Man dragged off of overbooked United flight A man was dragged from an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville by uniformed men after he refused to give up his seat. Other passengers post videos

Posted by  $  nickursis 5 months, 2 weeks ago to Business
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So when they cannot get enough people to "volunteer" to get off, they have a computer pick the "victims" Pretty Friendly Skies, eh?
This was to allow 4 United crew to fly to Louisville to staff a plane, but wouldn't it be orth having a small private jet available to shuttle the crew? Would seem a lot more efficient and customer friendly..
SOURCE URL: https://www.yahoo.com/news/united-passenger-forcibly-removed-flight-refusing-give-seat-134930951.html


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    Posted by TomSwift 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    They forced him out of his seat because they needed the room for some United employees. It is a 4-hour and 35-minute drive from Chicago to Louisville. They could have put their employees in a taxi or even another airline instead of forcing a paying passenger off the plane by force. The sad thing is that people are defending this, saying that he was on private property. Doesn't work that way. If someone pays for the right to be on that property, you can't simply renege on the agreement. What they should have done is kept on upping the ante until someone else volunteered. You know, let the market decide. I would have swapped for $1000, a first class hotel room and a first class ticket for the next flight. Pennies for an airline. Now they have a massive PR nightmare and it is going to cost them much more than the amount they should have paid to begin with. Idiots.
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    • Posted by Lnxjenn 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      On another discussion about this, someone mentioned that the Captain is basically the law on the plane. So if the captain says you have to leave, then apparently that supercedes your right as a paying customer. Now, I can see that for unruly or rude or violent customers. But a guy that just said No, He had to get home, i find that unaccepatble! They added that United could sue the guy for disobeying the Captain's orders??? United should have upped that ante for "volunteers" and they might have gotten 4 people to leave willingly! I think they only went up to $800... if they went to like $1000+ I bet they woul dhave gotten some volunteers.

      The Idea that we live in an alternate realtiy is really starting to sink in.... What is wrong witht he world?? Make sure you read the fine print when purchasing your tickets...

      I've only flown United once I think. But I will do my best to avoid using them in the future. (as I am currently looking for a decent priced flight to go see my parents!) I will definitely be avoiding them...
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      • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        I find tht flying today is more of a nightmare than a blessing- for a lot of reasons- TSA, airport delays, constant connections instead of direct flights, screaming children, packed-in seating, difficult to use rest rooms, etc., etc.
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        • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
          Overhead bins stuffed with peoples living-rooms and bedrooms they didn't want to check..ugh..cattle car seats..Pay extra and we won't torture you policies...
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          • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            When I was in college, coast to coast round trip fares were $320 (regulated). The planes were half empty, and life was good. Given inflation between then and now, the ticket should cost about $3500. But a lot of the tickets today are still $320 or a little more. We are getting what we deserve I suppose.
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            • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
              Well, it is market forces, but you can see how market forces work today, it gets cheaper, flimsier, and less durable. So, they have to make it up in volume or cut CEO pay and stock...thus we get volume. United also floated the "no bags for less" which I think fizzeled...
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                It's market forces constrained by a mass of regulations. In a free market, airports, airport security and all related goods and services would be private, and paying customers would have a wide choice of accommodations (including guaranteed seating).
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                • Posted by  $  Dobrien 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                  So very true , the mountain of regulations needs to be mined , get rid of the over burden.
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                  • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
                    Well, according to the Republicans thery DID deregulate airlines. Of course there are now 4 or 5 to pick from, from the 15 or so 30 years ago, so bad things will come no matter hoe it is cut.. When the last 2 giant airlines gobble each other up in the US, they will re-regulate because it is a monopoly. Of course that restarts the whole cycle. Look at banks...
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                    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 5 months, 2 weeks ago
                      Yes, certain industries that provide the tools and infrastructure that allow us to produce and be industrious makes sense i.e. Utilities. Or The airlines giving us the chance to now move freely about the country. The overburden is the waste or redundancies.
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                      • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
                        That is one of the questions you hear a lot of variation on. Some would say a free, unfettered market is the only way to go, where even safety and basic traffic regulations are a hindrance. If you went that route, you would pick an airline based on cost, and "deaths per mile". Where does government stop and business begin? Supposedly, according to Federal regulations, United was required to provide the person a written statement of why he was booted and what options were available. That didn't happen, so a lawsuit seems inevitable. The problem with "total freedom", while it sounds good, the kids in the business world will pursue the worst, cheapest choices (just as United did and they are heavily regulated) to make the most, before they go broke. I feel there is a place for some controls and basic rules in a lot of markets, simply to make some framework that must be worked within.
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    • Posted by  $  Dobrien 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I listened to the David Neeleman the founder of 4 Airlines including JetBlue interviewed this morning his company Azul Brazilian Air . Had their IPO today. His solution is to give the agents at the gate the autonomy to up the offer till the market forces entices a trade.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I read some on this, and supposedly the law is on their side, in that you are licensing the use of the seat and plane, and they reserve the right to not provide the service. That said, it was incredibly bad customer service which is another thing you are paying for.They are taking heat for it:

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/critics-mo...
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      • Posted by freedomforall 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        I agree sometimes being contractually right is irrelevant, nick. Tom is right about United being idiots on customer service. They have been ruining their own reputation for a long time. Just what I expect from a Chicago headquartered bunch of jerks. Time to use up the last of my Continental perks and thumb my nose at them until they learn about customer service again.
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I like the "rent a car and send the 4 crew members to Louisville that way". Cheapest solution. As it was, the place was delayed several hours anyway, and the crew probably missed their next flight.
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I can remember when air travel was an elegant luxury. Men wore a suit and the and women were also nicely attired. There was only single class service and drinks were free. Oh, and the airplanes had propellers. Sigh, today the bus is more comfortable.
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I draw the line at a 5 hour drive. If the drive is more than 5 hours, I really reassess whether I need to go, and resist flying as much as possible. Its not an adventure or fun now.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I flew in the early 60's on a Southern Airways DC3 from New Orleans to Gulfport MS, it was a real memory I still have, fire coming out the engines at night and asking the stewardess if the plane was going to crash....
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      • Posted by Herb7734 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        I flew from Detroit to Miami on a DC3. Talk about a milk run. Two stops on the way The 6 hour trip took 8 hours. Kinda fun though. After landing, I was understanding why the DC3 was called a "gooney bird" or "Methuselah with wings."
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        • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
          I LOVE DC3's. They were a plane of planes. Actually very graceful in flight. Some still in service today.
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          • Posted by Herb7734 5 months, 2 weeks ago
            I wasn't talking against the plane. Probably one of the best, if not the best plane of its kind ever designed and engineered. With good maintenance it could fly forever and with hardly any maintenance it could still do pretty well. On the flight back, I sat up front so I could talk to the pilots and saw them work the controls. It looked almost as easy to fly as the Musketeer I was learning on..
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  • Posted by freedomforall 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Makes me love my car even more;^)
    This also helped me decide to cancel my United credit card today and save the $95 annual fee.
    I'm so glad I do not have to fly for business often now. Air travel has been turned to torture by regulations and corporate stupidity.
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I wonder how much of United's lack of customer service is a result of so much regulation that the managers just wind up hating the very entitled passengers that keep the airline alive.
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      • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
        I think it is endemic across all "customer oriented" services, poor customer service is not limited to airlines. I will never buy a Ford again because they jerked me around, making me wait for the "Facotry" to get back to them, then decided they didin't want to address the issue, and I had to go to the dealer that sold me the car, which was now 35 miles over 36K. The service manager told me "Nope" no fixie". I told him I would not ever buy a Ford again, and by golly, I haven't.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 5 months, 2 weeks ago
          Sorry to hear that, nick. I haven't bought a car under warranty since about 1995, and at that time Mazda did do everything required to keep me happy. Drove that car until 2010 when I moved overseas. I have bought 3 more (used and no warranty) since then. I think you said it right. Customer service is hard to find in some lines of business. Walmart showed the right way for a long time, but they have lost that capability to some extent in recent years.
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          • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
            Exactly. But Hyundai has a good idea, 100K power train, and 60K bumper to bumper. Got 47K on my Elantra, it is twice as big as the Fiesta and gets same MPG (and the doors don't fall off). :)!
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  • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I doubt they can have 'small private jets' available at all the airports in case they have a full flight and no one gets off. I believe they offered a hotel night and $400, then upped it to $800 before resorting to random selection.

    While it's certainly not great for customer service, you don't own your seat. If they ask you to get off the airplane you have to do it, getting into a physical battle to keep 'your' seat does not reflect well on your judgement.
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      That said, who wants to really fly these days unless its a necessity and you have lots of time and arent on a schedule at all. The whole idea of flying is to save time, but getting bumped at the last minute eliminates the advantage.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      The article does point out that the contract of carriage talks about overbooking and what happens BEFORE you get on the plane, not after, so they may have a little issue here...
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      • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        I remember 40 years ago on a 'cattle car' flight on Continental Airlines From LA to Chicago we had reserved seats. When my wife and I got to our seats (the middle two of 6!) there were already people sitting in them -- with tickets for them. Another couple showed up with tickets for the same seats.

        My wife started to get angry and I told her to relax, it was the airline's mistake and they would fix it. They did.

        My wife and I got upgraded to first class. The other couple got some money and a night's hotel stay, and the people who got to the seats first got to sit in them! All in all, I think we won.
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  • Posted by wiggys 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    amazing to me that united is the largest airline in the country even though it is recognized as the worst airline in the country. I was once flying from Alaska back home with a first class ticket and when I was on almost the last leg they refuse to recognize my ticket and wanted me in coach. I said remove my baggage iif I am not on the plane in first class. no telling how many people missed their connecting flights. when I wrote to the president their customer relations guy sent me a voucher for 150 bucks, I sent it back stating I would never fly united again. they would have called the police if I had tried to hold my ground and I chose not to go that direction. the problem with united is that they are a union shop and when they took over continental who is not ALL of the continental people hated it.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      My uncle was a mechanic for United for 30 years. When they were in dire straits (cue "Money for Nothing") just prior to their first bankruptcy re-structuring, my dad and uncle were talking about the impending strike and restructuring. My dad tried pointing out to his brother that the union's intransigency on the matter was only going to end up with the bankruptcy court nullifying wage agreements and pension funding. My uncle held firm and sided with the union. And the union lost big in the restructuring - just like everyone knew they would.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I was a Continental Frequent flyer after having to fly from Portland to Gulfport MS every 2 weeks for a while. I got scooped up in the last of the Continental days, with their CEO telling everyone how great it will all be...
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  • Posted by Abaco 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I, anymore, try to avoid taking my family on a jet liner. I don't want them to suffer the humiliation of all the x-ray machines, enhanced pat-downs, etc. They've done nothing wrong and aren't a threat. So, it pains me to have to explain stuff like that to my kids. I know that may sound strange and at this point I'm probably in a bubble of denial about the whole thing. This looks like another reason I hadn't thought of.

    Anymore, they really search me when I fly. They see parts of me that only my wife gets to see. Ever wonder about that?...those videos that go viral of them feeling a little kid's crotch over and over? I see that and my mind automatically says, "What's really going on here? It's obvious after the xray and first touchy-feely that there's no weapon in the kid's skivvies. But the groping continues. It's not security. It's something else." Makes me sad for the kids...
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      I havent seen any 80 year old grandmothers who are terrorists lately. Why not just profile and leave it at that. I dont hear much about Israeli airlines getting blown out of the sky. I bet they would be better than the TSA and keeping us actually safe.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Agreed, but I have seen over the last few years, a trend at smaller seats, totally uncomfortable, people hauling their living-rooms onboard and trying to jam them into the overhead, and the act of loading and unloading so compromised by just that issue, as to make it so painful as to not do it at any costs. The overbooking thing is usually based on "smart intelligence" (what a contradiction!) that says statistically, how many people will not show up, or what seats will be vacant, which they use to get a full plane, as empty seats do not make any money. That killed the standby travel method a few years back. I have seen people waiting in areas for hours hoping to get on, only to be disappointed when they say "we are full today".
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      • Posted by  $  Dobrien 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        Yes smart intelligence a type of AI possibly .
        One of the things I hate about flying is that the price fluctuates Widely. I am sure the last minute buyer pays much more then the months in advance buyer. When they get a rash of late purchases for higher rates, the overbooking is more likely. Just guessing.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    How To Ruin Your Business 101
    Treat customers like crap. Praise employees who do that.
    How To Ruin Your Business 102
    Have police drag away customers who complain about being treated like crap.
    How To Ruin Your Business 103
    Legally renege on paid-for customer expectations.
    This more advanced course reveals that saying the law on your side does not solve the PR problem of screwing over
    paying customers and having police brutalize them when they do not comply with the said screwing over.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Well, the cop who dragged him off the plane has been "suspended". So, you tell a cop to go get someone off a plane, tight, constricted environment, and he refuses, you now have someone actively fighting you in same restricted space. Someone will get hurt. The cop just did what he was told, yet he will end up blamed for their stupidity.
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  • Posted by  $  Itheliving 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    They may have boarded all the stand bys and came up over by one. We do not know if the Doc was pre booked or was put on a stand by list. If he was stand by he would be one of the first to be asked to get off. Notice the people yelling about his removal do not themselves volunteer to take his place.
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  • Posted by  $  Thoritsu 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Bad business, but who owns the plane? I think we support United's right to make this decision and perhaps enforce it.

    Was it remotely wise? Not a chance.

    Should United be punished? They will...they will, but not by government.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      They do own the plane, but they also offer it for hire. Once onboard, you should have a reasonable expectation that you will go from point a to b without being thrown off. At some point there is a contractual liability. They cannot have it be "You have to hope we decide to get you there..".
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  • Posted by mia767ca 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    this was a tragedy of errors...in my 25 years career as an airline pilot, i had to have passengers removed from the airplane before flight...it cost me about 90 days of paperwork and that was the end of it...you did not want to be trapped in a silver tube with an unhappy passenger....

    when the gate agent start bidding to remove passengers from an overbooked flight...the price continues to go up until there are enough volunteers...ALL volunteers get the final price...why they went to a computer selection is beyond me...maybe a change in procedures at United...it is not that way at American...
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  • Posted by Abaco 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Now I'm thinking. What other type of business would get away with treating their customers that way? I'll have to mull that over. Ice cream shop? No. Car dealership? Nope. CPA? Not likely. My mind thinks in strange ways. Probably all the football. Cruise ship? No. Movie theater? Not even when we were kids. With air travel there is this relatively new paradigm of giving up your basic rights, huh? Let's hope the businesses I mention here don't contemplate that business model. Haha....
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Correct me, if I'm wrong, but if an airline official says I must vacate my seat (for whatever reason)...I must vacate it. The last thing I would do is require them to drag me, kicking and screaming, from the plane.

    I'm not entirely sure this passenger really did the right thing. Wouldn't it have made more sense to submit a formal complaint? Airlines, generally, try to pacify inconvenienced passengers, but maybe they've changed in the half dozen years since I last flew.
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  • Posted by  $  Ben_C 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    The You Tube commercial is hilarious. I remember the day when an airline would find a flight for you on another airline if you missed a connection or they couldn't honor your ticket - at no additional cost to you. I too remember the day when men wore suits. I too remember a flight where the snack was stone crab meat. And I remember when one didn't have to pay extra for leg room. But United isn't alone. My wife just lived through Delta Hell experiencing the effects of the new CEO. Their screw ups cost her thousands of dollars of lost income. I imagine a class action lawsuit will follow.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Delta dumped my wife and granddaughter in Atlanta overnight, with no hotel and no comp, because they overbooked. She will never fly them again, I just don't fly at all, cattle car entertainment is not my taste...
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  • Posted by Joseph23006 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    It's unclear if that flight was really overbooked or the excuse United cited when it decided to send four employees to Louisville. Did United actually 'ask' for volunteers before it randomly chose four passengers? In business the paying customer comes first; the adage; 'The customer (thinks he or she) is always right' seems to have been lost on United's management. From the video without sound one would think the person being removed was a terrorist! Any scenario played out does not bode well for the airline. Perhaps the only skilled surgeon able to save the life of a patient who then dies, a broker with a priority business deal which costs investors millions of dollars, a person with an appointment as in 'Love Affair' or 'An Affair to Remember'? Other people have commitments and make arrangements for travel etc. based on expecting to be at a certain place at a certain time. It is clear that United not only provides poor customer service but does not deploy its resources wisely or efficienty, i.e. poor management decisions and poorer public relations.
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Joe, "The customer is always right" was lost years ago, now it is "cut costs" and "increase profits" with no regard to how that gets done. The people in "management" to day are not the brightest graduates, that's why they are in management... If you want to see how to really dump on your customers, go look up Star Trek Axanar and CBS. CBS killed off a large chunk of dedicated fans with that debacle, and never did get to prove who owns Klingon...
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  • Posted by hattrup 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    The horrible customer service aspect aside - I can't help wonder why a passenger would resist like this with 3 or 4 law enforcement personnel showing up to remove you. They are clearly not there to negotiate. Even with possible communication/language issues the passenger seems pretty disconnected from reality.

    Of course, this is why it makes the news - there is nothing about the other 3 passengers forced off from the same flight.

    The video of the passenger returning to the flight (how/why did that happen?!) also shows odd behavior and appearance.
    None of this any excuse for the business practice, of course. One issue with this practice is when you bring government officials on board to enforce part of your "service" you are losing a lot of control.
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    • Posted by term2 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      United will pay dearly in customer loyalty, if not in their stock valuation. The losses will eclipse anything they might have to done to get another passenger to take a monetary deal....
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Maybe the guy was really dedicated to his patients and the thought of not caring for them was too much....I don't know.. I mean, you could let yourself be forced off with no dragging and then post to social media, the 2 girls not let on for legging got a lot of press that way, and no force was used.
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  • Posted by  $  richrobinson 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I heard someone say "At United Airlines we beat our competitors prices and pass the beatings on to you". This is a natural progression of events when you give people too much power.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    There's a really simple market-oriented way to solve this problem: boycott United until they change their policies about overbooking. I guarantee that if passengers rebooked their flights with other airlines for the next two weeks United would be jumping up and down about how they had changed their policies.

    But with all due respect to United, once a passenger is seated, I'm sorry but you have already committed to service that person. You can refuse to seat them in the first place, but that's it.
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    • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      Obviously it's not absolute. If the engines don't start, you don't have to take off anyway because you are committed to service that person. I think the "having been seated" is a red-herring, although I haven't actually been able to find a definition of "denied boarding". It is a frequent occurrence to ask if a passenger will voluntarily give up their seat -- I've been on planes where that happened, and someone took them up on it.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        Mechanical issues affect everyone on the plane, however - they don't single out passengers and punish them for unwillingness to give up their seat.

        And I, too, have been in situations where the flight has been overbooked and someone opted to take the payout. But that was voluntary choice and an agreed upon adjustment to the contract. This was a unilateral adjustment to the contract terms backed up by physical force. Physical force is usually reserved for government - not private contract disputes.
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  • Posted by Abaco 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    Well, that's the new paradigm. Screaming. Force. Looks like a busted nose, too. Good bless America!

    Sounds like a few of the people are still shocked by this. This man might be fairly new to America, possibly not understanding the deal so eloquently pointed out here by others. Too bad for him, if so. Welcome to America.
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    • Posted by  $  Itheliving 5 months, 2 weeks ago
      He claimed he was a Doctor returning to Atlanta? to see patients. Unverified info.
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      • Posted by gharkness 5 months, 2 weeks ago
        Yeah, after watching the videos (especially of the one of him getting back on the plane) this is not someone I would trust with my dog's life...much less mine.

        The fact remains that a passenger on a common carrier is required by law to follow the instructions of the crew members.
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      • Posted by  $  5 months, 2 weeks ago
        That is true, there is some unverified facts made in the article...I am sure we will hear more, after he figures out how to get over the shock of being all over the web screaming...patients may not like that...
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  • Posted by  $  DriveTrain 5 months, 1 week ago
    Something to keep in mind: Given union rules, no airline can just shove its employees into a taxi or some other conveyance at whim, as an alternative to bumping paid passengers for the same purpose.

    I'm not going to argue in favor of police breaking someone's nose and knocking his teeth out, but I - and nobody else here - witnessed what Dao did at the outset of the forced removal.

    What is directly perceivable in the video of the incident is that Dao began screaming like a wild animal from the moment the police moved toward him with the intent to physically remove him. It's uncertain whether he started screaming before they even touched him, but rational people do not refuse clearly-stated instructions from police, much less begin screaming like stuck pigs and expect the police to say, in effect "Oh, well we've clearly upset the man, maybe we should just leave him alone and go home now." We do not know whether Dao physically resisted the cops - which would be a criminal act in itself - but that too is a possibility that would definitely contribute to the level of force the cops used.

    I'm not a big fan of conservatism or of the National Review, but they published a piece on the 11th that makes some good points about reasonable vs. unreasonable actions, by Dao, United and the cops alike. And no, even if you've bought a ticket, you do not own the plane and you do not own the airline. In the case of claiming breach of contract for being removed from a flight solely for the airline's convenience, civilized people take the issue to court, after-the-fact. There is no such thing as a "right" to refuse or to physically fight against armed police and to expect them not to respond in kind:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article...
    .
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    • Posted by  $  5 months, 1 week ago
      So, it would seem the union rules would trump the passengers rights. Time to re-negotiate as it was a bad set of rules in the first place. There are, and should be, many alternatives, but they will always seek the "easy" ones.
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      • Posted by  $  DriveTrain 5 months, 1 week ago
        Yes, that's a whole different can o' worms, but going by the points currently on the board, the airline did not have that option. To make my own position clear on the subject of United Airlines: subsequent to the employee buyout of the airline in the early '90s, United has devolved into one of the worst airline companies in America today, an airline I avoid at all costs. But that does not alter the issue of civilized behavior.
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        • Posted by  $  5 months, 1 week ago
          A lot of people have that opinion. I used to use Continental because they flew to Gulfport MS when i was trying to care for my father. So I go sucked up into them, I still have 29K miles to use, maybe.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 months, 2 weeks ago
    I have noticed an increase in a resort to violence of late in even common situations where the violence is totally unneeded; everything from a 2 person encounter in a bar parking lot to a business using force on a customer. While the passengers in this situation seemed to protest, in other situations, I have seen them be relieved that someone took care of the situation. In some cases, the use of force is justified, but not in this case. The legitimate passenger was not causing any problems except to expect the airline to fulfill its contract. I'd love to represent this fellow in the coming lawsuit, and I'm not even a lawyer.
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