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These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Blue&White » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:19 pm

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

I suspect people are going to start coming out of the woodwork to share their stories of mistreatment by United. To me, all this reads of a company who knows that in many cities they are the only option for a lot of travelers and just stopped trying. Once they merged with Continental, they didn't need to care. Maybe they didn't care much before.

I doubt American or Delta the other 2 surviving big airlines, are really much better, but so far no one is coming forth with these types of stories.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:58 pm

Someone (the DOT?) keeps bumped passenger statistics and United is actually just a "middle of the pack" offender.

Doesn't matter at this point. There's blood in the water.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Blue&White » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:25 pm

Bumping is obviously standard but is having your customers violently muscle off the plane or threatened with violence or arrest the norm? I have no idea. Prior to this happening, I would have bet against an airline stooping to these tactics, but there is, within a week, a video of one man being basically beaten up and another man saying he was threatened. Are these anomalies? I'm genuinely asking.

Anyway, the blood in the water was put there by United themselves. They have no one else to blame for this fiasco.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:14 am

Bumping is obviously standard but is having your customers violently muscle off the plane or threatened with violence or arrest the norm?

I don't know, But that's not on United. That's on the Chicago police. If you want to blame United for involving the police in the first place, that's fine. But that's not the same thing.

Hypothetically, suppose you come into my shop and we have a disagreement over a recent purchase. I ask you to leave and you refuse to budge. I call the police. They try to convince you to leave, get frustrated when you don't comply, pull a nutty, and beat the snot out of you.

That's not on me.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Blue&White » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:47 am

No, it's not on you, and prior to another story coming out about how United threatened to have a guy pulled off a plane by almost any means necessary I'd have said they were as surprised by this reaction as anyone. Now I'm not so sure.

I assume if this has happened a few other times, it's going to come out shortly so I guess we just wait and see. Meantime, I think this whole thing is going to cost United a whole lot more than just offering better incentives to get people off that plane.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby reincarnatedlama » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:13 am

The United CEO continues to call the PSU BOT for advise on handling PR and if following the "if you feed the mob they will reverse course and love you" - he's trying to throw cops under the bus now. I suspect the gate agents / flight crew from this incident are next - he doesn't yet realize this ain't stopping until the social media outrage queens get his head. He needs to hop on a space ship to the moon for a week until someone else doesn't something stupid to push him off the front page.

With the exception of the clearly dumb move of letting this guy get back on the plane bleeding and appearing disoriented I feel for the United employees - they didn't overbook flight, they don't set limits on incentives for getting people to give up seats and I am guessing they don't set the policy on deboarding a seated customer because some United employees showed up last minute. And when they followed procedure to select people to be bumped and this guy resisted - their move is to call in police.
As far as the police, really the only question I would have is how much effort did they make in verbally trying to get this guy to deplane before yanking him - that's about it - in the video I didn't see them punching him or going to town. It's federal law that you are supposed to obey flight crew member commands - this guy didn't. When the cops showed up he clearly didn't listen to them either. I'll say it again - once those cops board it's only ending one of two ways - you deplane on your own or with their assistance - that's your decision.

It's starting to come out that the "victim" here has a somewhat shady past which includes prescription drug fraud convictions (which cause him to lose his medical license), soliciting sex from patients in exchange for drugs/cash and after is license was reinstated it was limited due to questionable practices. He's lawyered up to the ears already and thanks to the United CEO / social media mob he should cash in nicely.

The official sign this has gone FUBAR - Chicago politicians are pounding their fists on tables and saying "I want answers!!!" while the streets of Chicago remain about the most dangerous place in the USA.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:40 am

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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Blue&White » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:53 am

Accusations about the Dr. started to leak out within a few hours of the incident making the news. I'm surprised that it took this long for anyone to mention it. But, why does it matter? Because the guy may have a past it's ok to rough him up like that? Anything he did prior to entering that airport and boarding that flight are completely and totally irrelevant. The only reason that stuff is being leaked is to make him less sympathetic.

As for who's at fault, I think you're letting United off the hook way too easily. The callous disregard for other people's time -- and money -- is guaranteed to illicit a reaction. United sold him a ticket and gave him a seat. It's not at all unreasonable for him to expect to be able to get on the plane, sit in his assigned, paid for seat, and fly home so he can be at work the next morning. That United has managed to successfully buy off politicians and have laws enacted that would possibly result in criminal fraud charges for any other industry is really besides the point. Telling someone, who is sitting on a plane, that they can't get another flight until 3 PM the next work day when they have to be at their job in the morning is where the unreasonableness factor comes in. This guy says he's a doctor and needs to see patients. Why is that less important than the United flight crew being at their job the next day? United couldn't fly them another airline and suck up that cost? Have them fly indirect to get there? And, the idea that his past is relevant is ridiculous.

No other industry gets away with this bullshit. They get bailed out, all kinds of tax accommodations, for a number of years even getting laid off from an airline got you extra unemployment benefits (I'm not sure if this is still true but it was absolutely true during the Bush administration) and then we go and let them sell the exact same item to multiple people - something that would be considered fraud in any other industry - and have you forcibly removed if you don't comply?

I think United is getting all the grief they deserve. What is laughable is for members of Congress, who legalizes all this, to act shocked - shocked! - that an entity who has been given legal exemptions isn't taking full advantage of them. That is the lesson here - give them an inch and they will take every little bit of it, and then some. I seriously doubt whomever drafted the legislation allowing them to remove people from airplanes envisioned it being used on people who didn't want to give up their seat because someone else had more frequent flyer miles than them.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby psu_dad » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:11 pm

Accusations about the Dr. started to leak out within a few hours of the incident making the news. I'm surprised that it took this long for anyone to mention it.

He wasn't "accused". He was "convicted". And his past isn't being "leaked". It's public record.

Telling someone, who is sitting on a plane, that they can't get another flight until 3 PM the next work day when they have to be at their job in the morning is where the unreasonableness factor comes in.

That's no more/less reasonable than telling them in the gate area. Either way, they're screwed. Getting bumped sucks. Had those United employees needing a ride showed up at the gate 15 minutes earlier, this guy still gets bumped and no ever hears about it.

As I said, this entire episode was a "perfect storm" of poop. The wrong customer, the wrong cop and bad timing on the part of the United employees needing a lift. If any one of those things weren't true, no one ever hears of this. It reminds me of the movie Magnolia.
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Re: These Are A Few Of My Favorite Peeves...

Postby Blue&White » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:34 pm

Ok, fine: convicted. Still not relevant to what happened. As for your point about it happening in the gate area, I agree with you that it would never have escalated to violence because he would never have made it on the plane. He would have been Emmert-out-of-luck with no options and no recourse. And, that, at least in my opinion, is the problem. Why are the airlines able to get away with overbooking like this? Why are they not only given exemptions from actions that would be fraud for anyone else, but also protected from the financial impacts of their decisions?

Forgot this doctor - say it's you and you've booked a cruise out of Florida and you have it set up so your flight lands in the morning, and you go directly to the cruise ship in plenty of time. But, you get to the airport, they overbooked your flight, no one will give up their seat, and a Hunger Games type of lottery ensues and you lose. You're not going to make your flight. What happens if they can't get you down in time to make your cruise? I'll tell you what - you eat all the money on that cruise because Congress decided that the airlines off the hook for a financial misfortune that they caused and you didn't.

But, guess what - it's your lucky day! The airline actually does have a seat for you. In first class. They are happy to let you buy a first class upgrade to you can be sure to make your cruise down in Florida. And, for only the low, low price of another $700. Isn't that wonderful of them? For any other industry, this is called "bait-and-switch" and the company can be liable for consumer fraud and treble damages. But, for the airlines this is called "just another Tuesday" and they do this all day long, every single day.

And, when some people have had enough and saw "no" they get to call the police who have those people handcuffed, or dragged out of the area and arrested. And, it's not like you can just get pissed off and take your business elsewhere because there are only 3 major airlines in this country, they are regionalized and the airports are dominated by one and only one major carrier, and the smaller airlines nip at their heals and can't offer services and flight times that work for many people so you often have no options. And, all of that is because this is hos Congress has designed it.

How are you possibly ok with that?

As a side note, if Trump steps in and fixes this fiasco of an industry, or at least makes them legally accountable to their paying customers so we all have a fighting chance with them, he will go a long, long way to winning me over. I loathe the airlines.
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