There’s fake news, and there’s FAKE NEWS. There’s spin, and then there’s such complete imbecilic fuckery disguised as “reporting,” that the moment you read it, you should ridicule it and block the site. Anyone with a shred of knowledge or an inclination to check actual links in a story that claims to be “news,” should be able to discern fact from bullshit, but just in case, let me demonstrate.
A few days ago, some rabid cock weasel writing for some outfit named DC Memo, that claims to provide “news and commentary from our nation’s capital,” wrote an article titled, “Obama Using Top Secret iPad to Take Pics of Michelle.”
The title unequivocally claims that Barack Obama, who left office in January, is publicly using a classified device that he took from the government to take photos of his wife. This is a federal crime, and the headline is misleading and libelous. Let me explain.
After leaving the presidency, Barack Obama has been spotted using his favorite iPad to take photos of his wife while on a David Geffen-owned megayacht in Tahiti. But this may be no ordinary iPad. A government watchdog speculates that he may have taken the Top Secret version out of the Oval Office, a big no-no.
Note the language.
Barack Obama is using his favorite iPad to take photos of his wife, but it MAY be no ordinary iPad. This is already speculative. The idiot who wrote the piece links to Judicial Watch, claiming that the organization speculates Obama may have taken the TS version of the tablet out of the Oval when he left.
This is no longer fact, as claimed in the title, but conjecture. Further, if you click on the links provided as evidence for said claim, you will see this:
We can’t tell what iPad is being used by the former president, and the story postulates that this is a TS tablet that he somehow stole from the intelligence community and is now publicly using it to take photos of his wife.
But do you know what photo comes up when the story is linked on social media?
Does this look like the photo was taken on a yacht, as the article claims? What kind of fucktard would wear a suit and tie on a yacht?
So what is this absurd claim based on?
The link to Judicial Watch claiming that the organization speculates he may have taken the iPad leads to the organization’s home page. I have done several different searches to find out what, if anything, Judicial Watch has written about an ostensibly missing presidential daily brief (PDB) tablet. I couldn’t find a thing. No speculation about any missing iPad. No accusation – not even an indirect one – about Obama having taken the tablet out of the White House.
Additionally, the TS tablet that contains the PDB is completely disabled and cannot in any way connect to any wi-fi, why in the world would Obama take a photo of her that he cannot share? Being a pretty tech savvy guy, one would think any device he would use to photograph his wife would be able to connect to the net, so that these photos can be shared.
The report claims there is a top secret iPad that went missing during the transition, and claims White House staffers were searching for it. There is no link to any reporting confirming this claim, and no actual source is named. Additionally, the fuckwit who wrote this travesty claims, “The iPad device that Obama is suspected to have taken with him into civilian life still has access to current Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs). Trump associates believe this device may be giving the ex-president an “over the shoulder” view inside the secret workings of the Trump Administration.”
Now, I’m wondering how it is that a tablet that is not wi-fi enabled, and requires the intelligence community to load the information onto it in a secure location daily, which means the old data on it is deleted, can possibly contain information about the “secret workings of the Trump Administration.”
Here’s a clue, it can’t. The “journalistic” douche circus is so eager for a “gotcha” story against Obama, that he contradicts himself in froth flecked zeal to nail the former POTUS. And if you don’t think there’s a mechanism on this tablet that erases all the information on it automatically after a certain amount of time, in case the device gets accidentally lost or left behind, you’re as much of a moron as this “writer” is.
The National Archives, this chucklefuck claims, was also “unaware” of the existence of the iPad, because somehow he thinks the PDB staff can’t reuse the tablets and would hand them over to the National Archives instead.
“A member of the Obama team declined to comment for this report,” he concludes, as if somehow this is a condemnation against the former President.
Perhaps said member thought the story was so stupid, that he considered it to have been a waste of his time to even bother talking to this retardified butt penguin.
So let’s recap.
The title makes a definitive claim that Obama is committing a crime.
The story then speculates that Obama is committing a crime, based on the fact that he has a personal iPad and on spurious claims that there’s a missing presidential iPad that somehow, even though it’s not wi-fi enabled, is receiving current presidential daily briefs, and that Obama is reading them to get intel on the Trump administration… or something.
And to add insult to injury, it provides links that absolutely do not support said speculation and sets a default photo that when shared shows the President in a completely other situation, at another time, that has nothing to do with the original claim that he was using an iPad on a boat while on vacation to take photos of his wife.
This, boys and girls, is how you spot bullshit.
By the way, if you want to keep your sanity, do NOT read the comments at the bottom of the original story. The retardulous FAIL will make your brain bleed.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
UPDATE: Looks like the idiotarians removed that “story.” Maybe someone sent them my article? Hmmmmm?
Normally, I wouldn’t call someone a Filthy Antifa Whore (FAW). However, since Moldylocks, who was shown getting punched out at this weekend’s Berkeley protests by some dude everyone claims is a fascist/racist/neo-nazi/somethingorother, is a nasty, unwashed, slovenly sow, and since she did, in fact,
demonstrate riot, throw bottles, and assault people at a rally for a President whom she apparently does not like, and since there are photos of said skank on the Internet baring her unshaven, unwashed, beaver and sprocket, that probably reek of week-old garbage and decaying pork, wide for the world – and presumably her parents – to see, I think FAW is appropriate.
No, I’m not giving you a link, pervs. When I ran across it while doing an image search on the protests the other day, I’m pretty sure I developed a severe case of post-traumatic stress, and I may or may not have gone blind for an unspecified period of time, while desperately stumbling around my house trying to find enough brain bleach to erase that image from my mind forever. Suffice it to say that cum-gurgling sausage junkie gives the term “bearded clam” an entire new meaning.
Her mommy and daddy must be so proud!
The FAW decided to speak out to the uber-friendly media – journowhores who will take any opportunity to make Trump supporters or anyone who didn’t worship at the cankles of Queen Pantsuit – look like a horde of fascist monkeys.
She was just a peaceable protester, you see.
She was just there to show her support, you see.
They were “rushed” by the counter-demonstrators, you see.
Her boyfriend disappeared, you see (oh-so-brave soul, who probably saw some pissed off demonstrators, who decided they’d had just about enough bullshit from the black-clad fascist crowd, and decided to hide, while his filthy hippie whore decided to engage in some assault) and she was just trying to protect herself.
“There was no time for emotion,” she said. “I was just terrified. I didn’t have time to process what was happening to me. All I knew was I was trying to find my boyfriend and not get hit…When it was happening I realized they were trying to crack my skull on the curb and on the rocks in the planter.”
During the entire attack, Rosealma said she never saw any Berkeley police officers. She also said the attack was unprovoked.
“I didn’t exchange words with anyone,” she said. “I was just standing there.”
Funny how the journaljizzer reporting on this story didn’t include photos that clearly show the FAW is lying.
Oh, whoops! Who would that be holding a bottle with the all-telling dreadlocks snaking out from under her hat?
And who would this be, viciously attacking that guy before getting “equal treatment” at the hands of her would-be victim?
Oh, did you want a clearer photo of the FAW getting her ass handed to her as she holds said bottle?
What’s that red arrow pointing to? Would that be a bottle? Gee, but she was just an innocent protester, lending her support, right? She only accidentally ran into that guy’s fist!
And she didn’t plan on violence, right?
Except that she did. Publicly. On Facebook. With her barely literate minions encouraging her “beat they ass.” Of course, now her account has been locked tight, but the Internet is forever, you noxious cum dumpster, and there are plenty of screen shots out there.
None of the “news” outlets covering this story mention this awkwardly inconvenient visual evidence. None of them even tried to appear balanced in any way! They’re simply all falling all over themselves to paint this hairy, walking septic tank of spectacular FAIL as a victim.
I’m used to the media being a completely biased, cocked up horde of communist-fellating fucknozzles. But to pretend to be objective, when there’s so much visual evidence available that contradicts the FAW’s claim of innocent victimhood? Come on!
She was not a victim. She was not innocent. She came to that protest fully prepared to attack those who dared to hold different political views than she did. What she didn’t expect is for the targets of her rage boner to fight back.
Recall when I said to prepare for civil war?
Just remember how that fucking fist felt cracking into your face, you miserable, lying sack of cunt. I’m pretty sure no one is going to play nice with you any longer.
Karma is a bitch.
So my parents got scammed out of $6,000 today. They’re elderly, and they can’t really afford to lose that much. They’re a bit naive, because having been born abroad, they’re not really well versed in the plethora of scams perpetrated by fetid pieces of detritus all over the world. And worst part is that they love their family so much, that they completely lose any semblance of common sense when they think their children or grandchildren are in trouble.
This particular scam is not uncommon. It’s a well known ruse, and when I sent my dad to the police station to report it, the officer who took his report said he was the third complainant about that scam that day.
The scam is what’s known as the grandparent scam. It’s a variation on one that had been going around Germany a few years ago, in which a parent was ostensibly called by someone associated with their child and told the child had been involved in a crime and arrested, and of course, thousands of dollars were needed to bail said child out of jail. From what I gather, these were Russian speaking criminals, who specifically targeted Russian immigrants, and specifically looked for Russian sounding names in phone directories to swindle people out of money. In this particular case, the grandparent is informed that his or her grandchild is in jail and needs money for bail.
Roger made the mistake of saying his granddaughter Michelle’s name. The female voice didn’t sound familiar, but the woman jumped on Roger’s use of a name and said she was calling from California. She put a “lawyer” on the phone who said Michelle was riding in a car, when police stopped it and found a pound of marijuana under the driver’s seat. Because “Michelle” was riding in the car, she was being held in jail and needed $4,000 to make bail.
But the lawyer didn’t want $4,000 in a wire transfer or money order. He wanted Roger to purchase two $2,000 gift cards from Target.
Crazy as it sounded, Roger said he was so frazzled by his 35-year-old granddaughter possibly being held in jail that he ran to the bank to get $4,000 in cash. He then drove to the Target in Medford, Long Island, and bought the two gift cards.
This is exactly what happened to my father. He was so emotionally frazzled by the idea that Danny was in jail for a DUI, he immediately ran over to Target and purchased four gift cards to send to the scammer.
He was also warned not to contact me, because Danny signed some paperwork that required confidentiality. Not being versed in bail procedures, or legal procedures of any kind, my father – a man with two Masters degrees in engineering – got so frightened at the idea of his grandson being in jail, he kept this from me until it was too late.
This is what these people do. They prey on the fears of the elderly, whom they consider easy marks, and who are likely unfamiliar with the details of such scams, and they strike.
Target is another story, however.
The caller demanded that my father buy the cards with cash, call him back, and give him the gift card numbers over the phone. When my father went back to the Target where he bought the cards three hours later and asked them to flag and cancel those gift cards, they had already been redeemed in another state.
They redeemed the gift cards without having them in hand. Just like that.
A customer came in with $6000 in cash and bought four gift cards. A transaction that large should have set off at least SOME alarm bells.
Structuring of a large transaction into four smaller ones. It’s not quite smurfing as it’s done in financial transfers, but again, any company that deals in cash and gift cards should at least train their personnel to spot suspicious transactions!
And then there’s the redeeming of a large transaction amount in another state. No ID needed. No actual card present. The cards were redeemed in another state within a couple of hours. No one at Target thought this was in any way sketchy? There was no need to have the actual card present?
A little training and awareness would have raised red flags – especially when a customer smurfed a large amount of cash into four smaller transactions, and especially when the cards were then redeemed almost immediately in another state.
Target was aware their gift cards were being used in such a manner, and took what appears to be zero steps in mitigating the problem. When a New York TV station contacted Target public affairs for a statement, they received a canned statement, and never answered the reporter’s question about why these gift cards could be converted or redeemed in another state.
“Target is committed to providing a secure environment for our guests and team members. As a part of that commitment, we take a multi-layered, comprehensive approach to preventing theft and fraud that includes innovative programs and partnerships with local law enforcement, technology and team member training. We are aware of scams like these and have communicated to our store teams in the area. Additionally, we are actively working with law enforcement.”
Actively working with law enforcement, are ya?
Then why is it that an obvious illicit financial red flag was either ignored or missed by your personnel – both on the purchasing end and on the redeeming end?
The Internet is filled with information about financial red flags. You know what is usually first on the list? Be alert to the customer who wants to purchase multiple gift cards, particularly in large dollar denominations.
You know what the best advice is when one is redeeming gift cards? Ask for photo ID!
After being made aware that their cards were being used in a scam, Target, despite their claims to the contrary, apparently did little to nothing to mitigate this problem.
Or, they have morons for employees.
Look, I understand that ultimately, my parents are responsible for becoming victims. They are vulnerable, not always informed, and driven by emotions and a passionate love for their kids and grandkids. That’s why, when someone called claiming their grandchild was in trouble, they sprung into action without thinking, without contacting me, and with only one thought: must help Danny!
My father didn’t ask Target to refund the money. He didn’t cause a scene. He merely asked them to flag the gift cards as fraudulent and deny the transaction if anyone attempted to redeem them. But it was too late. Without so much as a blink, Target allowed $6000 in gift cards to be redeemed within an hour of purchase. In another state. Without ID. And without the cards even being present.
It’s a tough lesson to learn for my parents, for sure.
That said, Target’s inability or unwillingness to mitigate the problem even slightly, after having known about it for several months, and the lack of common sense among their employees when they allowed this transaction to occur without a second glance, and worse yet, allowed the cards to be redeemed in another state without the card being present and without ID being presented almost immediately after the purchase was made, that’s on them.
It’s appalling. I guess being hacked a few years ago didn’t make them any more cautious.
My parents learned. They will call me before doing anything like this again, and I will make sure they don’t screw up.
Target hasn’t learned yet.
Remember when I wrote yesterday that United Airlines sucks? I wasn’t just saying this because they treated a passenger brutally and with complete disregard for his rights. I’ve personally had crappy experiences with this airline, so I try to avoid them as much as I can, although sometimes it’s unavoidable.
Take, for example, my experience flying United to Germany a few years ago for language training. I was going for six weeks, so my suitcase was a bit on the heavy side. Ergo, my agency kindly granted me $100 to use as a fee for overweight luggage. I knew this was going to be an issue, so I requested that extra money – just in case. As I wheeled my suitcase to the United Monkey and placed it on the scale, the conversation went something like this.
United Monkey: Your bag is too heavy.
Me: I realize this. I’m going TDY for six weeks, so I knew it would be a bit heavy. I’ve been granted $100 for the extra weight.
UM: It will be $400 extra.
Me: $400 for an extra 10 lbs. Are you serious?
Me: Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to walk over to that little store over there, and I’m going to buy that $25 overpriced piece of crap carry-on bag they’re selling. I’m going to take 10 lbs. of stuff out of my suitcase and put it in this carry-on. Then I’m going to come back to you and check my bag. Your airline could have had an extra $100. Now you’re going to have nothing, I’m still going to bring the extra weight on the plane, but it will now be taking up room in an overhead compartment. Have a nice day.
I suppose when you’re the government’s preferred contract carrier, you think you have a guaranteed client base, and you don’t feel yourself accountable to the customers. Much like government transit benefits incentivize indolence, lack of accountability, and incompetence on the part of the Metro, having a near-guaranteed government clientele base does the same. Add to that the fact that air travel is fast and convenient, and we, Americans, like fast and convenient, the airline feels it’s guaranteed customers, no matter how they treat them.
Sunday’s incident, however, appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back vis-a-vis United. I suppose the sight of a bloody, unconscious passenger being dragged off the plane after being refused transport for no reason other than the airline’s desire to shove four partner employees onto a fully boarded, packed aircraft, didn’t sit well with customers or shareholders.
Shares in United Continental Holdings fell on Tuesday as the company continued to draw fierce criticism for violently removing a passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight so staff could take his seat.
In mid-morning trading on Wall Street, shares in the group were down around 4 per cent, temporarily wiping close to $1bn off the company’s total market value, according to Thomson Reuters data. Shares recovered somewhat towards the end of the day to close the session 1.15 per cent lower.
United Continental Holdings was also the second biggest faller on the S&P 500 index.
But if you think my experience and the extreme, violent incident that took place Sunday are isolated incidents, I direct your attention to Geoff Fearns.
Fearns is president of an Irvine investment firm that handles more than half a billion dollars in real estate holdings on behalf of public pension funds. Last week, he flew to Hawaii for a business conference, and paid $1000 for a full-fare, first class ticket. On his way back to Los Angeles, Fearns encountered what one could only describe as United fuckery. Yes, apparently even first class ticket holders aren’t immune to United’s elitism, as Fearns, comfortably ensconsed in his first class seat, found out.
A United monkey rushed onto the plane, according to Fearns, and demanded that Fearns leave the aircraft, because “the flight was overfull.”
Fearns, much like David Dao, stood his ground and refused to leave the plane he had already boarded, seated in the seat he had already paid for.
“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”
Apparently United had some mechanical troubles with the aircraft scheduled to make the flight. So the carrier swapped out that plane with a slightly smaller one with fewer first-class seats.
Worse yet, when Fearns refused to leave, they threatened to handcuff him and physically remove him from the plane. Sound familiar?
But it gets better. OH, so much better! The United monkeys “compromised” by sticking Fearns in an economy seat, between two quarreling spouses, who wouldn’t stop yelling at one another. For six hours. Can you imagine how much fun that was?
After consulting with his attorney, Fearns asked for a full refund and a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice. The response from the United monkeys was “Yeahno, sorry.”
Instead, the United monkey offered to refund the difference between his first-class ticket and an economy ticket and to give him a $500 credit for a future trip on the airline. Because that’s what any customer who was treated like chattel wants to do is fly that retarded airline again! NOT.
The United monkey apologized he had a bad experience, as if it wasn’t their fault, and told Fearns they hope for his continued support. AYFKM?
They should apologize for being an affront to human decency.
They should apologize for their lack of business sense.
They should apologize for their obvious disdain for the very people who purchase their crappy service and expect a value for value return.
They should apologize for their elitist cocksuckery.
They should apologize for their incompetence and lack of respect for paying customers.
They should apologize for their utter lack of common sense.
They should apologize for their lack of self awareness.
They should apologize for being bailed out with taxpayer dollars post 9/11, and then treating the very taxpayers, whose money they used to stay afloat and give out millions to their corrupt shit weasel former CEO, like trash.
But apologizing that the customer had an “apparently unpleasant experience” is akin to saying “sorry you were insulted that I called you a Nazi,” instead of apologizing for actually having done so.
United, please do us all a favor, and eat a bag of dicks!
UPDATE: United is apparently trying hard to overcome its PR disaster. They’re offering refunds to all the passengers on Flight 3411. Additionally, the Chicago Department of Aviation has put three of its officers on leave (don’t know if it’s paid) while they investigate their assault on this passenger.
Like most people who do a fair bit of flying, I was pretty appalled yesterday upon reading about United Airlines’ treatment of a passenger, who Sunday night refused to give up his seat to some airline employees from a partner airline, who apparently needed to get to Louisville, KY, and who was forcibly dragged off the plane unconscious and bleeding as a result.
I can’t stand United on a good day. My nickname for that airline is “Ghetto United,” because generally, I’ve had very few experiences that can be classified as “good” with them. So I do try to avoid United as much as possible on any given day.
Sunday’s story, to me, was beyond disgusting, however, that ended up with an unconscious passenger, who had already taken his seat, and who was “randomly” selected to give it up to airline employees. Yes, it was legal for United to do what it did. Ethical? Ehhhh….. I’ll explore that further on this blog. But definitely legal.
Yes, the captain of the flight has the authority to decide to remove someone from a flight for any reason they deem fit.
Yes, the airline was legally entitled to remove him after he absolutely refused to obey the captain’s command.
Overbooking a plane is perfectly legal, and it does provide flexibility to both the airline and the passengers, as well as helps keep prices from skyrocketing.
Yes, United offered compensation. Some reports say $800, and United claims they offered $1000. A sliding scale applies in cases of overbooked flights.
If the airline is able to get you to your final destination within one hour of your original scheduled arrival time, there is no compensation. If you get there between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours on international flights), the airline must pay you twice the one-way fare with a $675 maximum. And if you arrive more than two hours late(four hours internationally), the compensation is four times the one-way fare, to a maximum of $1,350.
Was the passenger offered cash? Was he offered a voucher to fly that crappy airline again? I don’t know. I tried to find out the answer, but the Internets failed me today. Maybe someone else will know.
If they offered me cash, provided I didn’t have anywhere important to be that day, I probably would have cheerfully taken it. If they offered me a voucher to subject myself to this nonsense again, I probably would have given them the finger, as the majority of these passengers appeared to have done. Dirty cabins, broken equipment, frequent delays, an appalling lack of service… no thanks. Offering me a “free” trip on that crap airline would have made me even angrier.
I want to be fair to the airline. There are reasons for overbooking, and there are good reasons for removing passengers. According to travel expert Gary Leff, some of these reasons are safety related, and also save passengers money. Leff writes most airlines in North America will oversell (although apparently that didn’t happen in this instance, as this was more a case of needing to get a flight crew to its destination to fly the next day) using historical information to determine how many passengers are likely not to show up for a flight.
Airlines are pretty good at guessing these things, taking data like when the flight is and how far in advance tickets were purchased. And indeed they’re getting better, the rate of denied boardings has been on the decline over the past two decades. (In 2000, 0.21% of passengers were denied boarding (voluntary and involuntary) by the largest US airlines. In 2015, 0.09% were.)
You might think airlines shouldn’t overbook, sell each seat one time. But if that were the case airlines wouldn’t really be able to allow passengers the freedom to switch flights at will either on refundable tickets or merely by paying a change fee. Show up 15 minutes late for the airport, buy a new ticket.
OK, it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, and it’s inconvenient, and it sucks.
Leff also makes a viable counterpoint to the argument that the airline should have offered even more money to entice passengers to volunteer to give up their seats.
Should the airline have waited or kept upping the ante (let’s pretend there’s no cap, shall we)? I do see the point that this could cause a whole host of cascading consequences that would be bad for other passengers, the airline, and flights in other airports.
Except that the time spent doing this might cause even bigger problems. Or at least it’s reasonable for the airline to think ex ante that it might.
- Delaying a flight even a little could cause crew to time out and the whole flight to cancel
- Government may have given the plane a very specific takeoff time (air traffic control) and if they miss their window the flight could be substantially delayed or even cancelled
- A late flight might cause passengers to misconnect with their next flight and be stranded
- And late arriving crew would delay other flights
- Or crew might be required to sleep in the next day to meet legal minimum rest requirements
I get these are all logical reasons, but at the same time, this was detestable behavior by the cops and by the airline alike.
I get it. A group of airline employees needed to be in Louisville the next morning properly rested for a flight. The flight, scores of people on it, and their safety were at stake.
So why is it that this group of four employees was hustled on at the last minute, AFTER the passengers who paid for their seats were already boarded and in place? This was a superb lack of planning on the part of the airline! At the very least, preventing someone from boarding the plane would have been a much easier task than forcibly removing a passenger who was already seated.
As Leff points out, it’s a 4.5 hour trip by car from Chicago to Louisville and a roughly $300 Uber ride. Why weren’t the employees offered an option to spring for a large Uber at the airline’s expense, which would have cost the airline considerably less than $4000 to remove four already-boarded passengers from the plane? They could have rested comfortably in a Suburban, while an Uber driver got them to their destination.
Did the airline provide a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn’t, as required by the Department of Transportation before calling out the jackboots? I realize it would take a bit of time, but could the airline have done more to explain the situation, provide compensation or listen to the passenger’s reasons for not wanting to get off the plane? Obviously the passenger didn’t consider the $800 as adequate compensation. Maybe the doctor had a critical procedure to perform the next day. Maybe there was some other emergency at home. We don’t know what happened prior to the violent incident, but I haven’t seen any eyewitness reports that suggest the airline tried to negotiate or reason with the man. And while it may have taken longer to ensure that he willingly exited the aircraft, I guarantee you the three or more hour delay while they cleaned this man’s blood from the plane was much more egregious!
Yes, the passenger was agitated by the airline’s random selection of him to get booted from the craft. But was cracking his head and bloodying him a proportional response on the part of the cops? Really? Was the guy endangering anyone on the aircraft? Did he deserve to be physically assaulted for demanding that the airline provide the service he had already paid for, especially since he had already boarded the plane?
He wasn’t denied boarding. He was physically removed from a seat for which he had already paid, at a time when he had already boarded and occupied said seat. Was it moral? Was it ethical? Was it legal? The TSA site talks about denied boarding. There was no denied boarding in this case. The passenger had already boarded and occupied his seat, so forcibly removing him – not because he was disruptive or a danger to the flight in any way, but because the airline decided at the last possible minute that employees were more important than paying customers – is a no-go at this station.
Plus, while TSA regulations talk about involuntary bumping in the event the flight was oversold, this doesn’t appear to be the case here. All the passengers who paid for their seats were already in them. The airline at the last minute – after everyone was already seated – decided to forcibly remove passengers from said seats in favor of a partner airline’s employees. This is no longer a matter of “involuntary bumping.” This passenger was denied transport.
United claimed the passenger was getting agitated and unruly, but the removal process began before this. It began when United decided arbitrarily to remove him because they needed the seat. They didn’t remove him for safety reasons – as they are well within their right to do. They tried to remove him because they needed his seat, and he didn’t get upset until after he was ordered to leave the plane. United can claim he was in breach of Rule 21, section A.
RULE 21 REFUSAL OF TRANSPORT
UA shall have the right to refuse to transport or shall have the right to remove from the aircraft at any point, any Passenger for the following reasons:
- Breach of Contract of Carriage – Failure by Passenger to comply with the Rules of the Contract of Carriage.
But is that really the case?
The contract clearly states the rules under which it may be considered that the passenger has breached the contract and can be denied transport.
- Government Request, Regulations or Security Directives – Whenever such action is necessary to comply with any government regulation, Customs and Border Protection, government or airport security directive of any sort, or any governmental request for emergency transportation in connection with the national defense.
- Force Majeure and Other Unforeseeable Conditions – Whenever such action is necessary or advisable by reason of weather or other conditions beyond UA’s control including, but not limited to, acts of God, force majeure, strikes, civil commotions, embargoes, wars, hostilities, terrorist activities, or disturbances, whether actual, threatened, or reported.
- Search of Passenger or Property – Whenever a Passenger refuses to submit to electronic surveillance or to permit search of his/her person or property.
Proof of Identity – Whenever a Passenger refuses on request to produce identification satisfactory to UA or who presents a Ticket to board and whose identification does not match the name on the Ticket. UA shall have the right, but shall not be obligated, to require identification of persons purchasing tickets and/or presenting a ticket(s) for the purpose of boarding the aircraft.
- Failure to Pay – Whenever a Passenger has not paid the appropriate fare for a Ticket, Baggage, or applicable service charges for services required for travel, has not paid an outstanding debt or Court judgment, or has not produced satisfactory proof to UA that the Passenger is an authorized non-revenue Passenger or has engaged in a prohibited practice as specified in Rule 6.
- Across International Boundaries – Whenever a Passenger is traveling across any international boundary if:
- The government required travel documents of such Passenger appear not to be in order according to UA’s reasonable belief; or
- Such Passenger’s embarkation from, transit through, or entry into any country from, through, or to which such Passenger desires transportation would be unlawful or denied for any reason.
- Safety – Whenever refusal or removal of a Passenger may be necessary for the safety of such Passenger or other Passengers or members of the crew including, but not limited to:
- Passengers whose conduct is disorderly, offensive, abusive, or violent;
- Passengers who fail to comply with or interfere with the duties of the members of the flight crew, federal regulations, or security directives;
- Passengers who assault any employee of UA, including the gate agents and flight crew, or any UA Passenger;
- Passengers who, through and as a result of their conduct, cause a disturbance such that the captain or member of the cockpit crew must leave the cockpit in order to attend to the disturbance;
- Passengers who are barefoot or not properly clothed;
- Passengers who appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs to a degree that the Passenger may endanger the Passenger or another Passenger or members of the crew (other than a qualified individual whose appearance or involuntary behavior may make them appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs);
Passengers wearing or possessing on or about their person concealed or unconcealed deadly or dangerous weapons; provided, however, that UA will carry law enforcement personnel who meet the qualifications and conditions established in 49 C.F.R. §1544.219;
- Passengers who are unwilling or unable to follow UA’s policy on smoking or use of other smokeless materials;
- Unless they comply with Rule 6 I), Passengers who are unable to sit in a single seat with the seat belt properly secured, and/or are unable to put the seat’s armrests down when seated and remain seated with the armrest down for the entirety of the flight, and/or passengers who significantly encroach upon the adjoining passenger’s seat;
- Passengers who are manacled or in the custody of law enforcement personnel;
- Passengers who have resisted or may reasonably be believed to be capable of resisting custodial supervision;
- Pregnant Passengers in their ninth month, unless such Passenger provides a doctor’s certificate dated no more than 72 hours prior to departure stating that the doctor has examined and found the Passenger to be physically fit for air travel to and from the destination requested on the date of the flight, and that the estimated date of delivery is after the date of the last flight;
- Passengers who are incapable of completing a flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight, as well as Passengers who appear to have symptoms of or have a communicable disease or condition that could pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on the flight, or who refuse a screening for such disease or condition. (NOTE: UA requires a medical certificate for Passengers who wish to travel under such circumstances. Visit UA’s website, united.com, for more information regarding UA’s requirements for medical certificates);
- Passengers who fail to travel with the required safety assistant(s), advance notice and/or other safety requirements pursuant to Rules 14 and 15;
- Passengers who do not qualify as acceptable Non-Ambulatory Passengers (see Rule 14);
- Passengers who have or cause a malodorous condition (other than individuals qualifying as disabled);
- Passengers whose physical or mental condition is such that, in United’s sole opinion, they are rendered or likely to be rendered incapable of comprehending or complying with safety instructions without the assistance of an escort. The escort must accompany the escorted passenger at all times; and
- Unaccompanied passengers who are both blind and deaf, unless such passenger is able to communicate with representatives of UA by either physical, mechanical, electronic, or other means. Such passenger must inform UA of the method of communication to be used; and
- Passengers who are unwilling to follow UA’s policy that prohibits voice calls after the aircraft doors have closed, while taxiing in preparation for takeoff, or while airborne.
I don’t see anything in this contract that warranted removal PRIOR to the decision to remove him. They did not refuse transport for any of the reasons above. They refused transport, because they needed his seat, which is not listed in the contract as reason to deny.
In other words, something here stinks, and even if the aircraft crew or captain has the right to remove any passenger for any reason (which doesn’t really seem that way, judging from the contract), was this really the right thing to do?
My gut tells me no, and United will not be getting my business again. Ever.
P.S. No, it wasn’t racism, as Dr. Dao claims. The other passengers forced off the plane weren’t Asian. He also isn’t Chinese, as he says in the video when he asks whether they’re booting him because he’s Chinese, but Vietnamese. And he has a sketchy past himself, according to press, having been convicted in 2004 of multiple felony drug charges, including writing fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances and trading prescription drugs for sexual acts.
But regardless of Dao’s sketchiness, he was still a human being who was physically assaulted for doing nothing more than refusing to relinquish the seat, for which he paid, and which he occupied at the time.
It’s not OK.