WWII vet bumped; he made the plane too heavy

| December 5, 2013 | 13 Comments

Schatz

Ewalt Shatz, a Pearl Harbor veteran was on his way to Hawai’i to take part in a ceremony on Saturday to commemorate events there 72 years ago. Well until United AIrlines bumped him from their flight because, well…you read it for yourself from Hawaii News Now;

We have received unconfirmed reports that despite telling employees that he was a veteran on his way to Hawaii for a memorial at the Arizona Memorial on December 7, a war veteran named Ewalt Shatz was bumped off of United Airlines flight 1226 from Los Angeles International Airport to Honolulu on Wednesday because the plane was overweight.

A fan, who wishes to remain nameless, has also confirmed this story for us. According to sources, the local military community got Mr. Schatz on a Hawaii Airlines flight and got him to the island on time.

I guess United is getting beat up pretty bad on Facebook and Twitter. Good, they deserve it. Mr Schatz doesn’t look all that heavy in the picture above.

This following picture was taken by our source to prove that he was there as part of the welcoming party that awaited Mr Schatz’ arrvival;

Schatz welcome

Category: "Teh Stoopid"

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  2. United Airlines and the WWII Vet | December 9, 2013
  1. parachutecutie says:

    Well, I may not be in great favor for what I am about to write but….

    If you know me you know I’ll walk through fire on glass to do most anything to help, support or honor our Veterans. When I read this I did a little “digging”. As it turns out I’m reading that United determined that this flight required additional fuel due to storms in the flight path. Because they required more fuel it meant they had to take passengers (that’s plural) off of the flight. According to United they removed 41 folks from this fight. Not just Mr. Shatz.

    I have no reason to give one poop about United. But I do fly a lot. Computers determine who is taken off of the flight if they don’t get enough volunteers. Generally speaking this is done (by the computer) based on a passenger’s elite status with the airline, ticket price, when one checked in for the flight, etc. Airline employees, in general, can be written up, put on probation or fired for attempting to override the computerized list. Of course a manager has more “power”.

    Bottom line is this – do I feel as if United could have done more to assist Mr. Shatz, maybe. Do I feel United (who I cannot remember the last time I flew them) deserves the beating they are getting for this? No.

    This reminds me of the time a year or so ago that Delta Air Lines took a beating for charging returning Soldiers for extra baggage they had while returning from a deployment. Delta was massacred in the media and on social media. Turns out ALL of the other major airlines had the SAME POLICY which they quietly changed while Delta was taking a beating.

    If this seems as though I’m taking up for United and all of the major carriers over Mr. Shatz I’m really not. Airlines are airlines. But ALL of the major carriers do a lot for our active duty and Veterans throughout the year.

    I’m very happy Mr. Shatz made it on time. I can only imagine how important the trip was to him.

    Do I feel as if

  2. Scarlett says:

    I went on over to the United facebook page and gave them a good piece of my mind. They are telling people they rebooked him on a United flight. Based on the above story I would question the validity of United’s assertion of that. In either case, they were wrong for bumping him in the first place. Love this blog! Thanks for all you guys do here.

  3. Charles says:

    According to some United Fanbois on FB and Twit-verse. The media story is wrong. He was bumped along with 41 others. I just don’t see anything official from the PAOs of United to amplify the rumor-control. The question is why bump him and how many times did United ask for volunteers. Also, what is United’s policy with respect towards bumping passengers?

  4. OWB says:

    Well. I must agree with #1 on this one, assuming the research is accurate, which I have no reason to doubt. Were he the only one bumped I might feel differently. But apparently he wasn’t.

    When criteria other than what the computer generates begins to be used, we are back to that old situational ethics thing with many ways in which it can be abused. When using the same criteria for every flight on every day of the year, some measure of equality and personal choice (of the flyer) is involved.

    Most of us have flown enough times to know that if it is critical that we be somewhere at a particular time, we fly out the day before. Or before that if factors such as bad weather exist. If we wait until on time flight is critical, then we waited too long to be certain we will get where we want to be at the time we want to be there.

    Of course, I sympathize with the plight of this gentleman and am very glad that he made it in time for the ceremony he wished to attend. And that there were good people assisting him.

  5. NHSparky says:

    I’m sure Mr. Shatz is perfectly fine with getting there on a Hawaiian Airlines flight (which is a United partner) than not getting there at all cause the plane ran out of fuel.

    And over those kinds of distances, it’s not exactly viable to find another airport nearby.

    I’ve been bumped out of Hawaii for the same reasons, and while it sucks, it’s not the end of the world.

  6. Old Tanker says:

    TAH operatives are everywhere…..

  7. Old Trooper says:

    I was standing in O’ Hare with a SF Captain at Christmas time, on our way to Minneapolis. We were both in uniform and the gate person came up to us and asked us if we would take a $125 voucher and a later flight, because they over booked. This was in the era before cell phones and we both had people waiting at the airport for us, so we said that we couldn’t. I don’t know who he got to volunteer, but he must have gotten someone. As it was, we didn’t get to Mpls until 11:00 pm. This kind of thing happens all the time, although with the special circumstance that Mr. Shatz had, I would think they could have come up with something, because they had to know, in this age of immediate information, that they would take a whoopin’ if they screwed the pooch.

  8. If this were the first time, I would be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it’s not. United has multiple incidents with vets, troops, and troop supporters and they went to my emergency only list several years ago as a result. They also have been less than precise in some of their responses to incidents, that is when they bothered to acknowledge them: their standard response is to ignore long and hard unless sufficiently exposed. Even then, they try to do the minimum and to ask that videos and posts be removed. They had to know blowback on this one, but did it anyway rather than pull someone else off the flight. Given their history, I’m going to have to believe Walt first and them last. More thoughts at my place.

  9. PavePusher says:

    1. What parachutecutie said.

    2. How was the airline supposed to know they were bumping a veteran? And what special travel status does that give anyone, in commercial travel?

    3. How was the airline supposed to know, in advance, what event he was traveling for?

    This sounds like a misunderstanding by the vet, possibly caused/exagerated by bad communication by the airline, and manufactured pout-rage-du-jour by some internet media.

  10. EpicInside says:

    Just wanted to add some clarification to some of the questions I saw.

    @10. 2. Mr. Shatz identified himself to the ticket counter as a Pearl Harbor Survivor, and informed them of the reason he was supposed to be flying here (Pearl Harbor Remembrance day).

    3. He arrived around 1030 @LAX for the flight, which was at 1300.

    @parachutecutie
    The mystical number “41″ United has thrown out is their attempt to claim there were other people taken off the flight. I’m pretty sure if there were 41 people removed from a flight for bad weather, some of those 41 people would be crying on United’s FB page.

    And separately, it’s curious that no other Airline had issues with removing people from the plane for “weather”.

    Overall we’re just happy he was able to make it here, and ultimately United just needs to quit with the BS and be honest about what happened.

    Updated Article with interviews.
    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/24143676/outrage-expressed-after-wwii-vet-allegedly-bumped-from-honolulu-bound-flight

  11. Jilly says:

    united breaks guitars

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