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  • 46

United Agent Cancels Man's Trip For Taping Argument

Submitted
The high-profile, increasingly videotaped, and often viral battle between airlines and their passengers ensnared a Hercules frequent flyer this past weekend. He says a United Airlines agent canceled his trip for doing what other frustrated passengers have done to prove their case: videotaping an airline worker. (www.nbcbayarea.com) More...

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dnorthern
dnorthern 29
United staff keep stepping in it , barefoot, and relishing the texture and the smell.
SmokedChops
SmokedChops 9
well put!
bdarnell
bdarnell 10
Here we go again. Groundhog Day.
E1craZ4life
Edward Bardes 2
Watch out for that first step; it's a doozie.
yr2012
matt jensen 13
The pax can't tape/film a conversation, but the gate agent can?
btweston
btweston 21
It kinda seems as though the gate agent might be an idiot.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Kinda?
toolguy105
toolguy105 10
In a public space you may film anything and everything without fear of arrest unless there are notices posted to the contrary. As the officer told him he was free to film the agent. She too was free to film him unless United has a policy against it. She did not have the right to cancel his flight. United owes him compensation for the ticket he purchased on the other airline and for any inconvenience he suffered.
WyomingCowboy
J C Hancock 11
Cut the, "IT'S ALL ABOUT ME. ATTITUDE." Quit being rude. This guy was obnoxious. Be courteous and polite, you'll find the favor is returned. The general public thinks they can get away with anything they want, that guy dao included. This isn't just happening in the airline industry. Just take a look around you, PEOPLE ARE RUDE!
dalehill800
Dale Hill 6
Well said. I've been flying is for 30 years, however I have seen more gate agents and flight attendants that are rude than I have passengers. Be polite, be courteous, behave professionally are attributes not only meant for passengers but also the airlines. You can talk most people down if your willing. Disney has mastered this! But you have to put forth the effort. Training in his area is important but not many airlines see it. Most airlines use the club mentality, my club is bigger than yours. No one likes to be bullied but this is what it's come to. "I'll show you!" There is no place for it in this industry, but it happens and no one's doing anything about it on the airline side or on the passenger side. We the airlines are in leadership roles. We should set the example, the right example, no matter what!
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 8
Have we lost sight of the fact that airlines are a SERVICE industry and as such are there to SERVE the customer? Knowing that service is what differentiates a company from its competition, and taking into consideration United's recent service failures, it appears that it is in need of a top to bottom culture adjustment which takes much time or it should be prepared to suffer continued exposure and commercial risk. Based on the agent's attitude, it appears that she has the client / service provider dynamic reversed. Obnoxious customer? Perhaps, but it is the manner in which obnoxious clients are managed that is the failure here. A United fail in this case.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 3
Exactly!!!
dalehill800
Dale Hill 1
Agreed. Don't let them make their problem, your problem.
themadDutchman
themadDutchman 3
Well said, JC. Many people lose sight of basic courtesy and are very entitled and self-centered. The goal in any confrontation like this should always be to defuse and resolve, but most people are more concerned with loudly proclaiming being right. Like I tried to say elsewhere on this topic, while you might be in the right that doesn't mean you get to be rude and abrasive. People in the service industry are not your indentured servants.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 2
No but their paychecks are somewhat directly tied to the level of service provided. Just a hard fact in today's service industry. Customers, no matter how obnoxious a small majority may be, have choices. And more importantly, as do those that observe situations such as this, and move on to the competition. Unfortunate situations, once repeated, begin to leave an aroma. United has to "change the air in the room".
PSUAth
Supercool Marmol 3
Yeah, how dare that guy question why his luggage fee more than doubled in price! The nerve of him to ask!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
He bought a souvenir anvil during his travels.
PSUAth
Supercool Marmol 3
well, per UA's baggage policy, "Customers who travel in United Economy with checked baggage weighing more than 50 pounds (23 kg) and not exceeding 70 pounds (32 kg) will be charged at the rate of up to $200 per piece depending on the destination. Baggage weighing more than 70 pounds (32 kg) but less than 100 pounds (45 kg) will be charged at a rate up to $400 per piece, depending on the destination. These charges are in addition to any charge assessed for additional or oversized baggage. Baggage weighing 100 pounds (45 kg) or more will not be accepted as checked baggage."

so either he had more stuff in his bag, or the destination caused a change in price. But i wonder what the agent said to cause all the trouble.
dalehill800
Dale Hill 3
Yup. Learn to read people.
PSUAth
Supercool Marmol 2
something tells me that that policy wasn't readily available at the ticket counter. nor was it explained to the customer. that being said, question: "It was $125 checked out here, now you say it is $300. Why is this the case" The response should have been "Your luggage weights 85lbs. Per our policy, it costs $300." "But my bag is the same". "I'm sorry, I am not sure why it was only $125, but from my screen, it is set at $300"

still, things just don't add up here.
dalehill800
Dale Hill 1
As always, clear as mud. You need a microscope or a law degree to decipher through all the goulash.
beilstwh
beilstwh 5
The law is 100% on the side of the passenger. In a public area, which the courts have ruled an airport is, citizens have a complete right to take videos or stills whenever they want and they do NOT need the permission of anyone. Now lets look at the agent. She decided to cancel the reservation for a "frequent flyer" because she got her panties in a twist and will cost her employer hundreds of thousands of dollars over the long run if he switches to another airline. She also didn't have the right to cancel the reservation when all he was doing was performing a legal act. She needs to go back to training for a refresher or be fired. How many people have she driven to another airlines with her nasty attitude?
nasdisco
Chris B 2
What we are seeing is the inevitable collision between customers have so devalued the process of flying and airlines have so devalued the meaning of service with their process and procedures.

Overlay the examples of great customer service outside the airport perimeter, immediacy of internet and there is no escape from what you or I do.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
Huh? Care to put that in English?
E1craZ4life
Edward Bardes 4
I'm starting to wonder if there's a relationship between the massive influx of airline PR disasters and the fact that there hasn't been a major airline accident anywhere in the world for several months.
themadDutchman
themadDutchman 2
So, this passenger admits being drunk and belligerent, and then through entitled outrage has to begin filming the person he has more than likely been haranguing for the last several minutes. Granted, the United agent seems to have stepped over the line, but this guy didn't have to walk her all the way up to the line in the first place. Poor behavior on both sides.
PSUAth
Supercool Marmol 3
From the video that was shown, he doesn't seem belligerent. I've seen my fair share of drunk and belligerent people in my time. I have not seen them go to calm, cool and collected in a few seconds. to my point, the cops where there and they allowed him to continue recording. They must not have had enough evidence to suspect he was drunk and disorderly.
Srwalter
Steven Walter 3
I see no evidence of poor behavior on the passenger's side. Where are you getting that from other than your imagination?
themadDutchman
themadDutchman 2
In the linked article he admits that he'd been drinking and had an argument prior to recording, as I did say above. Yes, once the video starts he's on his best behavior, but there is more that we didn't see. You'll also notice I didn't defend the United agent.
scubaboy3c
Steven Williamson 1
I blame the TV news media - they have been promoting the idea that if any "drone" camera films you in public, your privacy is being violated. Well it's called "public" because in "public" you don't have an expectation of privacy.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 2
What does that have to do with a discrepancy concerning a bag charge?
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
I've said this before. Some agents lose their common sense and take on a different attitude when they're behind the podium.
Couple that with a lack of knowledge of the rules and an unruly customer and you've got the making of a bad scene.
Agents have to remember that not everyone is familiar with all the rules and procedures of airline travel, and as such, need to be accommodating and helpful.
Dealing with the public is stressful, but can be rewarding also.
My question to any self-centered agent is: How would you like to be treated if you were on the other side of the podium?
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 1
There is simply no reason in the transportation business to deliver bad service or be confrontational with customers. In this case the airline set a precedent by charging him one price in one direction. They should never have tried to collect more, even if correct, on the return flight. I miss the piece concept. It eliminated that weighing of bags and fleecing passengers at the airport.

Having spent a good portion of my career behind the viewfinder I notice that people who object to being recorded are doing something wrong. In a public space anyone can record what they please, capture anyone's image, and use it for any purpose, with minor exceptions such as commercial use.

I advise people who don't wish to be recorded to leave the area. That is their only remedy.
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
So what's keeping someone from increasing the bag weight on their return flight and argueing that they shouldn't be charged more than on the originating flight?
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
Every bag is weighed that results in an upcharge. If the precedent was set at 60 lbs, then 60 lbs should be allowed at the same fee. If the bag now was 70 lbs any argument would be moot.

I would also like to point out that most people are good folks and would not try to swindle the airline. Those people who do want something for nothing are usually communists or politicians.
dalehill800
Dale Hill 1
Isn't there cameras in the airport filming the whole thing anyway? Why would the ticking agent need to do that other than to intimidate or escalate the already offensive customer?
watkinssusan
mary susan watkins 1
the agent was angry,not just because the man decided to "film her", but because he had already lost his temper and was upset about a baggage charge of $300 versus what he said had been only $125 on his trip there...baggage charges are laid out for the passenger when the bag is checked,and they go up depending upon the size and the weight of the bag..i will grant you that per the video,the agent seemingly escalated the episode with her "filming" comments (worried about her job or supervisory comments maybe?)and she did not handle it well,but the passenger was a bit beligerant also and rather than "filming" he could have asked to speak with a supervisor about the charges..that person would have the authority to override the charges in the computer if he or she felt the need,and take over the situation...it doesn't take that much to be courteous and try to assist even an irate person..
fireftr
Dale Ballok 1
This could be just another airline-provoked instance, where the customer is trying to avoid paying one of their ridiculous fees.
With that said, he already paid a fee for the bag, and what's to say it didn't weigh MORE on the return trip?
Was he upset because he was challenged by the agent, thinking she would accept his argument about the difference in the charges?
Too bad sir. The scale doesn't lie!
If they were squabbling over a 1# difference, then he's got a point...otherwise, pay up and shut up!
I agree, her handling of the situation was completely wrong.
curtislisa
Curtis Hahn 0
Fix the problem put the RUDE passengers on the NO FLY LIST its done
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 5
Firing the dumbass employees would be more of a fix!!!
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 3
And how does one measure rude? Sorry, not as simple as that.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
Except then it becomes - what exactly defines rude behavior.
fedexman2
Eric Schmaltz -2
Yawn
WeatherWise
WeatherWise 0
Sure is a lot of airline bashing on this aviation site. The new "it's all about me" generation of airline passengers, who for the most part, are totally clueless as to how an aircraft actually flies, let alone the work involved in getting a scheduled commercial flight from Point A to Point B, is the primary problem. Maybe the airline staff has had it up to their eyeballs with whiny, self entitled adults acting like babies, who throw temper tantrums if their flight is one minute late getting airborne, or God forbid, weather delayed, because after all, weather is the responsibility of the carrier, right? Lunatic clowns like Doctor Dao, drunken unruly passengers who deserve to have their asses kicked, are the issue. I compare it to blaming the cartels for the drug problem in our country. No, WE are the problem because WE are the ones buying the shit and creating the demand. Normal, mature, well behaved passengers are not dragged down aisles of aircraft or escorted off flights by police. Sit down, shut up, buckle up and enjoy the flight. Oh, wait, the "Golden Age of Flying is dead. Now it's just herding the masses of human cattle whose only concern is their next selfie, back and forth across the country.

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