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Digital

Corporate practice of overbooking

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So, recently some of you may have seen the video of a passenger on the flight being removed by force (knocked out cold and dragged off the flight) because he was told the flight was overbooked. He was a paying customer, and had a ticket for the flight, and the airline (United) would have only offered him $800 in return for his hassle of being removed.

Do you agree that him being removed was right or wrong? Do you agree with this practice, or the use of force to remove a customer (that doesn't appear to have been abusive in any form outside of refusing to leave) using public officers is right or wrong?

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I feel bad that the guy got hurt but I don't think that makes the practice of overbooking wrong. Airlines aren't the only ones who practice overbooking (I know colleges and universities will overbook counting on some accepted students saying no) and most of the time it's a non-issue. For the sake of private industry freedom I don't think there should be a level of action needed to be taken by a customer to warrant removing them from private property. To reword, private entities should have the freedom to do or not do business with whom they choose. 

The fact that this happened has hurt them and their image and may prompt them or other airlines to lose the practice but use that as a marketing tool. If the public is outraged enough, the practice will end or at least be heavily curbed. 

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2 hours ago, Syntax said:

To reword, private entities should have the freedom to do or not do business with whom they choose. 

Does that allow the use of force? If the company wishes to do overbooking (much like a university), they should make sure to have realistic (and be prepared) for cases where actions like this don't occur. In the case of the university example, the university is taking in to account that the students saying no aren't going to be staying in dorms or even paying for them to begin with.

2 hours ago, Shex said:

But also they had to remove passengers, it's normal procedure, overbooking is a common practice. It might have been better to just offer more money to actually find volunteers though :/ 

I would agree that they need better ways to handle this, such as proper procedures outside of going onto a plane and removing people. If you have overbooked a plane, perhaps first-board-first-stay, then you don't have to remove passengers who are already boarded, or even if you have to remove someone offer a full refund, not a token amount not equal to the ticket you paid for.

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4 hours ago, Digital said:

because he was told the flight was overbooked

It actually wasn't overbooked. It was just full. They had four staff on standby (who, from what I heard, missed their own flights), but since it was fully booked, they tried to get people off the plane for their employees.

Definitely loads of other ways to have approached this problem before it got so out of hand.

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29 minutes ago, kami said:

It actually wasn't overbooked. It was just full. They had four staff on standby (who, from what I heard, missed their own flights), but since it was fully booked, they tried to get people off the plane for their employees.

Definitely loads of other ways to have approached this problem before it got so out of hand.

That's almost worse! Here, you have to get off so we can give your seat you paid for to one of our staff. Oh, and we only offer a small amount in regards to your trouble for this, or make you potientially hours to a day for another flight to your destination. Oh, don't want to go, here these guys will help you off...

Eeek :( 

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14 hours ago, Digital said:

Does that allow the use of force? If the company wishes to do overbooking (much like a university), they should make sure to have realistic (and be prepared) for cases where actions like this don't occur. In the case of the university example, the university is taking in to account that the students saying no aren't going to be staying in dorms or even paying for them to begin with.

The only reason they used force is because he refused to get off the plane. It doesn't matter what reason they have for asking you to leave the plane when you are asked to leave you need to comply. The only reason it's a big deal is because he got hurt in his refusal to leave and someone filmed it. Like I said, I feel bad that the guy got hurt but to some extent it was a result of his own actions. 

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As a follow up, United has changed their policies, no longer voluntarily removing passengers from a flight, and no longer removing passengers to replace them with employees. The passenger that was dragged off the plane is suing for damages to his person, which include but are not limited to two missing teeth, a broken nose, among other physical damages. The two officers involved were put on permanent leave pending the airports (since security is provided by Chicago's airport), since it was made clear that they were not following protocol.

In unrelated news, on another United flight, a poor passenger opened their overhead compartment to have a scorpion drop out and sting them. It has not been a good month for United.

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12 minutes ago, Digital said:

As a follow up, United has changed their policies, no longer voluntarily removing passengers from a flight, and no longer removing passengers to replace them with employees. The passenger that was dragged off the plane is suing for damages to his person, which include but are not limited to two missing teeth, a broken nose, among other physical damages. The two officers involved were put on permanent leave pending the airports (since security is provided by Chicago's airport), since it was made clear that they were not following protocol.

In unrelated news, on another United flight, a poor passenger opened their overhead compartment to have a scorpion drop out and sting them. It has not been a good month for United.

Wow, back luck for United :-/

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2 hours ago, Digital said:

As a follow up, United has changed their policies, no longer voluntarily removing passengers from a flight, and no longer removing passengers to replace them with employees. The passenger that was dragged off the plane is suing for damages to his person, which include but are not limited to two missing teeth, a broken nose, among other physical damages. The two officers involved were put on permanent leave pending the airports (since security is provided by Chicago's airport), since it was made clear that they were not following protocol.

In unrelated news, on another United flight, a poor passenger opened their overhead compartment to have a scorpion drop out and sting them. It has not been a good month for United.

XD I'd be suing the passenger who brought a scorpion on board with their luggage! lol 

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To be honest, I agree with @Syntax here. They did offer money for people's seats, up to $800, and a few other passengers took the money and left voluntarily. When a flight offers to buy your seat like that, they also book you on the next soonest flight out, so that's $800 free bonus money for roughly 2-3 hours of inconvenience. He was manhandled, sure, and it appeared overly aggressive in the video, but had he simply stood up and walked with them when the security came over he wouldn't have been dragged around. 

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