United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

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#1 United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Gaybutton » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:49 pm

Rather than re-print a story about which I'm guessing most of you are aware - the man who was literally dragged off a flight that was overbooked.

Overbooking is common, but the part I don't understand, and so far I can't find anything that explains it, is why this particular man was forced off the flight. It certainly wasn't his fault that the flight was overbooked, but why him? He was already seated. Why would United force one paying passenger off their overbooked plane in order to accommodate and seat someone else in the same seat he was already occupying? And how did United decide this man was the one who had to get off the plane. All he was doing was sitting there like everyone else.

One time I was on an overbooked flight. It was on Korean Airlines. It was a flight from Seoul to Atlanta. They didn't force anyone off at all. They asked for volunteers and explained that any volunteers would be booked on the next flight - first class - would also receive US $400 cash, and would be re-booked on a flight to their original destination. My hand was the first one up.

It didn't work out for me, though. I got off the plane, was taken to a lounge area with the other volunteers and we all were excitedly waiting for our cash and first class tickets. To our disappointment, they announced that due to no-shows, the flight was not overbooked after all and we could all return to our original seats. Cattle Class. No first class. No $400. Awwww shit!

But nobody was forced off the flight when they thought they were overbooked. I don't understand why United, or any airline, would force a passenger off their flight to accommodate someone else.

Am I missing something? Do any of you understand why United did that?

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#2 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Up2u » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:24 pm

The flight was not technically overbooked but volunteers were requested with cash incentives so United could get flight staff to Louisville. There were not sufficient takers so the computer picked the unlucky passengers.

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#3 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Undaunted » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:45 pm

I wish I was that "unlucky customer"....He will be suing everyone he can and will wind up with a fortune!
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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#4 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Smiles » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:54 pm

United has now reimbursed the fare cost to everyone on board that flight. Good enough? Nada!
Cheers ... ( and just one more reason why I love living in Thailand )

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#5 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:01 am

Undaunted wrote:He will be suing everyone he can and will wind up with a fortune!

And that is exactly what is already happening.

See: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/13/trave ... index.html


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#6 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Captain Kirk » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:38 am

Would be more fun if they got on the speaker and started an auction. Begin at $500 and keep increasing until you get the required number of volunteers.

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#7 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Gaybutton » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:30 am

Captain Kirk wrote:Begin at $500 and keep increasing until you get the required number of volunteers.

And volunteers also get 77 virgins . . .

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#8 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby fountainhall » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:33 pm

Not sure 70-year old nuns would be much of an incentive!

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#9 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby Gaybutton » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:10 am

Now that we know this man was randomly selected by computer, and why they were bumping passengers, in my opinion that makes this incident worse than I thought. They did this to a paying customer who had already been seated so they could make room for 4 cabin stewards they needed in Louisville.

How did this happen? Did they not know, until just moments before flight time, they would need to bump people off the plane? Why on earth would they force paying customers off the plane, customers who had done absolutely nothing wrong, to accommodate their own employees? If United needed them in Louisville that desperately, then it would be bad enough to bump people before they board the plane, but they did this after the passengers had boarded and been seated - seats they paid for.

Doesn't United have reasonable "Plan Bs" in place for situations in which they need to shuttle their employees? Doesn't United have small commuter planes or money enough to charter one? They could have put their people on such a plane without inconveniencing paying passengers. They also could have instead put the bumped passengers on such a plane and offered first class treatment.

This incident is going to cost United a hell of a lot more than they would have lost by providing such an alternative. Even if this man loses his lawsuits, it will still cost United much more from lost revenue from customers who now won't want to fly on United unless there is no other choice.

How would you like to go through the hassle of getting to the airport in the first place - two or three hours before flight time, going through the check-in line, schlepping your luggage, probably paying extra for your luggage, going through security, making your way to the gate, going through the boarding process, finally taking your seat, but through no fault of your own without assurance you'll even still be on the plane when it departs - and possibly winding up injured by idiot airport staff?

Not me. I'd rather take a bus. At least I've never heard of anyone forcibly bumped off a bus.

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#10 Re: United Airlines - You're on my "I Don't Get It" list

Postby fountainhall » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:28 am

Neither United nor the city of Chicago will dare let this law suit get to court. Not only are Illinois courts known not to be friendly to large corporations, United's CEO has made far too many damaging statements both in writing and in television interviews and the city's airport cops are on video as showing massive overreaction in their use of force. Finding a jury who would actually find them innocent will be an impossible job IMO. No, the two parties will get together and make Dr. Dao an offer he can't refuse. With that high-powered legal team behind him, it will certainly be a 7 figure sum and possibly even in the high 7 figures. And all for the want of an extra few hundred dollars to persuade one more to get off that flight.

Much worse for United, I believe, will be a class action suit. That lawyer showed at his press conference that he has got the bit between his teeth. If he does put together a class action suit about the way United - and perhaps even airlines in general - treats passengers, the worry will not be the damages part - but the punitive damages. And that could be well into the many hundreds of millions. I wonder what lawyers here think of the mess.


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