United Airways evicts passengers by force

 
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
We have all seen it.

Yes UA was in its legal right to kick people off and the man was not within his legal right to object, but...

- UA boarded the plane and then later changed its mine that the plane was over booked.
- They did not use the full amount in offering people to get off
- The man initially offered to go on money alone, but later declined when the timing was suitable and he explained why

The solution was obvious, offer more money and to hell with the $1300 cap. You UA allowed the plane to be boarded UA, YOU F__KED UP. They tried to do a quick and dirty fix and it cost them more time and a hell of alot more money.

They were bloody lucky it was in the USA where the population at large is very cautious about what they do on planes for fear of being arrested. I'm sure in other countries this could have gotten ugly quickly as other passengers stepped in to support the guy.

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  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
The biggest mistake was that United picked out people AFTER they had boarded. Denied boarding (ie - bumped at check-in) is one thing, but pulling them off the plane is making sure that the process becomes very public, with the obvious results.

Apparently the 4 replacements (airline employees) were given a hard time when they boarded as well, and then several more passengers decided to voluntarily (and apparently vocally) get off as well, which no doubt stuffed things up no end. The plane was subsequently emptied completely and the flight delayed about 3 hours.

You can bet that the was no cash offer either - it would have been in the form of hotel vouchers and ticket vouchers.

The CEO has said sorry about 4 times since, his attitude more conciliatory each time (share price took a hiding too - his main concern of course).

Lawyers have no doubt camped outside the victims hospital to get their share of the fallout, but a monetary settlement will probably occur before it gets to court.

(I was voluntarily bumped from a Qantas flight to Bali many years ago after a Staff member wandered along the check-in queue asking for volunteers - the offer was a $400 voucher (which was about the same as my accommodation cost), redeemable for cash at a Qantas Office (which I did upon my return), and transfer to a domestic flight to Darwin, which then went on to Bali, arriving about 1 hour after the original direct flight).
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Back in 2014 I flew United from Denver to Rapid City. After we had all boarded they announced that the plane was overweight and (I think) 2 passengers would have to leave. They offered various discounts, not much use to me as a very occasional visitor to the USA. No one volunteered so they then announced it would be the last 2 passengers to check -in. I was glad my shuttle (there is now a train from city to airport in Denver) had insisted on picking me up early. It would have complicated my joining a 7 day coach tour of Yellowstone.
I am leery of flying United now. I have a United booked flight (it was $100 cheaper) from San Francisco to Dunedin in July but it will be Air New Zealand planes. Since moving from Australia to New Zealand I have changed from United airpoints to Air New Zealand. I also have Emirates airpoints and they run rings around the other two airlines but do not fly across the Pacific.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

While a great deal of effort goes into getting an aircrafts load correct BEFORE boarding, the actual final weight and centre of gravity is NOT known untill after the aircraft has been loaded, the cockpit having intruments to display these values. If is then outside limits the aircraft CANNOT leave and something MUST be done.

woodford
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
United has a history of taking over-bookings. And an offer of United vouchers to endure even more poor service is actually insulting to paying passengers.

And, frankly, they would have known well ahead of time that there was a need to move staff on that flight. Mikesyd is correct that this should have been addressed before boarding.

What I don't understand, given how litigious US society is, is why someone hasn't tested in court the whole fine print bit about "we'll take your money, but still have the option as to whether we keep our side of the contract". No airline allows a passenger to change a non-flexible fare without penalty. But when the boot is on the other foot....
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
United was already on my 'NO FLY' list but a greater world wide PR disaster it would have been hard to contrive.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Apparently all airlines have a fine print that protects them when they need to "bump".

EK flys across the Pacific via QF

3 years back flying back from Cyprus to Dubai with family after a week enjoying cheap beer and fine food and beautiful scenery and nearly destroying (I had to pay for towing and sump rebuild via a local dude at pub) a clapped out hire car on a "short cut" mountain road we were at the airport.

We saw the Emirates staff member moving through the crowd and suspected EK's ancient A330 was overbooked (it comes back from Malta). I've never heard EK over booking so a bit strange. But the lady never approached us, family of 4. From Cyprus to Dubai its 4hr, made longer because of all the military (6mths post MH17)  and political no-fly zones, ie Iraq, Syria, Israel and the occupied territories.  Got to the counter and the lady mentioned we are over booked and casually asked our destination beyond Dubai. Mam, "we live in Dubai" well her face lite up, there's 4 of you? Yes. We are 7 over.

We are offering you $A3200 cash + 5 star accommodation + transfers + guaranteed travel tomorrow.

Yes we said NO! wife had meeting for work and appointment for orthodontist to fix teeth for sisters wedding in 10 weeks (the same teeth that were ok for our wedding). Kids school etc. and I've regretted ever since. The cash was more than I paid for the airfares.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Not always possible, of course, but this is yet another reason to allow some leeway at your destination even if it's only to allow your luggage to turn up (hopefully that is..........).

Raises another question. If the passenger manhandled off the aircraft had luggage in the hold would they have unloaded the hold? Or is having checked baggage an advantage in preventing being unloaded in this fashion, perhaps?
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

EK flys across the Pacific via QF

RTT_Rules
I just checked and, as I remembered, a search on the Emirates website for a flight from Auckland to Vancouver brings up a flight via Dubai at about twice the price of the Air New Zealand direct flight.
Anyway I have not flown Qantas since 1980.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE

EK flys across the Pacific via QF
I just checked and, as I remembered, a search on the Emirates website for a flight from Auckland to Vancouver brings up a flight via Dubai at about twice the price of the Air New Zealand direct flight.
Anyway I have not flown Qantas since 1980.
Brianr

I randomly typed in for a May flight using Makemytrip

QF (code share with EK) is cheaper than Air NZ, but not by much (about $300) with roughly the same flight times.

Yes on the EK website they want to send you via Dubai.

I haven't flown TAA since about 1980 but I don't know what that has to do with flying today. I pick airlines by their seat spacing and schedule then price especially long haul.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Raises another question. If the passenger manhandled off the aircraft had luggage in the hold would they have unloaded the hold? Or is having checked baggage an advantage in preventing being unloaded in this fashion, perhaps?
YM-Mundrabilla
I remember a couple of years ago that we were delayed departing Adelaide on a QF flight to Perth as there was a "No Show" at boarding and they had to remove his checked baggage from the hold before we could leave.
Seems the guy had checked in, checked in his bags then left the airport for some reason.

I've never (in 30years of flying domestically in Oz) seen a case of a passenger removal due to over booking.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Raises another question. If the passenger manhandled off the aircraft had luggage in the hold would they have unloaded the hold? Or is having checked baggage an advantage in preventing being unloaded in this fashion, perhaps?
I remember a couple of years ago that we were delayed departing Adelaide on a QF flight to Perth as there was a "No Show" at boarding and they had to remove his checked baggage from the hold before we could leave.
Seems the guy had checked in, checked in his bags then left the airport for some reason.

I've never (in 30years of flying domestically in Oz) seen a case of a passenger removal due to over booking.
Pressman
That has been my experience too. Check luggage - no show = unload the luggage.
These days, however, it seems that everyone brings all their worldly goods plus the kitchen sink on board with them.
It's an uncivilised method of transport for which there is little alternative these days. Sad
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
I also loathe flying but living in Dunedin with family in Sydney and loving to travel, mainly in Europe but also North America, I have no choice. Hate every minute we are in the air.
I usually catch the bus (because no longer a train) to Christchurch then fly from there over the ditch. Last Tuesday I managed a grabaseat from Air NZ for not much more than the bus and it meant leaving home at 1.15pm instead of 7.15am.
Due to morning fog in Christchurch, all flights were delayed and I arrived Christchurch airport at 5.30pm for a 6.05pm departure by Emirates. Of course different airline so could not book luggage through. They told me I could leave my luggage and run through customs. Had to pay an extra NZ$430 for a VirginAustralia flight the next morning (Emirates were fully booked until Easter) and stay overnight in a hotel for a 4am shuttle back to airport. Even airline staff admitted buses are more reliable. In future it will be the bus for me.

Referring back to the flight across the Pacific. Late last year I obtained an Air NZ flight for May from Dunedin to Auckland to Vancouver then 2 days  later Canada Air to Toronto for just over Au$1000. I am catching the train back to the west coast.

I waited and waited and finally found a Webjet special about a month ago for my return flight early July from San Francisco to Auckland then Dunedin. As I said it was $100 cheaper with United although on an AirNZ flight but still Au$1600.
My holiday will be on trains and ferries through Alaska and British Columbia but I will need to fly several times with Alaska Air then a Delta flight from Vancouver to San Francisco.

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