United Airlines' Unfriendly Skies
Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 17 days ago
Whoa! The skies aren't too friendly at United Airlines these days! Still, it helps to laugh instead of crying about all the unfriendliness! This video will help! Let's hope United Airlines gets back to old time friendly customer service! How much did that passenger pay for his ticket to be treated like that? Is that the difference between first class and economy on United Airlines?

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Posted by cubby (+1946) 17 days ago
They did it to fly employees and not other passengers, that's what is really sad. Let's hope they get sued over this.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 17 days ago
Reply to cubby (#371576)
It's not like those airline employees were headed on vacation. They needed to be in Louisville to staff a flight. Had those 4 employees not gotten to Louisville, then it's likely everyone on the flight they needed to serve would have had their flight cancelled. Inconvenience 4 people or 50 (or 75 or 130 -- whatever it would have been)?

I won't win any points for saying this but I think Dr. Dao should be charged with disorderly conduct for failing to comply with the directions of airline personnel and law enforcement officers. He chose to make a scene and he alone is responsible for the consequences it caused him.

Whatever, it has provided us with great entertainment.

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Posted by Ross (+131) 17 days ago
I agree 100%
Where is the two thumbs up button?
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1050) 17 days ago
It isn't Involuntary Denial of Boarding if all passengers have already boarded, but yes, he should have followed flight crew instructions. Somebody screwed up if the gate agent boarded the plane full and *then* the must travel non-revs showed up.

This is an unlikely scenario on Delta. They'll call for Voluntary Denial and the $ keeps going up until they get as many voluntary bumps as they need.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 16 days ago
The timing of that flight crew's arrival is definitely odd. I wonder if they were supposed to be on a different flight but missed the connection.

I don't fly all that often (2-3 times/year), but I have encountered several occasions where they have the plane loaded and only then do they ask for volunteers to de-plane. In every case enough people volunteered. I have never witnessed a forced de-planing.

These days I mostly travel with bump insurance (aka "children").
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1050) 16 days ago
Delta at the bottom of the IDB list. I'm not necessarily saying that they're better, but they play the game well. IDBs get reported and recorded in bump stats, VDBs do not, and DL is (so far) willing to pay to stay at the bottom of that list.

Too bad that one thunderstorm in ATL could rock their world for almost a week, but I'm flying western states and not seeing disruption(s). Yet anyhow.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 16 days ago


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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 16 days ago
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 16 days ago
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 16 days ago
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 16 days ago
United's CEO has announced that the skies are going to get a little friendlier! We can only hope!

http://www.msn.com/en-us/...ailsignout
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 16 days ago
I see Governor Chris Christie is demanding an end to "overbooking". Hooray, we all get to pay more for our airline tickets and/or lose the ability to make last-minute changes to our itinerary. Thank you, Dr. Dao!
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+8649) 16 days ago
I find United's asinine policies to be personally more annoying to me than overbooking.

The No. 1 stupid United policy is charging you extra to check your bags. Delta allows you to check one (remember the good old days when you could check three?) Not United. So, no one checks a bag. Then United will announce that there is no room in the overhead bin, and make you check your bag at the plane. Leaving to long lines of people jammed at the plane door, waiting to pick up their bag when the plane lands. I hate United.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 16 days ago
Reply to Gunnar Emilsson (#371601)
The last time I flew Delta they charged for even the first checked bag.

I haven't flown United since about 2006 or so.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+8649) 16 days ago
When did you last fly Delta? They quit charging for the first bag for at least a year now, maybe two.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 16 days ago
Reply to Gunnar Emilsson (#371604)
Yeah, it's been a while. October of 2014, so 2.5 years. Atlanta to Seattle in the back of a 757-200. I am scarred for life. They nearly had to divert to Mobile to let me off the plane.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 16 days ago
Reply to Gunnar Emilsson (#371604)
Looking at Delta's website it appears to me they still charge $25 for the first checked bag.

Delta Airlines Checked Baggage

Do you have some sort of frequent flyer status on Delta or perhaps you have a Delta Airlines SkyMiles credit card?
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 16 days ago
Here's an article about United Airlines' profits last year -- net income was $2.3 billion and employees earned $628 million in profit sharing. Not bad! Too bad they don't treat all the people/customers who help them make those billions better! I wonder if the United employees have ever heard the legal term, "excessive force."

"CHICAGO, Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 financial results.

Achieved best full-year on-time performance while reporting the lowest number of cancellations, delay minutes and mishandled bags in company history.

UAL reported full-year net income of $2.3 billion, diluted earnings per share of $6.85, pre-tax earnings of $3.8 billion and pre-tax margin of 10.4 percent. Excluding special items, UAL reported full-year net income of $2.9 billion, diluted earnings per share of $8.65, pre-tax earnings of $4.5 billion and pre-tax margin of 12.2 percent.

UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $397 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.26, pre-tax earnings of $884 million and pre-tax margin of 9.8 percent. Excluding special items, UAL reported fourth-quarter net income of $562 million, diluted earnings per share of $1.78, pre-tax earnings of $857 million and pre-tax margin of 9.5 percent.

Technicians and related employees ratified a joint contract in the fourth quarter. UAL has completed new agreements with every domestic unionized work group in 2016.

Employees earned $628 million in profit sharing for 2016.

"Our fourth quarter financial and operating performance capped an outstanding year for United Airlines," said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines. "In 2016, we put into action our plan to become the best airline in the world, and last year's results demonstrate we are on our way to achieving that ambition. We will continue delivering on this commitment by investing in our employees, elevating our customer experience and driving strong and consistent returns for our shareholders."

http://newsroom.united.co...erformance
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Posted by Shu (+1212) 15 days ago
...I'm still waiting for Mary Catherine to blame Trump for this...
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1050) 15 days ago
Delta does charge for the first bag for general, non-Amex passengers. It's a handy excuse I often used to justify paying for upgrades to 1st when bag fees were remotely close to upgrade $.

It can get convoluted with upgrades (paid or otherwise), but as a rule, certain Amex and coach class Silver Medallion get one free 50#, Gold get two heavies (70#), certain Amex adds one equal bag to either medallion.

I haven't looked very closely at allowances for higher medallions because I hope not to fly that much. I'd still rather drive.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+8649) 15 days ago
Reply to David Schott (#371607)
David Schott wrote:
Looking at Delta's website it appears to me they still charge $25 for the first checked bag.

Delta Airlines Checked Baggage

Do you have some sort of frequent flyer status on Delta or perhaps you have a Delta Airlines SkyMiles credit card?


My bad. I do have a SkyMiles Amex card. On business travel, I use the company MasterCard through the Concur travel app, but my employer has worked out a deal where Delta is our preferred airline (meaning, if we can get to a destination via Delta, chose them), and we get a free 1st check bagged as well.
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 15 days ago
Nope! Sorry! I'm not blaming Trump for the actions of United Airlines' employees. I'm blaming the policies and employees of United Airlines for allowing a passenger to be brutalized in this manner.

I'm reading this morning (04-13-17) that Dr. David Dao is still hospitalized. Also, that when Dr. Dao was "forcibly removed" from United Flight 3411, he lost two front teeth, sustained a broken nose, injuries to his sinuses (which will require reconstructive surgery) and a concussion.

As a former member of Montana's Traumatic Brain Injury Board, I know that a concussion is considered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and depending on the severity of the concussion Dr. Dao sustained, he may suffer life long effects of a TBI. Below is a link to the Brain Injury Association of America's web page on the effects of a mild concussion -- assuming it was a mild concussion and not a severe concussion that Dr. Dao sustained.

I now regret putting this event under the humor forum. I didn't realize that Dr. Dao's injuries were that severe. We can joke and laugh about United Airlines' mishandling this event, but the fact remains that Dr. Dao is still hospitalized and suffering from the effects of injuries he sustained during this traumatic event. I would not like to be in his place, and I wouldn't want any of my friends and family members to be treated like he was treated.

I still don't understand why United employees didn't move down the list of passengers to another person who may have been willing to give us his or her seat; or why they didn't offer a bigger financial incentive for someone to give us their seat. To tell the truth, as a passenger I often book flights at busy times just so I can be the first to volunteer to get off the plane. I've received several free flights by doing so in the past. However, I'm not a business traveler who has to be someplace at a particular time for some important business meeting; or, at a medical practice to see patients as may have been the case for Dr. Dao.

I'm hoping that Dr. Dao will have a speedy recovery but given what I know about brain injuries, it may be a rough road ahead. We can only hope for the best for him.

http://www.wlky.com/artic...k/9271509

http://www.biausa.org/mil...injury.htm
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Posted by cubby (+1946) 15 days ago
From what I've read, he was never touched by an United employee, it was a federal agent that removed him.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1670) 15 days ago
Mary said:
I still don't understand why United employees didn't move down the list of passengers to another person who may have been willing to give us his or her seat


Because this is 2017 and if HE doesn't want to give up HIS seat, I'M not giving up MINE!!!!
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 15 days ago
Yes, it is still 2017, and last I heard we still have a U.S. Constitution and state laws that protect people from assault and battery if they don’t want to give up the seat they purchased on any airline. Now, how about some facts:

1. According to Wikipedia, the Chicago Department of Aviation were the uniformed police who removed Dr. Dao from United Flight 3411, after United Airlines staff requested assistance them. They are not a federal police force.

Read more about the Chicago Department of Aviation at:

http://www.chicagotribune...story.html

“Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride said in the statement: "While they do have limited authority to make an arrest, Sunday's incident was not within standard operating procedures nor will we tolerate that kind of action." Three officers have been placed on administrative leave while the department reviews the incident.”

2. With regard to legal issues involved in this situation:

“Passengers agree to a litany of terms in any airline's ‘contract of carriage,’ which they agree to when purchasing a ticket. But the agreement doesn't sign away the right to sue if the airline treats a passenger in a manner that breaches the law.

‘If you're injured, or dragged off the airplane, or falsely arrested, you can sue,’ said Andrew Harakas, head of the aviation law group at Clyde & Co.

‘You could give this to a group of first-year lawyers and they could list all the claims this guy has," he said, naming intentional infliction of emotional distress in addition to assault and battery.’


3. United CEO Oscar Munoz initially said that [Dr.] Dao was "disruptive and belligerent." But on Wednesday, Munoz walked back such language, saying he did not blame Dao for what happened. He told ABC that United did not give its managers "the proper tools, policies, procedures."

United said Thursday that Munoz and the company have called [Dr.] Dao repeatedly to apologize.

"We cannot stress enough that we remain steadfast in our commitment to make this right," the company said.


http://money.cnn.com/2017...-stack-dom

https://en.wikipedia.org/...1_incident
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1050) 14 days ago
Delta VDBs can be lucrative. $1300+ with Hotel, car, and food vouchers thrown in is not unheard of. I have actively sought VDB opportunities, usually to find that either the often late evening flight I have is only slightly over half full or the earlier overbooked runs are the dreaded CRJ (Cram Ram Jam) that I booked the later flight to avoid.

As a rule lately, if I get a gold medallion upgrade 3 days pre-flight, there is little sense in obsessing alternatives in hopes of a juicy VDB because the plane isn't approaching full capacity. If I don't get upgraded early, I have alternative flights at the ready and make sure that the gate agent knows,
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 14 days ago
Reply to Dave Roberts (#371620)
Dave, it sounds like if Dr. Dao and Dr. Dao's lawyers have their way your days of enjoying VDB accommodations could come to an end. It could also mean higher airfares and/or the loss of the ability to change your itinerary. During yesterday's press conference Dao's attorney suggested that airlines leave empty seats on every flight to accommodate "emergencies".

Here's an article from the L.A. Times about overbooking.

Los Angeles Times: Why airlines sell too many seats and why it might make sense
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1050) 14 days ago
Yeah, not gonna happen. Much like legislation to force more legroom/comfort, it's all just lip service. Deregulated airlines run on economies of scale and the Feds have little input beyond safety regulations. Curious that Chris Christie weighed in (no pun). I'd bet he needs a seatbelt extension and Southwest would probably make him buy a 2nd seat.

United screwed up by not empowering Republic gate agents to offer enough incentive to avoid IDBs. Republic screwed up by boarding in full before trying to make room for four more. Dao screwed up by not understanding his contract for carriage and that the airlines *can* bump anyone they want. Chicago transit cop(s) screwed up on camera.

A savvy crew maybe should've just announced a "mechanical issue" an de-boarded the plane. Handle the bumps at the gate, where they belong.

[Edited by Dave Roberts (4/14/2017 2:21:27 PM)]
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1050) 14 days ago
This is how you play the game, United

http://www.flyertalk.com/...chers.html
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6095) 13 days ago
I don't know why United didn't try to find seats on other airlines to fly their employees. Would it be embarrassing? Sure, but they wouldn't be experiencing the PR nightmare they have now. Or why didn't they try to find a different airline seat for the passsenger? Ridiculous. I fly Delta almost exclusively because I live in a Delta hub city and have been on flights that have been overbooked. They have always announced it BEFORE boarding and gotten volunteers at the gate. I have never been on a flight where volunteers were requested after boarding.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 13 days ago
United had one more scheduled flight from ORD to SDF that night. United Express 4771 was scheduled to depart at 9pm and arrive at 11:22p. It's possible that the flight crew wouldn't have gotten legally adequate rest if they arrived at 11:22p. I'm not sure what time they were supposed to fly out of Louisville the next day.

At some point I read that Dr. Dao wouldn't get onto a flight to SDF until around 3pm the next day... so they apparently couldn't have put him on the later flight (4771).

It's worth noting that by the time United knew they should try to find a different flight for that crew things had already spun out of control. 99.999% of the time when a flight crew bumps passengers it works the way it is supposed to.
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Posted by David Schott (+9904) 12 days ago
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Posted by Forsyth Mike (+366) 10 days ago
Apparently United stopped at $800 but could have gone to $1350 for volunteers. I saw an interview with the guy who shot the "famous" video, and he said people in the plane were yelling for United to "offer more money" for volunteers.

So, if United had offered more money, this mess would not have happened;

and if the good doctor had just got up and left his seat and argued with somebody in the terminal rather than causing a scene in the plane, the mess would also not have happened.

I think the blame is equal on both sides, frankly.

United is losing billions of dollars in stock value and PR now and will lose a lot of ticket sales in the future, so they've been punished quite a lot already. Whether they've been punished ENOUGH is a question, but since their employees aren't the ones who roughed the guy up, maybe they have been.

I got accused of "thinking like a businessman" by stating the above view on Facebook the other day... which I guess makes sense since a businessman is what I am.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+8162) 10 days ago
Moved from "Humor, Jokes & Games" to "National/World News & Issues".
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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+810) 2 days ago
The skies (and policies) at United Airlines are getting a whole lot friendlier for their customers. What a learning experience for all concerned! Unfortunately, this was a lesson all involved had to learn the hard way. I'm impressed that starting with the CEO, the people at United Airlines sat down and figured out how to do much better in the future. Hopefully, the new policies will work, and an incident like what happened to Dr. Dao will not happen ever again.

Read more at:

http://newsroom.united.co...Experience

https://hub.united.com/un...96105.html
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