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Man Dragged off United Flight

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by Bonanzaman, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. JOEFRIDAY2

    JOEFRIDAY2 Well-Known Member

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    While those are all good questions, and they will probably be answered if this comes to trial, the fact remains that this was not Dr. Dao's problem and these questions do not change what happened.

    In this instance, the customer had every right to be in the seat that he had paid for. United had no right to remove him after they had boarded him. Dr. Dao is not in the least bit responsible for what happened here. He is the victim. The more United tries to blame the victim--the deeper the hole that they are digging for themselves.

    There are three videos that I have seen on this. One of the videos is from the seat behind Dr. Dao where the "police" are asking him to leave and he is calmly telling them he is not going anywhere and if they have to drag him to jail then he is willing to go. He explains that he has flown in from Los Angeles, he is tired, he is a Doctor, and he needs to get home to see his patients in the morning.

    The guy is a doctor. The guy is educated. The guy has a lawyer. He pretty much knows what these "police" can and can not do legally. He is obviously much smarter than any of the "policeman" or the United employees that had him ripped out of his paid for seat. Any first year law student can see where this case is going.

    United 100% ran the show and United owns 100% of the results of that show.

    So far United has blamed Republic for operating the aircraft, the other passengers for not volunteering to give up their seats, the police for removing the passenger violently and the paying passenger for not just getting up and leaving when the United Natzi's demanded he do so. In addition United has blamed other airlines for doing the same thing. Pretty soon I expect Trump and Obama will be blamed as well.

    No amount of PR spin is going to make this right.
     
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  2. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    Before we surpass page 40, let me shed some light for those of you that have never been gate agents in a United uniform enforcing United policies on planes that say "UNITED EXPRESS":

    In 3 years, I probably pulled 50+ people with revenue tickets off of fully boarded airplanes. The vast majority of these were weight restrictions. We pre-plan, crunch numbers with the crew and the rampers, move carry-ons into the cabin to free up weight in the back, ect, ect but sometimes it doesn't work out in the end or there was no initial restriction and the plane takes extra gas leading the CA to say, "Yo, we need to pull 2 pax". Other times, a last minute deadhead crew showed up, just like in the case with Mr. Dao, other times for whatever reason, another airline had un-checked a connecting pax in on the flight and you end up with a duplicate seat and an extra pax or another pax shows up last minute, checked in, and the non-checked in person is in their seat. In all of these cases, you go on board and solicit volunteers. Now, none of this is the problem of the passengers. However, if you up the ante as high as United can go, but spending the night is not an option any of the pax wish to take(or all the hotels in the area are sold out), somebody who is sitting fat, dumb, and happy in the seat they paid for is getting off the airplane. The formula at the time(not sure if it changed) was the person with the lowest fare ticket, who checked in last, who had the least Star Alliance/United miles(or no account period) is the IDB. They get more compensation than the voluntary person, including a check written to them to refund that segment of their trip, and even if the next flight is oversold, they get a confirmed seat right then and there and are protected on that flight. But, of course, all this is done at the gate after the fact. Never, ever, not once, have I had to do this and had a pax refuse to get off the plane. They were all just as screwed as this guy, but the situation never required a visit from SFPD. Not once.

    Say what you will about United, I am very familiar with the airline as I "negotiate" how the INTL term will run with them everyday and have plenty of stories, but don't hate the player, hate the game. If you drew the short straw, yes that sucks, but you heard the airline beg people to get off the plane, no one did, it is what it is. GTFO.

    The rest of you can say whatever you will, but it isn't right or wrong. Somebody needs to be yanked involuntary according to the airline selling tickets on the flight and paying Republic to operate it painted in their colors, and it is happening. If you don't like it, try and get it changed, but this man was no more important than all the crying people I had to drag off Brasilias and RJs on the last flight of the night years ago...who didn't require police intervention.

    Nah, smart people usually manage to keep from escalating things until they get their ass beat. Not that Chicago PD was right to do what they did IMO, but if it is going that way, take it up bureaucratically after the fact and save the bloody nose.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  3. srn121

    srn121 Well-Known Member

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    That link I posted from years ago showed the great reluctance United was to follow the DOT law in compensating passengers and refunding them what they were owed under that law. The fact that they would rather call in law enforcement than extend that request for volunteers with the compensation legally required shows that they have clearly have no idea what they were doing or in following the law as it pertains to them.

    "Recommodation" is the PR Legalese United's CEO first used when referring to the treatment of the bloodied passenger bumped from the flight. The PR team and management clearly haven't gotten the message in how they've handled this from day one and not a week later it seems as Delta beat them to the swoop even though it was United calling for a beating on their paying customer. This is total amateur hour and I hope to God Munoz and some executives get shown the door soon. They're not worthy of their hefty exectutive pay and this incident in particular has certainly revealed that he's in way, way over his head.
     
  4. JOEFRIDAY2

    JOEFRIDAY2 Well-Known Member

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    You also need to consider something else here.

    Every time United tries to deflect the blame to someone else, they are making this passengers case stronger and stronger. All of those deflections can be put in from of a jury to demonstrate how defective the United culture is.

    In my opinion, this case is going to be about punitive damages. A jury will decide how much to award Dr. Dao based upon the net worth of United.

    The purpose of punitive damages is to make the person or company, that did such an outrageous act, suffer so it will not engage in similar conduct going forward.

    The punitive damage award is often based upon the net worth of the company. It's supposed to hurt. It's not supposed to be a slap on the wrist.

    For this reason, you might not have the Chicago lawyers willing to settle. They might want to take this to a jury because they believe a jury will award punitive damages.
     
  5. srn121

    srn121 Well-Known Member

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    They were only offered an $800 voucher according to multiple eye witnesses. Like you said you've done this multiple times without incident and the people were paid what they were owed under the law. I know if I was offered what the law requires on pretty much every flight I've been on I would have taken it so something differing from our mutual experiences clearly was the exception here. If United went up to the legal maximum and couldn't find any takers I'd give them a lot more sympathy when they requested the stormtroopers.
     
  6. mshunter

    mshunter Well-Known Member

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    No, the law is written much more complex than that.
     
  7. Ecl!pse

    Ecl!pse Well-Known Member

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    This is where we start to diverge. @jtrain609 can chime in with his legal expertise, but I believe United does have the legal right to remove him from his seat, just like weight restriction IDB's that occur post-boarding. Does that mean it's the right thing to do? No. Do they have the right? Yes, I believe so, per the contract of carriage.

    I agree Dr. Dao is a smart man, but this is where his past comes into play, when assessing his judgement in this scenario. He is smart, but in the past he was convicted (and barred from practicing medicine in Kentucky) for illegally prescribing opiates. While we all make mistakes, that is not smart. Does this show a pattern in his decision making that show why he was the only one of four passengers who refused to give up their seat, even when the authorities arrived? This is not intended to victim-shame - but rather to try and understand why he did not comply with United and Law Enforcement's mandates to de-board.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
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  8. JOEFRIDAY2

    JOEFRIDAY2 Well-Known Member

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    §14 CFR 250.5 Amount of denied boarding compensation for passengers denied boarding involuntarily.
    (a) Subject to the exceptions provided in § 250.6, a carrier to whom this part applies as described in § 250.2 shall pay compensation in interstate air transportation to passengers who are denied boarding involuntarily from an oversold flight as follows:

    (1) No compensation is required if the carrier offers alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if none, the airport of the passenger's final destination not later than one hour after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight;

    (2) Compensation shall be 200% of the fare to the passenger's destination or first stopover, with a maximum of $675, if the carrier offers alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if none, the airport of the passenger's final destination more than one hour but less than two hours after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight; and

    (3) Compensation shall be 400% of the fare to the passenger's destination or first stopover, with a maximum of $1,350, if the carrier does not offer alternate transportation that, at the time the arrangement is made, is planned to arrive at the airport of the passenger's first stopover, or if none, the airport of the passenger's final destination less than two hours after the planned arrival time of the passenger's original flight.
     
  9. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    "Only $800" in free travel on United...no black out dates...fully transferable to whoever you want to give it to. When I worked there, $600 was the max, and most people got $200-400. Offering $800 for people to go to SDF tomorrow afternoon, or refund their ticket, use that money to rent a car, and have $800 in travel credit and get there that same day is selling them short?

    Yeah...sounds like a good offer to me. That will get you to Asia or Europe roundtrip in today's airfare market. Errrbody so entitled these days.
     
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  10. mshunter

    mshunter Well-Known Member

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    Like I said, a lot more complex.
     
  11. srn121

    srn121 Well-Known Member

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    The LAW requires them to pay cash up to 4x the ticket price or $1350 whichevers less in this scenario so I expect United to follow the LAW before demanding it from others and demanding a 69 year old guy gets dragged off the plane. How entitled are us Americans when we expect corporations to follow the LAW?
     
  12. JOEFRIDAY2

    JOEFRIDAY2 Well-Known Member

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    The Dr. was not removed from the flight for any weight restriction or flight safely issue.

    Weight restrictions and flight safety issues have no bearing on this case.

    Any past or present criminal records of the Dr, any passenger or any crew member have no bearing on this case.
     
  13. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    Yes it does for INVOLUNTARILY denied boarding. As in nobody gave up their seat and you were dragged off the plane or not allowed on it. VOLUNTEERS are only offered progressive travel credit up to $800 max most likely and re-accommodation.

    But please, go on to tell me how to do the job I did for years. I'm learning a lot from you and everyone else who never did it but somehow know "how it is supposed to go".
     
  14. srn121

    srn121 Well-Known Member

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    Like I said it's entirely on United which has a history of offering credits and vouchers in leiu of the cash which they're legally required to. If they couldn't find any volunteers offering a tiny fraction of what they were required to and ended up choosing the most desperate passengers at random, which greatly delayed the departure then it's all on inept management and employee performance that this situation resulted accordingly. The 69 year old's blood and lost teeth are on United, but please go on and tell me how entitled I and most of the American public are for being upset with United for this.
     
  15. Ecl!pse

    Ecl!pse Well-Known Member

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    As written, it's either 400% of the ticket cost or the maximum of $1350. I don't think anyone here knows the fare he paid, which is necessary information to determine the legally required amount. $800 could have in fact been the appropriate amount.


    This was an IBD - we can all contest whether or not this should be classified as an IBD, but the fact of the matter is that this situation (deadheading crews) would result in an IBD at all airlines. Previous posters in this thread confirm this. Doesn't matter what the cause was at that point, whether it was weight, safety, etc., it was still an IBD. That process then applies.

    If a history of poor past judgement has no bearing on this case, then I fail to see the relevance of your earlier argument about him being a doctor and being "smarter" than the cops and the united employees.

    I would argue it could (not necessarily will) have a bearing on this case as it could show a history of poor judgement. If he was warned that his refusal to comply would result in authorities removing him from the airplane, then I would say it was poor judgement not to comply. That still doesn't give the authorities the right to abuse him in the manner that they did - there is no question about that. But by complying after being warned, if he was warned, he could have also prevented all of this. The other three passengers seems to understand the implications and de-boarded the aircraft.

    At the end of the day, better communication and processes for handling IBD's at UAL could have caught all of this upstream. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and the cascading chain of events that ensued resulted in this mess.
     
  16. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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  17. ChasenSFO

    ChasenSFO hen teaser

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    I never saw United illegally offer an IDB(remember, legally there is a big difference between a volunteer and someone who is just yanked off the plane) travel credit in lieu of cash. But obviously you have, and accordingly are able to contradict everything I say, so there is no point in my participation when you can continue to spew emotional nonsense. You carry on and have a good time telling people how it works at United and how they called the Airport Police and asked them to bloody the guy up. I'll go live my life and worry about stuff that actually matters.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  18. srn121

    srn121 Well-Known Member

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    I'm quoting newspaper articles and eyewitness reports. In addition to your own words you admitted to them paying out vouchers when the law calls for cash and that accused me and everyone of being entitled for not kissing Uniteds ass over a voucher. Here's your words again below again to remind us that we're all beyond entitled for not dropping to our knees at the thought of a two, four or even six hundred dollar voucher.

     
  19. Ecl!pse

    Ecl!pse Well-Known Member

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    All I want is confirmation that UAL did not pay the IDB passengers their entitled compensation. What you are referencing as "offering" during the voluntary process does not matter - did they actually pay the legally required amounts after moving from the "voluntary" process to the "involuntary" process? We cannot use the other passengers stories here as reference because I doubt they know what happened after the IDB customers were removed - unless they walked up to the gate with them and witnessed it.

    If they did not pay that out the 400% or $1350, that would be illegal. If they tried to obtain volunteers through vouchers, before involuntarily denying passengers boarding, there is nothing remotely illegal about that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  20. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    That'd be a no then. Cool.
     

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