United Airlines changes policy after man dragged from flight

Posted April 30, 2017

David Dao's legal team announced the settlement in a brief statement on Thursday, saying the agreement includes a provision that the amount will remain confidential.

The move comes after a recent video surfaced showing Chicago airport police dragging an involuntarily bumped passenger from a United Airlines flight. His lawyers said that he suffered a broken nose, concussion and lost multiple teeth.

The officers who removed Dr. Dao from the United flight are on leave and the American Airlines flight attendant in last week's incident is grounded.

United's statement refers to "the unfortunate incident", and promises in the future it will "put our customers at the center of everything we do".

Thomas Demetrio, Dao's attorney, said the city of Chicago will not be sued because the airline has accepted full responsibility in the settlement. "For this acceptance of corporate accountability United is to be applauded", Demetrion said.

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Experts say airline employees are also dealing with a tougher job in recent years, due to less staffing and crowded planes add to the problem.

The incident was a major embarrassment for United.

United said on Thursday it would offer passengers who give up their seats up to US$10,000, reduce the practice of overbooking flights and repeated it would no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats.

Some lawmakers demanded outlawing the practice of overbooking flights, in which airlines sell more seats than are available to ensure a full plane.

In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Demetrio said the settlement also averts any lawsuit against the city of Chicago. Dao's lawyer praised United for its final reaction.

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According to the US Department of Transportation, airlines should provide incentives up to $1,350 for volunteers to give up their seats on overbooked flights.

"I hope other airlines will follow United's lead", Demetrio told The New York Times. Soon after, United's CEO Munoz stated, "I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers".

If you'll recall, and you may need a refresher since this happened light years three weeks ago, Dao was selected to exit his United Airlines flight to make room for the crew in an overbooking situation.

Rather than dumping overbooking, United announced Wednesday that it's increased the maximum compensation it will give passengers who accept getting bumped voluntarily to $10,000. Chicago Aviation Department officers then grabbed Dao and violently dragged him from the aircraft.

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