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Hardball With UA/TSA, Passenger Removed, Update!  
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9652 posts, RR: 52
Posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5663 times:

Here is the update to the post that I made last December about my mother being removed from a United Airlines Flight in Chicago without an explanation. Many of you asked for an update, so this is all that has happened as of now. The original thread is archived and includes a full explanation fo the events:

Hardball With The TSA-Passenger Removed From Plane (by RoseFlyer Dec 19 2004 in Civil Aviation) The synopsis is that she was seated in first class in an A320 on an ORD-SEA flight with the plane still at the gate last december when a nonuniformed man in a suit demanded that she get out of her seat and leave the plane. She told him he was being rude and asked for an explanation. He then said that he will get the police to remove her if she does not get off immediately. She then goes up to a gate agent requiring an explanation. UA said they would put her on a later flight, but she said no. Her carry on luggage was still on that plane, and she was going to remove her luggage unless she was in Seattle. Finally after arguing for a while, the captain resolved the situation and she was given a pair of seats (unfortunately taken away fron non rev passengers) in economy.

The United Airlines office in Seattle sent her a very apologetic letter. In a move of compensation for the discomfort she faced. She requested that I do not post the letter here, but the synopsis is that UA values their 1K members highly and do not see any justifiable reason for a passenger to be forced off a plane with no given reason. However UA still did not offer any adequate explanation for what happened in the letter. The Seattle office said that the office in Chicago will need to respond with an explanation. They included a number of Global Service coupons in a move of compensation that are highly valued.

The response from the lady was that she was not happy with this response. Someone at UA did write a nice apologetic letter, but she felt like UA tried to buy her off with the coupons. She is returning the Global Service coupons and does not want any discounts or monetary compensation. She can easily afford to fly and pay as she is a 1K member and has been for a number of years along with her husband who has just reached 1 million miles. The only thing she wants is an explanation from the people who did it. She needs an explanation of why she was embarrassed in front of a large crowd of people, and subsequently delayed a flight 30 minutes and finally had the problem resolved by the captain. She doesn't know if she was removed by a stranger, UA personnel or the TSA. She wants an explanation and for them to take responsibility for their actions because many people were inconvenience in this situation. No one knows if this is a problem with a UA person or an Air Marshal. No one knows. It is possible that no explanation is being given because it was the TSA's fault and they wanted to be secretive for obvious reasons, but this still is no excuse for the Chicago office to not write a letter after 3 months and multiple UA representatives saying that the UA office in Chicago would provide an explanation. Let them at least write a letter.

Any civil comments are welcome. She is currrently writing a letter requesting a formal explanation from Chicago and has asked her travel agent to try for formal explanations as well.

[Edited 2005-03-20 19:52:12]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4388 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

IMHO, let the matter go if she's satisfied with the compensation - what's the use in playing hardball with a bankrupt airline? Both your mother and the airline likely have bigger fish to fry in life - why not simply drop the matter unless she's seeking additional compensation from United?


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9652 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5604 times:

Avek00 she is demanding an explanation. She felt insulted as she was accused of being a terrorist in front of a plane with over 100 people on it. She is fighting for an explanation and trying to stand up for her rights. It doesn't matter who is bankrupt or not, they should care about people and provide good service to their highest level elites. She doesn't care about monetary compensation or free upgrades. She is still flying with UA though, but prefers an explanation because this is America and not a land of bullies.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4388 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5543 times:

"trying to stand up for her rights"

What legal RIGHTS are you referring to? Looking at the original thread and this story, I can find no instances where your mom's *rights* were likely violated. She was treated crappy as hell, but she was ultimately allowed to travel on the flight.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5539 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
hey included a number of Global Service coupons in a move of compensation that are highly valued.

Dollar amount?

Sorry to hear this happened to your mother.

Regards.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9652 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5478 times:

As said by UALPHLCS in a past thread, Global Service basically a level above 1K iand is by invitation only. It provides automatic RCC membership, and a special GS desk that proactivly monitors GS reservations and alters them to any potential problems. There is supposedly only around 500 flying on any given day through out the system so keeping an eye on these folks isn't tough. Finally they are listed on the UG list first.

GS is not a whole lot better then 1K, but correct me if I am wrong (as I don't live with my mother and did not see the coupons), but they entitle a passenger to complimentary upgrades. It is a nice feature that is supposed to be reserved for the highest privelaged UA members and is separate from from Mileage Plus.

Avek00, it isn't about legal rights in terms of the law and suing. It is about customer service and the courtesy that paying customers deserve. You may not agree, but if you are in Macy's and someone acting like an undercover police officer threatens you and makes a scene and demands that you leave the mall immediately in front of a hundred people or else you will be thrown in jail, then you deserve an explanation from Macy's and whomever was responsible for the commontion. That is what she wants, and I think it is a social right for her to get one, otherwise UA should not be flying and should be liquidated. Insulting a customer that gives them $50,000 in revenue a year is something that should not happen in any business that is orientated about customer service.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4388 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5389 times:

I agree that your mother's EXPECTATIONS were not met - and frankly, I have yet to have United meet my expectations of a consistent and reliable operation on any trip I've taken with them since 2000. That said, you have to understand that your mom's only recourse, other than seeking a CASH refund for the downgrade she experienced, will be to choose another airline for future travels if United chooses to not entertain her request for an explanation.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5358 times:
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Thanks for the update, I've been wondering.

I'm guessing, as did you and your mother, it was an Air Marshall that, as we've seen here before, can be quite full of themselves when inconvenienced by the realities of air travel and reserved seating. Since we do not know if he was placed on the flight or not we cannot even guess whether he in fact was even "supposed" to be on it. It's my assumption that UA was, in his mind, to have that seat available but he was late to the gate or had seat cancelled through a missed connection earlier. Either he or UA dropped the ball is of no doubt but probably not both.

If she in fact only wants an apology and has turned down monetary (coupon) compensation then most certainly ORD needs to do their share with an explanation. Your Mom must however realize she may be working with a huge corporate operation who in turn is trying to satisfy a hastily prepared government organization. In other words, UA may simply not know what happened due to several layers of employees and secretive agencies trying to cover their collective butts and the individual supervisors questioned simply DO NOT KNOW.

As I said then someone has to have made a detailed Gate Delay report on that flight and that is most likely the only piece of evidence combined with anything that UA may have told DOT about a delay reason. The likelihood of either of those being made available to you without a court order is nil. Therefore it would seem that any further information would seem dependent on whether she wants to appear just as headstrong and self important as this man did and push for more than a non specific apology. If you are asking for UA to say that TSA is wrong I'd say don't waste your time. They perceive that they cannot and will not. Chicago may be up against this same wall but covering up for a UA employee who found themselves pushed around by this man/agency as well.

Keep us up on it but as she has said she does not want you to pursue this publicly here for her own reasons whatever they are.



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5200 times:

i remember the original post on this matter.

this woman did not follow instructions given to her by the government authorities and the flight crew to get her things off the aircraft. this is the united states and it is federal law that you follow the instructions of government authorities AND flight crews. she didn't and should have been dealt with accordingly.

don't get me wrong, it is entirely possible that a mistake had been made. but cooperation in regards to security is essential...it's the law. her "don't mess with me" mentality serves nobody.

imho.

no offense intended to anyone.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5125 times:
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Jetdeltamsy

Who was this government authority you speak of? Was it an identified Air Marshall? Was it an airport or civil authority police person?



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13116 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5003 times:

Other possibilities as to the 'mystery pax' is that they could have been:
Someone from the Secret Service (protects the President, other top US officials and also deals with certain money/Tresuary Dept. crimes)
A person whom was involved with a terror investigation for the FBI, CIA or related agencies
A person with the Military or another US Government agency whom had to get to Seattle due to a security issue with a vendor there (Boeing, Microsoft, etc).
Any of the above scenarios could explain why the bump and the lack of explaination of it, as don't want the person to be identified. The agency may not want to disclose information that could be used to harm them, a government agency or of terror investigion.
Of course, the question still stands why this person was bumped rather than someone else.


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4971 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
Who was this government authority you speak of? Was it an identified Air Marshall? Was it an airport or civil authority police person?

i am assuming the agent was a TSA or Air Marshall.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineHawk44 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 759 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4915 times:

If she has a problem with a possible Federal Air Marshal then she needs to file a complaint with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). I doubt UA can give you an explanation since they have no authority over the FAMS or any other government agency and I doubt you will ever get one to be honest.

Hawk44



Never under estimate the power of US
User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2592 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4880 times:

I, for one, am glad your mother is taking the high road and asking for an explanation without being "paid off" by the airline.

Perhaps the above poster would rather everyone meekly fall in line with the other sheep, but I'm glad there are people out there willing to speak out when they feel they are owed an explanation.

Your mother sounds like a real pistol, and thank God we've got a few of those left in this country.


User currently offlineCTHEWORLD From Mayotte, joined Dec 2004, 478 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4863 times:

His mother sounds like Gladys Kravitz and probably has cost UAL thousands of dollars by now responding to her pissing and moaning! His mother personifies what is wrong with America, a bunch of self serving, little picture people. Now, before all of you go off on me America bashing, CORK IT, my family has been here since 1790. The TRUE American way is to be long suffering, community and the better of man focused...not ME ME ME, like RoseFlyer's demanding mutha.

[Edited 2005-03-21 05:39:25]

User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6878 posts, RR: 75
Reply 15, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4852 times:

Before we jump to conclusions... based on the data we have...

Did the person asking for her to leave the aircraft identified himself? Answer No...

Who does she turn to for an explanation? The airline.

Now, was she right in not taking the coupons? Right. It wasn't the airline's fault. To take the coupons would imply that she think it's the airlines' fault.

Should there be an explanation? Yes.

If a government agent require you to be removed from an aircraft, there has to be an authority that can identify himself/herself before that can be done. This is why FAMS don't remove pax from planes... TSA or other law enforcement agency do.

A UA pax felt that she should get an explanation of what happened to her on a UA aircraft. She can ask UA for an explanation, if UA don't know, then UA should simply tell her to ask the govt. That simple. Whether she'll get an explanation? That's a different matter altogether.

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineUnitedStarGold From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4729 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Thread starter):
They included a number of Global Service coupons in a move of compensation that are highly valued.

Global Services is an actual status issued to a flyer and is not connected to Mileage Plus, although it does carry numerous MP benefits. United was not offering your mother multiple GS memberships; more likely, these were upgrade coupons good for either Region 1 or Region 2. Unless your mother usually buys full-fare F and C tickets, those are still quite valuable and she should have put them to good use. The situation was perhaps not handled in the best of ways, but United has done her more than right.

I suppose the "begum sahib" wishes she could experience servile treatment from every UA employee she encounters. True, one should expect courteous, polite, and consistent treatment from airline employees, but UA has gone above and beyond, in my opinion.

This is a public forum, and it's already quite possible for those with access to United's computers to deduce your mother's identity (particularly since you list your full name in your profile). I would remove identifying details like routing, your name, etc. if only to preserve your mother's anonymity.

I'm also a 1K and I am glad that I haven't had to go through something like this. I certainly hope I don't have to either, but if I do, I hope that United treats me just as well.



"The education of a man is never completed until he dies." - Gen. R.E. Lee
User currently offlineDeltaMIA From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1672 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4647 times:

Quoting M404 (Reply 7):
As I said then someone has to have made a detailed Gate Delay report on that flight and that is most likely the only piece of evidence combined with anything that UA may have told DOT about a delay reason

It wouldn't be the only piece. I doubt the agent faulted the delay to Customer Service. It likely would be a Security related delay and both the air carrier and TSA each write up a delay report so there are two sides to the story. UA would at the very least have a copy created by the supervisor with the testament of the gate agent. It is up to the them if they choose to relay that information to the passenger.
It is almost every company's policy though not to relay information to individuals or media in relation to security related occurrences. Bottom line she isn't going to get the reason for the occurrence and it is obvious UA is willing to lose her business for it. They are trying to keep it, but they can't give her what she wants. You could replace UA with DL, AA, WN, HP, B6, AS, CO, NW and it wouldn't matter. If she wants an explanation for a security issue she isn't getting it. She can accept UA's compensation and still fly them or choose not to and fly another airline that would have done the same thing if in UA's shoes.



It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
User currently offlineJc2354 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 582 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4591 times:

I can understand his mother's reaction, I would probably react the same way, in the same situation.

You can ask me to do anything, tell me do anything, and, as long as you will tell me "why", I'm the most agreeable person in the world. If someone came up to me on a flight, told me to get off, didn't identify themselves, I might demand explanations too! Who wouldn't?

Someone from United could have come to her and said, "I'm very sorry, Mrs. XXX, but for security reasons, we are not able to honor your upgrade this evening. I can either offer you two seats in coach, or we can book you first class on the next available flight. Which would you prefer?"

A simple 30 second act of courtesy and RESPECT, could have greatly helped this situation.

OK, time for another lithium drip!



If not now, then when?
User currently offlineHawk44 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 759 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4311 times:

Quoting DeltaMIA (Reply 18):
Bottom line she isn't going to get the reason for the occurrence and it is obvious UA is willing to lose her business for it. They are trying to keep it, but they can't give her what she wants. You could replace UA with DL, AA, WN, HP, B6, AS, CO, NW and it wouldn't matter. If she wants an explanation for a security issue she isn't getting it. She can accept UA's compensation and still fly them or choose not to and fly another airline that would have done the same thing if in UA's shoes.

Agreed  yes 



Never under estimate the power of US
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4275 times:
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DeltaMIA
We agree completly

Jetdeltamsy
That was the problem. You assumed it to but he never identified himself if you recall the original post. Government authorities never told her to do anything if I remember. A UA rep asked her to get her carryon. What about her checked baggage? Would she have to sign an unvoluntary separation form?

Most here seem to agree that if UA has not told her anything by now and if she has been as persistant as she sounds it only seems to prove that UA cannot say anything. She will only get her knickers in a knot.



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4234 times:

Glad to hear UA has attempted to make this right. Still, a few thoughts. If I were your Mother, I would want to know, also, who put me off the plane. All the coupons and freebies, etc, etc, would not satisfy me until I had an answer to the question.

Further, I'd keep the Global Service coupons, etc. Can't ever tell when they come in handy.

Hope you Mom gets an answer. That said - once she has an answer to the basic question - that being I believe - "Who put me off the plane and why" then let it go at that. Mission accomplished.


User currently offline7LBAC111 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 2566 posts, RR: 35
Reply 22, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3523 times:

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 6):
That said, you have to understand that your mom's only recourse, other than seeking a CASH refund for the downgrade she experienced, will be to choose another airline for future travels if United chooses to not entertain her request for an explanation.

I fully agree. The biggest protest she can make is to take her FF status to another airline.

Quoting CTHEWORLD (Reply 13):
Oh jeez...the saga of your idiotic self centered mother continues?

LMAOF. Welcome to my RR list!

&LBAC111



Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
User currently offlineSupa7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3389 times:

The problem with this debate is conflating SECURITY with WEALTH / UA STATUS.

They are unrelated!

The TSA treats everybody the same. Dressed in Prada or dressed in rags, the TSA will treat you exactly the same.

UA can feed you yummy food, but they do not handle security. So this whole debate is pointless. Mentions of her FF status / social status are irrelevant and crass at best.

This is mainly referring to the original post.


User currently offlineSpike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1170 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3367 times:

This is not a problem with your mother, it's a problem with you. Please don't fly again. Go blubb on wetnose.com/airplanes

25 ANCFlyer : That's almost the silliest statement on this thread. If you think the TSA doesn't think different of someone in a suit and ties vice a set of nasty,
26 Aa777jr : Regardless of the fact or not of a TSA agent or FFDO being present, flight attendants have authority to do whatever on their plane. It's the law. If
27 Spike : Superb! The American revolution is going to start soon.
28 Post contains images JGPH1A : Where can I get one of those ? Just to wear in the security line, you understand
29 Post contains images ANCFlyer : I can loan you mine, but I want it back!
30 Nwaca : Wow! A lot of snarly people putting posts in today. I don't think that there should be an issue with telling this woman something in the line of "inte
31 Lincoln : I went back and looked at the original post and, if the unidentified gentleman did indeed walk up to her and say without providing any additional info
32 PROSA : Maybe you think there's something noble about being a human door mat, but I do not agree, and neither does Rose Flyer's mother. Good for her.
33 Luv2fly : I remember reading this thread when it first came out. I still think UA dropped the ball on this and handled it wrong from the get go and still is no
34 9844 : "trying to stand up for her rights" Hey her American rights. The to every thing right now.To have everything in excess & for free. The right to bitch
35 Spike : Hey, I thought it was illegal to be pissed on a plane in the US?
36 PA110 : There is absolutely no reason for this unwarranted personal attack. I've asked that this post be deleted. That said... folks, this is still the Unite
37 Spike : I really hope you and your Mum don't fly again soon. Awful experience. Vote with your feet mate,
38 EA CO AS : That is what she wants, and I think it is a social right for her to get one, otherwise UA should not be flying and should be liquidated. Are you liste
39 Access-Air : Guys Guys Guys, Sometimes a simple apology or explanation, even if it was all a misunderstand ing is sufficient enuff. The offer that UAL made by tryi
40 EA CO AS : Think about it, someone on the street comes up to you and for no explanation slaps you across the face and hard. You did nothing to deserve it that yo
41 RoseFlyer : Just to clarify since I don't want to ignite any more wars and really don't appreciate any negative comments that are just inflamatory. The reason why
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