Another PR Nightmare for United Airlines!

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A couple of weeks ago, Sebastian wrote here about United Airlines taking a lot of heat over forcing passengers (who turned out to be traveling on an employee pass) to change their attire before boarding.

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Seems that the United PR department has another nightmare on their hands after videos posted to social media showing a paying passenger being forcibly dragged from his seat and off the plane by security officers is going viral.

However, as with many stories like this, some of the facts are being reported somewhat incorrectly by many of the mainstream media outlets out there.  Here is a video showing the incident from YouTube:

This article here from the Washington Post explains the incident, which took place on United Flight 3411 from Chicago (ORD) to Louisville (SDF) which was scheduled to leave ORD at 5:40pm last night and is operated by Republic Airlines on a 70-seat ERJ plane.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

United Airlines says a man wouldn’t give up his spot on an overbooked flight Sunday.

So, according to witnesses and videos of the incident, he was pulled screaming from his seat by security, knocked against an arm rest and dragged down the aisle and back to the terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

United refused to answer questions about the incident, which horrified other passengers on the Louisville-bound flight. An airline spokesman only apologized for the overbooked flight, and said police were called after a passenger “refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily.”

First, the article explains that the flight was overbooked. Regardless of whether the flight was overbooked or not did not have any bearing on this particular incident. The fact was that because of some other irregular occurrence somewhere else in their network (IRROPS as referred to in the airline industry) United needed to get 4 crew members to Louisville to operate another flight either later that night or the next morning to prevent other cancellations, and given that Chicago is a hub for United, this situation is not too out of the ordinary.

Aside from that, there were other details that were left out by many of the mainstream media articles. United initially offered passengers a $400 voucher and a free hotel stay and accommodations on a flight the next afternoon, then increased the offer to $800 when they didn’t have any volunteers.  After no one took the offer, they announced they would randomly select passengers to deboard.  The first two selected left without incident. The next selected was the man in the video, who refused to get off because he “had to get to a hospital to see patients in the morning”.  After two security officers tried to reason with him to leave, he still refused, and a third was brought on and they forcibly removed him from his seat causing some injuries.

After their PR department was silent about this, after the video went viral, they posted a response earlier this afternoon from CEO Oscar Munoz:

united-ceotweet

So this incident brings up some questions, which we have done our best to explain below, but we’ll leave it up to you to also provide your opinions and comments:

Why do airlines overbook flights?

Even though the situation here is slightly different, overbooking is a general practice in the industry, as there are always a certain percentage of people that don’t show up for flights, either because of missed connections or travel plans changing resulting in taking an earlier or later flight. Computer models are usually pretty good at predicting the percentage of no-shows for a particular flight on any given date/time, so this reduces the potential for overbookings, but statistics can vary, especially for smaller planes.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that out of 613 million passenger boardings in the US in 2015 there were only 552,000 denied boardings, and only 46,000 (less than 10% or 1/100th of 1% of total boardings) were involuntary. If there were laws in place to prevent airlines from overbooking, these situations would happen even less, but it would also artificially drive up the cost of airfare as airlines would sell less seats.

Why aren’t there laws to protect passengers more in situations like this?

Although there is no law in the U.S. that dictates how airlines should handle overbooking situations, there is a federal law that entitles passengers to cash compensation (not airline vouchers) of 200-400% of the value of their one way fare (depending on length of delay) if they are involuntarily denied boarding on a flight whether they are a paid passenger or flying on an award ticket.  The U.S. DOT rules on overbooking are here.  There are some exceptions to this for smaller planes that sometimes require passengers to deboard for weight and balance or other safety issues.

What could airlines do better to avoid this type of situation happening?

I’ve been in several situations where a flight was oversold and volunteers were asked at the gate if they would be willing to give up their seat in exchange for a voucher to be used on a future flight. Most US airlines will also ask at checkin (either online or at the airport checkin desk or kiosk) when there is potential for an oversell if you are willing to give up your seat in such a situation. This can potentially separate out passengers who really need to get to their destination on time vs those who may be willing to take a later flight in exchange for compensation. But sometimes last minute events like this can really shake things up.

However, it only takes 20-30 minutes to board an ERJ; I would think quicker internal communication from United after they found out that this crew needed to be repositioned could have allowed gate agents to get passengers to give up their seats before the plane was boarded.

Conclusion

There are probably a number of things that could have prevented this situation from blowing up like this. But I also find it hard to believe that on a plane of 70 people, not one was willing to give up their seat for an $800 travel voucher that would come with very few restrictions (with the exception of the value likely expiring in a year). Perhaps most passengers think that there are more catches to using these vouchers than there are and think it would be more of a hassle than it’s worth.

Maybe the DOT should think about revising the rules of what airlines should offer passengers for voluntary bumps and not just involuntary situations.  If passengers were offered a higher voucher amount or a cash payment instead, I’m sure they wouldn’t have had as much trouble finding volunteers to take the offer.

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  • Richard

    Over the years the vouchers have become more and more restrictive. Delta vouchers were bought and sold for near face value at one time. The airlines would be better served with more lucrative offerings such as cash. A prepaid debit card would be ideal. The big box stores pass out the prepaid debit cards for refunds without issue.

  • Gary

    Well-presented post, Kevin. Cheers!

  • Antonella Rojas

    My questions are: the people who don’t show up and left an empty seat already paid for their ticket so the airline doesn’t lose anything , isn’t that the case? Also if they offer $800 vouchers and hotel , isn’t that a loss anyways? Just wondering…

    • If you think in terms of one flight, yes, but the airline only runs into true oversell situations on a small fraction of their flights that they do oversell because their predictions of no shows are accurate for most flights. If they oversell 10 flights for example by one seat, but for 9 of them the expected no shows negate the oversell situation, lets say the one way ticket price is $200; they’d be making $2,000 extra profit to offset the $800 or less they would pay to compensate that one passenger. And the true cost of a voucher is much less than the equivalent in cash (same as a store giving a customer store credit instead of cash as a refund).

      • Nevsky2

        You sound like the tone deaf PR people at United. This should have NEVER happened. I guarantee you if you raise the ante by enough, you will have volunteers in 99.99% of the situations. You do not need government here (aside from breaking up the oligopolies). Government should not have been enforcing corporate greed. Even the police have put the officer on leave. What the passenger did or did not do is irrelevant. It should have NEVER come to that.

        You are correct that perhaps the regs may need revisions, but it should not be so the airlines can push people aside for relatively limited compensation.

        They could have hired Nedjets for four passengers. They might have gotten lots of volunteers.

        The airline should not be able to use government force to save their bottom line. Period.

  • Jamo

    Reading this earlier today, which made the national TV news both side of the pond, I personally don’t care whether United have clauses in their booking to allow them to offload customers if they are overbooked. I had a bad experience with them years ago which stopped me flying with them, and I will certainly not fly with them after seeing this.

    The particulars in this case show that they are firstly disorganized, in not knowing where their staff need to be, also disorganized in being so overbooked that they needed 4 pax to leave the plane (it may be usual for 1 or 2 on very large flights), and clearly don’t give two hoots about their customers nor their reputation. Commercial overbooked passengers would have been on standby but not good enough for their crew. How about paying for them to go down on another airline?

    I really hope legal action is taken in this case as they have failed to perform and added serious insult to injury.

    • cscasi

      Was there another airline with a flight going from there to the required destination that night? Obviously not or United would have booked those denied boarding (after they boarded) on the other flight or would have booked the crew of 4 on that flight.

      • jmmarton

        AA has a daily 6:40pm flight from ORD to SDF. I don’t know if it was full or not at the time this occurred but that would have been another potential option that UA could have looked into rather than simply yank people from the flight.

  • Nevsky2

    You are usually so good in your analysis, but not here. Much of the mainstream media got this right, but you missed the point. This should have NEVER happened. All United had to do was up the ante with cash. Be it $1,000 or $1200 or whatever they would have gotten volunteers. Alternatively, they could have used another plane or even Netjets, or even a car to shuttle their employees to Louisville. They were wrong and deserve a big lawsuit. FYI, I was on their side last week when they denied boarding to non-revs who were not in proper attire. In this case, he was a paying passenger who was already on the plane. This is not denied boarding. This is tyranny. They used our tax money which pays for the police to drag a man off the plane because they were too greedy to pay a few thousand dollars. Totally wrong.

    • Well I did write in my conclusion that maybe the laws need to be revisited to establish guidelines for voluntary bumps as well as involuntary. But regardless of what is offered to passengers for voluntary compensation, there still may be instances where no passenger is willing to accept the offer, so there will always be a need to have rules in place for involuntary denied boarding. As for your alternative transportation suggestion, we don’t really know all the facts. Maybe that wasn’t an option due to sleep requirements for pilots who may have had to work an early flight the next day. Yes the airline made some bad decisions here but the mainstream media is making this man out to be somewhat of a saint and painting the airline as a bunch of savages, but the fact is that this man disobeyed instructions when he was told to exit the plane, and he didn’t, and that’s ultimately what unfortunately resulted in this incident.

      • Meick Meibaum

        […] there still may be instances where no passenger is willing to accept the offer […] i don’t think so. If its not a flight to the last paradise while doomsday, always someone will accept if you raise the offer.

      • Nevsky2

        You sound like the tone deaf PR people at United. This should have NEVER happened. I guarantee you if you raise the ante by enough, you will have volunteers in 99.99% of the situations. You do not need government here (aside from breaking up the oligopolies). Government should not have been enforcing corporate greed. Even the police have put the officer on leave. What the passenger did or did not do is irrelevant. It should have NEVER come to that.

        You are correct that perhaps the regs may need revisions, but it should not be so the airlines can push people aside for relatively limited compensation.

        They could have hired Netjets for four passengers. They might have gotten lots of volunteers.

        The airline should not be able to use government force to save their bottom line. Period.

        • Dave Huntley

          What the passenger did is also very relevant.

          • Emmanuel Kalispera

            Not in this case.

          • superduper

            it was his seat. they want to take it away.

            so i like your car.. i offer you $400 for it… you dont want to deal?!
            f u! let me beat you up!! gonna steal your car now!!

            it is the same thing here.

            thats not the way united….

          • LlamaOfDoom

            Not if United wants radio silence. They just got the leggings issue to quiet down, Delta was in the spotlight for delays, delays, and more delays and with one incident United swings the spotlight back on itself in an even more negative light (and I’m sure the people at Delta are very happy attention is no longer on them).

      • LlamaOfDoom

        Yeah, gotta agree with the others in that if you raised the ante high enough, *someone* would have accepted. I mean, they stopped at $800, didn’t even break the 4-digits. And if it costs them more than they would’ve liked, well, it was the airline’s fault the offloading was necessary to begin with, laying blame on the passenger is wholly inappropriate.

        • Dave Huntley

          I think i read on cbc part of the problem was they were presented with 4 crew that had to meet a plane elsewhere at the last minute, so people were boarding when they found out. This happens before they allow boarding usually, however there wasnt time to go through multiple price hikes as the plane was already boarding. The passenger who refused to get off failed to follow law, which is following instruction of aircrew and police, ran back on the plane like a moron, so he went back for more… This guy is a doctor? Which is only a rumour, wouldn’t want him touching me. If he had walked off when told he wouldnt have had as much drama, so who’s fault was it?but yep, they should have done it before boarding as they usually do, I don’t blame united much, the cops were faced with an unruly guy, he got what he asked for.

        • Emmanuel Kalispera

          Yet, compensation was not in cash, but in vouchers. Not really money.

        • I recently see a friend of mine getting $1200 vouchers from Delta TWICE. The gate agents were happy to see him (very frequent traveler) and knew that he could be persuaded with $$$$ vouchers.

      • Malcolm

        Kevin, if the passenger had done something wrong and endangered the flight, then ok get him off. But this was being done solely to accommodate a spare crew, which the airline should have considered before the boarding began. United could have made alternative arrangements to get the crew to Kentucky. They will not be the first choice airline for a lot more folk as a result of their behavour.

        • Dave Huntley

          SOcial media activits are enraged about something else minutes later. This one will be forgotten in days.

          United is huge, looks like more incidents, but all airlines get these. It’s a new era of flying, it’s just an airborne bus. Why anyone thinks it’s somehow different getting dragged off a plane compared to a bus escapes me.

          • LlamaOfDoom

            “This one will be forgotten in days.”

            Only if the passenger chooses not to sue. If lawyers get involved, it’ll remain in the public consciousness for a lot longer than “days”.

          • Malcolm

            Agreed, that this will blow over. Any discussion regarding bumping passengers must occur before boarding. Manhandling a passenger who has not done anything to disrupt the flight is not acceptable – the video has been seen around the world much to the discredit of Utd and the police tactics. Why did Utd not offer the full $1350 , I am sure that someone would delay for a day for that amount? Or “re-accommodate” as Munoz calls it!

    • Attention All Passengers

      “Alternatively, they could have used another plane or even Netjets, or even a car to shuttle their employees to Louisville”
      I’m not defending the brute tactics used to get this gentleman off the plane, certainly horrendous but where would you think REPUBLIC AIRLINES would be getting an alternate airplane from, curbside ?….or a car shuttle ?…..300 miles to Louisville overnight ?

      • Nevsky2

        There are so many options they could have used. If they cannot figure them out, they might not be competent enough to handle passenger safety. The distance is so short: Netjets works great. Hertz, Avis even a taxi. I bet if they offered someone $800 and a taxi ride, they would have had a lot of volunteers. Anyway, just up the ante and volunteers would be there.

        • Dave Huntley

          So what do you do with an a-hole passenger? Doesn’t have to be even this one, they have to follow instruction on board, so do u let the police deal with them or not? usually i may add , passenger is chosen for eviction on overbooking because they have the lowest fare tickets. The real problem was allowing them to board before doing it, which is all united;s problem, but they guy refused to get off despite being spoken to many times, held on to his seat had to be prised out of it. Should he be allowed to stay? The claim he had to be at work is bogus, given it cannot be confirmed and given how travel is nowadays always a risk u wont make it. United didnt remove him, the cops did. The fact he tried to resist is all his fault alone.

          • Nevsky2

            It should not have been a passenger issue at all. It is a management issue and issue of management competence. They should have increased the ante to get enough passengers. Very simple. If airline personnel were not authorized to increase the ante it is a failure of management. If it is a failure of management it is a safety issue because management may not be competent enough to run a safe airline.The police officer has already been put on leave.

          • Actually Dave there is a list of criteria that United uses when choosing the pax to offload. Fare could be one criteria as well as who was the last to check in or perhaps who doesn’t have confirmed seat.

          • superduper

            united said it was “random”.

            so many ways to have a happy customer get off a plane.. business class on next flight? mile high club in the next flight? come on united…

            tsk tsk united.

          • Akne

            So In USA nobody will respect a 69 year Old Man ? No Moral In UNITED ?

          • Max Mustermann

            What’s moral in UA? Money first, then money, and then oh wait. It’s just money.

          • Jimbob

            He was only 69, not 99. He should obey authority and talk/work it out later. Something else going on here. Chicago Cops beat the guy up—–this was NOT United’s desire. So some of you need think a bit.

        • Attention All Passengers

          Thanks, you are right……offering another form of transportation to another passenger may have worked – even a long car ride. I know I would take them up on it. Certainly not everyone on that plane “HAD TO” get back that evening or start the next day very early.

    • Emmanuel Kalispera

      You are absolutely right. I don’t see why they don’t just raised the bid to 2000 USD or whatever. In cash! It would have solved all this mess.

      • colin

        because the DOT fixed IDB they need pay is less !

        More to point is why start low $400 if asking at gate, should have been straight in at $800 and the reported top offer of $1000
        (and no doubt voucher not cash so useless if not a regular USA based flier)

        • Emmanuel Kalispera

          This is rule number #2. The rule number #1 is: a) never hit your client’s head agains armrests; b) never drag him unconscious off the plane.

          • Max Mustermann

            That’s the rule in other part of the world. In Murica, the rule is: shoot a gun at each other.

    • That was the point that Kevin was actually making on the conclusion part. Just keep raising the voucher or cash value and eventually there is someone to take the airline on the offer.

      Especially in case of vouchers they really don’t cost airline a lot.

      • superduper

        yes,, gimme 2k and a hotel stay… i will volunteer!

        just up it.

        imagine the passenger suing the airlines for damages.. versus 2k plus hotel?

        LOL UNITED

  • KatKnapper

    This is simply the most outrageous incident I’ve ever heard of. Using the power of the police to settle a business dispute. This is so immoral on so many levels, I think the entire management of United should be fired. The people that made the request to the police should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I was thinking of trying the new Polaris product, but now I will never fly this poor excuse for an airline again and will forbid any of my employees for flying it for business as well.

    • Dave Huntley

      They have to use the airport authority police to deal with stuff like this, it’s the law. The crew cannot get him out, he was asked nicely, refused, he resisted being coaxed. He is as much to blame as united is for letting him board. Then he ran on baord after and held on to a bulkhead, what intelligent person does that?

      • KatKnapper

        Hmmmm, by my calculations because of all the delays, the crew would have been at their destination earlier had they driven there. So every blogger spouting the fact of “crew rest need” appears to be fallacious. To save three hundred dollars this incident will end up costing them millions. At this point, anything he says needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The CEO needs to go.

  • Paul Valenti

    Ummm….Kevin…..you might want to re-read the story……the flight wasn’t overbooked, it’s just that ALL OF THE SEATS WERE FILLED WITH PAYING CUSTOMERS!! And since you can’t have your employees standing in the back of the plane, they wanted to toss 4 of them so that their people could be on that flight!

    • Sometimes crew needs to travel on positive space at the very last minute to operate other flights. When this happens, the flight becomes overbooked and volunteers required. Obviously, in this instance, the process didn’t work out as intended.

  • Barbarella

    “they announced they would randomly select passengers to deboard”
    I bag your pardon? Randomly selected? Please don’t force me to look for some historical analogies.

    The video is SHOCKING. Period. It speaks for itself. Correction: for United. Shame. I truly hope UA will be sued

  • Malcolm

    The offer could have gone to $1350 without getting senior management approval. They could have offered a flight on another airline or many other options. United really shot themselves in the foot and deserve all the bad publicity and law suits they will get. What is really required is a passengers bill of rights similar to EU 261/2004 which mandates what the penalty will be when passengers are inconvenienced. If three accepted $800 to get off I am sure another would have volunteered at $1350.

    • Neal

      An EU 261/2004 like policy is not going happen in the Trump era.

    • cscasi

      Was there a flight that evening on another airline? Do you know or are you just sounding off?

  • Razz

    A few observations: United could have upped the fee to $1,350 and I think that might have caught more than a few passengers attention; I am curious as to what the senior gate agent told the Chicago Aviation Police officers that one of them (now on forced admin leave) would drag a physician off the plane, even after he stated that he had to get back to see patients in the morning (can anyone else place themselves in the situation that they could have been one of his patients?) and why would a cop drag someone off the plane like that? I am a United Gold via Marriott who flies out of ORD, and United does have non-stops to second tier cities that neither AA nor Delta services, e.g., Roanoke, Charleston and Savannah as a few examples. That said, I am weighing the options of flying AA non-stop into the next major city and driving if it is within two hours or so. This is a clear example of what NOT to do by both the senior United staff at the gate and the Chicago Police.

  • jmmarton

    One time I was trying to fly home to ORD from DEN on UA. There were mechanical issues they kept trying to resolve and weren’t having any luck. They then made an announcement at around midnight they were trying one more thing, and if that didn’t work they were going to fly another plane in from ORD (which of course would take a few hours to arrive) to pick us all up and take us to ORD. If mainline UA can do this, I’m sure Republic Airways (flying under the UA banner) can find a way to provide an aircraft to get the crew to SDF, especially given just how large of a hub ORD is for UA in general.

    Also, I believe the US rules state that airlines can offer up to $1365 in compensation. If this was such an important need to get the crew to SDF, when no one took $800 (which I agree seems hard to believe), why not go with the max compensation before instead going with the nuclear option? If Oscar Munoz is so worried about turning UA around, considering UA is typically ranked last in customer satisfaction year after year, then he should be worried about making sure the airline doesn’t suffer any PR nightmares such as this situation.

    • The US DOT rules say that in the case of passengers involuntarily denied boarding (IDB) – and in this particular case getting to their final destination more than 2 hours late – can receive compensation (in cash or check if they so choose) of “400% of the cost of their one way ticket UP TO $1350”. The $1350 is not an automatic amount. What is more likely in this case is that they went through the list of potential passengers to offload, took out the passengers with elite status, then started with those who paid the lowest fare class. Maybe the maximum one way fare at the lowest fare class was $150; this would mean the most they’d legally have to pay in an IDB situation under US law is $600. An article I read the other day said that United’s computer systems dictate the maximum amount gate agents can offer for voluntary denied boarding (which is NOT covered under US law), so the assumption is the $800 voucher was the maximum the computer would allow before the system started selecting passengers for IDB (which IS covered under US law).

  • colin

    If you are either a foreigner based outside of USA, or a once a year or less flier, then you are of course going to refuse a voucher as compensation. as you will never get a chance to use voucher before it expires.

    USA DOT needs to rule that cash (or cash equivalent) must be give to volunteers.

    I am also disgusted that UA tried to penny-pinch from get go, passengers already boarding or seated and UA make lowball measly usd400 offer. Due to late nature of need, UA should have pitched at usd800 at the start or een the max allowed 1350

    Once passengers are boarded they are going to be 100% reluctant to volunteer, UA should offered the 1350usd maximum allowed BUT O. M and management have givebn dtaff procedure to start low and increase offer in stages. That won’t work when late need arises for multile olunteers.

    Regards passenger chosen,,, i doubt UA (or any other airline) can input nn passengers to be chosen at random. I strongly suspect first criteria is i)no hold baggage ii)followed by either price / ticket seqno ie checkin sequence….. So always checkin online as asap just in case!

  • Bobby

    I don’t really understand the ‘rule of law’ argument some here have proposed. Can you really have no empathy here? Yes rules are rules, but in certain circumstances laws can be unjust. Imagine telling Rosa Parks to stop complaining when asked to sit on the back of the bus, saying the bus driver was just doing his job and applauding the arresting officer – all in the misguided belief that rules are rules.

  • colin

    Just read the internal Oscar Munoz letter to all employees …. supporting emplyees, unsympathetic to beat up passenger

    Have a read of UK dailymail article (saves pasting letter here) url below

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4400076/United-Airlines-CEO-pens-email-defending-staff.html

  • Bwitravelerman

    This was not an overbooked flight. They bumped passengers with a contract to fly to move staff to another location.

  • Malcolm

    Mr. Munoz, CEO at United, talks about “re-accommodating” passengers and
    “reaching out”. He must have been reading a statement prepared by a PR person. It is absolutely devoid of any sincerity, like this was a minor delay caused by a junior employee and lets not get too worked up about it. It seems to me that the problem at United is the boss himself, after all he sets the tone of the organisation.

  • Hola

    It is said the $400 voucher is $50 each, and only one can be redeemed for one ticket, expired in one year. Is it not enough to be humiliated once, but 8 more ? Does UA dare to open the algorithm how they ‘randomly’ pick up the passengers? Plus, is this really ‘overbooking’? Like one of the comments, this is tyranny. Remember in the history, a tyranny never has happy ending.

  • Joe

    No matter what this does not end well for the airline. SNAFU. This was at their Hub? So no excuses about how things happened.

    Why would they “draw straws” for who gets bumped? Shouldn’t they do it by ticket type/check-in time like they would at the counter? Maybe they just said it was random to the customers. Or is the system not available to help them once the plane is boarded?

    They are required to pay $s for forced bumps, right? Why not raise the voucher $s? I bet it is because a high enough voucher will get redeemed (essentially a free flight). A $200 voucher has a good chance of expiring.

    Imagine being the employee that took the seat. Not a fun ride.

  • Mardson McQuay

    If someone were to show me this video without any information about the airline responsible for these unnecessary atrocities against a passenger and asked me to guess which airline was doing such a thing I would have guessed United. I just hope this passenger will find himself a very good lawyer to represent him.

  • Steph

    F United F the cops that dragged him
    Seems more like miss management of employee transportation than over booking. There was enough room for passengers but not enough room for last minute employee s. This is an outrage

  • Steph

    All those outraged witnesses….. Could have gotten up to take the man’s place ??

    • Jan vanH

      I agree…..although I deplore what happened, the fact that the masses on board allowed another human being to be treated like that is outrageous…the guy in the seat in front did nothing but had a lot to say on camera AFTER. Just goes to show you how inhumane treatment goes on around the world……sheep mentality and complacency. Shame on the other passengers for not standing up for deplorable treatment. I have been on these flights and given how mismanaged airlines are…..late, no crew, no plane, no gate and the delays, let’s be honest, most of us would not have wanted to give up our seat!!

      • So are you saying they should have attacked the police officers that were taking this man off the plane? Yes the police officers used unnecessary force to take this man off the flight, and they should be held accountable and the airport police department should be sued for his injuries, but laws still need to be followed. Whatever selection criteria was used to select this man to be denied boarding has nothing to do with the fact that he disobeyed crew members and further disobeyed law enforcement when he was told to leave.

        • Steph

          Did not say that. But perhaps speak up saying “I’ll go” rather than watch and then later say how outraged you are.

          After more time and info I’m suspicious that this man may have known exactly what he was doing and is gonna get rich.

  • Max Mustermann

    Strange. Why don’t they just shoot him? At least that will save time and simplify the process. This is ‘Murica, no gun no fun.

  • Offer cash. Most of the mainstream outlets either got this wrong (saying that cash was offered) or they just gave an amount without saying it was vouchers. So if people are uneasy about vouchers, offer cash. At $1000 in American greenbacks and they would have had a flood of volunteers.

    Voucher? If I don’t have another trip planned what the heck would I do what that? Can I sell it? Does it have any cash value? If I am flying on business, do my agency rules require me to surrender that voucher to the company? I’m sure some of you know but I — and most people — have no idea what the answers are to these questions and there would not be time to Google them when being asked for volunteers. You can’t blame public ignorance of things like this that most of us will never need to know for this incident.

    For an airline reputation = business so doing anything that damages that reputation is a guaranteed financial disaster.