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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:21 am 
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Pretty disturbing.


I hope this story gets the national attention a spat between Kim and Kanye would. Most airlines abuse their customers via pricing and policies that no other industry could. Stupid and foolish policies that result in situations such as this make it hard for a free market person such as myself to not call for more regulation. As it is, it is impossible to compare fares across airlines as each carrier has their own brand of "cafeteria" purchases (i.e. seat selection, leg room, baggage check, carry-on fees, etc.).

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:31 am 
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I sent a tweet to @United saying they should never have to worry about every being overbooked again as I and many others will never fly on United again.

United used to be my favorite airline before they merged with Continental, which had been my least favorite airline. They must have retained the Continental managers.

The last time I tried to fly on United I got to the Airport an hour early only to find that to check my bag I had to wait in a long line with everyone who had customer service needs. Most were rebooking due to an earlier flight that had been canceled. By the time I got to the front of the line they said they couldn't check my bag because my flight left in less than half an hour. They said the next flight they could book me on was something like 5:30 PM the next day. I called the company the that was paying for my ticket and they were able to book me on an American flight later that morning.

I assume you've all hear about Delta's problems for the last five days due to a five-hour thunderstorm in Atlanta. They can't handle that sort of disruption.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:59 am 
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Bob Juch>>>United used to be my favorite airline before they merged with Continental, which had been my least favorite airline. They must have retained the Continental managers.<<<

Have you ever flown LAM Mozambique? The flag carrier of Mozambique.

Things might happen sooner than I thought and Mrs. S is hot to go to Mozambique or New Zealand. (Explanation to follow in a separate post). We would fly into Tete and after doing some other stuff, we would visit Gorongosa National Park.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:24 am 
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Bob Juch wrote:
United used to be my favorite airline before they merged with Continental, which had been my least favorite airline. They must have retained the Continental managers.


That's funny because I am just the opposite. Continental had great service before the merger.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:25 am 
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I guess we can be glad that United doesn't offer sea travel because if the ship starts to sink it would be "Captain and crew first!"

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:06 pm 
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BackInTex wrote:
I guess we can be glad that United doesn't offer sea travel because if the ship starts to sink it would be "Captain and crew first!"

It's a good thing they didn't land in the Hudson.

To be fair, it was a United Express flight. Even when UAL was good, the Express flights were barely tolerable.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:44 pm 
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What was apparently a group of high school students and their advisor deplained after the incident.

The flight departed three hours late. Want to bet the crew they made room for arrived too late to be able to work the next day?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:02 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:52 pm 
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There was such an easy solution to this problem, but evidently a feckless captain didn't step in to overrule a gate agent.

If you need to remove people (unfortunate, but it happens) you conduct an onboard auction for compensation. United tends to offer $100 and a flight tomorrow to overbooked passengers. Conduct an on-board auction to name the right price. Eventually five people would have decided that a $600 travel voucher was worth the inconvenience and voluntarily given up their seats. Get 'em off the plane, the gate agent does the paperwork and the flight leaves on time. And you have five passengers who think they got a pretty good deal.

There are times when crew members need to be deadheaded to a different location to keep the system running. I don't buy the meme about the treating crew better than passengers- that's not the story here.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:10 pm 
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bazodee wrote:
There was such an easy solution to this problem, but evidently a feckless captain didn't step in to overrule a gate agent.

If you need to remove people (unfortunate, but it happens) you conduct an onboard auction for compensation. United tends to offer $100 and a flight tomorrow to overbooked passengers. Conduct an on-board auction to name the right price. Eventually five people would have decided that a $600 travel voucher was worth the inconvenience and voluntarily given up their seats. Get 'em off the plane, the gate agent does the paperwork and the flight leaves on time. And you have five passengers who think they got a pretty good deal.

There are times when crew members need to be deadheaded to a different location to keep the system running. I don't buy the meme about the treating crew better than passengers- that's not the story here.


Reports are that they offered $800, but the real problem was apparently the next flight out was mid-day the next day, essentially wasting an entire day for the traveler. For a business person (or worker) that is not worth missing an entire day. No mention of other airline options.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:40 pm 
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bazodee wrote:
There was such an easy solution to this problem, but evidently a feckless captain didn't step in to overrule a gate agent.

If you need to remove people (unfortunate, but it happens) you conduct an onboard auction for compensation. United tends to offer $100 and a flight tomorrow to overbooked passengers. Conduct an on-board auction to name the right price. Eventually five people would have decided that a $600 travel voucher was worth the inconvenience and voluntarily given up their seats. Get 'em off the plane, the gate agent does the paperwork and the flight leaves on time. And you have five passengers who think they got a pretty good deal.

There are times when crew members need to be deadheaded to a different location to keep the system running. I don't buy the meme about the treating crew better than passengers- that's not the story here.

It was only four and they offered $800 each. Others have kept raising the compensation until they got enough seats; why that didn't happen here will be an issue. The contract for air transportation says that boarding can be denied if the flight is overbooked. Is says nothing about removing passengers from a flight they have already boarded. I hope the resulting lawsuit will put an end to this if the bad publicity does not.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:45 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:54 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:04 pm 
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BackInTex wrote:
Reports are that they offered $800, but the real problem was apparently the next flight out was mid-day the next day, essentially wasting an entire day for the traveler. For a business person (or worker) that is not worth missing an entire day. No mention of other airline options.

The flight was from Chicago to Louisville. That's an easy drive. I've done it a few times. It takes about 5 hours. I would have accepted the offer of $800 and rented a car. Although the beating will probably result in a much larger profit.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:45 pm 
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My folks and I arrived too late for an Atlanta connection to Charlotte late one night, and rented a car and got home long before the hotel-morning flight arrangement would have played out.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:59 am 
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Note to Confessor:

One-way rentals are often very expensive.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:28 am 
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bazodee had the right solution, even though his estimated auction price was too low. United should have kept raising the offer until they got willing takers. Given how much the airlines have monetized every little convenience--some legroom, checked bags, early boarding so you have a chance of grabbing some overhead carry-on space, a box of snacks--I see no reason why that price shouldn't go to $1,000, $2,000 or more.

And that rule should apply in every case, not just retroactively for this one, when TPTB can see what a gigantic public-relations disaster they've created.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:40 am 
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MarleysGh0st wrote:
bazodee had the right solution, even though his estimated auction price was too low. United should have kept raising the offer until they got willing takers. Given how much the airlines have monetized every little convenience--some legroom, checked bags, early boarding so you have a chance of grabbing some overhead carry-on space, a box of snacks--I see no reason why that price shouldn't go to $1,000, $2,000 or more.

And that rule should apply in every case, not just retroactively for this one, when TPTB can see what a gigantic public-relations disaster they've created.


There was one guy, according to reports, that offered to vacate his seat for $1,600 ($800 over United's final offer). In retrospect, and even in real time, that extra $800 would have been a bargain to United.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:47 am 
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United's new seating chart:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:25 am 
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BackInTex wrote:
There was one guy, according to reports, that offered to vacate his seat for $1,600 ($800 over United's final offer). In retrospect, and even in real time, that extra $800 would have been a bargain to United.


It's ironic that United was victimized (albeit a victim that deserved its fate) a few years ago by social media with the "destroyed my guitar" video that got enormous play on YouTube. They still haven't learned their lessons about social media. Twenty years ago an incident like this would have gotten at best a brief mention in the local paper and even a lawsuit might be risky because jury members would probably be asking themselves how bad could it have been. Now, I've seen it posted four times to my Facebook account and I am far, far, far from the most active Facebook user.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:14 am 
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BackInTex wrote:
In retrospect, and even in real time, that extra $800 would have been a bargain to United.


United loses $1B in market value after the incident.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/11/investi ... index.html

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:32 am 
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silverscreenselect wrote:
BackInTex wrote:
In retrospect, and even in real time, that extra $800 would have been a bargain to United.


United loses $1B in market value after the incident.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/11/investi ... index.html


The stockholders took a hit. The company, not so much (except for any treasury shares they may own).

I'm hoping that this may be a "come to Jesus" moment and they will try to set themselves apart from the other huckster airlines and join ranks with Southwest as a company that values the persons in the seats as much as the money they've already paid to be in the seats.


My Southwest story of the day:

Sunday I needed to book a roundtrip for my daughter to come home for her sister's college graduation. I didn't want her driving 8 hours each way for only 2 days here. Southwest had a sale going last week and the price of that ticket was about $225. I didn't want to book yet to wait for my Amex to close for the month and have the charge on my next month's Amex bill. So when I went to book Sunday, guess what.... the sale was over and it was $286. Dangit! I booked anyway and licked my wounds.

Today I get an email from Southwest that they are having another sale. So I changed the reservation, to the exact same flights, and now have a $43 credit on her account to apply against a future flight. No change fee, just got the lower rate. I love Southwest.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:51 am 
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United keeps on digging a deeper hole. They now claim they offered $1000 for people to give up seats. Problem is that no one on the flight agrees with that. One man said he'd leave for $1600 but that was rejected.

Rule 21 of their contract gives procedures for denying boarding. It has no provision for removing passengers once they have already boarded. It also has no provision for offering compensation to volunteers to be bumped. The fact that they did not use the provisions of Rule 21 for overbooking indicates they were not truly overbooked. Those say nothing about randomly choosing passengers to be removed.

The couple who were removed prior to the doctor, as well as the doctor (what happened with the 4th person?), have a case of breach of contract. The doctor can't sue the airline for the assault but can instead sue the airport.

I have yet to read an account of how much of a fuss the doctor made before security was called and what he said to the security personnel after they arrived. Based on the video, it appears that one officer just walked up and grabbed him.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:07 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:41 am 
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The $1600 would not be legal, at least according to what I"m reading. Thanks to wonderful government regulations (nice how they can regulate compensation to passengers, but not anything wrt liability of the companies) the cap is set at $1350 for maximum inconvenience, i.e., a rebooked flight that doesn't leave until the next day.

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