United Airlines customer service

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by JOhnH, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. rsleeds

    rsleeds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I agree with you Chuck on the reasonableness of everyone reading and, even more so, understanding the COC or the EULA on any piece of software or app. However, not having read the EULA isn't a defense when Microsoft comes after you.
     
  2. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yes, he chose to make it worse, but conking a guy on the head and dragging him off a flight won't win any customers.
     
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  3. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    So then when the statistics are wrong and they all show up, the airline begins to throw out incentives to free up the overbought seats and when nobody bites, than they end up saying "hey you're not flying today, time to get off." I can see how that might not go over too well with the average Joe.

    Moral of the story is to check in ASAP. Am I right?
     
  4. rsleeds

    rsleeds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And United didn't do that, they just get stuck with the rap. However, they've done nothing to soothe the masses - that's for sure!
     
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  5. Greebo

    Greebo N9017H - C172M (1976)

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    Maybe not in a court of Law, but in the court of public opinion it is.
    (Sorry, not used to Xenforo yet...)
     
  6. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    They should have upped the money they were offering people on the airplane to get off. At some point there would have been voluntary takers.
     
  7. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Correct.
     
  8. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    How often does an airline actually pay out in cash, vs. attempting to get the involuntary bumpee to accept a crappy voucher in lieu of them knowing any better??
     
  9. rsleeds

    rsleeds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And, while everyone tweets/facebooks/whines that they'll never fly United again, Joe/Jane Q Public will pick them the very next trip they have if they are $1 cheaper than American, Southwest, or whoever.
     
  10. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, some will do that. For me, United is not convenient at all, haven't flown them in two decades.
     
  11. ColoPilot

    ColoPilot Line Up and Wait

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    I don't understand why United didn't keep increasing the voluntary denied boarding travel credits until they got enough volunteers. Even if they gave all 4 passengers $5000 in travel credit, the public relations cost they occurred is far greater than that.

    Probably the same issue most companies have, the customer facing employees are not empowered to handle situations outside their manual.
     
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  12. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In my experience, that is what other airlines typically do when there are no takers. Up the reward until they get the volunteers.
     
  13. rsleeds

    rsleeds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    They try their best to get volunteers to take the stupid vouchers/guaranteed upgraded seat/etc. However, when they don't get their volunteers, they have to pay out the cash because they are now into involuntary territory. Have seen gate agents have to call a supervisor onto plane, who then had to go make a call to get approval to do the involuntary offloading (this on United). They don't like it, that's why they keep improving the voucher deals as long as they can.
     
  14. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    I'm not convinced UAL followed their own Contract of Carriage, which is vague in this area. Rule 21 doesn't seem to apply. Rule 5 and Rule 25 only seem to deal with denial of boarding, but the passenger had already boarded.
     
  15. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    From what I understand, it wasn't an "oversold" flight. Something irregular happened in Louisville and they needed to get a crew down there (4 crew members) to protect the next day's early morning flight out. They solicited for volunteers and there were no takers. They went to their denied boarding matrix and ended up picking 4 (obscenely by random-ish). Three deplaned when asked. This guy refused. After a while, Cook County's finest were called.

    To me, that's when the fun and games end and you pick up your things, get off the flight and fight the good fight on another battlefield.

    I wish the videographers on these viral conflict videos started rolling film 20 minutes earlier than they do. Whether it's this guy, some college kid getting tased in a library, or a fight with a fast food restaurant manager, we always just get the finale to what I'm sure was a long, slow buildup to the end result.
     
  16. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Although United could have handled things a little better (like having better planning for their deadheads) the bottom line is that when a crew member says you have to get off the plane, you have to get off the plane. Throwing a fit and acting like a little girl by refusing to leave, especially when the po-po comes to help you leave, just ain't going to cut it. It was his decision to not obey the crew member. If he had simply gotten up and walked off the plane when he was asked to the first time, like the previous couple did, then it would have been a non-event.
     
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  17. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Statistically, every flight has a certain number of no shows. Over time, the bean counters notice trends. A certain flight on a certain day has x amount of no shows so we can safely over book by y passengers. Some days, all of the booked passengers show up, so some passengers get bumped. The bean counters figure that tha occasional payout because of over booking is more than offset by the revenue generated by the policy. Kind of sucks for those that get bumped.

    Don't ask me how they determine who gets bumped. That is nowhere near my pay grade.
     
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  18. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't know for sure, but I think that crew was added to that flight last minute because of irregular operations, maybe due to weather. You can't plan for that.
     
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  19. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Lol, I'm sure he tried to pull the "I'm a doctor" card to get them to choose another person. Doctors pull the same crap when they get pulled over for speeding by telling the LEO that they're on their way to the hospital . . .

    Not being familiar with the agreement you accepted when you purchased the ticket doesn't exempt you from it's validity or enforcement. Sort of akin to negligence not being a valid defense of breaking the law. United is a public company, not a government entity, with a set of rules that passenger must comply with even if they don't agree with them. The guy acted like a toddler and threw a tantrum instead of disembarking as requested and fighting with the airline through other avenues.

    Edited for posterity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  20. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Interesting, thanks.
     
  21. Katamarino

    Katamarino Pattern Altitude

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    Airlines in the US are, pretty much, a joke. They don't bother enforcing their own rules (e.g. people getting on with double the allowable hand baggage) half the time, and then like to enforce BS rules like this when it suits them. Customer service doesn't exist with airlines in this country.
     
  22. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    It's likely they didn't anticipate the police beating the passenger.
     
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  23. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    Rule 5 is not denial of boarding, it is "cancellation of reservation" and specifies no exclusion that would prevent cancellation simply because the pax has his butt in a seat already.
     
  24. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    Rule 5 (g) states: "All of UA’s flights are subject to overbooking which could result in UA’s inability to provide previously confirmed reserved space for a given flight or for the class of service reserved. In that event, UA’s obligation to the Passenger is governed by Rule 25."

    Rule 25 is titled "Denied Boarding Compensation". It makes no provision for what UAL can or must do for a passenger who has already boarded.
     
  25. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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  26. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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  27. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  28. Tummler

    Tummler Pre-Flight

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    As others have pointed out, United's Contract of Carriage does not permit United to demand that a passenger deboard an oversold plane to make way for another passenger. United was limited to preventing the passenger from boarding the plane. Once the passenger took his seat on the plane, it was his, and the only circumstances that could justify United removing him from the plane are those in Rule 21 of the United Contract of Carriage, which provides that "UA shall have the right to refuse to transport or shall have the right to remove from the aircraft at any point, any Passenger for the following reasons . . .," none of which concerns oversold flights.

    Further, Rule 21, and its use of the phrase "UA . . . shall have the right to remove from the aircraft at any point, any Passenger," removes all doubt that Rule 25's reference to "denied boarding" does not encompass removing passengers from a plane that are sitting in their seats.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  29. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The biggest problems here are:

    1) That the next flight the passengers could be accommodated on UA was 24 hours later as the next couple of flights were already full or overbooked. If I have to get home and get to work Monday AM, that's not an acceptable option. Had it been the next flight yesterday, I doubt we'd see an issue because there would likely be volunteers. I won't volunteer for something 24 hours out and hope it goes. (Side note: those of us who fly a lot would likely ask to be rerouted to LEX or CVG and rent a car).
    2) Issue #1 is made worse because DL has dropped the interlining agreements with UA and AA. That would offer several more options. Likewise the lack of an agreement with WN (would require transfer to MDW) hurt.
    3) The UA stock price was up today so it wasn't hurt. Until it hits investors - and therefore executives - it won't really matter.
    4) Although the DoT could address this, in the current political environment the rules are likely to get looser, not tighter.

    Oh, and UA really does have a bad PR staff.
     
  30. ElPaso Pilot

    ElPaso Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    And the likelihood of a payout is increasing.

    United tosses the blame to the the Department of Aviation, making sure to note that the security professionals are not "real" police:

    "United Airlines told news media to direct their questions about the customer in the knock-down-drag-out moment to "the authorities." The officers who removed the man from the plane were Chicago Aviation Police personnel, not Chicago Police officers. Chicago Aviation Police are security officers who graduated from the Chicago Police Training Academy but they are not allowed to carry weapons. The Department of Aviation has yet to issue a statement."

    The Department of Aviation states they have suspended the "security officer":

    "The incident ... was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by our Department. The officer has been placed on leave effective today and pending a thorough review of the situation."

    While the Chicago Police Dept, who apparently was not even present, sided with the security officers and publicly blamed the passenger for injuring his own face on an armrest.

    "CPD told reporters the man "fell" on his face and injured himself. CPD issued a statement on Monday, described the passenger as "irate," and said aviation security officers "attempted to carry" the man off the plane "when he fell."

    "His head subsequently struck an armrest causing injuries to his face," reads the CPD statement."



    https://patch.com/illinois/chicago/united-airlines-drags-passenger-plane-ohare-airport
     
  31. Tummler

    Tummler Pre-Flight

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    Rule 5 provides the following with respect to oversold flights:

    "G. All of UA’s flights are subject to overbooking which could result in UA’s inability to provide previously confirmed reserved space for a given flight or for the class of service reserved. In that event, UA’s obligation to the Passenger is governed by Rule 25."

    Rule 25, in turn, provides that passengers on oversold flights may be "denied boarding." It does not provide that United may remove a passenger from an oversold flight to make room for other passengers, nor can the phrase "denied boarding" be reasonably interpreted to encompass "remov[al] from the aircraft" since United used that phrase in Rule 21.
     
  32. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Again, they are a privately-held company who can do whatever the hell they want. Now, the passenger can certainly sue for damages in a court of law if the CoC was truly violated, but throwing a tantrum and getting dragged off of the aircraft like a 2yr-old probably wasn't the best decision he could have made.
     
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  33. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    Me... I would have fought the fight there and then, but my punches would have been more like a left to the Ritz Carlton, a right to Ruth Chris Steaks, and an uppercut to first class on the next available flight. But again we don't know the passenger's situation as to why he needed to be on that flight.

    These were not Cook County's finest, these were airport security mall cops or should say in this case thugs looking to throw a punch... Don't get me wrong, I am all for law and order and have respect for LEOs', but these guys went a little overboard.. Any reasonable LEO would have made a determination that passenger was not poising a threat to anyone nor breaking any laws, he just wanted what he paid for and would have left it at that... that is telling United to pound sand a deal with problem on their own...

    BTW... where was the PIC in all of this?

    The blame here rest on the shoulders of all involved, United for being idiots and putting the flight in an oversold position, the passenger for being a tool, and the mall cops for not properly assessing the situation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  34. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ummmmm hate to tell ya there Scooter... but United Continental Holding is a publicly traded company... I got a few shares... :eek:

    But I get what you're saying... their airline, their airplanes, their rules so long as the don't superseded the FAA Regs..
     
  35. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, they cannot do whatever the hell they want.
     
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  36. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Right, what I meant to say, was that they aren't a government entity and can do as they see fit.
     
  37. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Sure they can, and did. Same as you can go do whatever you want. You may get in trouble for it later (see bad advice thread), but you can certainly go do it. United tossed a paying customer off of their flight, so they can, in fact, do what they want in that regard. Time will tell if they have any consequences from the ordeal, outside of some bad publicity.
     
  38. Tummler

    Tummler Pre-Flight

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    Agreed.

    Disagree. The passenger was United's licensee, and under the terms of the license pursuant to which the passenger was present on the plane, he was entitled to remain on the plane. United was powerless to remove him from the plane so long as the passenger did not act contrary to the terms of his license.

    With respect to the last point, it will be very interesting to see what the FA told the police when he or she requested that the passenger be forcibly removed from the plane.
     
  39. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    THIS is what many here are overlooking when bringing up the "rules" of how and when someone can get bumped. It was poor form on United's part to add 4 employees to a full flight and kick off paying passengers.
     
  40. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Disingenuous response to say the least.