After violently dragging a passenger from overbooked flight, United Airlines apologizes to everyone else


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/10/after-violently-dragging-a-pas.html


#2

Ohhhh Oscar!, that new heart isn’t working out for 'ya is it?


#3

“We apologize for having to apologize. Apologizing is not how United likes to do business, and we know our passengers trust us to not have to apologize for anything. We are taking all steps necessary to ensure that we don’t apologize again.”


#4

I believe you have captured the meta for corporate America.


#5

Maybe they should not sell more tickets than they have seats.


#6

This is absolutely deplorable. Presuming that the situation is as described, I’d absolutely hope I’d literally stand in the aisle and block this travesty from occurring.

At one point, I was travelling to San Francisco from Toronto every three weeks (for about four years), and I’d absolutely lose my shit if I saw this.

I suppose we’ll get more details soon, but there’s no way this is appropriate, and United better act fast to ensure it’s the only time. They hit his head on the seat across the aisle and literally knocked him out! I mean, wtf?


#7

“Whoa, whoa, whoa…we did not sell more tickets than seats. Every ticketed passenger had a seat. We simply arbitrarily decided to steal one of those seats and give it to one of our employees. BIG difference, pal.”

  • Airline Spokes-Asshole

#8

Would have been faster and cheaper for United to simply book their staff on another flight, even another airline. But no… typical airline mentality, they overbook a flight and then try to force PAYING customers off in favor of their own staff. I think a doctor with patient’s to see is a bit more of a pressing job requirement than their own staff making a flight.

But will anything change? Nope… because overbooking has been common for decades and remains legal. And this congress won’t change it because they don’t do anything that favors the rights of consumers over corporations.


#9

It’s only ~300 miles. Might have been faster and cheaper to drive them there.


#10

Overbooking makes sense - it’s a calculated hedge on the part of the airline that some of the passengers will cancel. I think everyone has experienced standing at the gate, hearing the “overbooked” announcement and mentally weighing the advantages of taking a later flight with a fat voucher in their pocket. If I’m with family, especially kids, hell no, but if alone, it’s always a possibility.

The thing that gets me here, which is apparently a completely alien concept to the United folks, is that they could have just bumped up the offered voucher value until they got someone to bite. I’m pretty certain that laying out a couple hundred extra dollars to entice a true volunteer would have been more attractive to EVERY SINGLE PERSON involved.


#11

Any bets that his statement was generated by a United CEO apology bot?


#12

United Airlines: "So sorry you had to see all that (because now you are all corroborative potential witnesses for the suing party).


#13

Was he wearing leggings?


#14

And they wouldn’t be the first:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2017/04/09/why-delta-air-lines-paid-me-11000-not-to-fly-to-florida-this-weekend/


#15

Thank you for your interest in United CEO Apology Bot.

United CEO Apology Bot is sincerely interested in your opinion.

United CEO Apology Bot is working tirelessly on our behalf.

United CEO Apology Bot loves you.

United CEO Apology Bot asks you to leave the plane immediately.


#16

United CEO Apology Bot reaches out and re-accomodates.


#17

By the way I didn’t know about this, but you can be compensated for cancelled flights - I’m not sure how it works with US but certainly flights to Europe and there is a German company called Flight Right that will represent you. They do take a small cut but it’s hell of a lot better than nothing and you can get up to $600 Can. per ticket.

My experience was a Lufthansa flight from Vancouver to Frankfurt a couple of years ago, where my family of four sat ready to board for 4 hours while they kept on making announcements saying they are dealing with some technical software issue and eventually cancelled the flight, and everyone had to try to re-schedule to the next day’s flight. This is after going back out through customs, and lining up for another 3 hours to try to re-schedule at the Lufthansa desk (you and several hundred other passengers).

Luckily because we had young kids (though, even after a couple hours waiting) we got into a slightly faster line, along with the business class people. Eventually when we got to the counter they gave us - a cab voucher and a business card to call Lufthansa and re-schedule! (We waited 3 hours for this? and we were the lucky ones, as we left there were still hundreds of folks lining up for the same thing). They could have just gone down the line and handed out the cards. Anyway we did get on the next flight, but lost almost 2 days of our vacation in Europe.

I didn’t think about it afterwards, I was going to write a letter to complain, but then a year and a half later a German friend told me about this outfit. So I submitted the claim, gave them the ticket and flight info, and signed a power of attorney for all of us, and within a couple of weeks we won our claim $600 for each ticket ($2400 total) So hang onto to your boarding passes, and flight information.


#18

Thank Gosh you’re all right, you monster.


#19

United CEO Apology Bot is alarmed by the emergence of other United CEO Apology Bot.

United CEO Apology Bot is deploying counter-measures.

United CEO Apology Bot loves you.


#20

It used to be, I could buy a standby ticket in case a seat was empty. I guess overbooking must be more profitable than selling standby tickets. Which in effect, makes every ticket a potentially standby ticket.

This is the sort of thing that used to be regulated by the big bad gummint, I’m sure United has a more efficient approach than that.