Never fly United Airlines. It beats up passengers.

This is how United Airlines gets passengers to “volunteer” to leave an overbooked plane:

That’s a movie. This is what happened in real life (from the Louisville Courier Journal):

Social media was on fire Monday after a video showed the type of hair-raising drama that you’d only expect to see in a horror film.

There was blood, screaming and gasps of disbelief. But this wasn’t fiction — this was a man being dragged off of a United plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport before the flight took off for Louisville.

As the Courier-Journal originally reported, a 31-second video posted on Facebook by Audra D. Bridges on Sunday night shows three men wearing radio equipment and security jackets speaking with a passenger seated on the plane. After a few seconds, one of the men grabs the passenger, who screams, and drags him by his arms toward the front of the plane.

And what exactly did the passenger do?

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the {United} spokesperson said. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.

Excuse me, but do these fuckers know what “volunteer” means? Let me help them:

Definition of volunteer

  1. 1:  a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service: such as

    a :  one who enters into military service voluntarily

    b (1) :  one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest (2) :  one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration

Just to be clear, this is the video of the incident:

Why do I feel like this is what you should expect in a country led by a dwarf-digited dipshit? Corporations take your money, then throw you off a flight after you’ve taken your seat, because they “volunteered” you to deplane. And let’s be honest. The passenger is Asian. Do you honestly think these stormtroopers would have done this to a white guy?

Here’s the response from United’s CEO:

Let me catch my breath:

  1. United is upset? How do you thing the passenger your goons beat up feels?
  2. Re-accommodate? Is that the new euphemism for “kick the shit out of”?
  3. Our own detailed review of what happened? Look at the video!
  4. Reaching out to this passenger? Why? So you can slap him around again?
  5. Resolve this situation? Just give him a couple of million dollars right now, because you’re going to lose a hell of a lot more when he sues your ass.

If you want passengers to leave a plane, offer them vouchers. If no one takes it, offer more vouchers. If no one takes that, OFFER MORE VOUCHERS, AND A MEAL, AND A FREE HOTEL STAY!

Think what would have happened even if you had to offer as much as $3,000 in vouchers. Lots of people would have waited for the next flight, and it would have cost you a hell of a lot less than the lawsuit you’re going to lose and the bad publicity you’ve already gotten.

Because, as a regular flying passenger, as a result of this, I’m never again going to get on a United Airlines plane.

3 thoughts on “Never fly United Airlines. It beats up passengers.

  1. If United wasnt that hungry for making money, overbooking a plane would never happen! There is no other lecture, it’s united’s fault for sure. They should have come to the plane offering a better service-or money certificate for people to volunteer. Dragging somebody off a plane? Oh hell no!

  2. The reason they did this is even lamer. The flight in question wasn’t overbooked in the usual sense. They needed to transport a crew to another airport because of a scheduling issue, which typically means a plane and crew scheduled to arrive at the destination airport was not going to make it, or delays of some kind caused a crew scheduled to leave from that airport to exceed their max legally allowed hours-per-shift, so United basically had a plane full of people at the other airport with no crew cleared to fly it.

    This happens a LOT, I’ve experienced this with all the major domestic airlines, unfortunately (the offering of vouchers, not the goons). The reason is they schedule too aggressively, without leaving enough slack (spare crews/planes/maintenance resources/empty time in schedules) to take up the rate of breakdowns, so they have to scramble.

    What is even more obnoxious is that they know many hours in advance that this situation will happen but they don’t ‘fess up to the passengers until the last possible minute — which is really annoying because in many cases your arrangements later in the day are ruined.

    If you have the misfortune to live in a location where the airport shuts down for the night, you then have the scenario, which happened to me repeatedly: lets say you live in airport C. You are flying home from destination A to hub B to small town C. You wisely schedule your trip to not take the last B->C flight of the night. But! flight A->B is delayed because the plane/crew/maintenance resources are not available due to the aforementioned scheduling issues, which are entirely visible using modern planning software. But rather than tell you, the airline strings the passengers along every half hour, taking away your opportunity yo reroute from airport A->B->C to work around the issue – and by the time they throw in the towel on the A->B flight, you have not only missed your original B->C flight, but also the last one of the night. At this point you would think they put you up in a hotel? Nope. No such luck. I found out that in this situation, if the screwup was due to scheduling gridlock (vs pure weather), the airline actually WILL reimburse for alternate transportation from another nearby airport if there is one, but that is a super closely guarded thing that they reserve for crying women with babies. (One time I teamed up with a fellow passenger who was a crying woman with a baby and made a big scene (on our 3rd customer service rep mind you, they made us run all around the airport before we got a senior rep who knew the secret code for alternate travel reimbursements). I got home the same night via another airport and a rental car, and got a check from Delta airlines a few weeks later…. but jeez, that’s what it takes.)

    Basically, it’s sh*tty management.

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