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Tue Apr 11, 2017, 04:38 AM

 

United CEO letter to employees: we did nothing wrong!

http://mashable.com/2017/04/10/united-airlines-ceo-staff-memo/#Khl4vou3agqB

"Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this," he wrote. "While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right."


This isn't an airline that cares about its customers, and can barely be bothered to pretend to care.

Avoid at all costs.

41 replies, 7843 views

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Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply United CEO letter to employees: we did nothing wrong! (Original post)
geek tragedy Apr 2017 OP
DetlefK Apr 2017 #1
cab67 Apr 2017 #15
Cha Apr 2017 #2
WePurrsevere Apr 2017 #11
Cha Apr 2017 #12
WePurrsevere Apr 2017 #17
Raster Apr 2017 #29
BlueMTexpat Apr 2017 #3
GeoWilliam750 Apr 2017 #4
BlueMTexpat Apr 2017 #39
HoneyBadger Apr 2017 #26
BlueMTexpat Apr 2017 #38
GetRidOfThem Apr 2017 #5
FBaggins Apr 2017 #6
rpannier Apr 2017 #8
FBaggins Apr 2017 #9
kirby Apr 2017 #32
FBaggins Apr 2017 #33
kirby Apr 2017 #34
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2017 #18
FBaggins Apr 2017 #23
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2017 #24
FBaggins Apr 2017 #25
FBaggins Apr 2017 #27
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2017 #28
geek tragedy Apr 2017 #31
rpannier Apr 2017 #7
whopis01 Apr 2017 #13
rpannier Apr 2017 #40
whopis01 Apr 2017 #41
WePurrsevere Apr 2017 #21
bucolic_frolic Apr 2017 #10
luvMIdog Apr 2017 #14
ecstatic Apr 2017 #20
HAB911 Apr 2017 #16
DFW Apr 2017 #19
WePurrsevere Apr 2017 #22
TNLib Apr 2017 #30
JTFrog Apr 2017 #35
dalton99a Apr 2017 #36
Joe Chi Minh Apr 2017 #37

Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 04:55 AM

1. Punching that guy and dragging him out is an "established procedure" of United Airlines? Got it.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 07:33 AM

15. It was airport security that did that bit.

Not defending United - just laying blame where blame is due.

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 05:16 AM

2. United CEO says airline had to 're-accommodate' passenger, and people are having a riot

"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened."



http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/10/united-ceo-says-airline-had-to-re-accommodate-passenger-and-twitter-is-having-a-riot.html

I actually teared up a little when I saw them dragging the Dr out.

It's great when bosses stand up for their employees but if this is what they all consider correct ptocedures.. they need to get new policies ASAP, imv.

Mahalo geek

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Response to Cha (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 07:04 AM

11. I feel the same way, Cha.

Standing up for employees is great but customer service is also extremely important (or you won't need employees at all eventually) and the way this was handled is flat out wrong.

I've read threads and comments here and elsewhere about this and what it boils down to for me is that a paying customer who had already boarded and settled in on the plane (and NEEDED to get somewhere) was beaten and bullied for no real good reason. IMO if you're going to bump paying customers it should be done before they board (which, if I remember correctly, is how United's bumping regs are worded... pre-boarding.).

IMO they should have just put their employees in a rental and had them drive the 4 hours there. It probably would have gotten them there in just as timely a manner and cost the company a lot less than this excessive abuse and PR disaster has and will.

The video proof of this has gone viral, United better get their heads out of their butts or they'll be out of business. If you travel on a plane you accept that you might get bumped before boarding but you also expect to finish the flight once you're already seated ON the friggin plane. I know hubby and I won't be using United ever again if we need to fly somewhere.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 07:13 AM

12. Well said, WePurrsevere! The CEO

could have gone with.. "Our employees followed procedure but clearly we need a new policy for this kind of situation that was no fault of the passengers."

This escalated and the Dr was abused and humiliated when it could have been handled in a way that everyone was happy.. if only they had been a more flexible.

Shell out some more money.. was all the humiliation to the Dr and bad Publicity worth it?



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Response to Cha (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 08:28 AM

17. Your CEO response would have been a much better way to handle this, Cha.

A good CEO should be able to find the appropriate diplomacy needed for a situation like this. Obviously this one isn't good at this very important part of the job.

It should never have gotten as far as it did. IMO whoever was in charge and the cops who abused this customer should have to answer in a court of law.

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Response to Cha (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 10:28 AM

29. I WAS a United frequent flyer...

...emphasis on "was."

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 05:32 AM

3. One DIL and my

10-year-old granddaughter will visit me this summer. When we discussed airline choices earlier this year, United was among those considered. As neither has ever traveled internationally, I advised that they choose a route with only one stop, thus omitting some of the cheaper options.

I usually travel to the US and back via British Air, mainly because BA has an international flight from the US airport most convenient to our US residence. BA's prices are very competitive with United's and I have generally received excellent service. The route entails a stop at London Heathrow, which can occasionally be problematic in case of late or suspended flights when weather is bad. Failing that, however, things go smoothly and LHR's Terminal 5 has a wonderful duty-free area.

So I was delighted to find that from my DIL's point of origin, she also had an option to fly Air Canada. When we checked, we found that we could get excellent fares as well, competitive with BOTH United and BA. So she booked with Air Canada, will have one stop in Toronto (coming and going) before the transatlantic flight and then will fly directly here. As a bonus, she and my granddaughter were actually bumped up to Economy+ when they had paid only for Economy. I hope that things stay like that for them so that their first experience is a great one.

But even if the flight ends up being overbooked, I cannot imagine that Air Canada would ever treat them as United treated this passenger. That is totally and absolutely unacceptable, IMO.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:04 AM

4. Always allow for extra time transiting through Canada for the US

Typically, one clears immigration and customs at the Canadian airport rather than in the US, and these can be chaotic. A connection of less than three hours could be tight - although would depend on time of day, etc.

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Response to GeoWilliam750 (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:05 PM

39. Thanks for that information.

I believe that they will be fine because they have plenty of time between flights on the return.

But my DIL says she is just fine with staying in Canada if they get stuck there.



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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 10:05 AM

26. The attack Chinese guy flight was not United metal, so to call it United is meaningless

 

"The flight was operated for United by Republic Airline, which United hires to fly United Express flights. Munoz said four Republic employees approached United's gate agents after the plane was fully loaded and said they needed to board. He said the airline asked for volunteers to give up their seats, and then moved to involuntary bumping, offering up to $1,000 in compensation."



Air Canada is a Star Alliance partner and code shares with United. So in summary, Air Canada could very well be United and vice versa.

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Response to HoneyBadger (Reply #26)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:01 PM

38. Different airlines treat people

differently, even when they code share.

For example, British Air and American Airlines are code share partners as well. But if I booked with American Airlines, I would be flying on American Airlines jets, with American Airlines crews. I would also travel through London Heathrow Terminal 3, not Terminal 5. I would also earn AA points, not BA points.

Because I have always booked with British Air, and traveled on British Air jets manned by British Air crews, I travel through London Heathrow Terminal 5. I earn BA points.

The name DOES make a difference.

I understand what you are saying and yes, I realize that Air Canada and United are code share partners as well. The Air Canada flights actually showed up on United as well. But we actually got a better price booking directly through Air Canada.

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:24 AM

5. My dream of revenge...

$100 million settlement by United, something that hurts.
Cops thrown off the force, no retirement benefits.

I saw that videotape...

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:29 AM

6. He may be right

I think it was stupid to not just offer a larger and larger compensation until someone took it... But stupid isn't "wrong".

The part that was morally wrong started after law enforcement got involved.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:38 AM

8. Actually, they likely broke the law

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/250.5

It explains the law regarding compensating

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Response to rpannier (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:46 AM

9. There's little evidence of that

That's the compensation for involuntary removal from the flight. The reported offer amount was for voluntarily giving up their seat.

Nobody has reported that the three who were bumped involuntarily were not compensated according to those regulations.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 02:41 PM

32. In what Orwellian universe...

In what Orwellian universe can being forcibly removed from a flight be called 'voluntarily bumped'? He did not agree to be 'voluntarily' bumped.

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Response to kirby (Reply #32)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 03:09 PM

33. Nobody said that he was voluntarily bumped

The previous poster was mistakenly assuming that the airline had violated the rules that say how much compensation must be given to those who are involuntarily denied boarding... except that the dollar amounts cited in previous reporting were what was offered to anyone who was willing to voluntarily surrender their seat (which garnered no takers). There hasn't been any reporting indicating that those who were involuntarily removed were compensated any less than the required amount.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #33)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 03:30 PM

34. Your wording confused to me

You replied to someone who posted the law section regarding 'Amount of denied boarding compensation for passengers denied boarding involuntarily.'

Your reply was 'There's little evidence of that' and 'That's the compensation for involuntary removal from the flight.'

I thought you were saying they were only entitled to compensation for voluntary denial.

http://time.com/4733425/united-airlines-volunteer-definition/

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 08:44 AM

18. He talks about a 'denial of boarding' process; but the victim had already boarded

This is about forceable removal from the designated seat they had already given him, and he had occupied, to make up for bad crew positioning by United.

I bet they do not have a process for that, or he would have talked about that instead of bullshitting about 'denial of boarding'. It would be surprising if they have a clause saying "we can demand you leave the plane at any time without you having done anything wrong, and use force if you refuse to obey".

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #18)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 09:26 AM

23. I don't know, but I suspect that you'll find that "boarding" doesn't end until the door closes

(Or perhaps even until the aircraft pushes back from the gate - or even leaves the ground).

The fact that you consider yourself to be "boarded" when "on-board" the plane does not mean that it's now outside of their "denial of boarding" process.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 09:37 AM

24. Here's their contract; "board" doesn't get a special definition

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/contract-of-carriage.aspx

so the normal English definitions should apply. Also, it talks about "denied boarding or removed from the flight" (for uncontrollable service animals), indicating they seem them as separate processes.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 09:57 AM

25. That wouldn't be true if the term were defined elsewhere

For instance - I did find that in the European regulations "denied boarding" is any refusal to carry passengers on a flight.

I did find similar language for an American flight where there was a complaint: "Denied Boarding Compensation is a penalty that airlines must pay to customers who hold confirmed reservations and have checked in for a flight but are not accommodated."

I doubt you'll find that the rules say "once my butt is in the seat, you have to take me"

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #24)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 10:07 AM

27. Found other examples

Alec Baldwin's removal from an American flight a few years ago (after the cabin door had been closed - because he was playing "words with friends" on his phone) was still reported as "denied boarding".

Then this from Fortune about a year ago:

What should you do if the airline wants to kick you off a flight?

Flight crews virtually always support a decision to remove a passenger, even when they don't have all the facts, so experts say the best advice is to comply immediately --but ask for compensation.

Technically, a removal is considered an "involuntary denied boarding" situation. So no matter what happens next, you are entitled to compensation.


http://fortune.com/2016/05/11/airlines-kicked-off-passengers-rights/

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 10:19 AM

28. I'd like to see the technical manual giving that definition, then

They have a separate section (21) in the contract about removing passengers, and it's about the behaviour of the passenger, not the airline's need to transport someone else.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 11:50 AM

31. Airlines are supposed to go out of their way to avoid involuntary

 

bumping of passengers. United was pretty quick to pull the involuntary trigger here.

Also, am I the only person who thinks the victim here may be autistic?

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:37 AM

7. Actually... they likely did and most people are unaware why or how

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/250.5

It explains the policies regarding the amount of compensation and how it is supposed to be given and the procedures for compensating
UA likely broke the law. Not with the manhandling of the passenger, but in failure to follow the law

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Response to rpannier (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 07:20 AM

13. What evidence is there that they broke the law?

From the articles I have read, they paid the involuntarily bumped passengers around $1000, which is likely in compliance with the law (assuming they had a greater than 2 hour delay, and the fare for the flight from Chicago to Louisville was $250).

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Response to whopis01 (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 11:55 PM

40. From Reuters

Erin Benson, a spokeswoman for United, could not confirm whether other passengers were sought. She did confirm that no offer was made above $800, but could not comment on why.

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Response to rpannier (Reply #40)

Wed Apr 12, 2017, 07:43 AM

41. So that sounds like they followed the law then

with regard to the offers.

They are only required to meet minimum amounts if they take a passenger's seat involuntarily. And then it is only 2x or 4x the fate depending on the delay.

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Response to rpannier (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 08:59 AM

21. There's a significant difference in the wording....

that I see being overlooked. Both in the law you linked to and the United regulations someone posted elsewhere on DU. Both use pre-boarding wording like "denied boarding" at the link. These customers were all already on board and settled in.

When you fly you sort of expect that being bumped is a possibility but once you're ON the plane you have a reasonable expectation that, unless there's a safety/security problem with the plane itself or 'act of god', you're probably going to get where you're going and certainly not going to be abused and dragged off.

The fact that the badly abused doctor was Asian raises other concerns that should be looked into as well. I've read that a computer supposedly chose which passengers but if I was a juror on what I'm fairly sure will end up in court I'd want more proof that it was done w/o prejudice.

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 06:56 AM

10. Lie-ability

corporate PR technique that helps prevent the lawsuit lawsuits

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 07:26 AM

14. yeah the public statement issued was the nail in their coffin sounds like Trump wrote it lol

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Response to luvMIdog (Reply #14)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 08:55 AM

20. That was my first thought as well! It starts at the top

The CEO needs to be fired, ASAP. He's way too tone deaf to continue.

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 07:33 AM

16. Bring 'em to their knees

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 08:47 AM

19. "We fly right"

If that's "flying right," I think I prefer flying wrong.

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Response to DFW (Reply #19)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 09:03 AM

22. With this behavior I'd say it's more "We Fly Reich". nt

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 11:17 AM

30. Wow! Consumer beware

In other words standard operating procedures is to beat and bloody a customer who has the audacity to expect the service they paid for.

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 03:34 PM

35. $600 million wiped off UAL market capitalization after "established procedures" and standing behind

 

them. Fucking idiot.

I hope they lose billions.

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 03:37 PM

36. I hope there is a boycott - 270 million views and more than 150,000 comments in China yesterday

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/world/asia/united-airlines-passenger-dragged-china.html

By Tuesday evening, the hashtag “United forcibly removes passenger from plane” was the most popular topic on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, garnering more than 270 million views and more than 150,000 comments. Many Chinese social media users accused United of racism, while others called for a boycott.

The outrage was furious and sustained, with internet users calling on United to apologize for its treatment of the man, who was dragged from his seat by security officers after refusing to be bumped from an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky.

The episode was prominently displayed across the Chinese news media on Tuesday. CCTV, the state broadcaster, showed photos of the passenger’s bloodied face above the word, “Savage!” People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, scolded United for failing to condemn the man’s treatment.

The controversy threatened to hurt United’s revenue in China, where the airline began flying in 1986 and has steadily built a loyal customer base. As of last May, United had 96 departures a week to cities in mainland China and Hong Kong.

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Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Tue Apr 11, 2017, 05:10 PM

37. The corporate pathocracy reigns ! Corporate ponerology in all its glory !

Hilarious response from the CEO.

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