Yet another story about a mistreated United passenger has made the news.
Geoff Fearns, president of Tripacific Capital Advisors, told the LA Times that last week—before the viral incident involving a man being dragged off a plane—that he was threatened with handcuffs for refusing to give up his $1,000 seat on a flight from Kauai to Los Angeles for “somebody more important who came at the last minute.”
Fearns told the publication he was already in his seat when a United employee rushed up to him, telling him he had to get off the plane “because the flight was overfull.”
“They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me,” he said.
The flight was overfull reportedly because the originally scheduled aircraft had mechanical troubles and had to be swapped out with a slightly smaller one. You know, one with fewer first-class seats.
Fearns held his ground. “I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” he said. “But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.”
Ah, the old “we’ll put you in handcuffs” method of customer service.
After a video emerged on Sunday showing a bloodied passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight in Chicago, people on social media were quick to jump on United Airlines … again.
Eventually, the staffer compromised, allowing Fearns to stay on the flight, albeit in a downgraded economy seat, in the middle of a feuding married couple. Perfect. As the LA Times succinctly put it, “you couldn’t make this up if you tried.”
But that’s not all. Because he’s a baller, Fearns asked for a full refund once back on the ground and requested United make a $25,000 donation to a charity. Not a chance.
Instead, a service rep offered to refund only the difference between his first-class ticket and the price of his economy seat. And because they’re ~so generous~ they also gave him a $500 credit for a future trip on the airline. As if that’ll happen.
United Airlines have been contacted for comment.