It’s highly probable United Airlines will forever remember United Express Flight 3411, especially now, when people all over the country are actively boycotting the carrier due to their gross mishandle of a fairly common situation. On Sunday morning, a security crew forcibly removed a passenger from his seat to make room for crew members that had to get to Louisville.
At First, They Asked for Volunteers
On Sunday, after the flight was fully boarded, all passengers safely tucked in their seats, United Airlines crew members hurriedly approached gate agents, claiming that they had to board the flight. Since all seats were already occupied by paying customers, the airline had to issue a call, asking if anyone is willing to volunteer to leave their seats in exchange for an $800 voucher.
Nobody wanted to stay in Chicago and book another flight to Louisville, so the airline had to randomly choose 4 passengers and remove them from the aircraft to make room for the crew members. Three out of the four individuals nominated by the crew accepted the voucher and gathered their belongings. The fourth one, a 69-year-old doctor, refused to comply with the carrier’s demands. According to witnesses, the man needed to reach Louisville urgently to see to his patients.
United Airlines cannot Grasp the Concepts of “Volunteering” or “No.”
When the unnamed passenger refused to leave his seat – that he paid for – security officers were called to escort him out of the plane. According to videos that are now flooding social media websites, the guards – who probably double as bouncers – forcibly removed the man from his seat, causing him to hit his head. The victim was dragged out of the airplane.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 10, 2017
Probably confused from the blow to head, the man immediately climbed back aboard the plane, asking to be left alone. Yet again, guards intervened.
Oscar Munoz Only Made Things Worse
After United Airlines treated a paying customer like a violent stow-away, the company’s CEO made things worse by declaring that the man was disruptive and violent. Moreover, in an open letter to his employees, Munoz stated:
“Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.”
From what fellow passengers from Flight 3411 are detailing, there wasn’t an ounce of respect or dignity in the way the 69-year-old was approached or dragged across the floor. While it’s understandable that the company was in tight situation, crew members having to reach Louisville with a completely booked airplane, there surely must have been a better, more respectable way of dealing with the situation.
Passengers Are Planning to Boycott the Airline
Last week, Delta managed to enrage its customers by grounding almost 3,500 planes Wednesday through Sunday. People blamed poor management skills, some experts claiming that better preparation could have helped them avoid the unfortunate situation.
The same thing could be said about United Airlines. If they know such an urgency could arrive, why not keep a couple of seats ready? Moreover, why don’t they have a better protocol for situations in which randomly designated volunteers refuse to give up their seat? Some people don’t want a voucher, they book a flight because they need to get somewhere, just like the other members of the crew.
Boycott @united! Show investors we care & won’t tolerate this type of business practice. What happened to that passanger is deplorable !
— Paul Butcher (@ThePaulButcher) April 10, 2017
What do you think about the way the situation was handled? Are passengers right in their attempt to boycott the carrier?
Image Source: Wikipedia