The language in the official United response to the “re-accommodation” incident deserves some analysis .
Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.
If you “refuse to leave voluntarily” that omits the “was randomly selected and ordered to leave,” and it also omits the bit about “law enforcement was asked to remove him by force.”
And it’s not “United not only apologizes for deciding at the last minute to take tickets away from passengers who had already been seated, but also for making the short-signed and ultimately very expensive decision to order law enforcement to remove people who were randomly selected rather than continuing to raise the amount of cash by hundred dollar increments until someone volunteered.”
Instead the apology is for the bland, passive, impersonal “overbook situation.”
Corporate arrogance at its finest.
Here’s somebody else’s (sorry, don’t know the author) take on the letter the United CEO sent to employees: