Sounds like our Asian passenger did not read the fine print of terms and conditions on his plane ticket. I've done a fair amount of traveling and I know that you don't screw around with the airlines' personnel nor customs officers of ANY nation.
If this dude had been polite and gotten off the plane, he likely would have been on the next flight traveling first class instead of spending the afternoon in the pokey.
Sorry, Snakepit, but you need to do some more reading on this. It is not as y ou seem to think it was.
Go to memeorandum.com and start there.
Are you kidding me? They run an AIRLINE. There was no other way to get their idiot crew somewhere but to involuntarily bump paying passengers? How about upping the offer again? Or a charter for cripes sakes? They were willing to spend $3200 but they would rather beat up a RANDOMLY SELECTED passenger? What. Morons.
The brand damage from this is will dwarf the costs of a few friggin seats on a dedicated charter. I don't know if UA is any worse than the rest of them but after the Guitar Guy youtube disaster I would have thought they had learned their lesson. And could the CEO have been a bigger TOOL?
"Villainy, when detected, never gives up, but boldly adds impudence to imposture."
Americans acceptance of this crap knows no bounds.
Didn't the american communists say united we're stronger?
I had to go back and edit united cause the first time I typed it it said untied.
"If this dude had been polite and gotten off the plane, he likely would have been on the next flight traveling first class instead of spending the afternoon in the pokey."
I opened the comments to see if some sub-idiot would pull the old if-ya-done-nuthin'-wrong-yuh-gots-nuthin'-ta-fear mindless rightist bullshit and there you were.
Full attribution: I am a captain at a major national airline...not United, by the way. I have been employed with my employer for the last 29 years.
It seem to me that there is a good deal of blame to go around here. Without ranking that blame at all, here's how I see it.....
What you need to understand is that when the airline's employee comes to you and tells you that you need to gather your belongings and get off the airplane, you need to gather your belongings and get off the airplane. It may be right or it may be wrong, but the decision on you not traveling on this flight has already been made, and you're not going to travel on that flight. At that point, the only thing you control are the conditions of your removal. What you need to understand is that the airplane is private property, and when you refuse to leave when asked, you are trespassing. When the airline calls the police because you are trespassing and refuse to leave, and the police then ask you to leave the airplane, YOU NEED TO LEAVE THE AIRPLANE. If you don't, they're going to get you off the plane IN THE WAY THAT THE POLICE ARE PAID TO GET NON-COMPLIANT PEOPLE TO COMPLY.
[More on this passenger below.]
Airlines overbook their flights **all the time**. We do this because passengers miss their flights **all the time**. I completely understand that sometimes the passenger is late through no fault of his or her own. Really, I get that. But sometimes the passenger is late to the gate because they simply didn't get themselves to the airport on time. This is not the airline's fault. Regardless of the reason for a passenger's tardiness, the bottom line here is that we publish a schedule and OUR CUSTOMERS EXPECT US TO DO OUR BEST TO STICK TO IT. [As an aside, I was travelling on my airline as a "non-rev" last Friday, and wasn't going to make my flight because it was oversold with revenue passengers. The gate agent began to offer money to get volunteers to give up their seats to the oversales. She started at $400 and it quickly escalated to $1200. She did manage to get those volunteers, but that only means that every seat was going to be filled by a paying passenger and I was going to be left behind. However, right at the last minute a party of two approached the gate who were insisting that the flight be held so that a late member of their party catch up to the gate. WE CAN'T DO THAT. We can't delay a plane completely full of our customers who managed to get to the airport on time just because one person couldn't do that. If you're late, you go on the next flight with an open seat. Anyway, I got on the flight because those two refused to leave their late party behind.]
Anyway, as has been mentioned, the United gate agents should have never boarded the flight so full that there wasn't room for those deadheading employees. They should have begun the bidding BEFORE THE PASSENGERS HAD BEEN BOARDED. If United didn't know about his need for 4 seats for their employees before boarding, the bidding should have been done ON THE PLANE. At some point, somebody is going to say to themselves "You know what? For $1500, $2000, $8000 of United's money, I can get off this flight and spend an extra night here."
An airplane is a **very confined** space, and getting control of someone who is non-compliant is a very difficult task. However, on watching that video, the passenger in question here had his head bashed up against the armrest. The police here are not blameless in how this passenger was treated.
Now, here's how I see things shaking out here....
United is going to want to get this off the front pages as quickly as possible. They're going to settle whatever suit this passenger brings. THIS PASSENGER HAS A CASE AND I SUSPECT THAT HE HAS LAWYERS BURNING UP HIS PHONE LINE SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE HIS BUSINESS. He's going to take home quite a sum before this is over. I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on the internet, but an airline ticket is essentially a contract between the passenger and the airline. When you buy a ticket for a flight, and get to the point that YOU ARE ACTUALLY SITTING IN THE SEAT, you have every right to expect to be able to go. You can't be INVOLUNTARILY REMOVED without cause. The passenger was treated badly by United and the police department, but before this is all said-and-done, he's going to make out OK.
While I agree it looks bad what other choice do the police have? Their job at that point is to ask this man to leave and if he refuses a lawful order to remove him. Their job isn't to explain the rules to him or argue with him for half an hour. As for the airlines I would agree that they need a better system so that they can avoid this in the future but they too were in a no win situation. As I understand it 4 people had to be removed to allow four flight crew to make it to their next assignment. What are the choices? That the airlines doesn't make the effort to get pilots and crew at the airport in time for the plane to take off???
Perhaps someone will argue that this man didn't understand but somehow I suspect that if he was on a plane in China or North Korea and the police told him to stand up and walk out he would understand that clear as crystal. So I think he was playing off of the sympathy he was getting from the other passengers.
And the other passengers shouldn't be vocally supporting him or in any way making it all worse. The simple fact is that you are on THEIR plane and when they ask you to leave you must leave and if you do not the the police must remove you. Why whine and boo the police? Take the videos, talk to the cable news shows afterwards and speak out then but don't make it worse by acting out in the plane.
Snakepit Kansas is right, guys -- if the passenger had cooperated, things would have gone a lot smoother than they did. He did NOT have a right to that seat.
That said, however ....
It's pretty obvious that United Airlines is run by idiots.
1) If management needed to hold back four seats for employees, why were the passengers allowed to board first?
2) Having created the charlie-foxtrot, why didn't management offer increasingly larger rewards for giving up a seat? Someone would have "bit" if the reward was boosted to $1,000 or $2,000.
3) As Staring-in-Disbelief notes, for the money they were dangling in front of the passengers, management could have chartered a LearJet (or some such plane) and gotten their employees where they needed to be, and maybe faster than the jetliner would have.
4) Why in the name of all that's holy was the Chicago PD involved in this, given their thuggish reputation? The airline's own security people at least would have some consideration for their employer's reputation, and would have handled this better. The Chicago PD? Not likely. (pictures Officer "Muscles" Grobnik smacking his fist into the open palm of his other hand, "Ya follow, buddy?")
I don't fly anyway -- I don't fear it, but I do have better things to do than be treated like cattle, whether by United or by another airline. Besides, who wants be groped by the TSA? You want an abomination? That is your abomination, right there.
My two cents' worth.
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland
Just imagine R. Lee Ermey saying "You wanna be different!" instead of a women, hysterical, reduced to OMG OMG OMG panic.
Get off of that obstacle, or plane, if you hear R. Lee telling you to.
What everyone misses, and you older fella's shouldn't, is the cops are there to keep men like me from doing things sixty grit or our very own ghostboy write about.
He wants that seat I want his car, or other things, so can we agree the law will decide or should I on my lonesome do what I want when even if others feel the pain, partner?
What if he parked his car on the interstate to protest Clinton selling national security secrets to China, do we all think he is above the law then too?
I heard that United's contract stipulates they can do certain things and the customer has no recourse.
Sometimes it seems contracts are secret documents meant to favor one party over the other. Remember when a man's word was his honor and he would not be sullied by the imposition of a contract? If he was wrong in a deal he admitted it immediately and offered gratuitous recompense.
Yeah, it's United's game and they get to play it as they please as long as they understand they don't hold all the cards in the game. There may be repercussions for poor behavior.
Frankly, I've been boycotting them since 1980, and all the other airlines too.
Here is my 2 cents. It's unfortunate but a real thing that when you walk into an airport you voluntarily abdicate many of your personal liberties. This is one of the reasons I try not to fly anymore.
That said United acted poorly and took advantage of this unseemly power over a passenger
People need to vote with their dollars in this instance and remind United about their obligations to paying customers
An attorney's going to love getting that guy in front of a jury. An M.D., supposedly. 69 years old.
Treating a senior citizen member of the medical profession like some drunk asshole who was acting up is going to count for a lot more, when the case goes to the jury, than the fine print on the back of the ticket.
A United employee was quoted as saying, "We had asked several times, politely, what else were we supposed to do?"
We'll see how kicking his ass in front of everyone in Coach works out.
I usually enjoy this blog, but the author's take on this story is beyond ridiculous, to the point where I have to question his... maturity.
Isn't this the airline that just a couple of weeks ago had employees jumpseating and not wearing appropriate dress for their jumpseating benefit? I also work for an aircargo company and jumpseat and crew passage requirements are the same as airlines. Crew passage jumpseating requires, generally, that you book that flight at least a couple of days before the actual flight. That means that United knew they had jumpseaters to place on board and as jumpseaters have to arrive early to check in that means the passengers should NEVER have be boarded without the knowledge that four crew would board. I suspect United had their head up their butts on informing the flight crew to keep four seats open. As the jumpseating crew showed up at the very end could they have been late in checking in and violated their own jumpseat policy. It does seem that employee arrogance and ignorance coupled with management indifference created the problem and then they doubled down on stupid and got the cops (law enforcement-not peace officers) involved to provide the muscle. Dumb, Dumb, DUMB.
There is No Way United can come out of this NOT smelling like a 3-acre pond of cow anp pig poop.
Wrong, David. The over-civilized man--that's you-- is more dangerous to civilization than the uncivilized man. The passengers were all raped simply by observing this. Maybe they deserved it. Maybe they didn't. They are going to have to think about that. I already have had occasion to make my choices.
As a physician, I know that an airline will not compensate me for medical services rendered on a flight. If this is how they treat physicians, they can do without my medical services in perpetuity. "Are there any doctors on the flight?" Yeah, no thanks.
Tom, I've got a question for you.....
If someone in a restaurant or other business has an urgent need for your medical services while you happen to be there, who would pay you? The patient or the business?
If this passenger was a physician, he acted like a clown, did embarrass himself, and it just goes to show you that even doctors are sometimes stupid and immature. The pilot's comments upthread all have merit, and I'm glad he also sees the passenger's side of the story.
I would have surrendered the seat, but I hope I'd have had the good sense to up the bid because $800, as I heard one report say, is not enough compensation for this kind of inconvenience.
Now, for my 2 cents. United Airlines is a joke. They have now become the poster child for a belligerent business environment. Private property? Please. The public are the people with the money - the same money you want for your services. Airlines put on a show of authority and one-up, but the public has its own authority as well.
Sorry, UA. You lost a customer in me, and if this CEO isn't out of work by tomorrow then my boycott is permanent. Business is business, isn't it?
And to show I have a sense of humor, you have to to Twitter and see the responses. I am laughing my head off.
A person can rent private property owned by another, say a house, and when they pay the rent it is their property to use for the purpose that they agreed to rent it for.
Same with bus seats, airline seats, a cabin on a cruise ship etc.
Same with renting a car or renting/borrowing money from a bank.
They paid for the rent of it and they were already in occupation of it. The passenger should
sue for the violation of their rights and for the assault on their person that occurred.
I have enjoyed the many points of view listed above, both for and against the passenger, but I will tell you that if you travel enough you WILL be inconvenienced. You WILL miss flights, get bumped, have your luggage lost for a week or more, have to sit by someone who is too big for their seat, has severe BO, bad breath or passes gas without pause.
A decade ago I was traveling from Minneapolis to Japan, and for some reason after the plane had started boarding several airport police (one carrying an HKMP5 sub machinegun) showed up at the gate and asked everybody to unboard. IDs and passports were rechecked and everybody boarded again. Why? I don't know and yes it was an inconvenience, but it would have been pathetic if one or more passengers had decided to become non-compliant. Especially squealing like a girl when the obvious was about to happen.
Customs officers? They seem to have no patience nor sense of humor. People that try to get smart with them get detained just long enough to miss their connecting flights.Customs folks are probably tired of dealing with drunk or hung over vacationers being a pain in the ass.
So the court of public opinion might weigh in favor of the Asian guy, but he would have been far better off to get off the plane. Complain to your Congressman, write an editorial, get drunk at the airport bar and pout, but don't get your ass beat by the cops when it is easily avoidable.
"don't get your ass beat by the cops when it is easily avoidable."
You got to wonder what kind of special idiocy writes something like that. Or at least half the comments in this thread.
The point for all the unmitigated morons on issues like this isn't that you can avoid having your door kicked in at 3am by leaving it unlocked, or that you can avoid a DUI checkpoint by not driving, or that you can avoid an altercation by never leaving the house, it's that in a case where one of these assholes is already on leave, where the P. of United is stumbling all over himself avoiding (there's that word) the absolutely inevitable fallout, where some guy you assholes just can't stand because of his look or behavior is bleeding all over the plane, where he was knocked out because he wanted to receive what he paid for, it is specifically that the airline - to the point of the original post - had a universe of alternatives that didn't involve legal thuggery and violence, literally dragging an unconscious body down the aisle and up the jetway.
You cowards who think it's smart to avoid a fight by running are everything that's wrong with "conservativism" today. You're not content being clueless about underlying, foundational principles so you further prove your fecklessness and impotency cowering before your superiors, posing yourselves as law 'n order keyboard hardasses when you're just craven statists.
United had a universe of alternatives AS DID the local "authorities". You're just here making sure nobody answers for any of that because where you can dislike a victim from over there behind your laptop, your only kneejerk alternative is to prove Orwell in the worst way possible.
This is why I stopped identifying as a conservative - rightists are tools.
Clearly,this is Trump's fault,eh, Ten?
Well that went well. Face, meet hornet's nest.
"Clearly,this is Trump's fault,eh, Ten?"
Heh, and as if on cue, along you come to prove the point that rightists* are irredeemable tools of a pointless narrative even they can't explain. Amazing. If by amazing you really mean fantastically, blindingly obvious.
*And as if this needed pointing out twice too, rightists are corollary to leftists: Ostensible partisan morons who bear no resemblance to classical liberalism, or presumably in your case, to classical liberalism.
Mind blown, am I right? Idiot.
Actually, Larry, I was making what is even more clearly a lame attempt at humor. Fortunately I was wearing my Feathered Headress Beekeeper Keyboard Warrior's Bonnet,so there's little damage. Good discussion,otherwise.
Lots of great comments on this one but I tend to generally agree with azlibertarian. If I were on a jury I wouldn't give Doctor No a damned thing. His duty is to respond to the requests or demands of a flight crew while he is in their care.
Toughskishitski doc....you acted like a spoiled immature little bitch and I hope you face criminal charges for being so demonstrably fucking crazy.
But UAL has been made famous before. Here is a traveler's revenge when baggage handlers destroyed a guitar in a hard shell case....a tough thing to do:
Kinda crowded on planes these days idint it?
As Remus says, "Avoid crowds.", and I do.
There is really no place on this planet that I need to get to bad enough to ride on a commercial airplane. I like the view with a steering wheel in my hands. Don't get punched in the face very often either.
Last time I flew I had 3 guns and several hundred rounds of ammo and a plethora of blades, in the cabin with me. This was back when things still seemed kinda normal around here, like, 1980. Oh yeah, I didn't kill anyone or hijack the plane.
Done with this silliness.
(Apologies for the friendly fire, nori.)
"His duty is to respond to the requests or demands of a flight crew while he is in their care."
All correct except the part that's contractually completely wrong, the transparent appeal to authority, the appeal to care - care? Are you somehow not kidding? - and the part where you're a total tool for trotting it all out. Maybe somehow you kinda missed the aftermath of all this, which includes involuntary leaves and various legal shitstorms the size of Montana.
Well, there goes the argument favoring what happens just because it happens, also known as the Armpit Pliskin Kansas Gambit. If you are dumb enough to believe in fate by circumstance than have a ball unraveling the after-assault circumstances United and the local thugs are about to be steeped in, jeenyuses.
I'm so old I remember when we all laughed at the psycho left and it's barbs about the right being corporatists and giving no shits about rights. Turns out they were right. No pun intended.
I can see various sides to this. Yeah, the guy should have gotten up and walked off. We've all heard that "interfering with a flight crew" will get you roasted, even if, in this place, the plane wasn't flying. When it gets down to the cops standing there saying, "Sir, you are going to come with us," well, you are.
And the "doctor" behaved stupidly, and weirdly. Apparently he's not exactly the finest example of Hipocrates' legion in a number of ways. And all of us are sick of "protesters" screaming like babies when they are dragged away from whatever they're protesting.
Still, United Airlines apparently does not have a clue as to what this intertube thingy is. Nor do they know how fast and how far bad images can travel, and most importantly, how many other passengers on an airplane have a video camera in their pocket.
Question for better apologists than I: what is it called when the one party is entirely legal in an action, and yet will be completely destroyed in the court of public opinion?
United was within their rights, with a few missteps, such as pushing the kick-ass button after boarding occurred. And, in this case, they will be forever vilified, and regardless of any lawsuit Minnie Mouse the passenger loses, they will learn soon that they have angered the Matrix of the public.
Got to be a name for this.
"what is it called when the one party is entirely legal in an action, and yet will be completely destroyed in the court of public opinion?"
United's contract explicitly does two things in this regard: It does not apply to boarded customers and it DOES apply to paid CUSTOMERS, which makes United, under its own terms, obligated to deadhead its own crew at its own expense (if, by reports, it wants to avoid a $200,000 expense).
Here's one: what is it called when the one party makes assumptions on incomplete facts in order to pursue a stupid bias in favor of his corporate betters, thinking commerce exceeds simple reason and decency?
I agree, Ten. I think I was unclear in my comment. United is flat wrong, no matter how many laws and policies they can cop to. There are lots of laws that, although codified, are not moral or right.
However, there is a small army of lawyers at United HQ right now, tap dancing like crazy and trying to line up as many codes, laws, precedents, policies, and shuh-yeahs as possible. None of what they say will stand up to that video. idc if he waved his hands at the cops (come on...) and acted weird. Once United pushed that ass-kick button, it was all downhill for them.
I see Dr Dao (rhymes with Tao) has suffered the outing of this team of lawyers. If he is a forced gay sex homo drug abuser, I see him with a strong future at the Democrat Party headquarters. Just the man for them!
All of which will enhance his case in court, because odds are, in Illinois, that the judges roll the same way he does!
Let's try this again: The passenger was boarded. The passenger hadn't violated United's terms of paid, contracted service. The flight wasn't overbooked. United wanted to get four crew relocated.
Those are the facts as best we can determine them.
From there United apparently sought to throw a passenger off the plane for services renderable and agreed, had him assaulted after it made this decision - which resulted in his behavior, suitable or unsuitable as it may have been - and dragged an unconscious bloodied guy down the aisle.
This means United, apparently, violated its terms for boarded customers and for presumably paid reservations - the four crew had no reservations, obviously, prompting all this.
This is at minimum, for what we know. From there things went south.
What should bother formerly rational 'conservatives' is that prevailing, higher law obviously prohibits an agency, company, or enterprise prevailing against the individual's right to not be assaulted, and worse, from deploying the authorities to carry it out. Because that would be a police state.
I'm so old I also remember when equal rights under the law was a presumed legal curative for those times random assholes might say a victim got what he - pursuant THEIR public kangaroo court of opinion, ironically - deserved.
It's not about the one victim and never has been. That's why we have originalist principle and structure.
More and more rightists are tools. Didn't used to be that way.
I hope your blood pressure has gone down. I believe there was some objective and candid debate going before you started throwing the Molivov cocktails. I will let your colorful adjectives about me pass, especially since it is Holy Week! Whether the Asian dude was right or wrong had nothing to do with how he exited the plane. That was 100% decided by him. You either don't like it because it is not fair (my mother told me to deal with unfair things when I was five) and comply with law enforcement, or you resist and get to find out what your actual pain threshold is until you conform. Cops deal with idiots all day long, and this guy fits right into the middle of that bell curve. It was his choice. The outcome was already decided. The fact the guy was a doctor or a trashman is irrelevant to me. Asian dude made the whole plane late. Made other passengers miss their connecting flights. Took time away from their families. That sounds rather selfish to me.
Go back and look at all your name calling. If it makes you feel valid, then good for you. If you want to change anyone's mind through insightful discussion you need to re-calibrate. I hope you have a nice evening.
You haven't addressed anything, Pliskin. You're still arguing that same dumb proof by status quo fallacy with a nice hot side of identity bias.
But the high tone was nice. I see mom also taught you to appeal to appearances and not principled realities.
Identity bias? Forgive me if I misunderstand but my wife is Asian and naturalized and my two children are mixed, although one looks completely white and the other nearly completely Asian. I spent almost two years in Asia and enjoyed my time there as well as a honeymoon in Saigon.
There were two points of discussion and debate.
#1. Asian guy got the shaft by getting bumped off his flight. I could tell you my unfair travel stories but nobody wants to hear them. I was not making any points about who was right or wrong in the matter. The time to make a point or stand was not best made in the aircraft, unless you wanted to deal with item #2.
#2. Once law enforcement shows up... well see my prior comments about complying or get welcomed to the world of submission.
Yes, my mother is a wonderful woman.
How sure are you about this "law enforcement", Pliskin? Be careful how you answer.
Snake makes very valid points. Can't say the same for the bloviating "Ten".
Some good logical/legal points from all sides, but my take is that the percentage of flaming assholes in the population has reached critical mass. What the fuck has happened to common courtesy and normal human consideration? This isn't a right vs left problem anymore, it's Old American values vs a corrupting and decaying society with a touch of "I'm only following orders" for seasoning.
I'm an airline Captain and have had to have passengers removed for a variety of reasons before departure. How that occurs is up to the passenger, most walk off of their on accord, but I've had one removed by 4 police officers each holding an appendage and carrying the passenger off the plane. When asked to leave, leave!
As a retired airline captain I can tell you that even if Dao gets to keep his seat after causing a disturbance - because enough other passengers volunteered - I would have him removed regardless. I would not subject my crew or passengers to the potential for disruption once airborne. My flight attendants should not have to act as police once the plane leaves the gate - and what if this person decides that the drinks are wrong, the snack stale or the movie choice inadequate or the kid behind him kicks his seat - and decides to raise a fuss then? I'm sorry, no. No way this man gets or stays on my plane. He can go to another airline or make his case with another gate agent or crew - but not on any aircraft I am responsible for as captain. One other point - regardless of the facts and circumstances of the ticket language, airline rights, personal privilege etc., the bottom line is safety. If we needed to evacuate or ditch (it happens) or go through a bomb protocol or other emergency procedure - all airline passengers would want people who work together, not throw a tantrum when they don't get their way. Flying is inconvenient (read: dehumanizing) enough without putting people's lives at risk when under duress.
Fly United, it's such a drag.