Category: United Breaks…

United Breaks My Brain A Bit, But At Least Its Trying A Little Harder To Say Sorry

CEO says airline will not use police to remove passengers in the wake of a video that showed a forcible removal of a Chicago passenger on Sunday

Probably a good idea, but here’s a better one. Count the number of seats in each plane, then sell the same number of tickets. It’s not rocket science, though maybe airplane science is more difficult somehow, I dunno.

United Airlines will no longer use law enforcement officers to remove overbooked passengers from aircraft in the wake of a video that showed a Chicago passenger dragged from one of its flights on Sunday.
“We’re not going to put a law enforcement official… to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger,” United Continental Holdings Inc Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz told ABC News on Wednesday morning. “We can’t do that.”
Munoz said the problem resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” in the situation and that Dr. David Dao, whom security officers dragged by his hands, on his back, from the cabin before takeoff, was not at fault.

It’s nice he’s finally apologizing, but one small thing.

“Munoz said the problem resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” in the situation…”

What does he mean by system failure? A computer system? I know that even the most sensible of people can get a little squirrelly when a computer gets involved, but with all these supposedly highly trained professionals on the case, how do we get from that to having the cops kick the shit out of a guy who knows not from your software package and just wants to go home?

Or maybe he meant system failure as in procedures put in place by the company he leads that don’t allow for enough flexibility to treat customers like dignified human beings, which is much, much worse. It’s also not a minor mistake. It’s the inevitable result of policies that are specifically designed to favour revenue and compliance over customer experience and morality.

Either way, it’s a shame that Oscar Munoz has no plans to resign. If he truly cares about the company, that’s his only choice. The company was awful long before he took the job in 2015, but this one’s on him. Truly good leadership starts from the top down, and there’s no possible way that anyone can ever have confidence in leadership again while he’s still on top.

United Breaks Faces, Any Pretense Of Giving A Shit

Listen. We’ve all had a lot of fun with the whole United Breaks thing and we all know that United can go fuck itself right along with basically every other airline, but there are almost no words for this.

Please share this video. We are on this flight. United airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their crew could have a seat. This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted. #unitedairways -To use this video in a commercial player or in broadcasts, please email

Posted by Audra D. Bridges on Sunday, April 9, 2017

Quiz time. The distressed fellow in that video:
A: Got past security and made his way onto a plane he had no right to be on and then didn’t want to leave.
B: Got a little carried away at the airport lounge/beverage cart and had become unruly.
C: Was a paying customer with somewhere to be who wasn’t having any of United’s we overbooked the plane nonsense.

No, you don’t want to believe it but yes, you know the answer.

Passenger Audra Bridges, who uploaded a video of the incident to Facebook, told the newspaper that United initially offered customers $400 and a hotel room if they offered to take a flight the next day at 3pm. Nobody chose to give up the seat that they paid for, so United upped the ante to $800 after passengers boarded, announcing that the flight would not leave until four stand-by United employees had seats. After there were still no takers, a manager allegedly told passengers that a computer would select four passengers to be kicked off the flight.

The man in the video apparently claimed to be a doctor who had appointments with patients the next morning. After he refused to give up his seat, Bridges says a security official threw him “against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane.” According to Bridges, the seemingly disoriented man came back onto the plane with blood on his face and the crew asked passengers to go back to the gate so that United crew could “tidy up” the plane.

Yes, there’s video of him getting back on the plane. No, he definitely doesn’t seem right.

And you know what else isn’t right? Literally everything United did to cause this situation and everything it’s done since. I mean just look at this garbage statement from CEO Oscar Munoz.

“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United,” CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement. “I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.”
“We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation,” he added in the statement.

Having to re-accommodate these customers? Fuck off, dude. Seriously. Fuck! Off! You had to do nothing of the sort. You could have found those employees another plane. You could have rented them a car. Bought them bus tickets. Paid for a cab. Put them on a train. Given them hitchhiking lessons. The only thing you absolutely had to do was anything it took to avoid beating up paying customers for expecting you to provide the service they paid you to provide, and of course you didn’t do it. Why? Because as we’ve gone over time and time again, you suck.

I don’t know if your victim is a doctor or not, but what I hope he is is a man with the will and the resources to sue you hideous rumpdongles so far back in time that the stone age looks up from whatever it’s doing and says “holy shit, did you see those dickheads that just whizzed bye?”

United Breaks Pilots

Ok, so this broken seems to have been caused by life and the world in general, but this tag has a theme, in case you haven’t noticed.

An unidentified United Airlines pilot caused a two hour delay and perhaps more than one bowel evacuation when she boarded a flight, grabbed the microphone and started chatting to the passengers about politics, the state of her personal life and whatever else came to mind.

The pilot, who was not identified, reportedly boarded the plane in everyday clothes, not in her official uniform, Reuters reports.
“She shows up dressed like a civilian and asks to us to take a vote to see whether she should change into her uniform or fly as is,” Pam O’Neal said, according to Reuters. O’Neal was a passenger on the United Flight 455 that was headed to Austin, TX from San Francisco International Airport.
The pilot then used the plane’s intercom to call both President Trump and Hillary Clinton “a—holes,” according to O’Neal.
“She started off by saying that she had not voted for either Trump or Clinton because they’re a bunch of liars… It just really sort of went downhill from there and didn’t make a lot of sense to any of us,” O’Neal said.
The pilot reportedly announced she was going through a divorce, and commented on an interracial couple in the first-class section, saying “yay unity.”

She was soon removed from the plane and a new pilot was found, hence the delay.

United made a canned statement about holding employees to a high standard, but offered no clues as to what may have caused her to act that way. Stress seems like an obvious place to start, but beyond that we might never know.

United Breaks Baggage Handlers

To be fair he was unharmed so I suppose they didn’t break him per se, but they certainly could have since while baggage is meant to fly in the cargo hold, the same isn’t generally true of its handlers.

A baggage handler was locked inside an airplane’s cargo area during a 1.5-hour flight from North Carolina to Northern Virginia on Sunday.
A United Airlines spokeswoman said Monday that the airline was looking into how it had happened. The baggage handler, Reginald Gaskin, 45, was unharmed.
Reached by The Washington Post on Monday night, Gaskin declined to discuss how he wound up inside the plane. He said he had been advised by an attorney not to discuss the matter.
Gaskin only said: “I thank God. He was with me.”

The incident is being looked into, but so far the only comment from the authorities calls it an accident, which it almost certainly is.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for the statement from United commending Mr. Gaskin for his dedication to ensuring that all passenger belongings arrived at their destination safe and sound.

United Breaks The Seal?

This one’s slightly questionable, but since messed up shit has a tendency to happen at airports I’m going with it until I hear a good reason not to.

The woman, who flew from Newark to San Francisco last week, says that when she opened her checked baggage she saw yellow stains and smelled urine, TMZ reports.
According to the woman, when she went to unpack she found what she believes was urine on both the clothing and the lining of her bag.

The woman, who Consumerist didn’t name but TMZ identifies as Laura Henry, is pretty sure that someone working for United is responsible, because believe it or not she didn’t piss on her own belongings before checking them.

She took the bag to the airport the next day, but says a United employee didn’t believe her story. She filed an official complaint anyway and in spite of thinking she’s a liar liar pants fire extinguished by a stream of the making of somebody who totally doesn’t work here, United offered to replace the damaged bag. As for its damaged contents, Henry says that after a few trips through the wash they seem to be ok, which is nice.

United Breaks The Bank

United Airlines is facing millions in federal fines for failing to properly accommodate travelers with disabilities on numerous occasions.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said this week that it is fining the airline $2 million in response to disability-related complaints in 2014.
An investigation found that United did not provide proper assistance for passengers with disabilities getting on and off planes and in moving through airport terminals in Houston, Chicago, Denver, Newark, N.J. and at Washington Dulles International Airport, the Transportation Department said.

The airline is also accused of failing to return wheelchairs and other mobility or assistive devices to passengers in a timely fashion or in the same condition in which they started, which is a no no, in case you were wondering.

United Breaks Dignity

Oh United, will you never learn?

A United passenger with cerebral palsy was forced to crawl from his airplane to the gate when the airline’s staff took away a special wheelchair needed for just such a case, reports the Los Angeles Times.
D’Arcee Neal was on a flight from San Francisco and urgently needed to use the restroom when the flight landed in Washington. A special wheelchair that fits in the airplane’s aisle that had been arranged for Neal was mistakenly removed by United’s staff.

United issued its customary we aren’t usually this shitty, here, have some money ($300 in this case) statement afterward, but it wasn’t clear whether or not Neal had taken the company up on its offer.

I almost feel bad for picking on United here because treating disabled people like everyone else isn’t exactly what you’d call a strength for the airline industry as a whole, it turns out. If anything, in spite of all the laws and training and what have you that exists now, it’s somehow getting worse at it.

Last year, 774 complaints were filed by disabled passengers with the U.S. Department of Transportation over civil rights violations, up 50% from the 519 complaints filed in 2009.
In the first six months of 2015, 459 complaints have been filed over civil rights violations of disabled passengers, putting the U.S. airline industry on pace to surpass last year’s total by 18%, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Obviously not every single one of those complaints is going to be found to be valid or actionable, but holy Christ, that sure is a lot of complaints. And no matter the results of individual cases, when the number of people who feel strongly enough that you’ve done them wrong that they’re willing to do paperwork is rising that steadily, that’s bad.

United Breaks Stomachs

A couple celebrating their anniversary got a lovely present to mark the occasion thanks to a United Airlines airplane cleaner who didn’t quite live up to his job description.

A couple on their anniversary trip to Hawaii said they found a full barf bag in a blanket in the seat-back pocket in front of them, reports CBS Sacramento, and naturally, they weren’t pleased to have to deal with someone’s bodily fluids.
The woman said when she handed the bag over to a United Airlines flight attendant, the contents spilled on both her and her husband’s clothes. Though the attendant offered them new seats, it was too late, she says — the smell was already on their clothes and they had to endure it for the rest of the flight.
“Smelling that smell on us and around us was just totally, totally disgusting,” she recalls.

After getting pretty well nowhere reporting their experience directly to United, they took their story to their local news’s consumer justice getter guy who scored them a $300 flight credit that they probably won’t use because, as the female victim quite reasonably states, “I’ve lost a lot of faith and trust with the airline.”

And lunch. Don’t forget lunch.

United Breaks Basic Cleanliness Standards

Family forced to sit in vomit on United flight
No, that’s not some headline writer editorializing on the state of airplane food. Literally, these people had to go all butts in the barf seat because nobody from the crew bothered to clean things up between flights. Yes, I said between flights. So it’s not even a case where somebody had had enough of demanding passengers for the day and decided to let these ones stew in their own juices to teach ’em a lesson. I wouldn’t necessarily condone that by the way, but having interacted with a few less than pleasant human beings in my day I might understand it.

Scott Shirley had boarded a United Airlines flight with his wife and son when the trio noticed an unusual smell after placing their carry-on bags underneath their seats. After realizing their bags were damp, the family recognized the odor as vomit.
“She [Shirley’s wife] reached down and rubbed the ground and goes “the whole ground is wet,” and then she put it to her nose and goes “Oh my god! This is throw up,” Shirley explained to WUSA9.

“We’re extremely, extremely sorry about this. Why don’t you guys hang out over here while we take care of it? OH, and if you’d like anything to drink it’s on the house,” United should have said. But instead, they did the most United thing possible.

The family says they were given two choices: Either get on another plane or take these here garbage bags, wrap your stuff in them and let it marinate in stranger harf for a few hours. And no, we’re not changing your seats either, bitches.

They opted to stay on the plane because his wife had to be at work in the morning, though if that’s not a good enough reason to take a sick day I’m not sure what is.

United’s You’re Not Helping Department later issued a statement/apology.

“The situation Mr. Shirley described is certainly one that we wish no customer experiences, as our cleaners did not fully clean the seat area prior to departure. We offered them an alternate flight, but they decided to remain onboard. Our agents did the best they could in the short time they had to accommodate Mr. Shirley and keep the flight on time. We’ve to apologize to his family and offered a gesture of goodwill for future travel.”

Clearly these people have learned nothing from the great toilet paper famine of 2013. Sometimes it’s ok if the plane’s a little late.

Along with the apology, United gave each member of the family a $150 travel voucher. They would have also gotten coupons for the airport cafe, but that was deemed excessive as they had already gotten an extra meal.

United Breaks WWE

United Airlines has gone and lost something important belonging to someone important again. This time it’s Dolph Ziggler’s luggage, complete with WWE Intercontinental title. Hopefully he gets it back in one piece. United doesn’t exactly have the best record when it comes to that sort of thing.

WWE Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler has been writing United Airlines on Twitter, noting that he needs help finding luggage that was lost by the airlines for several days:
Based on Tweets Ziggler has written today, the WWE Intercontinental championship is among the items currently missing in his luggage bag, which apparently somehow ended up in Canada and still has yet to be returned to him: