What United employees did is horrific – there is no denying it. But what is most interesting to me is the $1000 ceiling they hit before requiring passengers to get off the plane. (Seriously United? In what possible scenario did you imagine forcibly removing a passenger from a plane because of YOUR screw up would not cost at least 100 times more than giving vouchers away to volunteers willing to get off the plane??? Sure – it’s easy to say in hindsight, but I’m baffled that this hasn’t come up before and that incrementally raising the offer for “volunteers” isn’t more common.
- The people who screwed up should be immediately fired (including the CEO). There is no excuse for deciding a paying customer should lose what he/she paid for without properly compensating them for the screw up. Even if they felt justified because it was employees who were going to miss another flight, there is still no excuse for using physical force.
- Slight over-bookings are a necessary part of business for any airline. Diplomatically handling those over-bookings when they gamble and lose is the key.
- I don’t care if an airline has to raise voucher prices to $2000 or $3000 – if they strategically and incrementally raise voucher offers, there will ALWAYS be someone who will take them up on it.
- Considering the 95% of the time the airline profits by over-booking with no-one the wiser, I think they can afford a small loss the other 5% of the time.
- The massive impact this will have on United is sad. It was a screw-up by a handful of individuals, not a company policy. I know a ton of people are saying they will never fly United again. I’m looking forward to getting some way cheaper flights from them as they so desperately scrounge to keep market share.
- United is going to suffer greatly in the short-term, but we as consumers will benefit through better prices. A LOT better prices.
- In the long run, I believe United will be better off for it because NO ONE is going to make this mistake ever again. (Even if they have to double the average price of vouchers to make sure people voluntarily get off a plane.)