United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
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13-04-2017, 01:12 PM
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
We just booked a couple of our guys United flights to the Marshall Islands for next month. Mike asked me if I thought he should retain a lawyer before he gets on the plane...

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13-04-2017, 01:38 PM (This post was last modified: 13-04-2017 07:53 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
Regardless of what the Carriage Rules say at some point someone in the UA hierarchy had to ask the question, “Just because we can should we?”

This is what I propose should have happened after everyone had boarded and UA found itself needing four passengers to disembark.

1. Offer money as they did. When the $400 wasn’t enough incentive they raised it to $800. I suggest they should have offered more until four volunteers were found as stipulated in the Rules of Carriage

Request for Volunteers
UA will request Passengers who are willing to relinquish their confirmed reserved space in exchange for compensation in an amount determined by UA (including but not limited to check or an electronic travel certificate).


2. If indeed there is a limit to how much can be offered (notice it doesn’t say above) and they reached that limit without enough takers then the rules of Carriage say:

The priority of all other confirmed passengers may be determined based on a passenger’s fare class, itinerary, status of frequent flyer program membership, and the time in which the passenger presents him/herself for check-in without advanced seat assignment.

Bolding mine. Since they had already screwed up and allowed the plane to be boarded they could have still followed the classifications above to determine who would be asked to disembark first. It does not appear to me that UA followed their own rules when they randomly selected the four passengers.

Two mistakes so far, allowing boarding and then random selection of passengers to be forced to disembark .

3. When Dr. Dao was instructed to disembark the plane and he refused the crew, including the Captain should have immediately asked themselves the following question before taking any more steps:
Is the passenger violating any of the safety rules stated in the Rules of Carriage (Rule 21 H)? In this case no, the passenger had not violated any of them.

At that moment they all should have done a FULL STOP, regrouped and considered all options including a) calling UA HQ for guidance b) offering a higher dollar voucher to the rest of the passengers c) delaying or even cancelling the flight until a resolution could be found that did not include a forceful removal of Dr. Dao *PS d) disembarking the entire flight and starting the process over!

4. Once they chose the nuclear option of calling in airport security UA abdicated a peaceful resolution to the situation. The LEOs had one order and that was to remove the passenger, probably by any means necessary. At some point a discussion should have taken place between the LEOs and the crew INCLUDING THE CAPTAIN as to how best handle the situation. Someone from the crew should have made another attempt at talking to Dr. Dao and trying to get him to acquiesce peacefully to the order to disembark. I did not see any evidence in the videos to suggest this ever took place.

5. Having tried all of the previous without success (I doubt any of what I suggest was attempted) UA had two options left, cancel the flight or forcefully remove Dr. Dao and we know which one they chose for the sake of expediency.

* PS I just thought of one other solution added above.
pss typo

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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13-04-2017, 01:42 PM
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
How they handle the fallout will also determine how people fly with them in future. If they act all brazen, expect them to be hated. They may even technically be in the right, but what's happening right now is a PR disaster for them.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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13-04-2017, 02:10 PM
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
(13-04-2017 01:42 PM)morondog Wrote:  They may even technically be in the right, but what's happening right now is a PR disaster for them.

As it should be. And hopefully a warning shot at any other corporation treating their customers like petitioners. It's not only airlines having a peculiar view of customer relationship. It more or less became an alien word within these last two decades.

I for one, and having worked PR in close relationship to corporations, am pretty tired of all the empty words coming from corporate HQs. I've learned to despise everything they do, since I understand the language they use. In this case, they're showing clear signs of expecting legal trouble by not issuing an apology. Their PR department and legal team obviously advised them to stay as neutral as possible and not to mention the passenger at all in an apologetic way. This could be construed as admission of guilt and I'm pretty sure that behind the scenes the lawyers are already at work formulating some kind of setllement. It's called crisis PR in an attempt to minimize public damage.

It's the same all over the board and if you think, politicians are professional lyers, be grateful for not knowing the corporate PR keywords and their real meaning.

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13-04-2017, 02:25 PM
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
(13-04-2017 02:10 PM)abaris Wrote:  It's the same all over the board and if you think, politicians are professional lyers, be grateful for not knowing the corporate PR keywords and their real meaning.

Ironically the thing that will cost them the least (or would if they could pull their corporate heads out of their recta) would be to issue an immediate and heartfelt apology, treat the guy like a fucking king, grovel abjectly and assure their paying customers that such a thing will not happen again. All that shit of being neutral and not admitting guilt will sure, save them money in terms of paying out this one person, but the negative press means that *worldwide* anyone who ever takes a flight in the US will think twice about booking with them. And the public is not quick to forget either.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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13-04-2017, 02:34 PM (This post was last modified: 13-04-2017 02:46 PM by Vera.)
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
(13-04-2017 02:25 PM)morondog Wrote:  if they could pull their corporate heads out of their recta)

Or their corporate capita out of their ani Rolleyes

Am kinda embarrassed to admit, this made me giggle more than it should've. And when I delved deeper into it, so to speak Rolleyes , I found that the definition of rectum is almost poesy: "The terminal portion of the large intestine, extending from the sigmoid colon to the anal canal."

Digging in even deeper, led me to this:

"What is the plural of anus? Anii or Anuses?

Buttholeses." Laugh out load

What? Stop looking at me like this!

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13-04-2017, 02:44 PM
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
(13-04-2017 02:34 PM)Vera Wrote:  "What is the plural of anus? Anii or Anuses?

I think the collective word is "Congress"
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13-04-2017, 02:53 PM
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
But of course, RockBottom*. Congress: a place for the congre(egation of a)sses

*Oh! But this reminded me of a favourite moment from one of my most favourite comedy shows, Drop the Dead Donkey, where one of the characters, very easily intimidated by journalists, is really worried about being interviewed at the BBC and because someone advised him to get in his retaliation first, he called the interviewing lady "dickbottom"... in response to her welcoming him in the studio Big Grin

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13-04-2017, 03:03 PM
United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
(13-04-2017 12:30 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Unrelated to all the arguments, but United's bad PR continues:

Scorpion stings Calgary man on United flight after falling from overhead bin.

Guy was pretty chill about it, saying, "It's just one of those things that happens, right?" He and his wife have also been compensated for their trouble and the sting. Still, having scorpions fall on passengers isn't good for your image amidst a very bad couple of weeks.


Actually this gives me a creative idea. Instead of sending police in to remove someone, they could chase them off with a scorpion. I would disembark if someone was holding a scorpion behind me.
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13-04-2017, 03:38 PM (This post was last modified: 13-04-2017 03:42 PM by abaris.)
RE: United Airlines looking for a customer service award...
(13-04-2017 02:25 PM)morondog Wrote:  Ironically the thing that will cost them the least (or would if they could pull their corporate heads out of their recta) would be to issue an immediate and heartfelt apology, treat the guy like a fucking king, grovel abjectly and assure their paying customers that such a thing will not happen again.

Yet that's not how they operate. There are whole firms specialising in crisis PR and making a killing by selling empty words to their contractors. For me it's kind of obvious what's happening behind the scenes if a corporation issues a statement, but when I catch myself thinking how can the public possibly believe that, I'm forgetting that the general public still thinks that real persons are behind the words when in fact they're only bots telling exactly what they've been briefed to tell.

There are certain keywords to look for. On a positive note, only to use one example, it's "being excited" over something that tells you some fundamental bullshittery is on the horizon. On a negative note it could be "being concerned" or "being deeply concerned". The possibilities are endless but you can bet your ass, when some CEO or other high ranking officer takes the stage, it's not them talking but their PR departments and/or legal teams.

There was one incident when I happened to hear an interview with a female CEO on the radio. It was something about an investment in Africa and how beneficial it was for the population there. I lost count of how many times she was excited over something and hardly kept myself from biting into the steering wheel in rage that some radio station let that happen without even a challenge.

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