Overbooking Debacle at United Airlines, Inc.

Overbooking Debacle at United Airlines, Inc.

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

On Sunday April 9, 2017, passenger David Dao was forcefully removed from Flight 3411 (from Chicago, IL to Louisville, KY) when he refused to leave at the staff’s request. His departure was required as the flight was overbooked and United Airlines needed to transport four crew members to Kentucky. Video recordings of the incident were shared online, and United was heavily criticized for the way in which they handled the incident. The initial statement released by Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz only served to aggravate the public backlash. From an operational perspective, are there aspects of United’s service design that amplified or led to this overbooking debacle? How should Munoz have handled the service failure? What could United do to mitigate the effects of service ...

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