One question that many have asked after last Sunday’s incident is why the involuntary removal process occurred with passengers already on the plane and not prior to boarding in the gate area. The answer is that the flight was not overbooked when the gate agent kicked off the boarding process. Instead, four United employees who needed to work a flight the next morning showed up to the gate at the last minute and requested seats. This was either while boarding had already started or perhaps even after it was completed.
A new policy communicated yesterday will prevent this going forward, specifically restricting de-planing of customers:
Title: Inflight Services Alert
Sender: Inflight Administration
Date: April 14, 2017 15:22 CT
Inflight Services Alert – Scheduling – Must ride crewmember: Oversale limitations
Friday, April 14, 2017
Effective immediately, Crew Scheduling is now only able to make must-ride deadhead bookings on oversold flights if it is 60 minutes or more before the estimate time of departure.
This is so the denied boarding process in an oversell situation may be implemented in a gate or lobby area and not on board the aircraft.
If you do not have a reservation for your deadhead segment and it is within the 60-minute window before departure, contact Crew Scheduling and they will book you on the next available flight.
- There will be no deviation from the policy above.
- This policy change has no impact on existing crew check-in times.
- No must ride crew member can displace a customer who has boarded an aircraft
This new Scheduling Alert is also available on the United News app and on Flying Together. Ensure you are familiar with this content prior to your next trip.