Posts Tagged ‘United Airlines’

United was in breach of contract: It was not a “denial of boarding” but an unauthorised “refusal to transport”

April 13, 2017

United exceeded their authority. This was not a case of denial of boarding but one of refusal to transport. And to free up a seat for one of their own employees is not a permissible reason for refusal to transport. Even denial of boarding – which this wasn’t – would only be permitted in a case of over booking. This was not such a case. United is going to get screwed over in court – if it ever gets there.

The should settle quickly if they want to get past this.

Not that they can’t afford it. Their CEO will probably get a bonus of about $13 million.

Image result for united re-accommodated


Most of the coverage of the United Airlines bumping debacle assumes something like, “United Airlines had a right to remove that flier. But should it have?” But a close reading of the fine print of the contract included in every ticket purchased from United Continental Holdings Inc. strongly suggests that United in fact breached its contract with passenger David Dao.

The contract allows the airline to deny boarding involuntarily in case of overbooking. But that’s not what happened; the airplane wasn’t oversold. And Dao wasn’t denied boarding. As far as we know, he was removed from a seat he had already taken after being assigned to it. The contract’s specific provisions for removing travelers or refusing to transport them don’t include the airline’s desire to free up seats, whether for its own employees, as in this case, or for other passengers.

……. Rule 25(A)(2) of the contract applies to “oversold flights.” It says that “no one may be denied boarding against his/her will” until the airline asks for volunteers. Then, “if there are not enough volunteers, other Passengers may be denied boarding involuntarily in accordance with United Airlines’ boarding priority.” ……….

……. But all this is about “oversold flights,” which are defined in the contract as “a flight where there are more passengers holding valid confirmed tickets that check-in for the flight within the prescribed check-in time than there are available seats.” That’s a grammatically poor definition, but it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t apply to a situation where the flight isn’t oversold, but the airline wants to add its own employees.

What’s more, this entire section of the contract is about denial of boarding — which is legally different from “removal,” which is discussed in an entirely different section of the contract.

Rule 21 of the contract covers “refusal of transport” and includes involuntary removal of a passenger from a plane. It includes a wide variety of misdeeds, from the serious (deadly weapons) to the trivial (barefoot).

But nowhere does this section authorize removal or refusal to transport for no reason other than that the airline needs the seat.

That seems pretty unambiguous. Actually a fairly straightforward breach of contract and unauthorised (also uncouth) behaviour on the part of United.


United Airlines redefines “re-accommodate”

April 11, 2017

A  69 year-old passenger is “re-accommodated” by United Airlines into a hospital.

This upsets me more than most things do. Maybe my being 69 has something to do with that.

If you do happen to fly with United, don’t ever accept an offer from them to “re-accommodate” you.

United’s CEO made a non-apology after the s**t hit the fan.:

“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.”


Time for UAL shareholders to sell off.



Dreamliner still having electrical teething problems as fire breaks out in empty JAL aircraft

January 8, 2013

UPDATE! 9th January

(Reuters) – Boeing Co’s 787 Dreamliner jet suffered a third mishap in as many days on Wednesday, heightening safety concerns after a string of setbacks for the new aircraft.


Some 800 Boeing Dreamliners have been ordered so far and the first Dreamliner entered commercial operation with ANA in late 2011. That was about 3 years later than planned following a string of production issues. The Dreamliner has had a number of teething problems – mainly with electrical systems. Qatar Airways had to correct electrical faults and a United Air flight had to make an emergency landing  because of power failure. The FAA had also found some faults with the installation of the fuel system and had called for all Dreamliners to be inspected. Now a JAL aircraft has had a battery fire after landing at Boston – but there were no passengers on board at the time.

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet aircraft is surrounded by emergency vehicles while parked at Logan International Airport in Boston. AP/Stephan Savoia

But the problems experienced so far do not seem to be anything extraordinary compared  to what could be expected with a brand new aircraft. The Dreamliner has not – unlike the Airbus A380 – experienced any serious engine problems so far. Another year of flying will probably see all the initial bugs ironed out. Then it will probably take another 5 or 6 years before any generic design issues – due to materials choices for example – start showing up.

NY Times:  A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with no passengers on board caught fire at Logan International Airport in Boston on Monday when a battery in its auxiliary electrical system exploded, officials said.

A mechanic inspecting the Japan Airlines jet discovered smoke in the cockpit while performing a routine postflight inspection and reported it to airport authorities around 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, said Bob Donahue, the fire chief of the Massachusetts Port Authority.

A fire crew responded and determined that a battery used to power the plane’s electrical systems when the engines are not running had exploded, Chief Donahue said. The mechanic was the only person on board the plane when the smoke was discovered, and no one was hurt by the fire, he added. ….

…… The 787 relies heavily on electrical power to drive onboard systems that in other jet models are run by air pressure generated by the engines. It also experienced electrical problems during testing that prompted a redesign.

The Dreamliner has experienced a string of problems with its electrical systems in recent weeks. On Dec. 4, a United Airlines flight from Houston to Newark made an emergency landing after it appeared that one of its power generators had failed.

On Dec. 13, Qatar Airways said it had grounded one of its three 787 jets because of the same problem United experienced. On Dec. 17, United said that a second 787 in its fleet had developed electrical problems.

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