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GlenP
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:30 pm

Sorry just posted to cover the latest in a string of posts where the possibility of a FAM being onboard the aircraft was mentioned and, as both this and the other UA thread are getting rather long, those not taking the time to read every post might get the idea that it was a established fact, rather than a plausible hypothesis.

Not looking to give the impression that any one contributor had established this idea, it just happened that your exchange was the most recent when I posted and had to have something to use as a reference.
Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:11 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
The point was that nobody should know that a FAM is aboard and who the FAM is. The FAM program is a federal program to protect against terrorist or similar, I get that. The point I was making was, that if you would not compensate passengers in the case that an FAM takes their seat, how do you keep it quiet, that a FAM is on board and were he sits?


Well than mission accomplished because we have zero evidence that one was onboard.

Regarding compensation, was it stated factually that this guy was bumped and not offered any compensation? The article I read said they refunded him the difference in fares and gave him a $500 voucher.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
2175301
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:17 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
Regarding compensation, was it stated factually that this guy was bumped and not offered any compensation? The article I read said they refunded him the difference in fares and gave him a $500 voucher.


A problem is that a voucher is not actual compensation. It's possible future compensation. Only usable if the passenger will be flying on that airline in the near future. I only now fly a couple times a year, and I use different airlines depending on which direction I am going - because; Surprise: some airlines cover the eastern US well, others cover the Western US well, etc and when you are leaving from Wisconsin - it can make a real difference. I've had vouchers that expired before I had a realistic chance to use them... (one trip to the same city every year at about the same time; but, if the event is a few days or the next weeken later a 1 year voucher expires) In another case years ago... the airline refused to honor the voucher because they had changed their policy (I don't recall who that was with and I don't believe they exist any more) I likely never used them again - ever (I get hard nosed after certain things).

Compensation - legally has realizable cash value; although I suppose it will take a court some day to tell the airlines that before it actually happens.

In my opinion: Vouchers should be redeemable for 100% face value with say 48 hours for use for alternate transportation or arrangements; then perhaps have a reduced value after that for those who believe they will use them - but, can still recover a cash value later if they cannot use them

Have a great day,
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:03 am

If the FAM is to be seated secretly, they need to be assigned a seat before the plane is loaded. And it should be the airline or federal government that bears the cost, not the unlucky passenger.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:12 am

kavok wrote:
PlanesNTrains wrote:
kavok wrote:
And to that comment, I am sure UA fanboys will be quick to say well that is just federal regulations and we have to follow it. Well, if UA was truly concerned about their customers, they would lobby against the practice of FAM getting F seats without reason. UA has no problems lobbying against other federal regulations they don't like. But in this case where the customer is negatively affected, again UA just doesn't seem to care.


UA lost two planes/crews in 9/11. The deadheading crew thing had nothing to do with safety/security - this does. I don't think airlines want to see that happen again. You can blather on about 9/11 excuses and UA incompetence all you want if it makes you feel better, but this is a federal program and is there for the safety of the traveling public. If you don't like it, don't fly or lobby it yourself.


Way to miss the entire point of the post. Never once was it argued that FAM program was unnecessary or wrong. The entire argument was that FAM should not be claiming F seats indiscriminately because they feel like it. If there is a security reason or suspicion that would justify the FAM sitting in F, then by all means they obviously should. But otherwise, the FAM should get placed wherever the GA can fit them in.


Maybe, maybe not, but under the current policy you have equal chance of being bumped on Delta, American, Southwest, Allegiant, or Chautauqua. A FAM can demand to board any Part 121 US carrier and they will take an aisle seat in the first few rows. That's not United's fault and the same situation would eventuate on any of the carriers. I haven't heard of Delta actively lobbying on this matter either, so you can leave aside the United bashing.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
weekendppl
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:24 am

PlanesNTrains wrote:
was it stated factually that this guy was bumped and not offered any compensation? The article I read said they refunded him the difference in fares and gave him a $500 voucher.

Many people think vouchers are close to worthless. Like getting a gift card with an expiration date to some store you go every other year. Only harder to spend.

The airlines know that the redemption rate on these is pennies on the dollar of face value, and to the extent they are used to put people in marginal seats, know that their actual cost of redemption is even less than that.

And their customers are finally getting wise: why do they think volunteers are getting harder and harder to find?

Want to get the airline's attention? Mandating they give vouchers will never do it. Real money, maybe.

Yet another story of United using LEO to escort off people who are being inconvenient to them, in this case Economy+ cheaters, is now circulating. Pretty soon if will be people who are putting something in the overhead. This doesn't seem like a positive trend.
 
cedarjet
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:01 am

Yeah the idea of Emirates or Etihad bumping a plane load in favour of a sheik is flat out nonsense and I'd even add racist.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:40 am

2175301 wrote:
A problem is that a voucher is not actual compensation.



weekendppl wrote:
Want to get the airline's attention? Mandating they give vouchers will never do it. Real money, maybe..



Thank you both, but I said that they refunded the difference in fare AND gave him a $500 voucher.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
D L X
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:49 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
I can imagine that the FAM can come and take a seat. But this IMO crazy idea that the airline does not have to compensate you as a passenger, what do they tell you?


They tell you you have to vacate that seat for a more important passenger. That's why I think this was a likely fam situation.

mjoelnir wrote:
So how does the airline manage no compensation? What is if there is a group booked together, a family with children and so on? I think some airline aficionados do have some crazy ideas.

I think most of the time a person is simply moved to another seat. If first class is full the person is offered coach. If coach is full too, the person is offered another flight. But this is all kinda hush hush so don't quote me on it. I'm not totally sure what the answer is.
 
2175301
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:04 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
2175301 wrote:
A problem is that a voucher is not actual compensation.



weekendppl wrote:
Want to get the airline's attention? Mandating they give vouchers will never do it. Real money, maybe..



Thank you both, but I said that they refunded the difference in fare AND gave him a $500 voucher.


So they only charged him for the "Yugo" they moved him to refunded him the difference for the "Cadillac" he ordered (and had paid for). As I stated above; a voucher is not actual compensation. It has potential value under some situations; but no value if those situations do not exist.

So where is the ACTUAL Compensation for moving him from a Cadillac to a Yugo. Zip.. Nada... None.. That is the real problem.

Have a great day,
 
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NeBaNi
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:14 pm

PlanesNTrains wrote:
The whole point of the FAM program is to protect the plane. Hard to do when you are in the middle seat in row 37 and have to fight your way through a line at the lavatory. What that has to do with UA, I don't know, but you managed to disparage them for "allowing" or "not lobbying against" a federal program that is there to save their employees, passengers, and assets, just like it's there for every airline.

I'd argue that it's actually better for the FAM to be seated in coach as opposed to in first class, so (s)he can keep an eye out for trouble in an area with the highest number of passengers. In First, the FAM is away from more passengers than if (s)he were in Coach. Just basic probability would say that because there are more Coach passengers, the one intending to cause trouble would more likely be seated in Coach than in First.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:09 pm

NeBaNi wrote:
PlanesNTrains wrote:
The whole point of the FAM program is to protect the plane. Hard to do when you are in the middle seat in row 37 and have to fight your way through a line at the lavatory. What that has to do with UA, I don't know, but you managed to disparage them for "allowing" or "not lobbying against" a federal program that is there to save their employees, passengers, and assets, just like it's there for every airline.

I'd argue that it's actually better for the FAM to be seated in coach as opposed to in first class, so (s)he can keep an eye out for trouble in an area with the highest number of passengers. In First, the FAM is away from more passengers than if (s)he were in Coach. Just basic probability would say that because there are more Coach passengers, the one intending to cause trouble would more likely be seated in Coach than in First.


Also kind of harder to watch what's happening behind you than in front of you...no...? ;)
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
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tw747
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:49 pm

Biged wrote:
Your not even safe In first class. Once inside the aluminum cylinder different rules apply.


I was once told by a UA agent that I was only guaranteed "space" on the plane according to the contract of carriage.
 
Carfield
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:29 pm

This is just another story on United's legendary customer service. In Hong Kong, there has been a few of those stories regarding overbooking on their HKG to SIN flights. But to be honest, United's reputation in Asia has not been this good to begin with.

However for this case, I actually think there should be a law not allowing airline to bump anyone for whatever reason (other than security) after they have boarded. I honestly don't think it is fair for any passenger to feel that they are not guarantee a seat till takeoff. I understand that overbooking is necessary but bumps need to happen way before boarding, and if the airlines can't even self-regulate themselves on these basic issues, maybe DOT and Congress needs to step in, no matter how awful they are.

It is clear that United has not followed the law in soliciting volunteers in first class cabin before bumping this passenger on this story, and it is unfortunate. I always believe if airlines can self-regulate themselves, that will be good for everyone. However, while American and Delta both have made an effort to improve their service, United's track record is less than stellar and all this outsourcing makes things worst. This time I think United will really bring down the whole industry and this story seems to gain traction longer than ever, and United Airlines has been the joke of the week in the US and even in the world. Even in Asia, there are plenty of negative PR for United in traditional and social media. I think it is inevitable for Congress to step in, and given 45's brand of political populism and how the hatred for airlines is equally strong from both left and right, I can see some over the top regulation. I don't think banning overbooking is on the table, but airlines once again force the government to step in. I agree with Cranky Flier, airlines need to stop "innovating" and to begin putting "customers" back into their business. I will add airlines need to start treating passengers as people, rather than cattle.

Carfield
 
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NeBaNi
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Re: United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for 'higher-priority' traveler

Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:14 am

SomebodyInTLS wrote:
NeBaNi wrote:
PlanesNTrains wrote:
The whole point of the FAM program is to protect the plane. Hard to do when you are in the middle seat in row 37 and have to fight your way through a line at the lavatory. What that has to do with UA, I don't know, but you managed to disparage them for "allowing" or "not lobbying against" a federal program that is there to save their employees, passengers, and assets, just like it's there for every airline.

I'd argue that it's actually better for the FAM to be seated in coach as opposed to in first class, so (s)he can keep an eye out for trouble in an area with the highest number of passengers. In First, the FAM is away from more passengers than if (s)he were in Coach. Just basic probability would say that because there are more Coach passengers, the one intending to cause trouble would more likely be seated in Coach than in First.


Also kind of harder to watch what's happening behind you than in front of you...no...? ;)

Agreed, also easier to doze off in a comfy First class seat, get drunk on free booze in First, and so on..... :duck:
Kidding though, I'm sure FAMs would not be allowed to touch alcohol while on duty.

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