United Airlines' new policy: Crew cannot displace a passenger who has boarded

Owen Stevens
April 22, 2017

The Airline Passenger Protection Act comes after Dr. David Dao, 69, was pulled from a United flight at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to make space for four crew members.

Dao's lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, said United added insult to injury by also losing his client's luggage.

Dao plans to file a lawsuit against the airline.

The airline spent the week scrambling to contain the fallout from a video that emerged on social media showing security officers dragging a bloodied passenger off an overbooked United Express flight in Chicago on Sunday as other travelers looked on in horror.

United Airlines is changing the way it handles certain situations with passengers and crew members on its flights, almost one week after a man was dragged from an aircraft in Chicago.

United spokesperson Maggie Schmerin told the New York Times over email on Sunday, "We issued an update policy to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure".

When the poll asked if people would choose a flight identical in $204 cost and timing with United or American, 70 percent said American.

"This ensures situations like Flight 3411 never happen again", she said. But no-one volunteered, so the airline chose the passengers.

Previously, United crew members could be booked on flights until departure time. American Airlines' conditions of carriage say it won't involuntarily remove passengers who've already boarded to seat a different customer.

"We have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what's broken so this never happens again", the airline said in a statement last week.

It's no surprise airlines would want to beef up the incentives for customers they need to bump from flights.

United's board said on Friday the company had to craft policies to win back customer trust and apologized to Dao and his family. "After the blunder of the initial incident was compounded by a series of botched public responses, the Chicago-based carrier is stepping up the effort to get back in consumers' good graces".

Other reports by VgToday

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