Lincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8 Posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5380 times:
Watching Airline this evening, the question occurred to me -- how often are passengers denied boarding?
Airline makes it seem that nearly every flight has someone who is too drunk/aggressive/whatever to fly, and in my personal experience (not huge, but respectable) I've never seen someone denied... so where's the happy medium?
Why are pax most commonly denied boarding, and what happens to their ticket (specifically in the case of a non-ref/non-changeable and, say, a pax who is a little too tipsy)?
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Mrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5346 times:
When I was student and travelling home, I always booked myself on the same flight (TXL-FRA - in total more than five times), which was always overbooked (it was in the business hours). I came a little later (1/2 before take-off), and was always denied boarding, against EUR 150 compensation. Keeping in mind that the fare was EUR 88, it was a good way to make some more money and travel home for free
UALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5246 times:
In my 5 1/2 years as a CSR I personally denied boarding to three people. Two were merely too drunk to fly, and took the news well. Although one of those was a soldier who had tried to sneak an open bottle on board. His sergeant had to stay with him and LGW-Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (Germany)">HE was really mad. Not at us but at his man. Made me wonder how many pushups that guy ended up doing when they got home.
The thrid was pretty spectacular. We asked a woman for her ID to board. She didn't have any. So the agent sent her back over to me at the podium. Most of you probably know that this is really no big deal I called TSA to wand her down and began putting the extra security SSSS on her boarding pass. But she kept throwing college IDs work IDs and credit cards at me, as I tried to understand how she checked in at the lobby with no ID. That agent needed to get a talking to. Then she said the magic word. "Right, I'm a terrorist and I have a bomb." I immediately, stopped what I was doing and called the cops.
I could put up with the card throwing to a certain extent, but put her behavior on top of saying that, she wasn't getting on my plane. I told that to the cops. They came to talk to her and calm her down. But when one cop reached out to touch her arm and guide her to a more private space so that they could talk to her, she slapped his arm away. That reach turned into a grab for her arm and she grabbed my podium. Next thing I knew the second cop was on her back and ripped her arm off the podium. They spun her around and all three crashed to the floor with a huge crack. It took two more cops to get handcuffs on her.
She apparently spent the night in the lock-up to cool off. All because she simply refused to cooperate with me. I'm so glad I didn't let that explosive temper on the airplane. I really think she was on drugs of some kind. I'll never forget though.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13470 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5201 times:
My comments are limited to situations where the beheavor of the pax has led to the denial of boarding, not because of overbooking.
As to the Airline (USA) drunks (and some under the infuence of drugs), they are given a chance to 'dry out', warned not to drink any more, and if sober up, they will be put on the next available flight or have their ticket refunded if they continue to not cooperate. In the post-9/11 enviroment (and to some extent well before then) those pax who beheave in an uncooperative, abusive, threating way or raise security questions can be deinied boarding. Also, those who won't follow luggage limits, especially as to carryons can be denied. There may be denial of boarding of pax in some situations due to operational situations, like a need to reduce gross take off weight due to larg cargo loads, hot weather, high altitude. In the first season of Airline (USA), there was consideration of denying boarding of a pax whom was apparently dirty/smelly, like someone whom lived on the street. The CSA then assisted in this situation, allowing the pax to clean up, and getting him some clean clothes.
I would suspect any large airport has several denials of boarding on average a day for drunk/drugs, bad behavor or security risk factors.
QQflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2314 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5165 times:
It boils down to behavior. If you aren't acting civilized, you aren't getting on. It's a potential safety hazard no airline wants to risk. Poor behavior can be a result of physical and mental attitude, alcohol and drugs/medication. If alcohol is to blame, you'll likely be given the opportunity to sober up and fly when your fit and their's room to accomodate you. If it's due to attitude, ie belligerence or verbal violence, you'll either be transferred to another carrier or refunded your ticket. If it's physical, well, you'll certainly end up in jail and will have to fight for a refund when you get out of the slammer.
I won't tell the whole story, but UALPHLCS's story reminded me of a lady I once dealt with who took three cops down while sitting in a wheel chair, no joke! She was travelling to DEN for an operation, but was taking medication which severly altered her behavior and did not have a doctor's note to travel. She was denied originally because she was in an altered state without a DR's note. In the end, she ended up in jail with multiple counts of assault and public disturbance.
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