desire to excel, act with courage, persevere and innovate); a servant’s heart (the ability to put others first, treat everyone with respect and proactively serve customers); and a fun-loving attitude (passion, joy and an aversion to taking oneself too seriously.)"
They only buy a single type of plane and fly it back and forth between the same city pairs. Thus their main competition used to be bus service. Often they would advertise one-way fares for $39 or even $19 as a promotion. Today you can still fly for under $100 between many cities (I live in Texas where they were founded so maybe my experience is different from yours).
As for hiding fares from aggregators, it turns out that there is a global booking system served by only a few companies, the largest I think is called Sabre, and in order to list on that system you need to pay a big annual fee. So in another example of cost cutting, Southwest refused to pay the fee and just sells tickets directly to customers, cutting out travel agents.
They were the first to have unassigned seats, the first to eliminate meals from flights, and they even used to have provocatively dressed stewardesses before that became uncool. Today the flight attendants sing songs over the intercom.
They even used to shave off a few minutes of turnaround time by having everyone out on the tarmac for boarding when the plan pulled up. It was a big game of musical chairs and apparently people found this fun.
I thought United Airlines and CEO apologized?
> “That is not who our family at United is,” Munoz said.
> Later Wednesday, United said all customers on that flight are receiving compensation for their ticket costs.
"Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right."
Customer was not belligerent. Stupid employees and stupid police or rent-a-cops escalated the situation to violence.
That said, it wasn't united that removed the guy, so had American or Southwest got to the point of needed to removing a non-co-operative passenger (it seems that point is less likely to occur) it would probably of been the same police team that actioned it. People need to remember that.
Also, this idea that he was targeted due to being Chinese has no supporting evidence, its more likely it was first row of people with less/no airline status (given the extra legroom seats in front were probably reserve for gold members).
United screwed up on processes, gate management, and their apology. But this was the police/airport-security that should shoulder most of blame for the social outrage..
Via https://np.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/64m8lg/why_is_... and more:
> Lawyer here. This myth that passengers don't have rights needs to go away, ASAP. You are dead wrong when saying that United legally kicked him off the plane.
> 1. First of all, it's airline spin to call this an overbooking. The statutory provision granting them the ability to deny boarding is about "OVERSALES", specifically defines as booking more reserved confirmed seats than there are available. This is not what happened. They did not overbook the flight; they had a fully booked flight, and not only did everyone already have a reserved confirmed seat, they were all sitting in them. The law allowing them to denying boarding in the event of an oversale does not apply.
> 2. Even if it did apply, the law is unambiguously clear that airlines have to give preference to everyone with reserved confirmed seats when choosing to involuntarily deny boarding. They have to always choose the solution that will affect the least amount of reserved confirmed seats. This rule is straightforward, and United makes very clear in their own contract of carriage that employees of their own or of other carriers may be denied boarding without compensation because they do not have reserved confirmed seats. On its face, it's clear that what they did was illegal-- they gave preference to their employees over people who had reserved confirmed seats, in violation of 14 CFR 250.2a.
> 3. Furthermore, even if you try and twist this into a legal application of 250.2a and say that United had the right to deny him boarding in the event of an overbooking; they did NOT have the right to kick him off the plane. Their contract of carriage highlights there is a complete difference in rights after you've boarded and sat on the plane, and Rule 21 goes over the specific scenarios where you could get kicked off. NONE of them apply here. He did absolutely nothing wrong and shouldn't have been targeted. He's going to leave with a hefty settlement after this fiasco.
I can also confirm it personally because I have family in that area and it turns out they were treated by him. o_O He doesn't have the best reputation, apparently. Not that that's at all relevant to United's behavior, of course--it's like those cases where a cop shoots an unarmed man for no reason and they try to defend it because it turns out he'd robbed a liquor store the previous week. Was pretty surprising to me, though.
It's great that others have checked out the guy's statements, but I think the downvotes on the parent and easy dismissal of his/her IMO reasonable question is a bit much.
Except their tone / style was far from reasonable. It was arrogant and elitist. If they have concerns about the authenticity of reddit posts, there are far better ways of wording it, instead of going lulzzz reddit hurr durr.
That said, United utterly botched this in the way they handled it.
And I don't let the PD off the hook either. That police can use violence to settle what is essentially a business dispute is just wrong.
I was responding mostly to the claim that they can only denying boarding in the event of an oversale because they can deny boarding to accommodate positioning crew, it happens all the time.
I agree that once the passenger was boarded, the situation was different. United screwed up, and they compounded the problem in their violent removal of the passenger and their subsequent public responses to the incident.
"Confirmed reserved space means space on a specific date and on a specific flight and class of service of a carrier which has been requested by a passenger, including a passenger with a “zero fare ticket,”"
"Zero fare ticket means a ticket acquired without a substantial monetary payment such as by using frequent flyer miles or vouchers" ... "A zero fare ticket does not include free or reduced rate air transportation provided to airline employees and guests".
Which means the employees cannot be counted as having confirmed reserved space. 14 CFR 250.2a says:
"In the event of an oversold flight, every carrier shall ensure that the smallest practicable number of persons holding confirmed reserved space on that flight are denied boarding involuntarily."
Which means denying the smallest practicable number of persons holding confirmed reserved space means denying 0 paying passengers. They cannot bump passengers for crew. Whether they do or not, they legally cannot.
I believe your interpretation is incorrect. This was discussed in another thread last night.
Assuming 14 CFR 250 even applies (there's multiple reasons why it may not), the explicit exclusion of employees from the definition of a zero fare ticket is immaterial due to employees otherwise satisfying the definition of confirmed reserved space.
The critical point is that the definition merely includes zero fare tickets, which are explicitly defined as not being employees. That does not mean employees cannot otherwise satisfy the definition of confirmed reserved space.
Deadheading employees are not involved in the operation of the aircraft, so they may be considered passengers. The employee travel passes used reserve a specific date, flight and class of service at their request.
Due to the urgency of that particular situation, the passes used were positive-space, also having higher seating priority than paying passengers. While that sucks, the alternative is that an entire flight is delayed or canceled, with many passengers on that flight missing their connections. Those missed connections then bump people off subsequent flights, creating a cascade of chaos. That's why deadheading flight crew have priority over ticketed passengers in certain situations.
United screwed up by failing to follow the correct procedures, and the compounded that failure by sending security personnel onto the plane to manhandle their customers.
* maintaining extra crew on standby at each airport, in case of no-shows by the scheduled crew.
* reserving (i.e. not selling) space on flights specifically for such crew transport.
* buying seats for them on other airlines, chartering a small aircraft, or other means of transport.
* offering enough cash to persuade volunteers to debark. Considering that the alternative is to compensate an entire planeful, the budget for this is a lot higher than 4*$800.
That means you are, even if confidently so, guessing? Or can you provide concrete details?
Consumers are in fact treated like shit, either knowingly/actively or not, and that is an abuse of power and trust. Power and trust that should be dissolved and then earned back.
This chrome extension, created in a couple of hours, illustrates a simple fact: be evil, be ignored. That's it. The power is in the hands of the consumer. We all have the right to voice our opinion with how we spend our dollars.
Too bad if your company gets caught up in someone's else's bullshit. Be evil. Be associated with evil. Ignore evil. Be ignored yourself. The internet is not a free advertising platform. The rules of infinite reach apply to big money and just someone willing to slap a few lines of code together.
Basically they caused this no volunteer situation themselves.
If what the person is saying is true, then technically speaking, the only one who could demand cash would be the doctor.
My statement about the doctor being the only one that could be compensated was definitely tongue in cheek.
The process is quite different with other airlines
"Last year, Delta had the highest rate of people without seats for flights by far and United was No. 2. But they handled those customers differently, according to DOT data. Delta was the most generous airline in voluntary compensation. On Delta, 100 times as many customers voluntarily took vouchers as those who were involuntarily denied boarding. United had 17 times as many volunteers as customers involuntarily denied boarding: 62,895 volunteers and 3,765 forcibly bumped."
yes, the police did the brutalizing, but all of the decisions that lead to that confrontation were UA's.
It's akin to arguing we shouldn't lock up people who pay for assassins, only the assassins themselves.
And I'm not trying to compare an assassination to what UA did, only point out that the law doesn't give you a pass because you weren't the one who physically did the act.
If I call the police because there is someone suspicious in my neighborhood and they show up and end up shooting an innocent person, I am not responsible for the shooting.
The only exception I can imagine is in the case of a false report. If one were to call and say he saw someone with a gun walking down the street and waving it around threatening people, and that was false - I suppose he could be responsible for injury that resulted from a confrontation with police. But it would require a criminal act on the part of the person who calls the police to have lied to the police.
If United is legally held responsible for the action of the authorities, I would have to expect that it could only be if they made a false claim to the police about his behavior prior to their arrival. I have a hard time believing they would be responsible just for misinterpreting the FAA boarding rules, even IF they did it knowingly.
No, but this example illustrates perfectly what I'm talking about.
If the only reason you called is because it's a black kid, then people are going to be justifiably upset at you, even if the police are the ones who shot the kid.
What we're talking about here is why people are upset.
Also, given the publicity here, there's no reasonable claim any competent airline could make that calling the cops to remove a passenger, for the airline's own initial fuckup, wouldn't result in harm to the passenger.
Which makes the case one of premeditated or negligent battery.
The problem is lack of scrutiny by the officers handling this. The process should have gone something like this:
United: "Hey, we have this guy refusing the leave the airplane. Can you help us remove him?"
Chicago PD: "Why won't he leave the airplane?"
United: "He says he needs to catch this flight for something work-related."
Chicago PD: "Is he threatening other passengers? Why do you need to remove him?"
United: "We need to fill the seat for some last-minute flight crew. Look, this is really important, can't you just come and take this guy for us? It's already becoming something of a scene."
Chicago PD: "So what you are saying is, you are asking a paying passenger who is already seated in a departing plane to leave. And he won't do so voluntarily. Can't you ask someone else to go instead?"
United: "We tried, but no one is willing to take less than $1600 worth of our $50 flight coupons. Ridiculous! We do no more than $1200 per FAA guidelines."
Chicago PD: "But did he break any laws?"
United: "Not sure, maybe there's something in the ToS."
Chicago PD: Click
United: "This man is trespassing on private property."
Chicago PD: "We'll be right over."
United breaking their agreement isn't illegal, but remaining on private property after you've been asked to leave by the people in charge is illegal.
That's like saying you leased your house to a tenant for a year but then six months in you find another tenant that you want so you call the cops on the first tenant. Doesn't work like that (well at least where I live).
A contract is a contract and nobody is tresassing here.
Sure, they're breaching contract, but that's a civil matter. It's completely unlike residency, as well, because that's got special protections, and as many times as people say this has special protections too, it doesn't.
To elaborate just a bit, breaking a contract isn't against the law, being "contractually obligated to let you stay on the plane" doesn't mean they can't kick you off the plane, at all.
Also, Chinese? I don't see anything on the linked article about them being Chinese. In fact, it looks like he's Vietnamese?
This was a very rare event: in the majority of cases, they're able to get volunteers to take a later flight. In almost every single one of the cases where they aren't, the people involuntarily bumped leave without incident. I doubt anyone on the flight crew foresaw their chain of actions ending in violence, right up until it happened. And I think that lack of foresight is entirely reasonable and understandable.
United (as a company) did a poor job of handling the aftermath, though.
The cost of involuntarily bumping 4 passengers ($800+ x 4) assuming no further incident, rapidly approached any benefit from not cancelling (or delaying) the morning flight. Total revenue for the regional flight would likely be less than $10,000.
Seriously, this wasn't hard.
Stupidly, The cost of the likely lawsuits (even from lesser incidents, that didn't involve beaten passengers, just extremely annoyed passengers) often negates any cost saving for the airline.
anyway, if the guy payed for his tickets, doesn't he have the right to stay on his seat as long as he's not a terrorist/criminal?
Also, united should be blamed for 99% of this incident, as it was united that called security to force the guy out - even when they had the chance to offer some other guy more rewards/etc for a smoother process.
Not really. It's the United that called those "cops" so they should take the full responsibility for their actions.
I'm still amazed that "overbooking" is legal though. It feels to me like it's a one big scam - airlines basically sell a product that don't have and it's absolutely fine by the law. WTF world?
If you define it the second way, the doctor hadn't completed boarding. (And I don't think it's a totally ridiculous torturing of the words to read it that way.)
1. Airlines in general don't seem to have defined 'boarded' in their contracts. This usually means that the meaning as tested in court will default to that commonly understood, i.e. 'has entered the aircraft and is seated'.
2. Accepting the manifest isn't final, there have been many instances of aicraft returning to the gate for manifest changes. Even to embark a late but high-value passenger. So when is the aircraft finally boarded? when the wheels leave the ground?
3. The United CEO stated that the flight in question was 'fully boarded'. That may have been an error in terms of hsi legal team but shows that even the airline doesn't have a concrete internal definition.
In Europe even before 9/11 flight security protocols demanded that a passenger need to be present on the plane and be seated until boarding is complete.
No piece of luggage is allowed to go on the flight if the airline / the pilot / crew / airport staff has knowledge that the passenger is not on that flight: They need to open up the cargo area, remove all containers until they find this person's luggage so it can stay on ground.
 I suppose I should expect the downvotes to continue flowing for this comment. If you do downvote, please also explain exactly who you think made the mistake, and where. Thanks!
They could've done a lot of things better before assaulting him, but i don't think after that initial fact any further are necessary.
What I though was going to be a useless required class ended up being quite educational.
The class was quite eye opening for somebody who just moved to this country 3 years prior.
A large part of why people are upset about it isn't just the physical brutality, it's the act of FORCIBLY removing someone from a plane after they've:
3. spent all the time going through customs, etc.
The fact that he got brutalized, even if it was not purposeful, is secondary. If you read through this very thread you'll see most of the commentary isn't centered around his injuries, but around UA's decision to forcibly remove him after boarding.
Saying that they couldn't get volunteers is like saying you can't hire developers - you can get either if you offer the market rate. Instead, United decided to use muscle instead of compensating customers for what was United's mistake.
It certainly looks like they are specifying a maximum compensation for the relevant situation here.
But suppose it were entirely up to United. Whenever I've asked people what United should have done instead, "offer more money!" is really the only response I've gotten. Even if the amount were much higher, there could still be scenarios in which people would refuse it for whatever reason. And even if it were entirely up to United, that seems like very minor mistake, if you could call it that. And certainly nothing that should cause anything resembling "moral outrage." Particularly when their flight bump compensation is in line with all other major airlines.
That can only be true if you haven't really been anywhere talking about it.
People have suggested paying more money, having them take a later flight (or a morning flight), having them take a different airline, paying for a rental vehicle and asking someone to drive them the 6 hours.
Part of the reason people are so angry about it is because there are SO many other options, and they went STRAIGHT to the nuclear option.
The moral, outrage isn't because United made a mistake. The moral outrage is because, rather than pay $800 more to correct their mistake, they resorted to force.
The moral outrage was compounded by the president of United not delivering a sincere apology. "I'm sorry your dog was run
over." isn't the same as "I'm sorry I ran over your dog."
There seems to be a case to be made that United wasn't even in the right contractually. It certainly struck many people that way at a gut level i.e. when you take delivery of a product or service you don't expect the seller to come back later and take it back. This also contributed to the moral outrage.
The McDonald's woman initially just wanted (restorative) justice --Mac Donald's to pay for medical bills --McD went full corporate and got handed by the jury. Here it's the opposite, right out the gate, he's looking for major compensation and damages, rather than say medical bills, lost wages, etc.
Sure passengers in general feel a bit emasculated/defeminated on an airplane and want to give it to the airlines, but honestly I don't see a case for severe damages.
I'm certainly not going to drop United as a possible carrier over this incident. I'd drop them if it happened to me personally but I would not expect others to follow suit. Just like I won't ask anyone to boycott a particular car dealer from a particularly popular brand because I think they treated me poorly.
He must be one of those guys you don't want to prank even as a friend because embarrassment is too much for him.
Edit: OK, then.
"The 69-year-old medical professional has hired corporate law specialist Stephen Golan and personal injury specialist Thomas Demetrio".
Someone else _offered to get off this plane - for a few hundred or so bucks more than the on-site middle management was prepared to pay - so they chose to not only break his contract illegally, but physically assaulted him using hired goons to do so.
I'd bet reasonable money that Stephen Golan's people contacted Dao, and by "hired" they mean "The law form has offered to do this on a _very_ small commission, because they know just how much money United stands to lose here, and Stephen Golan plans on buying his own 747 with his 15% cut of the settlement figure".
And as much as I hate ambulance chasers - I'm cheering this one on here.
It's _possible_ I'll get o a United plane in future, but that'll require me knowing that this incident hurt them a lot - enough to ensure that nobody working at United now or in the future doesn't hear about it, and that it's blindingly obvious being part of letting a situation like this happen again will not only be an immediate firing offense, but also have United's lawyers chasing illegally acting staff for whatever they own to cover then next 8 figure damage payout.
For better or worse - this is how the justice system works against corporations - they can't choose to assault a person and put them in hospital - then just say "Oh sorry, here we'll cover your hospital bill. Now we're all good, right?" and have everybody involved just say "Company policy, soz!". Stephen Golan needs to take enough money out of United's coffers to guarantee that there's a top down message send inside United that this must _never ever_ happen again - no matter what the company policy says. (I'd also settle for United just covering Dao's expenses, and the entire chain of management from CEO down including the airport rent-a-cops as well being sentenced to whatever jail time they'd d=face if they're each personally committed this assault on Dao in public. But I'd be prepared to let Dao choose which of those outcomes he'd prefer...)
I would prefer restorative justice over punitive justice in this case. If people were not deplaned, another flight would have been delayed/cancelled affecting not one or two people but hundreds. There were jerks all around --from the people who physically took him out to the victim himself.
And how does that become David Doa's personal problem?
And how are you gonna feel about "restorative justice" when United pay his hospital bills - and then assault one of your family/friends next month, because they know it's cheaper doing that than delaying/canceling flights (or, you know, getting their fucking shit together and having proper plans to get flight crews to their planes without turfing paid and seated passengers off aircraft...)
Like I said - I hate "ambulance chasing lawyers", but I genuinely hope this ends with an out of court settlement north of 10mil - not because I think Dao or the lawyer "deserve" that much, but to make it crystal clear to all United employees (including the CEO) that this is _never_ the right way to deal with this problem.
We _know_ what his seat was worth - $1600 - someone else offered to get off for that, and was "laughed in the face". United were offering $800. The one of the four crew missing their spots - worst case - affects "hundreds" of other people (people you'll note who, like Dao, have paid-up tickets and contractual arrangements with United, not Dao...).
Let's say United managed to only incur the $800 per seat costs they were offering here as compensation to the "hundreds" of other passengers potentially affected by one crew members absence. At the very low end, if "hundreds" is only 200 - that's $160,000 dollars of risk - and I admit that's something the on-site United manager needed to mitigate. Which they had the option to do for only $800. Instead - they almost certainly broke the law, purposefully mis-used non-applicable regulations, and didn't back off when things started to go pearshaped, not just in the aircraft, but with the tone-deaf initial two messages from the CEO.
So by saving $800, they put a guy in hospital, and the people who made that decision got backed all the way up the management chain to the CEO and his legal advisers - in a $22billion company.
And you're somehow implying that what the victim did here makes him as much as a jerk as the United and airport rent-a-cop people?
Sorry, we do not agree on that - you are just wrong.
And I stand by my earlier comment - if this doesn't end up with a settlement up in 8 figures, _my_ read of that will be that United fully intend to do this again next time it suits them, and that assaulting paying customers in the interest of "shareholder value" is part of their procedure manual.
Most level headed people don't put up a struggle to get off. Most people who are thus inconvenienced or wronged will take it up via normal channels. If I'm asked to deplane, unwarranted as it may be, I'm not getting into fisticuffs --I'll take it up later via other means, and it appears most people in the same situation do the same. Very few people become belligerent. Again, not saying this is the preferred mode to operate, but it's how airlines operate. Maybe an 8 figure fine changes that but my guess is they'll just have more legalese giving them more leeway in bumping passengers. I don't think it's going to change an industry which historically operates on thin margins. Not unless they become "re-regulated" and we get the privilege to pay 2x to 4x current airfare like people did pre-1980s in real dollars.
Here's why I think he was a jerk --the airline, right or wrong was operating from a legal standpoint which includes the ability to take people off a plane (you may debate that) but he did not retaliate in a legal manner --he took personal affront and physically resisted removal. Separately, I think the airline were jerks because they should not have resorted to their legal options when they had not exhausted reasonable monetary options first.
That choice was just plain wrong, and allowing it to unfold as it did knowing there was an $800 solution on offer was morally reprehensible.
And you're being accidentally or intentionally misleading about what we can all see in the video - Dao did not "get into fisticuffs" or "become belligerent", he sat in the seat he'd paid for. United-directed rent-a-cops started the fisticuffs and belligerence.
Excusing this with "but it's how airlines operate" is such a cowardly point of view it genuinely astounds me that anyone capable of reading and commenting on a site like this could hold it. If _any_ business is designed to operate this way - where errors on their part result in a procedure that involves and excuses assaulting people - they deserve to be shut down.
I'm happy not to "re-regulate" the airline industry, I'm just saying if we're going to let "the market" be the fundamental driving factor - that "the market" needs claws. The things that they should not be allowed to do need to have powerful corrective market forces against them.
And claiming that any alternative solution to assaulting Dao will result in "the privilege to pay 2x to 4x current airfares" is again intentionally missing the point - THEY COULD HAVE SOLVED THIS FOR $800! AND THEY CHOSE NOT TO.
Fine them enough to _really_ hurt, or close them down and put everyone in charge in jail for assault.
(If you want to get into pure speculation worst case outcomes here - take a look at the UAL shareprice - it dropped tom 71.5 to 68.5 in the 25 mins from 9:30am yesterday - about $900mil of market cap - which then bounced most of the way back, but settled something like $450million down . If you want stupid rationalizations for why we need to change or not change the industry here - here's mine: If we allow this as acceptable practice, then obviously next time a flight crew needs a seat, the gate manager will just call his broker, make sure all the other passengers have their phones out, and beat shit out of the most photogenic passenger on board. Instant profit.)
They said that the plane was too big for Oakland. We sat on the runway for 2 hours then flew back to Vancouver with nothing put warm coke. By the time we got to Vancouver, it was late so so all airport and hotel food was closed. We had vouchers but nothing available to spend it on.
Of course they lied about the plane being too large, another airline flew the same plane to Oakland regularly. i had to spam fax their customer support line to get vouchers.
A few weeks later a passenger created a Facebook group, and we all started to share our experience. United caught wind of it, and sent us $500 credit almost right away, with bigger apologies for the incident.
Airlines start offering compensation and travel that is less than what is required under the FAA rule hoping that people who haven't been properly informed about their rights will take the cheap offer. When this doesn't work they slowly raise the offers.
The FAA rules provide that a passenger who has a reservation and who is asked to give up their seat because the flight is overbooked is entitled to a lot of money and the airline is required to fill them in on their rights right away. In writing.
Compensation depends on how quickly the airline can get one to the next place one is booked to, and can reach 400% of your paid fare or up to $1,350 if they cannot get you to your next destination within four hours. If they can get you somewhere you are booked to within an hour or two, the compensation is much less.
For a much clearer explanation with legal input, I'd suggest readers to read http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/04/united-passenger-remo... .
That's way too cynical of an interpretation. If I'm a poor, flexible traveler (and I have been) I'd rather get $200 for myself by volunteering than have a chance at $1350 by waiting to get kicked off.
It's win-win for me and the airline. That's 20h at minimum wage!
On the other hand you could have vouchers in hand, guaranteed. And at 'just' $200 you can fly one way across the country and round trip to many places, and the airline can save some money. I wouldn't take $200, that said I've often taken $400+. Further, if they need multiple volunteers airlines in my experience tend to give all volunteers the highest amount required to convince the last guy.
I'm far more impressed when my bags catch up with me in some remote location in the middle of the third world you have to give directions by people and landmark :) But so far they've gotten them to me without fail.
Unfortunately for me, alot of these flights are booked through companies I work for, leaving me few options, but I will expressing my preferences going forward, and not buying United personalyl ever again.
Holman Jenkins wrote an informative and funny piece in today's WSJ on this: https://www.wsj.com/articles/make-america-great-boycott-unit...
A co-work of mine just went to Japan for the first time and he has status on One World. I talked him into the JAL flight. He was amazed at the difference.
America air carriers suck.
I was in economy and it was short flight but I got free tea anyway. Which is nice, because most airlines don't offer even water. But the best part was that it was poured from super nice decorated tea pot. Like "put it on display in living room" nice. 10/10, would fly Asiana again.
It's not even about punishing United, it's about showing other players that if they behave in the same way, _they_ might randomly be subjected to this sort of punishment. People are not going to stop using airlines, but we might stop using yours for just long enough to make it hurt.
Even a vocal minority can have a profound impact on things. Look at how people got mobilized to let their representatives know they didn't like the ACA repeal bill which did end up having an effect on congressional members. Or more recently, how groups mobilized and pushed an ad boycott of Bill O'Reilly. There's even companies who opted to drop Ivanka Trump's line of fashion because of public outcry.
Same sentiment in this op-ed piece on Medium.
If you absolutely need to get there on time, or need flexibility, buy a non-discounted fare. Yes, it costs more, but you will be at the head of the line if there is a mechanical problem, weather cancelation, equipment replacement, etc, all of which the airline has limited control over.
Also, a bit of perspective, the last US commercial airline accident with fatalities was in 2009, and tens of millions of people have traveled safely to their destination since then, not so with any other mode of transportation.
The CEO remarked: The man was removed because employees were following the “involuntary denial of boarding process.” How do you deny boarding to someone who is already boarded?
United says its denial of boarding provisions only apply in the event of an “oversold flight." United defines oversold flights as:
> A flight where there are more Passengers holding valid confirmed Tickets that check-in for the flight within the prescribed check-in time than there are available seats.
Employees are not considered "passengers holding valid confirmed tickets that check-in for the flight within the prescribed check-in time." To reinforce this reality, the CEO admitted that the flight was not oversold.
But most importantly, there are different laws for customers pre-board and after you've board the plane. There's a very specific set of rules that allow United to kick a boarded passenger off a plane(Rule 21 Refusal of Transport), but there's overwhelming evidence that none of it applied to Dr. Dao.
There was zero reason to remove him from the flight other than United deciding they had a better use for the seat (which if we accept, should we start expecting United to remove people from flights if someone shows up offering to pay more? I'm not convinced there's a material difference between the two cases).
...except in this case, United was in the wrong and hoping that no one would notice. There were no "strings" attached, though they want you to believe that there were.
I mean we're talking about United bumping paying customers who are already boarded and sitting in their seats from a non-overbooked flight to make room for employees from another airline.
 - http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/29/news/united-orbitz-sue-skipl...
- the service provided has become essential (airlines, cell phones, home internet, etc)
- it's provided relatively cheaply to a large group of people
- there are few alternatives (and in many cases no alternatives)
- barriers to entry are high -but profit margins are low or cyclical, or you need scale to compete
All of this leads to customer dissatisfaction, we need the service, our particular business doesn't matter, competitors are unlikely to enter the space, and perversely since there are few to no alternatives as long as people are equally dissatisfied the few players just swap customers for no real net loss
Out of all airlines, United has given me the most problems. Due to my "priority status" with most airlines, I am likely sheltered from the brunt of the harassment, but I often witness other passengers dealing with toxic attendants, overbooking situations, crew movement taking priority, and so on.
Emirates is my primary international carrier. However, for many of my international trips out of DFW, United is one of the only premium carriers available.
Truth be told, my best experiences have been with Virgin and Southwest.
Virgin is now my go-to carrier when flying longer-haul domestic between destinations within their market. The Wright Amendment previously crippled Southwest's usefulness but, since it's removal, I find myself flying with them more and more often. Love Field, due to its size and location, provides such a painless travel experience in and out of Dallas. The alternative is flying via DFW, which necessarily adds over an hour of traffic delay each direction and maybe half an hour of TSA delay, even with pre-approval, when compared to Love Field. Saving 2.5 hours each time I fly is quite the value proposition.
Given these United revelations, for international flights, I will try to book with other carriers more often - Luftahansa, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, AeroMexico, etc.
TL;DR: United truly is the worst. Virgin and Southwest are good. Use Emirates for international.
Of course, this doesn't address the issue of dropping United if most of your flying is domestic. In that case, I'd suggest looking into flying out of smaller airports with one of the discount carriers. SouthWest has actually been reasonably good to me. Sure, it's nowhere near the level of service on Turkish, but for the price it's pretty much in line with what I'd expect.
While normally I might agree, I can't honestly say that I've seen other airlines resort to such excessive measures for something that was clearly their fault. The act and immediate response was pretty deplorable in my eyes, including the internal e-mail from the CEO himself who accused the passenger of certain adjectives that are objectively false when considering both video evidence and the legal stance as interpreted by lawyers who have assessed the situation.
As such I will refuse to ever buy a ticket from them.
Europe and Asia has better airlines:
I spent over a thousand dollars in the first couple days attempting to repurchase the contents of my bag, assuming it was lost for good. The only silver lining to this nightmare of an experience was the fact that United refunded me the cost of replacing my clothes... a whopping 6 months after filing a claim. Needless to say, I'm ecstatically cheering on their demise.
It was "aviation police". No connection.
To a first approximation, everybody. Unfortunately.
What? They were not arresting him as far as it has been shown. Resisting arrest is a grave crime AFAIK, so don't mix terms (or don't complain of other people mixing things!).
Again, read more about it, he was not trespassing at all. He was legally allowed to stay in the flight (even though the crew members said otherwise).
Also under IL law, trespassing: "A person commits criminal trespass to real property when he or she: (3) remains upon the land of another, after receiving notice from the owner or occupant to depart" In the reading I've done on this, I've not found anything to support your claim that he was permitted to remain on board. Do you have a source?