Man Dragged off United Airlines/Flight Overbooked, April 2017

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Tricia, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. HMSHood

    HMSHood Admiral-Class Battlecruiser

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    At United Airlines and Wells Fargo, toxic corporate culture starts with the CEO
    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-toxic-united-wells-20170411-story.html

    The airline and banking industries may seem to be about as different as chalk and cheese, but United Airlines and Wells Fargo have been shown to share a common bond: toxic corporate cultures that can be blamed on the men at the top, their chief executives.

    Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf is gone, having resigned last October in the aftermath of the bank’s fraudulent account scandal. United’s Oscar Munoz only took office in September 2015. This week’s crisis over the airline’s violent deplaning of passenger David Dao to make room for a traveling crewmember was a major test of his leadership, and he flunked. Munoz’s response to the incident, like Stumpf’s tolerance of the misbehavior of one of his top lieutenants and her employees, threaten to make things immeasurably worse for his company’s customers. For a CEO, that’s a cardinal sin.


    Being A United Customer Is Scary -- Imagine Working There
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakem...-is-scary-imagine-working-there/#665c47ed5081

    For some reason we think some industries are “good” and others are “bad.” We might say the tobacco industry, the gambling industry-they are corrupt. Some industries like these are seen as money hungry, purely focused on profits, on operational efficiencies no matter the cost. But historically we don’t hear that the airline industry is one of the most corrupt industries. However it feels like that is changing thanks to United Airlines and its PR problems.

    Sit on a United flight and you are greeted with an upbeat and entertaining welcome video. United employees and guest celebrities smile as they are filmed across the world, joyful about one thing; flying. However we know this utopian view is not the experience most customers have while flying. In reality we know that flying, for many of us, conjures deep stress, fears and worries.


    Fish rots head down. Just look at Wells Fargo, Takata, Penn State, USA Gymnastics, BBC, NHS, Baylor, and United Airlines. They have an extreme obsession with following procedures and echo chamber mentality.
     
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  2. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    Its clear that United has a corporate wide problem. And to be honest, it isn't just United, the airline industry as a whole has poor service. I have had very poor experiences with Delta recently as well. The airline industry is a difficult business; profit margins are thin, so airlines must try everything they can to cut costs and boost revenue. Now, there is nothing wrong with that in and of itself. But United seems to have taken the path that passenger concerns and comfort take a back seat to everything else. They have had this perspective for so long now that it has become ingrained in the company, volumes of policies written that reflect and perpetuate this philosophy. As the Forbes article that HMS Hood linked to above states, the airline staff act like they are on the defensive. I think the ARE on the defensive, both corporately and individually. They are getting bad reviews and bad press and this makes the employees upset and defensive and puts them in a bad mood. Corporate only worries about getting passed each separate incident with the minimum damage. The proverbial sticking fingers in the holes of the crumbling damn. It seems to me that to fix the problem would require a whole new corporate philosophy. That could only happen with a real shake up at the top. They would have to bring in some real innovative people to totally rebuild the way they interact with and value customers/passengers. I don't know that a board of directors of many major companies would be willing to do that. United knows that no matter how bad their reputation is, people will still fly United. Why? Because people HAVE to. You don't really have a lot of choice. A few people here and there vowing to not fly United makes zero difference to them. Only a real unified boycott would prompt them to action. But none of the other airlines want to see that either. Because they know they would be next. United knows that they can get by with their crappy service because they know the service on the other major airlines is pretty much the same. Delta knows it, American Airlines knows it, Frontier knows it, etc etc.
     
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  3. JanetElaine

    JanetElaine Well-Known Member

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    It's just a downward spiral, and I dread the day other airlines get as bad as United (and I'm sure they will get there), because then the choices will be even fewer. Flying hasn't been fun for a long time now. Sigh.
     
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  4. HMSHood

    HMSHood Admiral-Class Battlecruiser

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    United 'destroyed' custom wheelchair worth $42K, says passenger
    http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/...stom-wheelchair-worth-42k-says-passenger.html

    It’s every passenger’s fear that an airline will mishandle their luggage, so just imagine how one flyer felt upon learning that United had mangled his $42,000 custom wheelchair.

    Valentin Duthion, a 24-year-old French man suffering from spinal muscular atrophy, disembarked his flight from France to New Jersey on July 2 only to find that United had “destroyed” his wheelchair ahead of a 27-day trip to the United States with friends, according to his sister Lucie.

    “This is how @united airline accompanies persons with disabilities,” wrote Lucie on Twitter, via a translation from French news outlet Le Progrès. “Armchair destroyed (37.000 euro), trip to the USA wasted.”


    United Airlines cannot get its ducks in a row.
     
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  5. HMSHood

    HMSHood Admiral-Class Battlecruiser

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    To improve its image, United Airlines needs to get better at hospitality
    https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjour...e-its-image-united-airlines-needs-to-get.html

    When will United Airlines realize that it’s in two core businesses: the hospitality business in addition to the air transportation business?

    United — which is a unit of United Continental Holdings (NYSE: UAL) — again appeared in the news and social media when on a recent flight from Houston to Boston passenger Shirley Yamauchi was forced to give up the adjacent seat occupied by her 27-month-old son to accommodate a standby passenger. Yamauchi and her son were traveling on a multiflight trip from Hawaii to Boston.


    Such a simple concept.
     
  6. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    It seems to me that there are a lot of employees at United that just don't give a damn any more.
     
  7. Tawny

    Tawny Bye

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    Can't say that I blame them at this rate:

    "United Airlines employees earn $51,000 annually on average, or $25 per hour, which is 18% lower than the national salary average of $61,000 per year"

    Customer service agents make a whopping $23k a year. No wonder they don't give a flip if the traveler is happy.

    https://www.careerbliss.com/united-airlines/salaries/
     
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  8. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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  9. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    That whole incident still makes me shake my head. The problem I have specifically is that the whole thing started because United wanted a seat for one of their own employees. There was no overbooking, no emergency. They just wanted that seat for their own convenience. And Oscar Munoz commended his people for their actions. Two of those police officers were eventually fired for their part in that disaster.
     
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  10. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    Those terminations were completely unjust.

    The officers responded to a situation where a passenger had repeatedly refused to leave an airplane. They then took action to get him off the plane after he resisted.

    In short, officers are there to remove an individual. They are not there to second guess why the individual needs to be removed, serve as mediators or arbitrators, or serve as emotional support people.

    Though all of the above maybe needed, once the police are called the order to remove the individual is presumed valid and the removal needs to be done quickly. After 9-11, planes are just not good stages for drama scenes.
     
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  11. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    Nope, the firings were not unjust. The officers violated departmental policy and then filed false reports under oath in attempts to cover that up. Police should have never been called in the first place. United has since acknowledged that and changed its policies.
     
  12. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    If they filed false reports, then the firings could be justified. The fact that police were not truly needed, however, is a seperate matter.

    The police need to operate from the presumption that the request to remove somebody from a plane is valid. They are not there to second guess such requests, nor are they there to serve as mediators etc.
     
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  13. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    I believe the Chicago Transportation Dept changed the policy on its officers at the airport. They were upset that they were essentially being used by United as private security, and this was sort of the end result. I don't think they are going on board to remove people anymore unless they are already violent.
     
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  14. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    After 9-11, interference with flight operations is probably broadly defined. My guess is that the police can remove anybody whose behavior is considered disruptive by the crew. The person being removed does not have to be violent.

    As to whether the airline company's internal policy allow the police to be summoned in certain situations is another matter. United appears to have made some changes regarding when police can be summoned.

    But..... if the police are summoned and asked to remove somebody, my guess is that whether or not the person is violent will not be a factor. Likewise, the police will not second guess the removal request and tell the crew to fly with the passenger, nor will the police try to act as mediators. Rather, the crew determines what behavior would be too disruptive to fly and not the police.
     
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  15. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    Airline could have asked somebody to give up their seat for money. Not pick on this guy for no apparent reason. They guy was already seated, I understand how he felt when they demanded he left.
     
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