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Thread: The United debarcle

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    Default The United debarcle

    Will AvHerald list this as an Accident or Incident because a passenger was injured?

    I label it a Bloody Disgrace

    VAZ

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    Typically, he would list it as an "Unruly Passenger" incident, but maybe not if it occurred on the ground and did not cause a diversion.

    Still, there's a lot of hush money going around right now. Facebook is currently experiencing posting problems and many users can't post at all. Coincidence? Or damage control?

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    'unruly passenger'? Why this guy's seat? Was he in the extra legroom bit? Why not an announcement 'we need one of youse all to step off the plane to allow a pilot/hostie/CFO to get to where they need to be, are there any takers?

    Just my 2c

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    1. Some expert legal analysis here (starting on Page 2): https://forums.jetphotos.com/showthr...-Airline/page3

    2. Brian- would you/can you rename the FAO: Tee Vee thread to something like "Aviation Customer Relations Culture." (or something that makes sense)?

    3. After further thought, this really gets into what I'll call subtleties of culture.

    United may claim that the gate agent made a minor error in a good-faith effort to not strand 50 people the next AM...the needs of the 50 outweigh the needs of the one...AND United certainly didn't send a memo to call security and tell them to beat up passengers when they refuse to deplane...

    Still, and I really believe this- there is a subtle, hidden, systematic, expeletive-the-passengers set of policies and attitudes. We will over book, we don't care if a stormy day causes a cascade-meltdown, we don't care if you miss your connection, we have no obligation to go get your $25.00 suitcase when we do cancel. This stuff all kind of stinks...and causes a real, and significant number of screw overs, resulting in a real and significant number of butt-chewings to airline employees.

    Those butt chewings are demoralizing...it's no fun itself, but also, I don't think the people getting chewed out are stupid...perhaps they (once) sympathized with the passenger....they face the reality..."our job is to screw over passengers" and it's better to be a preemptive ass than have to put up with it...it's the company policy, I want my paycheck, I'll be complicit in the systematic screw over.

    Take that and add-in that at the far end of the normal curve are people who truly have issues, and the fact that we have less layers of swiss cheese in the happiness dept (vs the don't-crash dept.) and we have this.

    And again- the one thing that bothers me...the world is "Pile on United" United this, United that, United United United...

    In reality it's "General Airline Business Practices" that failed...it just happened to happen at United this time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Still, and I really believe this- there is a subtle, hidden, systematic, expeletive-the-passengers set of policies and attitudes.
    Yes. And you really believe this because it is not at all subtle or hidden anymore. It's called 'corporate anarchy' and it is the way many big investor-driven, market-cap-above-all-else corporations are run—or not run rather—these days. Airlines... Finance... Telecoms... Heathcare...

    It's a simple idea. You hurtle recklessly toward a profit margin without concerning yourself about the people on the ground. You build anarchist systems like lego from third parties, hoping it holds together long enough for you to get rich and cash out. You don't think about things like workforce efficiency, sustainability or long term customer relations. That was your father's mistake. Just barrel ahead with hyper-branded nonsense that keeps telling everyone that [insert company here] loves it's customers and everything just keeps getting better.

    Until it runs off the rails and you take your stash and make your exit to a tax-sheltered Caribbean hideaway. Then you've won the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ...Just barrel ahead with hyper-branded nonsense...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Yes. And you really believe this because it is not at all subtle or hidden anymore. It's called 'corporate anarchy' and it is the way many big investor-driven, market-cap-above-all-else corporations are run—or not run rather—these days. Airlines... Finance... Telecoms... Heathcare...

    It's a simple idea. You hurtle recklessly toward a profit margin without concerning yourself about the people on the ground. You build anarchist systems like lego from third parties, hoping it holds together long enough for you to get rich and cash out. You don't think about things like workforce efficiency, sustainability or long term customer relations. That was your father's mistake. Just barrel ahead with hyper-branded nonsense that keeps telling everyone that [insert company here] loves it's customers and everything just keeps getting better.

    Until it runs off the rails and you take your stash and make your exit to a tax-sheltered Caribbean hideaway. Then you've won the game.
    AGREED.

    now....just waiting for some apologist to come along with the BS line of, "well, they're in business to make MONEY"

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    Quote Originally Posted by vaztr View Post
    Will AvHerald list this as an Accident or Incident because a passenger was injured?

    I label it a Bloody Disgrace

    VAZ
    I'm happy that something like that has never happened to me, not until now and not on this very shabby Thursday (spring? no. cold, ugly, windy, rainy, rather a typical German Christmas Eve).

    Is this a problem of too small a/c? UA flight 3411 from O'Hare to Louisville Kentucky. I have found this flight. And it has never been an UA flight which is operated with UA a/c.

    United Express is the label. And, as far as I have found that flight number, it is

    an Embraer 170. Which indeed is not cleared for more than 80 passengers, afaik.

    UA only flies the 747-400, with 374 seats the biggest bird in the fleet, until the end of this year. And then? I don't think that this incident will become an everyday happening.
    But I remember my last JP forum entry concerning United Airlines. From California to Hong Kong in a UA-B744 (Battleship Grey).

    Downsizing is a modern phenomenon. But I can't think of a transpacific route in an Embraer 170.

    United Airlines is an icon, MUCH older than my favourite airline. I hope that UA does not suffer because they no longer trust real wide-bodies like B744 or B748i !
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    Quote Originally Posted by LH-B744 View Post
    I'm happy that something like that has never happened to me, not until now and not on this very shabby Thursday (spring? no. cold, ugly, windy, rainy, rather a typical German Christmas Eve).

    Is this a problem of too small a/c? UA flight 3411 from O'Hare to Louisville Kentucky. I have found this flight. And it has never been an UA flight which is operated with UA a/c.

    United Express is the label. And, as far as I have found that flight number, it is

    an Embraer 170. Which indeed is not cleared for more than 80 passengers, afaik.

    UA only flies the 747-400, with 374 seats the biggest bird in the fleet, until the end of this year. And then? I don't think that this incident will become an everyday happening.
    But I remember my last JP forum entry concerning United Airlines. From California to Hong Kong in a UA-B744 (Battleship Grey).

    Downsizing is a modern phenomenon. But I can't think of a transpacific route in an Embraer 170.

    United Airlines is an icon, MUCH older than my favourite airline. I hope that UA does not suffer because they no longer trust real wide-bodies like B744 or B748i !
    I really don't think this has anything to do with 747s (or lack thereof).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    I really don't think this has anything to do with 747s (or lack thereof).
    Hi ATL.

    But you also think that this topic was opened due to a lack of seats? I do! Yes, I'm the wrong person to say something about how many seats are needed in one aircraft, between O'Hare and Louisville Kentucky.

    But since I am here, I've always been an opponent of too small aircraft! Keyword? Chapecoense!

    On occasion, we can discuss why only LH and KE (Korean Air) are on the list of Boeing 747-800i supporters.

    Or, in other words, why DL, AA and UA are not on that list!

    PS: 245 nautical miles, that's a distance where in Germany at least Airbus A320, or if that's not enough, A321 are flown. LH owns 63 of the bigger A321 ships: 45 meters long, with 200 seats.
    In this case, I speak for my home airport and my favourite airline. Frequency? More than 5 times daily!

    Hm. UA does not own one A321. But what do they do if an A320 is too small?
    Last edited by LH-B744; 04-13-2017 at 12:15 AM. Reason: 245 nautical miles.
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    Great article in the NY Times today:

    Everything about United Flight 3411 — overselling, underpaying for seats when they are oversold, a cultish refusal to offer immediate contrition, an overall attitude that brutish capitalism is the best that nonelite customers can expect from this fallen world — is baked into the airline industry’s business model.

    It's a race to the bottom folks.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/t...xperience.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Great article in the NY Times today:

    Everything about United Flight 3411 — overselling, underpaying for seats when they are oversold, a cultish refusal to offer immediate contrition, an overall attitude that brutish capitalism is the best that nonelite customers can expect from this fallen world — is baked into the airline industry’s business model.

    It's a race to the bottom folks.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/t...xperience.html
    Disagree- the article places lots of blame on technology.

    It's something else- it's corporate attitude. It's people.

    You earlier cited "Wall Street Greed"- short term profit at all costs. Squeeze every last area for maximum profit.

    Sure- optimize aircraft and crew use, optimize scheduling, etc. Technology has helped with that, but it's a human deciding that we should bump seated, non-overbooked passengers out of their reserved? seats...and a human that trained the gate agent to use the systems non-random pick of the least valuable customer to kick off.

    But when you cross the line into a P/L statement where truly, systematically and predictably expeletiving a small percentage of your customers for increased profits.

    It's MBA's and six sigma projects to squeeze squeeze squeeze.

    And, (racism time) how many employees are 'recent immigrants from tougher cultures'. To hell with American politeness, the boss says board the plane in 12.23 min, and in my country you push and shove your way on the train...get the hell off, we need this seat for our pilot for tomorrow.

    Common sense and old-fashioned customer service is bulldozed.

    They have forgotten that we do give them money to from A to B...and again, the employees KNOW they are screwing the passengers...why should I go the extra yard to help my customer when my management doesn't go the extra yard to help me help the customer.

    But, there is no competition. DFW used to be a hub for AA AND Delta...but now Delta owns ATL. It is interesting that this incident happened at ORD...there are some choices there.

    However, I did like the article as it did not single out UA.
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    What to do about this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan's article
    ...One of them is obvious and sensible: customer reviews...
    Unfortunately I tend to disagree too. If there really is an honest storm and a flight is delayed...here goes all sorts of negative reviews. A bumpy day, and the airline is blamed for turbulence. Too many whacko negative nutjobs in the world that are spiteful and gripe about everything.

    And...I'll restate...Delta had 5 days of cancellations after a fairly typical stormy day...the aircraft and crews are spread THAT thin...a systematic problem.
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    Disagree- the article places lots of blame on technology.

    It's something else- it's corporate attitude. It's people.
    Agree. Was the NYT article about Republic Air flight 3411? I haven't yet read that article. But if we talk about 3411, that has nothin to do with technology. One or two minutes before, I found out what this symbol in the en wiki entry means. This article is semi-protected, due to vandalism.
    That's not a bad idea, because until today I've learned more from that article than I miss in that article. I have nothin to add.

    a/c: Embraer 170, with not 80 seats, I don't know where I've read that. A Republic Air Embraer 170 has 70 passenger seats.

    Four in a row and 17 rows plus two? That indeed is tiny, for a commercially flown jet.

    Minus 2 pilots and minus crew? So that's not a mini jet, it is a tiny jet, one of the smallest jets that I know, in terms of commercial aviation. Why minus pilots and minus crew.

    This topic was opened because four Republic air crew members on a late Sunday afternoon had to be transported out of Chicago. So, let's assume that 2 United Airlines pilots arrived at O'Hare with delay. Delay happens in the best families, nothin against that. And these two pilots simply had to go home, to fulfil their break, which is a duty.
    So, that can be the excuse, it couldn't be planned (?!).

    I clearly like to reserve at least 2 seats for pilots in the cabin who like to go home.

    But we learned, that all in all 4 seats were required. So only two more seats? That's a fairly small crew, but ok. I'd say that at least 10 seats should stay free also after t/o, dependent from the size of the aircraft..

    And then I've read that 3411 was the last United Express flight or at least the last Republic Air flight to Louisville on that Sunday?

    In this case, I'd say it is even forbidden to sell all 70 seats in such a tiny jet. No extra 'crew only' seats in that jet? That means, not even space for crew members who work on that flight?
    Well, i.e. 70 seats are pure theory. Minus space for the crew that works on that flight. Minus 2 pilots minus crew. I would never sell more than 60 seats in such a tiny jet.

    But what if there really stand 74 humans in front of a jet with definitely not more than 70 seats in the cabin? Flight # 3411 was scheduled for.. 0519 pm local at O'Hare?
    Apart from the fact that imho something like that must not happen, I have two ideas:
    a) a helicopter or even a small private propeller like a Baron 58 for these four crew members and for the airline theoretically is cheaper than the result of the lawsuit that now has been filed against Republic Air.
    or
    b) It was the last flight on that day, but it was only afternoon. So, is it a bad idea that these 4 crew members use a company car for these 245 nautical miles?

    I'd think that the costs for the lawsuit and the delay that flight # 3411 gathered in the end (more than 2 hours) could have been avoided!
    Last edited by LH-B744; 04-14-2017 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Four in a row
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    "In einem Taxi nach Paris.. " in English 'in a yellow cab to Paris' ... For Seahawk and for me, 274 nautical miles on streets, for 2, or up to 4 persons in a cab?

    5=15, x 100.

    1500 Euros. 750,- per person.

    Even a cab seems to be cheaper than that lawsuit!

    And really nobody at Republic Air tried to make up such a calculation for these 4 crew members? 1500,- divided by 4.

    If I owned a Baron 58, based on Chicago Midway, I'd offered them a fare of 300 Euros, per man.
    Lawsuits are more expensive!
    And seats for 4 are guaranteed, on a nice Sunday afternoon also spontaneously, if you'd ask me.

    PS: Plus a Baron 58 is faster than an Embraer which takes off with more than 2 hours delay... I'd guess that I don't need more than 1 hour 59 minutes from Midway to Louisville, in a Baron 58!

    Chapecoense. We don't have to understand everything that goes on in aviation.
    Last edited by LH-B744; 04-15-2017 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Hm. Speechless. Which is not often the case.
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    have to agree with 3WE. sure, if you really get to the bottom of it all, you could, theoretically, blame consumers for wanting the cheapest fare. who doesn't? funny thing is, it seems that only airlines use this excuse to charge more and give less--more fees for everything--even if the ticket itself is cheap.

    many journalists and parlor talking forum pundits, claim that airlines have responded to the demand for cheap and customers could care less about becoming sardines and paying for toilet use. as a person that flies about 75 segments per year, i disagree. sure, i mostly fly in biz or first but the difference is palpable. boarding takes longer cuz everyone has a huge carry-on plus personal item to avoid the bag fee.

    i dare any airline to offer a better experience for a slightly more expensive ticket. i suspect that in the end, their profits would remain the same.

    p.s. the answer to the entire problem is this: i dn't care which airline we are talking about, the passenger is ALWAYS the last to be considered in ANY decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
    p.s. the answer to the entire problem is this: i dn't care which airline we are talking about, the passenger is ALWAYS the last to be considered in ANY decision.
    p.s. the answer to the entire problem is this:

    Regulate the airlines so that they MUST include in their price:

    - A carry-on bag + personal item
    - one checked bag (50lbs/23kg) on short haul domestic and two on long haul international flights.
    - a basic-level seat reservation (aisle and window seats included)
    - basic refreshments
    - basic snacks or meals depending on the flight duration
    - basic IFE where available
    - pillows and blankets
    - a minimum seat pitch (perhaps 30")
    - rebooking for a fair, regulated fee
    - cancellation up to a fair, regulated time before the flight

    BOOM, you're back to the 90's, when prices were maybe a BIT higher, airlines were profitable enough and everyone was happier.

    The internet pricing sites have created a race to the bottom and it will just keep getting worse until it is prohibited by regulation that forces ALL airlines to include basic dignity in their price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    p.s. the answer to the entire problem is this:

    Regulate the airlines so that they MUST include in their price:

    - A carry-on bag + personal item
    - one checked bag (50lbs/23kg) on short haul domestic and two on long haul international flights.
    - a basic-level seat reservation (aisle and window seats included)
    - basic refreshments
    - basic snacks or meals depending on the flight duration
    - basic IFE where available
    - pillows and blankets
    - a minimum seat pitch (perhaps 30")
    - rebooking for a fair, regulated fee
    - cancellation up to a fair, regulated time before the flight

    BOOM, you're back to the 90's, when prices were maybe a BIT higher, airlines were profitable enough and everyone was happier.

    The internet pricing sites have created a race to the bottom and it will just keep getting worse until it is prohibited by regulation that forces ALL airlines to include basic dignity in their price.
    I think you're looking at the kind of regulation. Relaxed anti-trust laws in the past several decades have resulted in oligopolies in many industries which have enriched shareholders at the expense of innovation and customer service.

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    I remember being lectured on the Contract of Carriage at Flyer Talk. A sheaf of boilerplate that basically is a legal department contradiction of everything the PR department puts out. The number of flyers who actually have expertise in the Contract of Carriage is infinitessimal. Really the same as all lengthy legal documents we all sign for any business we do. Whatever "rights" we have are a result of concessions in that document. And I'm guessing the rights are minimal. But recent flying history has turned most of us into bleating sheep. If they can paw us at security clearance, that can't escape the notice of airline legal departments (let along security goons) and so they certainly see no reason to be lenient in contracts of carriage. Will this make anyone, anyone, fly less? Seriously doubt it. But for the minority, people like me, it takes a pretty negative experience and adds a layer of further humiliation. More reason to seriously consider (a) travel and (b) modes of travel.

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan
    - A carry-on bag + personal item
    - one checked bag (50lbs/23kg) on short haul domestic and two on long haul international flights.
    - a basic-level seat reservation (aisle and window seats included)
    - basic refreshments
    - basic snacks or meals depending on the flight duration
    - basic IFE where available
    - pillows and blankets
    - a minimum seat pitch (perhaps 30")
    - rebooking for a fair, regulated fee
    - cancellation up to a fair, regulated time before the flight.
    To hell with most of that.

    I haven't missed pillows and often do without IFE.

    (Concur on seat pitch and booking fees).

    It's the double standards.

    If your plans change, you pay...significantly.

    Vs

    The airline changes plans wantonly and routinely and usually owes passengers nothing.

    No one has acknowledged my Delta stormy day comment...ironically, it's the exact issue behind this incident...too little resiliency in crew schedules. The agents thought they would strand 50 people if they didn't kick this guy off. ( It was just sloppy workmanship that the other three flights weren't considered.

    It's interesting to view the COC as CYA for instances where the airline made a good faith effort, but truly unforeseen circumstances derailed that.

    However; today we see systematic screwing of passengers with the COC enabling downright robbery.
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