United Airlines – Overbooked flight…Back to Forum
I would not be under estimating if I think back over 70% of the flights i have taken in the US over the past 10 years have had a call out for volunteers to take a later flight, however each time there has been compensation offer upfront. Unfortunatly my schedule has always been such that i have never been able to take advantage. Now if that happend to me I woudl be furious, however knowing how draconian they are over the pond i probably would have just kept it zipped until i go into an email rage as you know its a no win situation11 Apr 2017
@stevescoots, it has been well reported that the PAX were offered money to self-unload. Here’s what it said in The Atlantic article I linked to earlier …
But first, a few details to flesh out the story. According to one flyer, soon after the passengers boarded the flight, United announced that four of them would have to give up their seats to make room for United employees commuting to work a flight out of Louisville. After the offer was raised to $800, and nobody was willing to leave the flight (perhaps because it would require missing a full day’s work without a compelling excuse), somebody from United announced that a computer would randomly select four people to leave the plane.11 Apr 2017
New statement from the CEO
The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.
Oscar11 Apr 2017
Interesting take from Simon Calder on the incident.
Basically, once the customer was asked to leave the aircraft and he refused he was in the wrong.
The Captain says, get off, you get off, if you disobey you’re breaking federal laws and the law enforcement officers can use the required to remove you.11 Apr 2017
I listened to Simon tonight on the PM Radio 4 show presented by Eddie Mair
(link to it here, if in the UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04zst39 )
It was slightly bizarre because he was climbing a mountain somewhere in Spain, I think.
Anyway, his position was that situations like these are simple for an airline to manage simply by increasing the offer of compensation until enough passengers agree to be bumped – as he put it, “Everyone has their price, even you Eddie.”11 Apr 2017
Cheers PhilipHart, been a long day, and just skimmed the last page.
On another note, it appears that the UA damage control team have gone into over drive, trying to cut the passenger off at the pass, before he seeks compensation through the courts.11 Apr 2017
@tomotley, although every person may have their price, unfortunately the airlines have a federally mandated maximum they can offer, as (once again) The Atlantic article explains …
For example, many people have pointed out that United might have avoided the entire fiasco by simply offering the passengers more money to leave the plane. By law, airlines are required to offer compensation—up to four times the value of the ticket, or $1,350—before booting customers from the flight. But a free-market solution would require the airlines to raise the compensation offer indefinitely until somebody accepted the offer. It’s a simple matter of fairness: If airlines are legally permitted to make false promises—and to overbook a flight is, essentially, to promise a service that cannot be fulfilled—they ought to pay market price to compensate people for the unfulfilled promise. Instead, airlines are permitted to practice a kind of bizarro capitalism, in which they can overbook with impunity and throw people off the plane after they reject an arbitrary fee.11 Apr 2017
Yes, it seems a little outdated (in terms of compensation), but reading the link referred to (from the article) it seems clear
14 CFR 250.5 – Amount of denied boarding compensation for passengers denied boarding involuntarily11 Apr 2017