Also, the author is wrong in this passage:
From the article: "The gate agents offered offered $800 in airline scrip to anyone willing to deplane, which from past observation I think is the maximum that was allowed by United policy. That's an illegal cheapskate policy for which United fully deserves the condemnation it has received, and the fines it should be assessed for violating Department of Transportation regulations on denied boarding compensation. Obviously, the gate agents should have been allowed to offer more, and in cash, as Federal law requires. "
The airline can try and get people to voluntary give up their seats with whatever method they would like. They can offer free kittens, cash, vouchers, etc. If no one accepts the airlines arbitrary amount, THEN DoT rules take effect, mandating the cash compensation amounts. So Dr Dao and the other 3 passengers that left the plane are entitled to a completely separate amount from what United offered.
From the DoT website:
"DOT has not mandated the form or amount of compensation that airlines offer to volunteers. DOT does, however, require airlines to advise any volunteer whether he or she might be involuntarily bumped and, if that were to occur, the amount of compensation that would be due. Carriers can negotiate with their passengers for mutually acceptable compensation."
Laws, industry regulations, corporate policies and police enforcement are jumbled together, collaborating in a corporatist manner.
(A) The airline has policies and business practices such as overbooking & "must fly." These save money, get staff to their required destinations, whatever.
(B) Police enforcement is a required for these business practices to actually be practiced.
The only reason they can practically have this involuntary removal by lottery policy is police are willing to enforce it. If police of any city/airport refused to execute these corporate polices, the policies would have to change.
That's ultimately who outrage should be directed at, the police. Why did they come in the first place? Had a crime been committed? Passenger safety endangered? Police were summoned by a "private" company. They were informed that corporate policy required them to drag a passenger of the plane. They said OK, I guess that's our job.
I'm not as concerned about United or anyone else having nasty policies. Many companies do. I care more about police enforcing those policies. There is no consumer protection against police action.
If you frame it that way, then it does sound outrageous. This:
> They were informed that corporate policy required them to drag a passenger of the plane. They said OK, I guess that's our job.
makes it sound like the police think it is their job to enforce corporate policy.
But is that accurate? The airline owns the plane. They have the legal right to decided who is and who is not allowed on the plane. They allowed that particular passenger onto the plane, and then later they revoked that permission. When he refuses to leave at that point, doesn't he become a trespasser?
From the police point of view how is this any different from any other situation where someone is on private property without permission and refuses to leave? In most countries, I believe, removing trespassers is one of the normal functions of the police. Generally, in civilized countries, we want the police to do that rather than having the owner try to force the trespasser out themselves.
I would say that calling Dr Dao a trespasser is stretching either the term or the truth. The actions of police vis-a-vis passengers are not dictated by just general laws (like trespassing) that govern everything. They a dictated by industry specific regulations & policies about what is & isn't OK for the passenger and/or airline to do. These regulations are implicitly and explicitly written around the business models of the airlines, in collaboration with them.
We could probably litigate the details of this incident incident at length along the lines you suggest, but I don't think you can ever find the smoking gun of corporatism in individual details. Corporatism is about the systemic.
Corporatism exists where corporate and state power are merged.
In this case, a tell tale sign is how confused commenters on this thread (and journalists) get about about what is airline policy and what is industry regulation.
For example, it turns out (I think) that the regulator sets maximum compensation for involuntary deboarding while airlines set their own max for voluntary deboarding. I imagine that most passengers, crew & airport police have as much trouble demarcating these as journalists do.
When the regulator sits down to try and prevent future incidents like this (maybe right now), they'll ask to see United's policies on involuntary deboarding. They might get United to revise the lottery policy. They might issue new guidelines. They might standardise deboarding policies banning lotteries. Or United might, it's hard to tell.
I think an argument can be made against treating this as trespass. There is a (rather long) contract between the passenger and the airline. There are many reasons they list on the contract why they can deny transport, but wanting that seat for their own use is not one of the reasons. If a landlord rents you an apartment, there are reasons they can have the police evict you, but wanting to kick you out because the landlord wants to use the apartment for the use of his family is not one of them.
I am sorry to say the client is not trespassing since he already paid, he got this seat number and is already seated in the plane.
The trespassers were the 4 employers that the crew has decided to kick the 4 others clients. That is called favoritism.
With overbooking itself, up until the point that someone is bumped against their will, the practice is purely a win-win for all; airlines save costs -- a boon for competition and prices -- and passengers volunteering for a later flight get compensation that they view as valuable enough for the inconvenience.
For involuntary deboarding, there are scenarios -- albeit presumably unlikely -- that can occur, regardless of overbooking, that necessitate its use. For example, as mentioned in the article, sudden weather changes forcing a reduction in weight, or simply a broken seat. Point being, there are possibly entirely legitimate issues of safety, generally outside the immediate control of the airline, that easily trump any one person's right to their seat, even after boarding.
While much blame should be placed on the police here in terms of how they handled the situation, I don't see why this isn't something to be handled, ultimately, by the DoT in further dictating passenger rights. For this specific case, if involuntary deboarding was only allowed, say, for cases affecting passenger safety, the airline would be left with the choice of either, one, living with the repercussions of not being able to transport their crew immediately, or two, upping the voluntary compensation until there was a taker (and there would be at some point).
That is to say, I don't see why this issue couldn't be handled more elegantly by creating a market where the airline gets forced to up the compensation until it is approximately equal to the expected costs of not being able to deboard someone. And if that creates too many scenarios where they simply don't get a taker for the deboarding, then clearly their actuaries need to be fired.
One of the big dangers of industry regulating is eroding the border between the public and corporate domains. The line between state regulation and public policy is blurred.
Did United Airlines beat up Dr Dao or was it The State? Who should be prosecutted? Who needs to review their practices to make sure no one else gets ausulted.
In the current system, we need to do as ou suggest. Treat the complex of regulators, corporations & law enforcers as a sigle unit. Tweak the regulations (in collaboration with a half dozen corporations and police agencies) and the practices of all involved.
This is corporatism and it's dangerous.
There's also the x-factor of societal attitudes towards air travel post 9/11 (with additional post Trump anxieties added in). For all we know, the police might not have been told that Dao had been randomly selected for removal - they might have just been told that he was a disruptive passenger that needed to be removed. In either case, just by being on an airplane, the police will be primed to think of all the bad things bad people can and have done on airplanes. Laws and public attitudes have changed and it's gotten a lot easier to prevent people from flying since 9/11, so the police probably didn't think much of it from a consumer/civil rights standpoint (not that they necessarily do in any context), and just went into autopilot mode of applying force to resolve the problem in front of them. None of which is to excuse them, just to explicate that I don't think the incident was strictly caused by naked corporatism.
police in a lot of other countries achieve a lot more by just convincing uncooperative individuals with words than they do with blunt, pointless force, in murica.
there seems to be the strongly held opinion that "if they do something wrong, we have the right to treat them like shit and whatever that gets them is well deserved".
the idea that this was actually police, and not some random "security grunt" went completely over my head because this is not how police acts where I live.
for the overarching problem, theres a really simple solution: make it legislation that an airline may not book more seats than they have available. if you overbooked trains or busses or cruise ships or any other mode of transportation where you require a seat, people would call bullshit. airlines, however, somehow obtained the right to sell "the idea of a seat".
Isn't the act of overbooking akin to writing a check for an amount of money that you do not have in your account balance? If this can be considered fraud, why do the airlines get a break?
when you book a ticket, it says in the fineprint that you acquiring that ticket doesnt mean that you get to fly.
it is more like a bank pretending to have your exact balance available at all times. in fact, they do not. they kinda bet on the fact that not all customers want to cash out at the same time, which works almost all the time except when the banking sector melts down and all customers try to cash out at once and then banks have to admit that they cant really pay you out even if they wanted to.
I'm completely with you that they should not be involved in deplaning people who don't pose a safety risk.
Fortunately, the airlines hate PR / liability incidents like this. Delta is trying to take advantage of United's bad involuntary-bump policy by looking very good in comparison.
This particular policy does appear to be in line with DoT's requirements - you can get volunteers for any price you're willing to negotiate. Even if United has set a maximum price of $800 in some evil combination of travel vouchers that you'll never use, that is expressly legal. The required compensation only kicks in if you refuse that offer AND they still revoke your ticket for the flight.
"You can volunteer or be arrested" is an interpretation of "volunteer" that is neither the letter nor spirit of the definition.
The facts of the situation were this:
1. United offered vouchers up to $800 - this is the volunteer phase.
2. They received no volunteers.
3. Moving on from the volunteer phase, they selected 4 passengers to be removed from the flight.
4. They informed those passengers they needed to get off the flight (so now they're covered by the DoT minimum compensation, which is unrelated to #1).
5. Mr. Dao refused to VOLUNTARILY leave his seat, but 3 other passengers did.
6. Police were called, video was taken, lawsuits were started.
"Voluntarily" in the sentence you're quoting doesn't refer to #1 above, it refers to the fact that Mr. Dao, after being told by a gate agent to leave the plane, did not do so. It does not have any relationship to the DoT "volunteer" rules, it has to do with whether he was willing to leave the plane after being told to do so by a person who was empowered by their employer to get people to leave the plane (although their exact legal right to do so remains somewhat grey).
edit: your -> you're
"5. Mr Dao refused to leave his seat."
Refusing to voluntarily leave implies he ever had an option to reject the request, which he did not.
And then, the instant he's off the plane, they can either hand over another 4x multiple of his fare in cash, and tell the guy to sod off, or they can make a best effort to get the guy to his destination and possibly still pay him something when the alternate transportation arrives, according to how many hours of delay the passenger experienced.
While the media have been quoting $1350 as a maximum, 14CFR250.5(e) mandated reviews in 2012 and every 2 years thereafter, that use the CPI-U index to adjust the maximums. The CPI-U of August 2011 was 226545, and the CPI-U of July 2016 was 240647. So the 1-to-2-hour-delay compensation cap should be $675 * 240647/226545, rounded to the nearest $25, which is $725, and the over-2-hour-delay compensation cap is twice that, or $1450. Inflation.
Furthermore, the airline may offer vouchers and discounts only if their value equals or exceeds the cash value they would otherwise be required to pay, and the passenger is not required to accept them in lieu of cash. I would argue that an $800 travel voucher that expires in one year is worth much less than $800 in cash, especially when the average American travels by air only once per year. I would personally value $800 in expiring vouchers at around $200 cash.
Guy is pretty happy.
Until _six weeks_ later when he gets an email from StubHub saying "Sorry, the seller told us he sold those tickets in error, so we are refunding you."
Imagine I sell you a car. We sign a contract, you pay me, titles are transferred.
A while later I come back and say "No, I don't want to sell the car any more/ I made a mistake/ I got a higher/better offer" (like, say, the need to deadhead flight crew to a city?). You say "No. Sorry. It's my car now."
I take the car anyway, and leave you an envelope with the money you paid me, saying "Oh, we're good now."
Except in almost any situation, we're not, even with that envelope. It's theft.
I realize this is a service, not a product, and as a result, there are slight differences to the analog, but nonetheless, there are some very similar principles in play.
Some contracts include explicit rescission terms. No doubt United's adhesion contract contains some that are overwhelmingly tilted in their favor. But no matter what sleazy terms United puts in for itself, it absolutely cannot get away with keeping the money and refusing the service. That would be beyond the pale. But considering the way airlines operate, I would not be surprised if that is the bare minimum they would do on their own initiative. It takes a government pointing a gun at their heads for them to grudgingly give more.
On a matter of a car, it might be enough to refund the buyer before delivery of the vehicle and before titles were exchanged. After title is transferred, the deal is done. That's like demanding your money back after getting kicked off the plane at your final destination. You got what you bought. That's why if you don't trust your counterparty, it's always safest to pay only when you take delivery.
If you go to a movie theater, the management could refund you to kick you out before the end of the show. At an amusement park, kicking you out would requires nothing more than a refund. In those cases, people are not relying upon provision of those services to make money or avoid additional expenses.
For an airline ticket, there may be a tangible cost to not getting to your destination on time. And the compensation regulations may be designed to account for reasonable consideration. The airline can't know ahead of time that if passenger X is not in city Y by time Z, they will not be able to work at that time and will therefore lose $W as a direct result of their breach. But they should have a pretty good idea that disrupting people's travel plans can cost them, because travel insurance exists.
But that refund is the minimum necessary to revoke one's legal right to be on someone else's restricted-access private property. You have to at least take care of that before calling on the cops to remove someone. It doesn't absolve you of any other obligations resulting from your breach, but would be a gesture that recognized the paying customer's right to be present.
Your assertion that the purchase price is the "minimum necessary" is completely baseless in law. I guess it's the minimum necessary for the offer to not be a joke, but beyond that it carries no weight.
Perhaps it would be best not to reason this one out with a car analogy. It's distracting from the main issue.
Some people are claiming that Dr. No-I-won't-go was trespassing after being told to leave. That is not the case. That would be equivalent to a landlord evicting a tenant with a valid, paid lease. While the landlord also could not force someone out just by refunding their prepaid rents, there is no circumstance that would allow the landlord to evict a lease-holding tenant (if any even exist) without also refunding that prepaid rent. So as long as that hasn't been paid, there can be no trespass.
Furthermore, the tenant would be ethically justified to refuse to vacate the property until the refund had been paid, because holding possession of the property is the only leverage he really has over the landlord. He could go to civil court and petition for it, but if the landlord is judgment-proof or employs a good lawyer, that money may be out of reach for years.
Even if there were a law or rescission clause that allowed United to refuse service, without a cash refund, there is no possibility for criminal trespass. Without a crime, there is only a civil dispute. And there is no reason for the cops to be involved in any way in a civil dispute, especially not to be choosing sides in it and beating someone up.
United knows the cheapest tickets on the flight are $200. They know DOT mandated compensation for involuntary bumping is 4x cost of ticket. Hence, its not worth it to them to offer more than $800 in compensation as they can just bump people involuntarily for the same value.
Demonstrating why the DOTs rules for involuntary bumping create perverse market incentives re overbooking.
Without the law, United wouldn't even have to pay 4x. The remedies for regular breach of contract aren't very good.
i.e. airlines are only allowed to purposefully overbook due to DOT rules, the same rules provide what I perceive as a perverse incentive when it comes to encouraging involuntary bumping.
Hell, they could update their contact and then it wouldn't even be a breach of a contract.
The law was written to reign in their behavior. Without it, they have a lot more freedom.
How do you negotiate with an entity that has the ability to call in the goons on you but you cannot?
i don't travel much and i've been on a flight where they have deboarded people after people had seated so i don't think this is that uncommon. we also thought it was a really good deal. like ~200 EUR + accommodation for the night + ticket for the next day but none of us could take it because we had luggage in the hold.
In the US you hear "offered $800 compensation". It's not cash. It's a voucher for use only on that airline, only within 12 months, and only on select full-fare ticket classes. So an $800 ticket may only get you another round flight from Chicago to Louisville (around 500km/300mi).
Offer me some cold, hard cash, and that would completely change the game. I have, very rarely, seen airlines resort to that if the vouchers don't do the trick. I'd be utterly shocked if an offer of $800 cash couldn't produce four volunteers on a fully loaded plane.
This is wrong. By Department of Transportation rules, the airlines is required to pay up to 400% (max of $1,300) for an involuntary rebooking that results in a two-hour delay or more. Airlines might try to get you to accept less by offering voluntary rebooking for less, but if they bump you involuntarily, that's what they're required to pay, and it's not sufficient to offer only a voucher with restrictions.
European airlines pull the same sorts of tricks to try to reduce the amount that they pay out, or to get travelers to accept vouchers instead. It's not limited to the US.
$800 round trip is like Boston to Hawai'i next week.($822 from next monday to the 1st of May). That's 8,081km/5,021 miles. It honestly wouldn't be that bad.
I found the flight you're looking at:
Chicago to Louisville
O'Hare Intl. (ORD) to Louisville Intl. (SDF)
American Airlines 3520 operated by Envoy Air As American Eagle
Economy / Coach (V)
Canadian Regional Jet 700 "
V class is "Discount Coach". (http://www.cwsi.net/united.htm)
Only full-fare refundable ticket classes are eligible for voucher use. In essence, "Y" class: "1st Tier Economy. Full Fare unrestricted coach class".
In fact you couldn't fly ORD to SDF at all on a voucher because every seat on the "dba Express" carrier flights are "Discount Coach" or "Deep Discount Coach".
If anything, this proves my point. Because an $800 voucher sounds great, until you realize this.
Your other example?
No, you're looking at $2,600+ for BOS-KOA return that's eligible for voucher use (not sure if you can use a voucher as part payment).
I can't believe people keep bringing this up. THIS WAS NOT "AT THE GATE". The passenger had already boarded and been seated. The "volunteer at the gate" and "overbooking" situations do NOT apply anymore.
I didn't explain the Rosa Parks analogy fully, so here's my thought process:
1. Sometimes there are unjust laws or company policies
2. People have busy lives, and in general just go with the flow.
3. Putting a face and a concrete story to a policy is what really makes the general population realize the unjustness of a policy. Public uproar leads to market and political policy changes. Rosa Parks' story led to uproar and changes in a similar way that Dr. Dao's story has. United has already changed their law enforcement policy and crew booking policy. Delta upped their max amount for compensation. The situation was talked about in a presidential press conference, and by countless politicians. This wouldn't have happened without the public uproar, which wouldn't have happened if Dr Dao went peacefully. Future airline consumers now have more rights because of Dr Dao, and they should be thankful for his actions (I know I am).
I will clarify again, all analogies break down, and I am not comparing the magnitude of the injustices or the societal importance of the policy changes... just the general process. They do seem similar to me.
There was a legislated racist system.
The bumping laws are not discriminatory and are good for everyone. Airlines can stay more competitive (offer passengers cheaper seats) by being able to bump passengers and fill as many seats as possible for every flight. The compensation is set at a price point to disincentivise bumping. Its a completely free market approach.
(b) It took an individual to stick up for the just result, even though it was breaking the rules.
What is the just result? The law is still the law. Next time this happens, the passenger won't act like a child, and it won't be a headline.
They can fight it out in court if they like afterwards.
Airlines should be able to kick people off for actual good reasons, like if they're a safety threat. But "we want that seat more than you do" is not a good reason. For that, they should be required to secure the consent of the person in question by whatever means necessary, probably by paying them enough to make it worth their while.
No it isn't. The customer would have to be compensated for the damages.
But you should have the right to break contracts.
>Airlines should be able to kick people off for actual good reasons, like if they're a safety threat. But "we want that seat more than you do" is not a good reason.
My guess is that the reason here was "If we dont kick you off, we have to cancel/delay another flight"
Overbooking is legislated. Don't like it, change the legislation.
I have been in situations where I am offered $800 to be voluntarily bumped. This is okay with me.
I would prefer not to be bumped off a flight, but the compensation is very generous, and I understand that it allows airlines to be more efficient and that they make really small margins and a lot are struggling. The free market is working and I pay a really low price for tickets.
I don't think this is the argument though. Its about one passenger kicking and screaming instead of doing what every other passenger would have done, and then take it up with the courts if necessary which would create new precedent that could be used to justify modifying the legislation.
I don't want to see people being dragged off planes, and the answer is not to "never drag people off planes". We live in a civil society where people are wronged, but they can pursue it in the courts.
When denying boarding or removing a passenger who has done nothing wrong, the airline should be required to secure their consent. Then the question of "drag people off planes" would never even come up. That, and the subsequent court case, can be reserved for people who actually do something wrong.
You sign a contract when you buy a ticket. You willingly agree to the terms. Can you make a contract that someone can steal from you? No.
> When denying boarding or removing a passenger who has done nothing wrong, the airline should be required to secure their consent. Then the question of "drag people off planes" would never even come up. That, and the subsequent court case, can be reserved for people who actually do something wrong.
In a civil society, we resolve disputes with civility in the courts or through arbitration. Not kicking and screaming. Simple. If this goes through the courts, then we will have some new precedent, that could be made law. The kicking and screaming don't help no one.
I think I understand the principles you're espousing, but you seem to be applying them only to one side.
I guess the principle I am arguing for is when one side is prepared to use physical force (which they believe is justified) to remove someone from their private property, then the "trespasser" should abide by that (for the time-being), and seek legal remedy.
I see this as the only option to remaining civil. I don't see how society can function without violence without this being adhered to.
Also, when someone is charge with private security or as law enforcement, they should be respected where they physically enforce something. Again, once they have made up their mind to enforce something physically, I don't see a way to maintain civility in any other way than respecting their wishes.
In this case it was the airline's private property, and they felt justified to physically remove someone.
Now whether or not this is justified, is a matter for the courts to decide.
I completely agree that once they say, "get out or we'll take you out," you should get out peacefully, and pursue any remedy afterwards.
However, I also contend that in a case like this, where the passenger was not any sort of threat, it never should have gotten to that point in the first place. The idea of preserving civility by preferring nonviolent responses says that the passenger should have left peacefully, and that United never should have tried to force him off.
This is what I mean by "applying them only to one side." Both parties were in the wrong, but you're giving the one with all the power (and the one that started it) a free pass, and focusing all of your criticism on the customer.
> and that United never should have tried to force him off.
But once you have decided someone needs to leave your private property, you must carry this out. There were three other passengers who left peacefully, and to ask another passenger to leave because someone refused would have set a precedent.
I really don't see United with any other choice. Its their private property and they need to be able to do as they please. If they break the law, then they get punished. But its their private property.
> Both parties were in the wrong, but you're giving the one with all the power (and the one that started it) a free pass, and focusing all of your criticism on the customer.
I don't see United in the wrong. Its their private property and they can do as they wish. I would have done exactly the same in the situation. I would never allow a passenger to stay on the plane when they are ordered off of it.
Once they've decided to do this then, yes, they need to follow through. But they didn't have to make that decision, and they shouldn't have.
By taking the decision as a given and only talking about what happened afterwards, you're ignoring the whole problem.
> Where United went wrong
This is where we can find some truth to the matter. What does wrong mean here.
Each side could have averted this event. And each side lost something from this event.
Dr - Lost his dignity, became a celebrity with his face plastered around the world (good and bad - i.e. some people like myself think he is an idiot), physical injury, mental anguish, etc.
United - Share price, reputation, had to apologise, may lose customers, etc.
For both sides there are lots of negatives. United clearly had more to lose (tangible shareholder value and reputation) so they should have not created the situation.
I wish more people would look at this for what it is, which is childish behaviour from a professional adult, and just move on, but alas in today's world it seems that every event is being filmed and ready to go viral, so perhaps the next video we see will be me sitting on a plane that is being delayed hours while someone is being coddled and sweet talked to get off a plane they are being bumped from. This Dr may miss his appointments with his patients, but what about all the other hundred passengers who will be late or miss their connections.
This seems to be the standard that you're using to condemn the passenger. Why are you not applying that standard to United as well?
Note that, if we accept that violence is acceptable to remove a noncompliant passenger, then violence was chosen (at least as a potential outcome) the moment that United decided to remove people involuntarily.
Why do you insist that "it is" childish behavior from a professional adult, exclusively and ignore the behavior of the airline, which brought violence into a situation that did not call for it?
This is why I don't say that you're wrong, but that you are being extremely one-sided. You continue to attack the passenger's behavior while ignoring or outright justifying the airline's behavior.
The passenger should have complied, and the airline should never have put themselves in a position where they might have needed to threaten force. Do you not agree?
If you do agree, then understand that people focus more on the airline for some really good reasons, namely that they started it, and they wield all of the power. We place more responsibility on entities which start something than those who merely respond, and more responsibility on entities with power than those without.
So from my perspective, they did the right thing, if I evaluate the outcome selfishly.
I think its all about personal feelings anyway. I feel angry that someone thinks they are to be held to a different set of rules than anyone else (as other passengers got off), and that they think its okay to inconvenience all the other passengers.
Other people look at the outcome, and feel sorry for the guy because of his injuries, and are angry at law enforcement because they are anti-authoritarian - maybe something to do with their upbringing or their status in society I don't know.
And I understand that on a human level that people feel differently. But one is more rationale than the other. And this is what I believe separates the political spectrum in the US too - but that is a debate for another day.
I don't understand why you're so obstinate on that point, to the extent of not even acknowledging the possibility. It certainly doesn't fit with your supposed "violence as a last resort" stance.
This statement right here so totally exposes your pro corporate bias. No, a person cannot "do as they wish" even on their own private property. We still have rights as citizens. We still have rights as CONSUMERS even.
Do you disagree? If not then you need to reevaluate your whole stance because the foundation is incorrect.
We do not lose our rights as consumers when we board a plane. They are rules and regulations to protect both the carrier and the passenger that cannot be ignored.
You said I said: "Its their private property and they can do as they wish."
I chose my words carefully, and you have removed some to create your scarecrow.
They have interpreted the contract in one way and acted upon it. Even if the man interpreted it differently, he still should have left.
But ultimately it comes down to who has what to gain and lose. United has more to lose, so United shouldn't have done it.
Did you forget that you wrote it, neglect to go back and check, and then attack this person for quoting your literal words? Unbelievable. It's not a "scarecrow," it's a literal, unadulterated quote.
Sorry, I cannot find me ever saying that.
But it is a reference to my earlier sentence where I add: "If they break the law, then they get punished. But its their private property."
The point I am making is that I think its better to leave someone's private property, than to stay, when there is a dispute and there is the threat of physical confrontation. They have more claim to kick you off than you have to stay when force is involved.
I am talking about before we know who is in the right. If I trespass on someone's property that I believe I can rightfully be on, and they threaten to physically remove me, I will leave, and get the police to remove them. If someone trespasses on my property that they claim they have a right to be on, I will make them leave with force if necessary, and then they can get the police to remove me.
I think its sensible to default to the owner in these situations.
But I agree its a weak point and if we examine tenancy laws then it definitely doesn't universally hold well. But a good rule of thumb.
Perhaps you do, but the rest of us simply sigh and pretend we agree because in fact there is no alternative besides walking to our destination.
The principles of contracts assume that both parties are of similar power and that both have alternatives; in the case of air travel neither of these are true.
Exactly, this is why the airline should not apply force towards him. You're setting double standards here - airline applied force = good, passenger kicking = bad.
The second scenario is an exponential escalation of the situation.
I can't imagine living in a society where the airline is allowed to fix their fuckups by using a force towards a paying customer. They should let the passenger to stay on the plane and fight it out in court if they like afterwards.
Say the passenger forced his way on the plane after being bumped. Is this any different?
Yes, in court he can make this argument.
But is it really acceptable for a grown adult to be dragged off a plane? I don't want to live in a society like this, and I don't think the correct solution is to "never drag people off planes". We have a court system to resolve disputes and I think it is far better that whatever injustice people feel, it is resolved in the courts, not kicking and screaming.
I do agree that it is not acceptable for a grown adult to be dragged off a plane.
I think it's a straw man to say that don't "never drag people off planes" is one of the possible solutions. if he turns out to be within his rights, even if he didn't have a full understanding of the legality of his decision at the time, then I think he was right to resist being removed from the flight.
Saying that hypothetically he could have resolved it in court later, without being dragged off the plane is missing the point- I don't want to live in a society where it's acceptable to be dragged off a plane either, so let's not give united a pass on this situation just because it should be able to make similar actions in other (possibly legal) circumstances.
See I don't agree with this. Its an argument for vigilantism. The courts are the appropriate place for this to be disputed. Private property and law enforcement should be respected, especially on airplanes. This is how we uphold a civil society.
If a security guard is going to kick me out of somewhere because they think I am someone else, I am not going to physically resist even though they may be wrong. I will discuss it outside if there is a problem. Same applies to any situation. I can't see how it can ever benefit someone to physically resist something like this. It will always end up the same.
> so let's not give united a pass on this situation
I don't see what other option United had and don't see wrongdoing. The only thing this media firestorm does is set a precedent that if you are kicking and screaming you won't be bumped from a flight.
Even if he was in the right, when you are told to get off a plane, or leave a store, it is the right thing to do regardless of whether you were legally in the right. Encouraging people into physical confrontation does not create a nice society to live in.
Second, I agree that encouraging physical confrontation is a bad way to go. But you seem to pin the blame on the passenger, and that there's some inherent violence or threat of violence in voicing an intent to remain on the plane. To my mind the actors who created a physical altercation were the police officers and not the passenger. Surely at the very least the video shows a certain lack of restraint in removing someone from an airplane, given the circumstances. (there was no direct threat or indication of violence or criminal activity )
> I don't see what other option United had
To me their options are clear, persuade one passenger on the plane to get out, or lose whatever amount of money they were going to lose by not having that crew on their plane. If in fact Dr. Dao was not in violation of any law, (and united should have known this to begin with, it is their responsibility) then that is what this situation comes down to. Allow the state authorities to escalate the situation into a physical altercation or lose x amount of money. Seems clear to me.
You are arguing for the use of violent resistance to authority. If you disobey an authority what do you expect to happen? We have the right to peaceful protest, a democratic government, and a justice system. The only alternative I see is a violent confrontation with police which is not the society I want.
> To my mind the actors who created a physical altercation were the police officers and not the passenger.
You cannot disobey the police. The physical altercation was most definitely created by the passenger refusing police orders. I like US police because they get the job done. If this was Europe it would most certainly have been a different story. Plane would have been endlessly delayed, etc.
> To me their options are clear, persuade one passenger on the plane to get out, or lose whatever amount of money they were going to lose by not having that crew on their plane.
If you leave one passenger on the plane, you give reason for every other passenger to refuse. Then what do you do?
I would have given the same order to remove him from the plane with force, and I would expect this to be carried out like so. If there is some sort of mistake, it can be cleared up afterwards without inconveniencing everyone on the flight.
To argue against this is to argue that no one should ever be forcibly removed from anyone else's private property. The argument clearly does not hold across different scenarios. Follow the police's orders and leave someone else's private property when ordered to is a consistent message that makes it easy for everyone to avoid violence. Allowing everyone to live by their own interpretation of the law ends in more violence and regret.
Planes aren't trains, either. They can fly on any heading, with speed and distance dependent only on fuel supply.
"We're very sorry, but due to scheduling conflicts caused by a disruptive passenger, this aircraft will now be departing for Fargo, North Dakota, instead of Louisville, Kentucky, with earliest possible takeoff slot in six hours. Please deplane and form a line at the gate agent's desk to arrange for alternate transportation, or stay on this plane as it is pushed back from the gate for six hours, with no airflow, locked bathrooms, and no easy way to return to the terminal, and then go to Fargo, where you will get no compensation from the airline, nor any assistance getting to any other destination."
I'd get off "voluntarily". If that's the bluff, I definitely wouldn't want to call it. After I get off, the pilot says, "Psych!" and the original flight to Louisville is back on, and everyone at the gate gets back on the plane without me. If any cop was called at all, he gives me a complimentary cart ride back outside the secured area, and talks the whole way about that one time Sheriff Andy let him put his bullet in.
A plane doesn't have to take off on time. It doesn't have to take off at all. Once the airline decides it isn't taking off with you on the plane, you're just not going to be seeing any cloud tops from where you're currently sitting. At that point, it's only a matter of what it's going to cost to make you leave. And you have to rely on the company's assessment of what would be the cheapest way to do that. Hopefully, the rule of law is strong enough that "beat him up" is costlier than idling a whole plane on the tarmac for a few hours.
The correct solution in this case is that if an airline decides that they want to reclaim 4 seats that were sold to customers, that they figure out a way to get 4 people to voluntarily give up their seats. This was not the last plane out of Saigon. Likely a very small percentage of the flight would not leave the plane for any amount of money (family emergency, etc) and the rest would happily give up their seat for some amount of money. One person on that flight said they would give up their seat for $1500 and the employees laughed at him. For example, I imagine if they offered $10,000 that the vast majority of the plane would have raised their hands. Delta has increased their max offers to about that amount and I assume United will do the same.
>""We're very sorry, but due to scheduling conflicts caused by a disruptive passenger,
So someone who paid for something and doesn't want it taken away is now considered "disruptive"? If a landlord signs a lease with a tenant he can't just decide to kick the person out and use violence agains the "disruptive" tenant who wants the landlord to live up their side of the contract. The airline contract of carriage specifies reasons why someone might be denied transport, but wanting to reclaim your seat for use by their employee is not one of them.
The passenger is not actually disruptive in the traditional sense, but is disruptive to the way the airline wants to run itself. The passenger has no access to the announcement system to rebut the assertion, so the airline can paint them in as bad a light as they like.
Or did you think that airline employees did not routinely lie to passengers for their own convenience?
And flight plans can not only be changed and refiled on the ground, they can be altered in the air by talking to a control tower over the radio.
One cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve the public interest as police and a private interest as a security thug at the same time.
Following orders takes no guts. It takes guts to refuse to obey an unlawful order. The Nuremberg Principle still exists.
This is not really a matter of being grown up or not. This is about standing for something that one believes is their right.
I agree with you in that we have a court system to resolve disputes. What I don't agree with is that there should be "the chosen ones" in the society - in this case a big company - who can apply force instead of resolving dispute in the court.
A "generous free market approach" maybe is better, as the penalty for bumping is steep.
I'm sure there needs to be some way to remove people against their will if something really crazy happens. But it should be the absolute last resort if all else fails, not a way to cap losses to a low amount.
Compensation would come from means to achieve it.
Pleaae tie free market solution as above to compensation
And in the regards, Rosa Parks was just a small, single incident that has become iconic, so in that regard it's a good choice.
Now this United event was spontaneous, while Rosa Parks was planned action (NAACP leaders saw what Claudette Colvin had done and recruited an activist, Rosa Parks, as part of a managed publicity campaign). It was used to good effect (in both the sense of working well and in support of an important and good cause). The thing that has fascinated me the most about the United event is that now that everyone has a camera and the opportunity to write, some balance of power is being restored.
Indeed don't know you, treehau5 and how your life has been, any more than you know mine.
But yes, I do have some idea: when I first came to America in the 1960s with my parents we landed in D.C. My parents knew to drive north because had we tried to stay in Virginia we would not have been permitted to all stay in the same hotel. At the time of their marriage my parents' could not even get married in my native country, although the marriage itself (performed elsewhere) was legal, unlike in parts of the US.
I have seen firsthand the effect of racial laws on my direct family. I myself have been barred entrance to a hotel on racial grounds (though thankfully I think those times are behind us). I don't sit around complaining about it, or even thinking about it every day for which I am thankful: not everyone has that luxury. But yes, I think I have some understanding.
You are correct in that I was not here when Rosa Parks staged her protest so I do not understand firsthand what it was like in the South before the civil rights movement was accepted by whites. Perhaps you do. But I am very much aware of the benefit I have derived from her effort. As well as the social reasons why Colaudette Colvin's protest could not have had the same effect -- and how today's calculus has changed.
> There is literally no insight to be had.
You blandly make this claim but do not support it. I did in fact claim there was insight to be had. You can disagree, but simply stating your disagreement provides no explanatory value.
But how would you or I fare in this? We'd get assaulted, arrested, lives put in turmoil, and for what? Yeah, a pile of debt.
Black people in the US have a substantially more of this to go through, primarily due to racial targeting and profiling. That's not to even discuss targeting crack cocaine and "nigger weed" for extra punishment (marijuana, go look up Hearst, Nixon, and others' comments *why marijuana was illegalized).
So yeah, the analogy does sound rather decent. Except it's not White vs Black, but Monied vs Poor.
Real cops don't, shouldn't, wear jeans. These guys showing up in t-shirts and jeans says to me they are thugs with no respect for their job. That they didn't first clear the other passengers from the area means they are untrained. That they didn't ask to see the man's ID, that they didn't put pen to note paper, before laying hands tells me they are inexperienced. United may be financially responsible for its underlings, but that's just legal doctrine. I reserve my anger for those three realworld people.
I think the more serious error here is the error you display: "people are asked/told to get off planes every day." That may be true, and maybe in most cases results in only a grumpy exit, but this situation seems to have exposed that it is not a legal requirement, and that people's generally co-operative nature has led to routine infringement of consumer's rights. Dr. Dao was not clearly obligated to exit the plane, and the justification for the "police"'s removal of him depends upon the now-questionable claim that they were okay to do so.
Certainly we are putting too much of a premium on peacefully resolving situations at the expense of fair treatment. Your story should start with whether Dr. Dao was, in fact, obligated to incur thousands of dollars in losses by being "randomly" selected to miss a work day on which an entire medical office depends, in exchange for 800 units of United scrip.
Cops in the US seem way too ready to snap into a confrontation. They could have spent 30 minutes discussing with the guy and it would had caused less disruption and delay to the other passengers.
This concept of a comply or die mentality is a real problem.
Would a pretty please have really helped?
No comment necessary, you already did it yourself.
In this way, it does come back to the police action, because they should have treated it more as an investigation, asking all the parties involved about what was going on, and attempting to mediate, and then when that failed, taken him off the plane.
Overbooking policy in the US is heinous, but at some legalistic level this seems to me to be more about how Dr. Dao's removal occurred, rather than about the overbooking per se.
Honestly, I'm disturbed by the classism that's run rampant throughout the coverage of this and subsequent events. Airline overbooking practices, security unprofessionalism, etc. are all just part of the system until it happens to a physician (whose services for a day or so should not in fact be critical, even if they are inpatient or critical care--a hospital or clinic needs to be able to cover for illness, etc.), or as in the case of a subsequent LA Times story, a wealthy businessman. But for everyone else? The plumber whose livelihood depends on scheduled appointments? Who cares.
Your point about classism is very fair, but a plumber would have an equally valid claim to Dr. Dao, insofar as being forced to accept a voucher incurs a much more real cost in lost business.
And since the instruction to leave his seat may not have been a lawful/reasonable one, the other prong of the usual argument ("federal law requires compliance with crew member instructions") might not get there either.
It doesn't? Trespass is criminal while a contract is civil. The police don't enforce contracts do they?
Further, I should be able to break a contract at will (how could that ability even be taken away?) and accept the consequences.
If they had said this happened because racists chose Dr. Dao since he was Asian that wouldn't make them racist either.
The airline can (and occasionally should) call the police. However, the police have a duty to investigate the dispute -
if they instead act like a hired goon squad, then they should be blamed (and punished) for that, it's a violation of how they are allowed to work.
I think we're not. In the civil world, you are expected to resolve the on-scene dispute without violence, and then later bring your case for damages.
Attempting to mitigate damages often does not go as far as violence, since after all (a) that'd result in criminal claims and (b) medical recovery is often more costly than whatever civil damages you were trying to protect against.
Only to a limited degree, and this forbearance is itself subject to abuse. When everyone politely agrees to "grieve later", it creates an organization-level moral hazard where large companies can pay less in lawsuits than they can save in expenses by abusing the individual's restraint. Walmart during the 1980s practiced a scorched-earth legal defence against any and all employment claims, clearly aimed to exhausting the ability of plaintiffs to sue, regardless of the legitimacy of their claims and depending upon their financial endurance to eke out a net win, which they did for a decade.
Picketing the location is a-okay, and counts as aiming to resolve the dispute without violence.
Resolving it "with violence" would mean attacking some floor manager who gets paid $13/hr, and immediately being imprisoned. This doesn't seem like it'd change corporate's strategy at all.
My real issue here is violence vs non-violence.... not necessarily using lawsuits as the only option---there are others, but I am a bit biased to believe lawsuits are best.
That said, I disagree that Dr. Dao is responsible for the violence that occurred or that he chose violence. His was a classic act of civil disobedience: he simply didn't comply, even when violence was used against him, and it's turning out that the predicates for using violence against him are falling apart. He wasn't trespassing, the police acted incorrectly, the gate agents acted incorrectly, and the whole airline business leading up to that moment has built up a faulty expectation of what's allowed and expected. The Walmart equivalent wouldn't be attacking a floor manager, it would be staging a sit-in, which would be much more clearly a simple case of trespassing because it's a store rather than an airplane.
But its the law and he knew full well that there was always a risk that he would be bumped from a flight, as any passenger does.
If he did not want to be bumped he should buy a business class seat.
Now the fact that it can be argued legalistically that he was not "denied boarding by bumping", but was "deplaned", is something he can pursue in the courts if he chooses to. But I don't think he was even arguing this at the time.
His behaviour was simply childish.
The contract with United says you can be denied boarding, but not much about boarding and then being kicked off after.
> If he did not want to be bumped he should buy a business class seat.
That's no guarantee. http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/aviation/328495-uni...
> Geoff Fearns, who purchased a full-priced first-class ticket to travel from Hawaii to California, was asked to get off the plane by an airline employee because the flight had been overbooked, according to The Los Angeles Times. “That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns told the newspaper. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”
Seems this is part of the contract.
Who would he be angry with if the weather caused the plane to be grounded?
If they keep their expenses down is does benefit customers in paying less for tickets.
> They offered $800 vouchers, which are limited flying coupons. Legally they're required to offer cash up to $1350.
Legally, they can negotiate with customer. If they refused to offer cash that is illegal. But they can offer whatever they like.
"As you can see, in many cases you’re entitled to a sizable cash payment, up to $1,350. However, here’s the dirty secret of the airlines. In a vast majority of cases they’ll only offer cash compensation if you specifically ask for it. Otherwise they’ll offer you the same voucher they gave anyone who was voluntarily denied boarding."
I don't know what conversation they had with him, but I'd wager a guess their policies are slanted in the direction of calling it a voluntary bump no matter what actually happens. If you don't ever actually revoke their ticket, you never actually have to pay out at 400% of the ticket value! /s
It is not the passenger's responsibility to know their rights and request the cash payout either, it is the airline's responsibility to apprise them of their full rights when the ticket is revoked for any reason. Negotiating would be offering $1600 in vouchers (or say, a value in excess of 400% ticket price) to avoid a cash payout. I would call it "negotiating in bad faith" to offer a lesser value of non-cash vouchers than the amount that the passenger is actually entitled to receive in cash, by law. (At least once you've decided, as in this case, which passenger is the passenger that is being bumped.)
I don't know what exactly "revoking the ticket" means, or if it has anything to do with a physical boarding pass, but I've heard lots of conjecture suggesting that since he was boarded and in his seat, they would not have been within their rights to revoke his ticket at all. He would have had to meet one of the "Rule 21" criteria for Refusal of Transport, in other words, those cases limited to reasons including government request, safety, failure to pay, or in cases of international travel where your documents are found to be not in order.
A negotiation with an entity that "can" (for varying definitions), and will, have you trespassed or otherwise forcibly removed is not a particularly fair "meeting of the minds". It's somewhat what happened here. Passengers _were_ negotiating. Someone offered to leave for $1500, then $1300, on video, and the gate agent responded. "Not happening. Someone's getting off or the plane's going nowhere", and look at the result.
That's "my way, or the highway", not a negotiation in any meaningful sense.
I mean after involuntary bumping which is allowed after making an offer for voluntary bumping which is not required to be negotiated.
By "negotiation" it means they can offer free flights or vouchers.
This is very common place. The final mandated offer is subject to many conditions as outlined here: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights which would be specific to each customer.
This person had a backbone but wasn't threatening enough for the staff to try someone else.
I just went to Air Canada's site, punched in a one-way YVR-SFO and picked a date. And do you know what? I see three types of listings:
* Air Canada flights, which show an Air Canada logo.
* Codeshare flights, which show a Star Alliance logo and say "Operated by United Airlines".
* Regional-affiliate flights, which show a variant Air Canada logo and say "Operated by Air Canada Express -- jazz".
In what way is the airline hiding that information from me if it's shown up-front in the listing when I'm selecting flights? Where is the deep dark secret way they're hiding this, if it's literally right there on the page?
Plus, when you book a codeshare flight your confirmation email will have the same information in it, and will tell you "At the airport, check in at the (operating airline) ticket counter". The idea that this is some sort of secret thing that's hidden to deceive people is simply ludicrous.
The absolute worst version of this happened to me on a SFO-YVR flight with a stopover in seattle. The seatle-vancouver flight was cancelled due to "weather" ... or more likely that there were only five of us booked on the flight. Plenty of other planes were operating out of Seattle that night and ours was the only one cancelled. So we were bumped from "Westjet" to a BUS COMPANY for a drive to Vancouver as that was cheaper than putting us in hotels overnight.
And codeshares have helped me out more than once. For example, a few years ago I was scheduled to fly Kansas City to Toronto on US Airways, connecting in DCA. On the way to the airport in KC, I got a call saying my flight to DCA was delayed and I'd miss my connection, but (since this was back when US Airways was a Star Alliance member) they'd rebooked me onto the direct Air Canada flight from Kansas City to Toronto, so I'd just need to go to the Air Canada counter and show my passport to pick up a boarding pass.
1. Go to https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/home.html
2. Select "One-way". Enter YVR (Vancouver) as "FROM" and SFO (San Francisco) as "TO". Depart on a date of your choice in the future. I'm going with 2017-05-01.
3. Look at results showing you whether each flight is mainline Air Canada, regional Air Canada Express affiliate (with regional affiliate identified) or Star Alliance partner flight operated by United.
4. Ask yourself whether you had to buy a ticket to see that.
You can do this with other airlines, too. For example, go to delta.com and ask for a one-way from SFO (San Francisco) to AMS (Amsterdam) on 2017-05-11. When I do that I see the first option listed is a direct flight, which says "DL 9389 is operated by KLM." Further down I see one with a connection in Paris which tells me "DL 8456 & AF 1440 are operated by Air France." There's one with a connection in Los Angeles which tells me that for the the SF-LA hop, "DL 4915 is operated by SkyWest DBA Delta Connection."
This is not secret hidden information. In fact, it's the opposite: airlines and third-party ticket agents are legally required to disclose the carrier who will operate the flight, and the US Department of Transportation will fine them if they try to keep it secret.
Our loss of wisdom
Managers/overseers could intentionally place belligerent people on the plane who refuse to get up for less than $x000, use their authorization to grant the override, and then split the money with the passenger. In practice, the DoT minimum mandate could work as a soft ceiling, but managers may say that they negotiated past it to prevent a hostile situation with bad press like this one.
Consider that most passengers are paying +/- $125 for each flight (a direct round trip is 2 flights, connecting round trip 4 flights, a complete itinerary will usually be in the $300-$500 range depending on the details). Even at $200 the vouchers cost them money. It can have an impact if they start paying out $10k per flight in bumped passenger compensation.
You can argue that they shouldn't oversell, but then they're carrying empty seats from people who miss the flight, which is also a waste of money. Since they're already paying ~4x as much as the customer paid them with an $800 voucher, there's plenty of incentive to fine-tune the overselling algorithm just right and limit the necessity of passenger bumps.
I'm not necessarily saying this approach is worse than their current approach, but I just want to point out that it's not as simple as engaging in an open auction over the seats.
Also, remember that the compensation for voluntarily yielding one's seat can be "paid" in non-transferable flight vouchers. Airlines don't issue cash for that, and airline employees already have free-travel privileges. To get the right to cash compensation you need to be involuntarily denied boarding, and IDB "pecking order" is not under the control of the agent at the gate.
This is what they have to pay by law. Bumping is legal, and must pay if the bump involuntarily.
I don't know how a grown adult can get into the kind of situation where they need to be carried off a plane.
Absolutely ridiculous that anyone thinks the behaviour of the passenger is acceptable in society. And he is a doctor. This is so unprofessional and I would fire the man if he worked for me.
$800 is not "what they have to pay by law"; it's the maximum someone would be able to claim if they had to force the claim. There's nothing stopping the airline offering more.
Honestly, I see no difference regarding the intention of the law. Essentially it is the same. You would only be able to argue that Dr Dao might have thought that once onboard he was not able to be bumped and made arrangements based on not having been bumped. But I don't think this happened in this case.
Yes, you can argue it legalistically, but I don't think Dr Dao was making this argument, nor does it make sense in the spirit of the law.
> $800 is not "what they have to pay by law"; it's the maximum someone would be able to claim if they had to force the claim. There's nothing stopping the airline offering more.
Compensation for Passengers Denied Boarding Involuntarily
For passengers traveling in interstate transportation between points within the United States, subject to the EXCEPTIONS in section d) below, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight at the rate of 200% of the fare to the Passenger’s first Stopover or, if none, Destination, with a maximum of 675 USD if UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passenger’s Destination or first Stopover more than one hour but less than two hours after the planned arrival time of the Passenger’s original flight. If UA offers Alternate Transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the Passenger’s Destination or first Stopover more than two hours after the planned arrival time of the Passenger’s original flight, UA shall pay compensation to Passengers denied boarding involuntarily from an Oversold Flight at the rate of 400% of the fare to the Passenger’s first Stopover or, if none, Destination with a maximum of 1350 USD."
Compensation depends and is customer-specific. So would need to be resolved with the customer - who could always claim the maximum amount or agree to alternate arrangement.
This is a very subjective statement.
One woman forgot to pay and walked out the store with an item; another women chose not to pay and walked out the store with an item. In England the second has committed theft, the first hasn't. What's the difference?
Another problem, as (if you had read the article) United is _required_, by the DOT, to offer at least up to $1350. If the passenger can show that United refused to go up to $1350 they are in violation of DOT regulations (and indeed there's video of the gate agent laughing at someone who offered to deplane for $1500, "No, that's not happening. Someone is getting off this plane or it's not going anywhere") - indeed it's a challenge because United doesn't want to compensate more than it has to, but it also has obligations.
Apparently their policy is to never go above 4x the cost of the ticket (they said it's $800 in this case, your computation in another message said $1030, but airline fares are really complex). That's a valid policy. But they should definitely have offered cash instead of vouchers.
They are allowed to offer vouchers or free flights.
Should the law be different. Maybe. But the law is the law.
And even if they didn't, they could have drawn say 10 passengers instead of 4, and given them "a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn't" as mentioned in the page you linked, They might very well have found 4 people who would have refused a voucher but would have accepted a $800 check.
Or skip the stupid lottery and go with involuntary bumping of the 4 people who checked in last. Well, pretty much anything but what they did.
Not even "insists on it", they are required to pay cash or check, only, for IDB.
Their "dirty little secret" (which makes it sound 'naughty', as opposed to the more accurate 'illegal') is that for many years they've been offering vouchers in this situation.
And then there's this argument that the gate agent came on to the plane, and asked for volunteers, and then having no/not enough volunteers began involuntarily denying boarding, and the argument is that "having boarded, any removal of a passenger is involuntary, because by definition/law, voluntary denial doesn't involve demanding passengers give up seats after boarding or refusing to fly the aircraft".
Eh. No. We're talking about the point at which this became Involuntary.
The same site you link to has no mention of vouchers when it's involuntary, which is also the subject of my initial calculation and quote.
As this article, and many others have stated, this is but one of the issues with the handling of this situation, that United (though not the only airline by any means) has been quite happy to perpetuate the myth that airlines "only" have to offer vouchers. They can choose to offer vouchers for voluntary denial.
They are REQUIRED to ONLY offer check or cash for IDB situations.
And that's $1450 cash. If you want to give vouchers, they have to be worth more than the cash equivalent to begin with, and the customer has to give voluntary, informed consent to accept them. No one in their right mind would give expiring travel vouchers value equivalence with the same face value in actual cash.
"Request for Volunteers
UA will request Passengers who are willing to relinquish their confirmed reserved space in exchange for compensation in an amount determined by UA (including but not limited to check or an electronic travel certificate)."
The can offer what they like. Once it becomes involuntary, they can still offer whatever they like. But legally the passenger can claim the maximum amount in cash.
The final compensation is also more complicated and depends on the replacement flight, original ticket price, etc.
"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)."
Refusing to offer any more than $800 is illegal for any passenger who paid more than $200, fees inclusive, for their flight.
Given that the lowest fare currently offered by United for a one way adult fare between Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Louisville (SDF) is $228.20, with at least $29.32 in fees (not including bags), then United is clearly legally obligated to have offered AT LEAST $1,030 (another example of their sterling customer service, even that would be the absolute minimum legally required and they couldn't even bring themselves to do that).
> clearly legally obligated to have offered AT LEAST $1,030
It says they can negotiate with the customer:
"Airlines may offer free tickets or dollar-amount vouchers for future flights in place of a check for denied boarding compensation. However, if you are bumped involuntarily you have the right to insist on a check if that is your preference. Once you cash the check (or accept the free flight), you will probably lose the ability to pursue more money from the airline later on. However, if being bumped costs you more money than the airline will pay you at the airport, you can try to negotiate a higher settlement with their complaint department. If this doesn't work, you usually have 30 days from the date on the check to decide if you want to accept the amount of the check. You are always free to decline the check (e.g., not cash it) and take the airline to court to try to obtain more compensation. DOT's denied boarding regulation spells out the airlines' minimum obligation to people they bump involuntarily. Finally, don't be a "no-show." If you are holding confirmed reservations you don't plan to use, notify the airline. If you don't, they will cancel all onward or return reservations on your trip."
But the customer has the right to ask for the minimum. If the customer agrees to something else, then that is that.
Take away the kicking and screaming and you have a standard airline dispute of which you can find thousands.
Yes, finally. Airlines should not be allowed to overbook. Period. I'm pretty sure most of the people would be more than happy to pay a little bit extra to have guaranteed seat.
Here's a news article  pointing out that Qantas pilots earn up to $536K a year, with second officer roles beginning at $110K. (At the time of the article, 1 Australian Dollar was worth more than 1 US Dollar .)
It seems like flying commercial flights has a "good enough" bar that the US government does a good job of making sure everyone who operates flights is over.
"Members of the board said that the crew of the twin-engine turboprop that crashed, killing all 49 people on board and one on the ground, was set up for fatigue and inattention before they even took off, partly because of the structure of the commuter airline business. "
On the contrary side in Ireland last month we had two experienced pilots, each earning > 120k Euros, inadvertently and fatally fly a Coastguard helicopter into a rock at night. Accidents happen regardless of pay grade.
Renumeration is part of the structure.
No one can account for the fact that someone from Seattle didn't have the resources to take on the job she desperately fought for.
You know what I wanna be? A movie star!
Pay me more than other entry level movie stars because I can't afford to become one on my own, please. I don't want to work at the Starbucks down the street. I want to move to Hollywood, but can't afford it, so pay me more money now to make me the star I know I am going to become once I have the money.
In the US, a pilot's wages are determined almost exclusively by seniority with the airline. And working at a regional means you're at the very bottom of the bottom of the seniority scale. Starting pay at a regional have clocked in under $30k/year for quite a while. A lot of this is because crews aren't paid for all the hours they spend working -- they're usually only paid for the time from closing the door of the flight they're operating to opening it at the other end. On the junior end of the scale, pilots sometimes go days without sitting behind the controls of a plane because their duties consist of sitting on standby in an airport in case some other pilot can't make a flight.
Throw in the inconsistent flight hours when they do fly, the fact that they usually come in with six figures of debt from flight school, and have limited mobility since switching airlines kicks them right back down to the bottom of the seniority ladder, and you're talking about effectively poverty-level living conditions for the first few years of a pilot's time with an airline.
This is where the alleged "pilot shortage" in the US came from: airlines mistreated their junior ranks so badly, for so long, that they started running out of people willing to put up with it. There are some signs of adjustment at the regionals, but they run on such razor-thin margins that it's not clear they'll really be able to fix this.
Considering how much expensing for (airline) food and (corporate rate) hotels enters the picture, there's probably a substantial additional cost lurking behind that salary.
Travel is a choice. That decision is made by the individual. Some people absolutely love being away from their families, believe it or not, and love to travel besides. You adopt that reality simply by taking the job. There's no accounting for that. It's a reality that confronts the individual alone.
But, the 10 or 300 souls on the plane are absolutely a good reason to pay pilots a little bit more.
But then again, teachers should be paid more for working with children. And airplane mechanics are every bit as important as the pilots.
So I guess it comes down to how much passengers care about whether their plane crashes, and how much they'll spend to gamble on getting somewhere faster than by boat or train or bus. Passengers don't have to fly, do they?
I'm sorry but that's the most ridiculous statement I've ever read in my life. I have never once had any company ever try to pitch travel as a "perk". There's a reason why they call out the amount of travel in the job description, and there's a reason any job I've ever had that has a lot of travel they make sure you realize it's part of the job due to the burden. Furthermore, every job I've ever had that included lots of travel compensated you MORE because they understand that burden.
If you're ever in a position where you're a hiring manager and you try to fill a travel-based position by telling candidates that they're getting a lower salary due to the "perks" of travel, you'reg going to be searching for a LONGGGGGGGG time.
Republic has never had a fatal crash. American Eagle has had 2 in the last 20 years. none in the last 10. after 11 million flights.
I finally spoke with United Airlines spokesperson Charlie Hobart today, after this article was published.
Mr. Hobart told me that the gate agents handling United Express flights at O'Hare, including those who called in what Mr. Hobart described as "Chicago Department of Aviation security officers", were employees of United and not of Republic or a third-party contractor.
Mr. Hobart claimed not to know whether or not "CDA security officers" are sworn law enforcement officers. That claim to ignorance strains credulity, unless United has deliberately kept its own spokespeople in the dark. And if United still hasn't been able to figure out, 10 days later, whether these thugs (I use that term deliberately, in its original sense of organized gangs that prey specifically on vulnerable travellers) were really police, how were passengers supposed to figure that out in the moment?
"I don't have access to that level of detailed information," he said in response to this and most of my other questions. When I asked if he could find out, he declined. "I'm not going to get into that level of detail."
Mr. Hobart said he didn't know whether the passenger was asked to leave by United or Republic employees, whether the "officers" were asked to remove the passenger by United or Republic employees, whether the officers talked to the pilots before removing the passenger, or how the officers identified themselves to the passenger.
"They were unable to obtain the cooperation of the passenger," Mr. Hobart said. He referred all my other questions to the City of Chicago Department of Aviation.
What's the point of mentioning that? They are wearing United Uniforms even. However United wants to distribute its routes, how it hires its contractors, flight attendants etc is its business.
It seems like a way to divert blame. (United is great, it's those pesky contractors again). Otherwise I don't see why this point is prominently put at the very top. Maybe in a thorough analysis it is interesting to mention it, but it would some place at the end.
In a codeshare dispute, both airlines will blame each other, but it is important to focus all your efforts on the ticket seller.
The emphasis on the contracted airline seems like is helping United by diverting blame away from its brand. Legally United might be able to dodge a few issues based on it and technically they might be in the right over what they did. Morally and as far as public perception goes, they should bare full responsibility.
Nearly every major airline in the world that serves feeder routes does this.
Remember that Republic also does the American Eagle flights.
If these contracting arrangements weren't possible, then you'd see many major airlines dropping the routes.
The typical plane for the route in question holds 76 passengers. With margins around 1% or less, that flight is making a tiny profit. Let's say, just for the sake of argument that the average ticket price was $200. That's $15200 in revenue for the plane (excluding cargo.) That airplane typically has two flight attendants, two pilots and an assortment of ground crew. Also remember that close to 50% of ticket revenues are actually taxes and fees that don't go to the airline but to government. So that $15k is now closer to $9k -- that's revenue, not profit. This if for a nearly 1 hour flight.
Do you know the operating costs of your average Embraer 175? Landing fees? Gate slot fees?
My point is that United/American definitely don't want to pay higher union wages for routes that are operating on razor thin margins as it is. If they raise ticket prices, planes will be less full, crushing the margins even more, if they pay more, that also crushes the margins. Either way, even a slight increase in costs somewhere in the system destroys the profitability of the route.
Perhaps we should be complaining about government taking such a huge proportion of taxes and fees rather than United trying to minimize costs. For a business making literally 1% margins on most flights, we certainly have a lot of opinions about how bad they are when they try to keep costs down.
It doesn't shift the blame from United to Republic or vice versa of course.
If the airline must substitute a smaller plane for the one it originally planned to use, the carrier isn't required to pay people who are bumped as a result. In addition, on flights using aircraft with 30 through 60 passenger seats, compensation is not required if you were bumped due to safety-related aircraft weight or balance constraints.
I'm not sure I understand this exception. Yes it kind of make sense that when it becomes a safely issue the airlines don't have to pay in that they will not play around with safety but isn't it still mostly airlines fault .. lack of proper maintenance or planning. But even it's an accidental case with no fault for the airlines it's also no fault of the customer and you are making individuals pay for the incident and protecting the corporation how does that make sense?
I wrote about my first arrest by Chicago police (not the one after which I was tortured) here:
If you want to discuss my personal history, get in touch with me directly, or leave a comment on my personal blog, which is probably a better place for that personal discussion than this third-party forum.
So the market becomes more competitive, but the shareholders still want their return. So first you get the fat cut off, then you end up with corners cut right up to and over the point of illegality.
Eventually stuff like this incident and much worse happens.
It's as if we've had airplane tech for 70+ years, but only modern airlines since the 1980s.
We're unhappy because airlines now charge 1/3rd of their previous prices, and carry 3x as many passengers and operate a proportionately greater number of flights.
Being asked to do more with less money is a recipe for disaster when public expectations of service remain the same.
* The flight was technically a Republic Airlines flight subcontracting for United Airlines.
* Almost none of the staff involved worked directly for United Airlines; they are subcontractors required to wear United Airlines' branded uniforms.
* Republic Airlines is bankrupt, and none of the parties involved in the lawsuit has attempted to shift blame to them.
* United Airlines is capable of bypassing union wage requirements by subcontracting through partner airlines, so they have a vested interest in keeping Republic afloat through its bankruptcy (and therefore, discreetly accepting blame).
* The plaintiffs have a vested interest in suing United Airlines, not Republic, because Republic would likely be shielded from paying much if anything due to its current financial standing.
* Airline employees who aren't quite airline employees
* Cops who aren't quite cops
* Reserved seats that aren't quite reserved
Doesn't anyone honestly sell a real product that you can take at face value anymore?
At a time where small business software should have been making these middle men completely useless they were getting bigger than ever.
For instance, there's a pig related tea brand in the UK which is universally seen as funky and independent and all that shite. They're owned by tetley, who are in turn owned by tata. The ownership structure is sufficiently complex to make them look independent - but they aren't. It's just good marketing.
Either way, this is just one of many examples that spring to mind - oh, also, call centres - in the U.K. you can call pretty much any large business you like and you'll be talking to one of two huge call centre operators.
Then... where do you draw the line? Is private equity backing problematic when its obfuscated? Or just contract primacy?
> Then... where do you draw the line? Is private equity backing problematic when its obfuscated? Or just contract primacy?
Well, we're taught that the free market is efficient only when you have property rights, low barriers to entry, and low transaction costs. While monopoly issues get most of the antitrust press, I suspect that a lot of the other things people don't like about BigCorp world and the gig economy is the way that high transaction costs around hiring, firing, and most especially, contracts of all sorts. Any time these issues are complex and involve expensive lawyers, BigCorp tends to win. It's at the roots of a lot of problems these days.
One thing that I found consistently interesting was that more often than not, their employees thought they were working for a small, independent business - and the principles would often use "we're only little" in negotiations.
When you manufacture a reality for long enough it becomes real - at least, real enough in the minds of beholders that any opposing reality is dismissed as priggish or jealous.
Most of these start out as quality. Then what happens is that during some survey BigCorp finds out that SmallQualityCorp is nibbling away at their sales & profits and then the next thing you know SmallQualityCorp has been acquired by BigCorp.
"Sports nutrition" (the "what the hell do we do with all this cheese making byproduct industry") is rife with this - there are only two suppliers, and many, many brands and offshoots. It happens in retail, too - you see a single entity pushing multiple seemingly independent brands to target different market segments.
And whose employees aren't even near the UK. Call centers are some of the most easily outsourced jobs. And what with the UK having exported the ability to communicate fluently in English through its many years of empire building they've only themselves to blame for that one.
Oh, for added gags, one of the massive call centre operators (Serco) also operates prisons, which have quietly gone private over the last decades.
> Oh, for added gags, one of the massive call centre operators (Serco) also operates prisons, which have quietly gone private over the last decades.
That's disgusting and ought to be illegal.
Someone with better sales ability would win the contract for cleaning office, and subcontract it to someone else. And even that 2nd person might subcontract it to someone else. Eventually, the person really doing the actual cleaning barely made above minimum wage.
What does MBA school call this? Reducing cost? Increasing efficiency? Reducing risk?
Basically it's called using money as a means to make money, and this was frowned upon in many civilisations. Even today, in much of the Muslim world they do not charge interest. They do have higher bank fees (no free accounts, no free checking or electronic transfers).
Keep in mind if we travelled back in time even 100 years ago, charging 29.9% interest would be far beyond the limit of usury.
Today in the western world, we accept the idea of being able simply move around money as a career that is beneficial to society, versus simply using money for trade and exchange. I really think this is one of the worst things we could have accepted as being morally acceptable. Board executives at JPMorgan Chase, PNC and the other banks that caused so much destruction in 2008 should have been thrown in jail next to rapists, paedophiles and murders. Instead they destroyed thousands of lives and made off with millions in bonuses.
What strange ideas of justice the world has!
In an ostensibly advanced country, America, one side of the political spectrum would be have us remain willfully oblivious to police abuses, corrupt prosecutors withholding or fabricating evidence, and the systematic dehumanization not simply of prisoners, but of any peripherally involved with the machinery criminal justice system, especially for the purpose of deporting undesirables.
(The prison guards who put an inmate in the shower and turned on the hot water until the skin was peeling off his corpse? Normal. The immigrant detained by ICE for months and months, given aspirin for his developing penis cancer despite agency doctors' recommendation to get him to a proper examination until it was far, far too late? Incredibly normal. Predates Trump.)
The other side of this political spectrum skims over meaningful questions of actual fraudulent or unethical business practices, issuing instead a blanket equation of the practice of making loans to people who assumed their house would apprecuate in value with crimes such as murder and child abuse.
And these aren't even extremes. Both positions are pretty mainstream, real crowd-pleasers.
What the hell is wrong with us? Can we not aspire to build a world where there is actual justice, and not mere retribution against our political foes and other un-persons?
Also finish the food on your plate, there are starving kids in Africa.
I think you're right that they deserve less punishment than murderers. But what they got is less punishment than some people get for standing on the wrong street corner.
For details, on both the bankers and the people on street corners, see The Divide by Matt Taibbi.
Regardless of how bad it is (and I do think there are arguments to be made both ways), being allowed to effectively escape punishment because the distributed nature of the crime makes it hard to comprehend its real impact is both wrong and damaging to society in the long run.
I was watching the history of York castle on Netflix. In England the Christian people wouldn't charge interest on loans but the small Jewish community did, I assume it meant a person could borrow more?
Anyway there was a huge riot by the Christian townsfolk they wanted to kill the Jewish men, women and children. Which also meant all debts held in Jewish books were wiped out.
All the Jewish people of York took refuge in the York castle keep but in the end were going to be killed by the people of York. The men slit the throats of their wives and children then the mend committed suicide.
It meant the lender was more willing to lend. The lender could make a business of lending if he charged interest, and not if he did not.
A middle-man can say "We will supply your cleaning in several cities no matter your office size."
So a company pays a higher cost - but only has to deal with one contract, which saves them effort elsewhere.
It's the same as taxi companies. It would be cheaper for you to call a small firm with lower overheads, but you're happy to pay a premium for convenience.
They have fewer contracts at any given time but also the contracts can last longer.
If I directly hire people to clean an office, when they don't want to do it anymore I need to find other people to do it. Selecting people, negotiating, getting payments set up with accounting etc. Its a distraction from more important stuff so I want to do this as rarely as possible.
If I hire a company/agency/middleman they can replace people without me having to even be aware its happening. At the point "keep the office clean" is essentially solved. Its possible I will never need to think about office cleaning ever again and I can get on with running my business.
When people plant themselves in the middle, they essentially sell themselves as being necessary. Are they necessary? It depends .. but usually not.
I suspect it was cost. The middle men would just under bid and then under deliver.
There are a lot of activities for which sub-contracting makes sense, particularly when there are possible economies of scale, but when the activity is merely (or largely) labour, there are only four possible overall outcomes:
1) the actual workers are paid less than what would be fair
2) the service is inferior to what was expected/agreed upon
3) the service costs more (the middlemen somehow have to take their part)
4) the contractor or sub-contractor has made wrong estimation of the costs and before or later they close or go bankrupt
The only one who can guarantee a free market (e.g. big players not monopolizing, abusing their position, underbidding and then killing small more efficient players, etc) is the government/law.
But the government is also often in the hands of big players, and passes laws to their favor.
And even when it isn't, they have the upper edge in other ways (purchasing and negotiating power, better lawyers, more money to burn, etc).
Heck, even the simple fact that "bigger player = more advertising money" can make free competition from a newcomer a non-starter. Even if the new company can make something for cheaper (despite the better economies of scale of the big players) people don't buy cheaper, they mostly buy what they know.
Hence, free market is a myth, perhaps even more so than communism.
Additionally, in many cases the person/team carrying out a procurement process may require (often by law or company policy) a ridiculous set of documents that some sleazy company is an expert in navigating, and exploiting any loopholes or poorly-written selection criteria. They deliver crap service that barely qualifies, but the procurement person/team can say, "well technically they fit the criteria" so their ass is covered. The procurement team is not rewarded for selecting the best candidate, so they minimise their own exposure.
Another reason to support small businesses, it helps keep markets honest.
It says that there is a less assuming version, but I'd always heard the information thing.
As an employee in software I've been working through intermediaries for a good part of my career, so obviously interested.
I suspect that, at least in my country, it's more a matter of bad regulation than of information assymetry. But the mere fact that we're not sure which are the causes is in itself information assymetry.
I think you might of hit on a possible explanation there, maybe it's wealth inequality? When there was more equality that CEO (or company owner, or just someone near the top) might have been going to the same bars or been part of the same local sports clubs as the cleaner, their kids might have gone to the same school. Now they probably live in other parts of the city.
Politics lately has been an example of this divide.
I don't think this ever the case, in any era. Rich people in many countries definitely send their kids to posh schools through their connections (e.g. slots available for those with a parent who attended), go to different bars and follow different sports (e.g. rugby union vs football/soccer, depending on the country obviously).
Yes, but company owners in many countries weren't that rich that the other people they provided services to. Consider a company with 10-20-100 people, serving a city.
Now, those jobs go to huge conglomerates and companies with 1000s upon 1000s of employees, and CEOs that are 100x as rich as the people buying their services.
Businesses don't compete for customers. They compete for investor and shareholder cash. For most businesses, the point of optimum return for investors is in a completely different part of the graph to the points that keep customers happy and employees secure and well-paid.
- property rights exist, and are enforced
- there are few barriers to entry
- transaction costs are low
My money's on transaction cost issues. BigCorp has teams of people dedicated to making customer acquisition more effective and efficient.
Don't forget that the state humanity started from was a totally free deregulated market, the consequences of which was the formation of tribes ruled by the strongest, most vicious guy and his spear-happy friends. When you don't have regulations, the person with the most power can impose their regulations.
it's called making money on someone else's dime!
But hey, supply and demand. They wouldn't be able to pay so little if pilots weren't applying, and that won't change anytime soon because flying at a regional for a few years is a way to build hours and move on up to the mainline airline.
So there's a fair amount of waiting around that's uncompensated. There is a per-diem, but I don't think it goes beyond average cost for meals, lodging, etc.
It could well be that they all work the minimum hours. I doubt it, this would be more expensive for the airline.
I see what you did there.
Are Internet services even obligated to notify you when they change their ToS, or do I really have to run a script every night that diffs the current ToS with last recorded one, for every service I use?
It's all about risk. Outsourcing means companies transfer risk to other parties. Governments love to do it too, that's why entities like the EU are given sovereign power or public transport is privatised. What's this? A train crashed because of a poorly maintained rail? Scheduled maintenance overran and commuters are angry? The power grid is experiencing brown outs because there's not enough power stations? Sorry, that third party is to blame... bad third party! I totally understand why it's annoying, but I have nothing to do with third party etc.
So in a way, United taking the blame for these things is refreshing. They are treating the outsourcing as their own responsibility.
> they have a vested interest in keeping Republic afloat through its bankruptcy (and therefore, discreetly accepting blame)
That said, I wouldn't call it a conspiracy theory. I'd call it shrewd business acumen. If the law permits you to reduce your costs using contracted third parties, you'll likely avail yourself of the opportunity when shareholders are demanding returns. It sounds sensational, but I think it's really quite mundane.
I don't fly within the US just because fuck the TSA (I'll take a train to Canada if I need to fly internationally), but I'm going to be more careful now about checking the subcontracted airline to make sure they're not in bankruptcy.
I might be completely wrong but thats what I always though, please correct me.
I was implying that if you see tickets and they're subcontracted to another airline, look up that airline and don't book if they're bankrupt.
Probably leaves United in a bad spot, considering Republic is bankrupt and United depends on them for services.
Unless of course the ticket contract with paying customers makes it a clause that United isn't responsible.
The whole thing really exposes the cracks and deliberate obfuscation in an industry I thought would be regulated like crazy.
There are more kinds.
United even created his own route from Newark to SC so he can fly home...
In January 2015, federal prosecutors subpoenaed records related to Samson's personal travel, and his relationship with Newark Liberty International Airport's largest carrier, United Airlines, as part of a probe into a flight route initiated by United while Samson was chairman of the transportation agency that operates the region's airports. The route provided non-stop service between Newark and Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina, located about 50 miles from a home where Samson often spent weekends. United halted the non-stop route on April 1, 2014, three days after Samson resigned from the position. Samson referred to the twice-a-week route — with a flight leaving Newark on Thursday evenings and another returning on Monday mornings — as “the chairman’s flight.”
This really shouldn't amaze me anymore, but it still does. The justice system is a very different place depending on the amount of money and power you have.
Have you seen the news and social media lately? United has been the butt of the blame "discreetly" the way James Bond making his way from point A to point B in a city while blowing up, crashing, and destroying everything in his path is "discreet".
Can you honestly name or a remember a PR disaster as bad as this one about any company in the past two years?
I would phrase it as "loudly and publicly accepting blame and a tremendous backlash".
There was one, funnily enough much of the bad PR was doled out by the airlines: samsung. Everyone that went though an airport got to hear "samsung galaxy devices are not allowed on this plane".
Volkswagen was probably just as bad at the time. Now of course most people have kind of forgotten or at least moved on and VW just posted strong Q1 results, handily beating estimates.
If I remember correctly the Bosch cheating software was there for testing purposes but VW asked Bosch to leave it.
> Everyone else also uses it
No. Some companies optimize their engine to have optimal emissions in the exact conditions of the emissions test, but no other company has been found to have an actual digital switch modifying the engine's behavior only during the emissions test.
Porsche is the owner of the VW group. They bought most of the controlling stock.
Since everybody uses Bosch ECU's and most of the companies knew about this cheating low temp. switch in the ECU parametrization, it is no surprise that most of them have been caught using it. It is not illegal in Europe though, because laws are different here.
The only surprise is that media is ignoring it, and blaming VW who would be the last to blame.
GP isn't suggesting there isn't any blame, but that United is low-key accepting the blame/'taking one for the team'. United has decided not to throw any of the involved parties under the bus, even though it is likely that most of them - possibly all of them - do not work directly for United.
Maybe because United badly wants Republic to not go into liquidation? As to how badly - the dollar value is the difference between how much United is paying to contract versus how much they would have to pay their own Union staff.
I can only pray someone from the Committee they meeting on soon read this or the article and can actually inquiry about this when they have a chance!
For one thing, it goes out of its way to paint fairly ordinary things (the use of regional carriers, and the fact that there are many regional carriers, and many of them have contracts with multiple mainline carriers) as "deceptive" (and implying that code-sharing among partner airlines is also "deceptive").
Which says right off the bat that this is someone who doesn't know how airlines really work, or who is deliberately trying to misrepresent how airlines work in order to make it seem sinister.
It gets worse from there. I finally gave up when it started getting into the trespass argument. You don't need to spin a sinister conspiracy or bring in irrelevant side topics to get to the heart of why the airline and police were morally (and, judging from several analyses coming from qualified people, probably legally) in the wrong.
What's important to reiterate about the situation is:
* The flight was not oversold or overbooked at the time of the incident. Dig into DannyBee's comments in the earlier threads (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14116944 for example) about the relevant regulations and contract clauses -- he makes a very convincing argument that the deadheading crew should have been denied boarding since the airline had a hard and fast obligation not to displace a confirmed passenger to make room for crew (particularly, his analysis of confirmed passenger reservations versus the "must-ride" privileges of crew, which suggests the crew lose that one per both regs and contract).
* The combination of the VDB offer cap (at $800 in vouchers, it's significantly less than what the airline pays to forcibly bump someone, so "cap at $800 and then involuntarily bump people" is literally a policy of "lose money") and the last-minute decision to try to force the crew onto the flight deserve more examination than they're getting anywhere currently. These were the snowflakes that started the slide that became the avalanche. Sending a crew down to an already-boarded and full flight with instructions to find seats for them, without being able to offer sufficient compensation to passengers, is just an indefensible policy.
* Far too many people have shown deference to the flight's crew (the ones operating the flight, not the ones trying to take seats on it). Flight crew like to read the announcement telling you that passenger compliance is required with "all" posted signs, placards and crew member instructions, but this is a bit like the overzealous copyright warnings placed on sports broadcasts (i.e., "the accounts and descriptions of this game may not be retransmitted without express written consent..."). It is absolutely not the case that you are required to comply with all crew member instructions. You can refuse to comply with unreasonable instructions (for example, if a crew member were to instruct you to dance in the aisles for their entertainment, you would be perfectly within your legal rights to refuse), and it is theoretically possible for a crew member to give you an instruction it would be unlawful to obey. Read frequent-flyer forums and you'll find that's not entirely a theoretical concern, either.
* Finally, many air crew personnel commented, in various fora shortly after the incident, that for a variety of reasons their airlines have a policy of immediately escalating any onboard dispute to the police. Usually this is justified as being for the safety of crew and other passengers, and backed up by the force-of-federal-law nature of crew instructions onboard the aircraft. This is a policy which must be abandoned. United has already hinted that it may walk that back and only escalate when there's some type of actual threat or violence, but it needs to not be at the discretion of the airline; use of police to resolve non-violent disagreements between businesses and customers should simply be illegal. If any other business called police as a routine policy for resolving nonviolent customer-service disputes, the police would laugh at them. Airlines should not be an exception to that.
This process of subcontracting was something that I (as a reasonably regular traveller) did not know. Yes I'm aware of flights being handled by an alternate airline, but if I book a flight with Virgin Atlantic, it's because I want the level of service I get from Virgin Atlantic.
There being factors that affect the service you get on a flight that are not obvious to the consumer DOES feel like deception to me.
> Which says right off the bat that this is someone who doesn't know how airlines really work
I think we can assume from the level of detail in the article that he does know how airlines work, he just has a very different opinion to you about how significant some of that is.
Every industry has commonplace things that can be made to look bad, but then every industry has commonplace things that are bad and should not be happening. Those happen because people can't coordinate well enough to resist them, but that doesn't mean they're OK to have.
The longer I live, the more I see that, like a smart guy wrote, "man rules over another to his hurt".
It is deceptive.
> Which says right off the bat that this is someone who doesn't know how airlines really work
Good job on quoting only half of it.
To me, that says there's all these people that probably have substandard pay and training.
I'm really getting (maybe needlessly) a bit irate over the endless stream of "they didn't have the training" comments each and every time some employee attacks someone. For this incident too but also for many previous ones, in a lot of forums from reddit to local newspaper websites I found this line of reasoning or explanation.
I may get flak for this, but as a German who once (very happily) lived in the US for a decade, the stories as well as the comments seem to come mostly from this country, and I did not notice them (in this number) until this millennium. What's happened in the US, I wonder?
Let me make my position clear: It should be obvious that not attacking people does not require "more training"! That's just being a decent average human being. I don't know what I'm more worried about, the number of incidents (might just be because of ubiquitous smartphones and the Internet) - or that sooooo many people (US-Americans mostly?) seem to think that this is a "training" issue.
To me this seems like a large culture of "it's their fault", meaning "management". Part of it really is, since so much of the work culture (service jobs especially?) is designed to be extremely hierarchical. "Sorry, I can't use common sense, I have to call in a manager, he is allowed to use 1% of his brain but I'm not." (The higher level management is allowed to use ever more brain/judgement.) So it seems the success of this "education" of creating an obedient workforce unquestionably following procedures and rules is too great, it changed the way people think and look at everything, not just those jobs?
When people say that they lack training, it's not about being trained not to attack somebody, it's about being trained (and more importantly empowered) to resolve situations before they get to that point.
Because when there are no options left, you only have force.
> Because when there are no options left, you only have force.
It actually makes it worse that you try to justify it. You used your brainpower to find a justification for what is. But there is none. This is a non sequitur - there is no reason to use force even when people don't cooperate! Also, the vast majority of such instances require no special level of competence to deescalate, only common sense and decency, including a lot of police incidents I had to read about (I myself never had an issue with US police, even though I encountered them a lot when in my youth I crossed the US sleeping in an old car that I had bought).
The entire "deescalation" that was required in this particular case was to just let it be. What training do you need? Not even the next step of offering just a tad more money needs any special training. You make it sound as if we are talking about hostage negotiation or something requiring skills.
You're right that they could have avoided needing to remove someone who didn't want to. But that's a separate issue from your blanket claim that somehow force is never justified in these situations.
You're taking like no one gets forcibly removed from anywhere in Germany or police are always experts in the minutiae of contract law and instantly see through any unjustified eviction.
Somehow, the mere act of evicting someone is evidence of needing to de-escalate more, as if that could somehow avoid needing to ever remove someone. Or even if you did, you could somehow do it both without training and without attacking, since everyone learns how to remove someone without hurting them sometime shortly after the crying and nursing instincts kick in?
Or, if the eviction wasn't justified, all police are somehow experts on contract law to the point that they could know this?
And then when called on these questionable claims, III... just retreats to, "well look at the stats" (and various other poisoning-the-well unrelated to this specific circumstance).
If there's a coherent claim here, I'd appreciate the correction on what that claim is.
It's easy to say "someone screwed up here", but III...'s attempt to explain what that was ends up making its own dubious claims.
> that substantiates your earlier claim that "no one is ever forcibly removed by police and if they needed to be, it wouldn't require training".
Fortunately anyone can easily see what I wrote. Your style disgusts me.
This is utter nonsense.
> how to resolve situations without resorting to force
That's exactly what OP refers to. This is supposed to be a basic skill, part of the stuff you learn in your first 7 years from your parents and society, not on-the-job training.
So, yes, pilot's low wages in USA's regional airlines is an endemic problem that has killed hundreds of passengers.
We always seem to whip out our phones as novice reporters anytime we feel like it.
It's not privacy that matters it anonymity.
Anonymity is a form of privacy.
And in this case, the recording eliminated both privacy and anonymity, neither of which are guaranteed or expected in a public setting.
It's a different world, that's all. We can't turn back.
At any instant you could become an innocent photo-revealee.
Just avoid being in sight of the vertically held phone..
Most, if not all people realize that Lyft and Uber are mostly just middlemen. That's what make it 'easy' for people looking for a part-time gig to jump in and start temporary work. Regardless of the ethics of having a large group of contractors, I think it's pretty evident to most users of the app of what the situation is, especially since customers will sometimes talk to the driver about their experience with being an Uber/Lyft driver.
On the flipside, I would be positively surprised if the majority of United passengers knew that Republic was a contractor working on behalf of United, what with the branding and all.
Airline bumping is legislated. You get bumped involuntarily, you get $800. He got bumped, he can get the money.
If he doesn't get off the plane what else are they suppose to do?
I don't know how a grown adult can get into a situation where they need to be physically carried off a plane.
His behaviour was childish, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.
Refuse booking at the gate.
Not give seats that paying customers are already occupying to their staff.
Not remove paying customers using so much reckless force that they break their nose and teeth in the process.
Accept that they've made a mistake and send their staff in another vehicle.
This man was different for some reason. I hope he is a rare case.
Like that passenger, who did NOTHING. We even have a video (not the first one that was published, a later one) that shows wat he did: NOTHING.
No, the real problem are people like you. You should be removed - from everything. Do you wat to see an asshole? Do you have a mirror?