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Thread: United Air Lines

  1. #1
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    United Air Lines


    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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  3. #3

    United Air Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Oh I figured Southwest would say "We only treat you like cattle before you board"


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  4. #4
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    United Air Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Oh I figured Southwest would say "We only treat you like cattle before you board"


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Southwest is what it is, basically a flying bus service. I use Southwest all the time to get around California and the West for short flights up to 90 minutes or so. They're not perfect. But it is unimaginable that any Southwest employee would do what the United airlines folks did in yesterday's incident.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  5. #5
    I must not be a very good person because I have zero sympathy for this guy. Could United have handled it better? Absolutely, but they didn't really have that many options and I don't think that the way they chose to handle it was all that bad anyway.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    I must not be a very good person because I have zero sympathy for this guy. Could United have handled it better? Absolutely, but they didn't really have that many options and I don't think that the way they chose to handle it was all that bad anyway.
    Amen Scratch. I'll take it further. So, because he doesn't want to be inconvenienced in any way, he inconveniences all of the people on the plane who now have to get back off the plane and wait around for 3 hours. He also inconveniences all of the flyers in Louisville who need a crew that needed to get on that flight. All because he refuses to take a later flight. Then, when asked to leave he acts like a goddamned two year old and screams and holds on to his chair.

    Imagine if every passenger acted like him. The airports would come to a stand still.

    Every one of us has had to eat a shit sandwich on occasion while flying. I did it last week in Atlanta when my flight got cancelled. This guy is complete fucking turd.

    United should have never let him on the plane in the first place and should have run its lottery before anybody got on. But it makes me sick to watch America feel sorry for this clown. When he was asked to get off, he should have gotten off. Every person on this site would have grumbled and then left the plane (just like the other passengers who were asked to leave, did). Because we are human beings.

    The reality is, too many people are flying. Airlines overbook to make money which in turns keeps flight costs down. If we regulated this stuff, prices would go up. I'd still fly but many of the John Does who feel sorry for this guy would be priced out of flying.

    Of course, today, we now learn that the docs is a convicted felon. How can you be surprised by this given his conduct?
    Last edited by Two Utes; 04-11-2017 at 10:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    I must not be a very good person because I have zero sympathy for this guy. Could United have handled it better? Absolutely, but they didn't really have that many options and I don't think that the way they chose to handle it was all that bad anyway.
    To each their own, I guess. To me, if you pay for a seat on an airplane, you should get to keep it (I know thats pretty radical!)

    And could United have handled it better? A better question is what could they have realistically done worse? IMO, they should have upped their offer until they got enough bites. If they reached their maximum, and still no takers then you pay for your employees to ride there on Greyhound or buy a ticket on another airlines. The police here look like absolute goons and united looks even sillier.

    In an oligopoly, I cant say ill never use united again, but i will do my best not to.

  8. #8
    I guess for me -- even if I was flaming angry about getting bumped -- if a police officer came on the plane and told me I needed to get off, I would get off and then raise hell with United. We've all got our own methods I guess.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    To each their own, I guess. To me, if you pay for a seat on an airplane, you should get to keep it (I know thats pretty radical!)

    And could United have handled it better? A better question is what could they have realistically done worse? IMO, they should have upped their offer until they got enough bites. If they reached their maximum, and still no takers then you pay for your employees to ride there on Greyhound or buy a ticket on another airlines. The police here look like absolute goons and united looks even sillier.

    In an oligopoly, I cant say ill never use united again, but i will do my best not to.
    That's not the point. Of course, if you buy a ticket you should get to keep it. But if they say you have to leave, you need to leave. You can't act like a two year old and scream and hold onto you chair. Instead, you get off the goddamn plane and figure out your next option. That's what you would do and that's what I would do. Because we are adults.

    And by the way, I hate United. I will never fly them if I can absolutely avoid it.
    Last edited by Two Utes; 04-11-2017 at 10:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    To each their own, I guess. To me, if you pay for a seat on an airplane, you should get to keep it (I know thats pretty radical!)

    And could United have handled it better? A better question is what could they have realistically done worse? IMO, they should have upped their offer until they got enough bites. If they reached their maximum, and still no takers then you pay for your employees to ride there on Greyhound or buy a ticket on another airlines. The police here look like absolute goons and united looks even sillier.

    In an oligopoly, I cant say ill never use united again, but i will do my best not to.
    The challenge with flights is I think a lot of these airlines are dealing with razor sharp margins on certain flight routes and so they need to have a full flight and so they overbook. The question is would you be willing to pay an extra $30 a flight so they didn't overbook?

  11. #11
    I'm told that the 37,000 word (per Anderson Cooper on CNN last night) contract you sign when you buy a ticket entitles the airline to give your seat to someone else.
    I've never read it, and I never will. So, it may or may not be true. But, according to CNN, United has a legal right to re-accommodate anyone.

    This past weekend my Friday flight from Eugene to Knoxville got messed up due to the weather problems, and I was going to have to spend 2 days, yes 2 days in Minneapolis. There were ZERO available flights on Saturday. I asked nicely if they could route me through SLC where I have family, which they did. So, I got a weekend with my parents and a few siblings. If you fly, crap happens. Smile and make the best of it.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Southwest is what it is, basically a flying bus service. I use Southwest all the time to get around California and the West for short flights up to 90 minutes or so. They're not perfect. But it is unimaginable that any Southwest employee would do what the United airlines folks did in yesterday's incident.
    I think some people (not you, LA) forget that it was not United employees that physically removed the passenger, it was police/airport security. United is to blame for overbooking flights, but in reality, all airlines do this. They could have (and should have) continued to increase their offers to get volunteers, and the one big mistake they made was cutting that off too soon and deciding to go to assigning involuntary removal.

    The thing that made this go viral is on the police/security. The extraneous facts, that this guy is a doctor, convicted felon, etc. is all fluff that doesn't matter in the least.
    Dyslexics of the world, untie!

  13. #13
    Does anyone really need to get to Louisville that badly? I don't think so.
    “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

    Well, because he thought it was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    That's not the point. Of course, if you buy a ticket you should get to keep it. But if they say you have to leave, you need to leave. You can't act like a two year old and scream and hold onto you chair. Instead, you get off the goddamn plane and figure out your next option. That's what you would do and that's what I would do. Because we are adults.

    And by the way, I hate United. I will never fly them if I can absolutely avoid it.
    Serious question because I honestly dont know. What legal right do they have to boot paying customers in favor of united employees who they want to deadhead? i know there are some terms and conditions that have to do with overbooking but I just dont know the rules.

    He may not have acted the way I would have, but I would hardly call what guy did to be wrong or throwing a tantrum.

    The real imbeciles here are United.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I'm told that the 37,000 word (per Anderson Cooper on CNN last night) contract you sign when you buy a ticket entitles the airline to give your seat to someone else.
    I've never read it, and I never will. So, it may or may not be true. But, according to CNN, United has a legal right to re-accommodate anyone.

    This past weekend my Friday flight from Eugene to Knoxville got messed up due to the weather problems, and I was going to have to spend 2 days, yes 2 days in Minneapolis. There were ZERO available flights on Saturday. I asked nicely if they could route me through SLC where I have family, which they did. So, I got a weekend with my parents and a few siblings. If you fly, crap happens. Smile and make the best of it.
    Ah ok that makes sense. Well said.

  16. #16
    Given the complexity of flight, it's amazing there aren't more problems than there are....

  17. #17
    There were a lot of mistakes made on this and the way Airport Police handled the removal simply provided a visual that everyone is reacting to. Never board the plane until you have the seating figured out. A few years back, my wife and I were flying somewhere and we had an overbooked airplane. After making a number of offers and getting no takers, the gate person called about 20 names of people on the flight to meet with the gate person. He then explained that they were overbooked by 4 seats and as there were not takers, the policy was to identify those who were flying on the least expensive ticket and explain that if there were no volunteers, 4 would be selected by random from the 20 people he had identified. He upped the offer from $400 to $600 and a couple of people bit. My wife and I looked around and decided of the people standing there, we would be better able to handle the delay than the others and decided we would wait. It was a relatively short wait (3 hours or so). I felt that the gate person handled a tough situation about as well as it could be handled.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Given the complexity of flight, it's amazing there aren't more problems than there are....
    And I would argue strenuously that there aren't more problems because most of us behave somewhat reasonably when this stuff happens to us, unlike the good doc.

  19. #19
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Lots of smart posts from experienced fliers here. My take on this:

    1. It's a PR disaster that United made worse than it already was by the huffy, tin-eared way they responded.

    2. The passenger behaved like an idiot. I'm embarrassed for him. Unfortunately for United, people have sided with him because the airline industry is widely reviled, fairly or not (I fly a lot and personally I find it pretty easy to navigate the system, but doing so requires patience and the ability to be resigned to one's fate). On top of that, United has a bad reputation for rude employees. I won't fly UA unless I absolutely have to, for that very reason, even though I once had a zillion frequent flyer miles with them.

    3. UA and other airlines might think about a policy change. With more flexibility in extreme situations like this, they ought to be able to up their compensation offer until someone takes it. I'm not sure that would pencil out for them, though -- people would quickly take advantage and extort large sums out of them.

    This will be a business school case study some day just like the Tylenol poisoning case from years ago now is.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #20
    The airline's actions are not justifiable, except and only because there is an airline oligopoly. The more we just accept it, and behave the "right" way in such circumstances, the more complicit we all are. In a democratic society, where the free-market can't provide a solution for such situations. Greater protections and rights need to be secured for passengers, to the benefit of all.

    While I agree, the 'victim' responded poorly to the situation. His behavior does not afford airport security the right to assault him. Yes, it was assault, as evidenced by the officer in question being suspended immediately for his actions.

    The reality is, passengers do have rights, guaranteed by law. We are all simply not aware, because the airlines don't want us to be aware that when bumped etc. a bumped passenger is entitled to more compensation than is often indicated:

    I got bumped from a flight. Then I sued:
    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.cnn....one/index.html

    How one Delta airlines passenger turned multiple overbooked flights into $11,000:
    http://globalnews.ca/news/3371450/ho...ts-into-11000/

    Last month I flew to Utah for a weekend to visit my parents. I was joining my wife who was there on business. My original ticket was for a trip to Europe last summer for an artist residency. Unforeseen circumstances forced me to cancel that trip, leaving me with a voucher on KLM. At the threat of the voucher expiring, I was able to book a ticket and fly direct to SLC on Delta. It was not without difficulty.

    Despite the fact Delta, KLM and Air France are partners, or rather a conglomerate; and despite the fact that, in north America, when you call to speak to a KLM ticketing agent, you are actually re-directed to Delta Airline agents. Delta refused to honour the voucher for their airline. I politely asked the Delta agent with the heavy southern accent to transfer me to an actual KLM agent. She did, kinda, transferring me to a French language only Air France ticketing agent. Fortunately, I speak French. After we laughed about the rigidity of her American counterparts, she booked me on a direct flight to SLC. I enjoyed a wonderful weekend at the foot of the Wasatch mountains and even found time to hang out with Two Utes.

    Fast forward to my return flight home. Flying separate airlines, I left a day before my wife. Just prior to boarding at SLC International, the gate agent began broadcasting for passengers willing to accept a voucher for $400 and take a later flight. No takers. A few minutes later she upped the voucher to $600. Again no takers. Eventually, she got around to calling up passengers individually. I was first on the list. She explained that the airline did not anticipate a full flight and booked much of the cargo area for cartage. With a flight full of passengers, the plane would be overweight. She also indicated that she had a very important passenger who absolutely needed to get on that flight. A Delta frequent flier who was making a fuss because his "needs" were more important than everyone else's. Besides, she said we noticed you booked this flight via KLM, via Air France.

    Never mind the value of my original ticket to Europe was much more expensive than the cost of the ticket I was flying on to SLC. Never mind they made me pay $300 to change that more expensive ticket for a less expensive ticket. They were now politely asking me to fly to Atlanta, stay the night at a hotel of their choosing and get home by 7:00 am the next day.

    I looked at her and said: "I'll do it if you give me a $1000 voucher and put me on a direct flight tonight, on any which airline you like." She said: "I can't do that sir. The best I can do is give you $800." I asked if their was a direct flight to my destination the following morning. She looked it up and there was. I said: "I'll take the $800 and that flight." She agreed. Happily, I got to spend more time hanging out with my parents, Two Utes and even Mormon Red Death. Since then, I've learned I should've held out for the $1000 ... that's how much she was really allowed to give me.
    Last edited by tooblue; 04-11-2017 at 02:16 PM.

  21. #21
    As much as the passenger acted like and infant and two utes and concerned points are valid lets not forget all the things that United airlines gets from the public. Publicly funded airports with publicly funded security and public funded traffic control. This isnt to mention the huge barriers to entry that with space at airports (by again government regulations) and such. They owe a paying customer and taxpayer (presumably) better. They should have upped the $ and if they are so worried that everyone will take advantage of that then simply dont overbook.
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    As much as the passenger acted like and infant and two utes and concerned points are valid lets not forget all the things that United airlines gets from the public. Publicly funded airports with publicly funded security and public funded traffic control. This isnt to mention the huge barriers to entry that with space at airports (by again government regulations) and such. They owe a paying customer and taxpayer (presumably) better. They should have upped the $ and if they are so worried that everyone will take advantage of that then simply dont overbook.
    I never said passengers don't have rights. I would have sued their asses for my losses due to them making me go the next day had I been the doc. But you simply shouldn't get to act like a two year old because you didn't get your way. I'm not surprised it's coming out today the the doc is bad man. He's clearly an idiot.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    I never said passengers don't have rights. I would have sued their asses for my losses due to them making me go the next day had I been the doc. But you simply shouldn't get to act like a two year old because you didn't get your way. I'm not surprised it's coming out today the the doc is bad man. He's clearly an idiot.
    And he'd have a hard time winning a lawsuit for being forced to give up his seat (the physical removal is a different animal and I'm sure there's a legal case there)

    As someone posted earlier, you give up your 'rights' when you buy that ticket. They can kick you off the plane. You agree to that when you buy. However if they force you to give up your seat the compensation for that is set by law. (Based on the hours you're delayed getting to your destination)




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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Amen Scratch. I'll take it further. So, because he doesn't want to be inconvenienced in any way, he inconveniences all of the people on the plane who now have to get back off the plane and wait around for 3 hours. He also inconveniences all of the flyers in Louisville who need a crew that needed to get on that flight. All because he refuses to take a later flight. Then, when asked to leave he acts like a goddamned two year old and screams and holds on to his chair.

    Imagine if every passenger acted like him. The airports would come to a stand still.

    Every one of us has had to eat a shit sandwich on occasion while flying. I did it last week in Atlanta when my flight got cancelled. This guy is complete fucking turd.

    United should have never let him on the plane in the first place and should have run its lottery before anybody got on. But it makes me sick to watch America feel sorry for this clown. When he was asked to get off, he should have gotten off. Every person on this site would have grumbled and then left the plane (just like the other passengers who were asked to leave, did). Because we are human beings.

    The reality is, too many people are flying. Airlines overbook to make money which in turns keeps flight costs down. If we regulated this stuff, prices would go up. I'd still fly but many of the John Does who feel sorry for this guy would be priced out of flying.

    Of course, today, we now learn that the docs is a convicted felon. How can you be surprised by this given his conduct?
    I couldn't agree with two utes any more. Passenger got everything he deserved.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    I never said passengers don't have rights. I would have sued their asses for my losses due to them making me go the next day had I been the doc. But you simply shouldn't get to act like a two year old because you didn't get your way. I'm not surprised it's coming out today the the doc is bad man. He's clearly an idiot.
    And I said you have valid points. The guy is an idiot. United should have some blame here as well for A) not training their people on how to deal with a situation B) Overbooking a flight.
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    And I said you have valid points. The guy is an idiot. United should have some blame here as well for A) not training their people on how to deal with a situation B) Overbooking a flight.
    They're never going to stop overbooking.

    They know how many people routinely no show flights and don't want to lose that revenue.

    Of course this case is different in they weren't doing this because they had too many paying customers. They did it to move a flight crew.

    My bigger question would be who trained airport security (they are called police but are not part of Chicago PD and are not armed)


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  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    And I said you have valid points. The guy is an idiot. United should have some blame here as well for A) not training their people on how to deal with a situation B) Overbooking a flight.
    There's actually a small part of me that admires the whole airline/flying process. it's dog eat dog and usually benefits the smarter more savvy person. For instance, if you know what you are doing on Southwest you are able to easily get better boarding passes to get better seats. The savvy smart person benefits. The dumb, lazy ones sit in the middle seat in the back.

    Delta and the other airlines reward customers who use their services more. The more money you make the airline, the more they reward you--as it should be. If you understand the system, even if you don't have a ton of priority, you can still get a fairly decent seat. If you want a complete discount with no frills whatsoever or you are just lazy and dumb, you get the shittiest seats.

    If there is an event that causes delays and cancellations, airports evolve into scenes from the Walking Dead (you should have seen Atlanta last week). The smart, savvy person handles the maze and hassle much better than the hoards and usually benefits accordingly.

    It's dog eat dog. How you handle it says a lot about you.
    Last edited by Two Utes; 04-11-2017 at 03:45 PM.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    The dumb, lazy ones sit in the middle seat in the back.
    That's me! I only fly about once every other year, though.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    I couldn't agree with two utes any more. Passenger got everything he deserved.
    Investors don't agree with you ... 1.4 billion dollar stock drop:

    http://fortune.com/2017/04/11/united...es-stock-drop/

    And now, United Airlines doesn't agree:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.64399f9c1f33

  30. #30
    Investors don't agree with you ... 1.4 billion dollar stock drop:

    http://fortune.com/2017/04/11/united...es-stock-drop/

    And now, United Airlines doesn't agree:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.64399f9c1f33
    There is plenty of blame and punishment to go around.

    United is to be blamed for it's policies and not increasing their offer for volunteers. Their punishment is a PR nightmare, and dropping stock prices (but they'll bounce back).

    The security/police is to be blamed for their brutal enforcement techniques. They have already suspended one of their personnel.

    The passenger is to be blamed for behaving like a ornery 4 year old. His punishment in addition to his bloody face, is his reputation is being smeared all over social media (for both being petulant and kind of a scumbag).
    Dyslexics of the world, untie!

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