United Airlines Changes Its Policy On Displacing Customers
Apr 17 2017 by Bridget Leonard
VIDEO: Airline CEO Oscar Munoz called Sunday's incident on a flight out of Chicago a "system failure" during an ABC News interview.
The airline said that in future, off-duty crew members would be allocated seats at least an hour before departure to avoid customers being turfed off flights after boarding.
Richard Bell was a passenger on a United Airlines flight, traveling in business class from Houston to Calgary with his wife, Linda, last Sunday when he felt something fall in his hair from the overhead bin while eating dinner.
In a staff memo, Delta revealed that from yesterday, gate agents have been given greater flexibility to handle overbooked flights, including a bigger budget to offer passengers who give up their seats.
United's board said on Friday the company had to craft policies to win back customer trust and apologised to Dr Dao and his family.
Dao, a 69-year old Kentucky physician, sustained a concussion, broken nose and lost two teeth during the incident, which may require him to undergo reconstructive surgery.
Although regularly overbooking flights may seen like a counterintuitive practice, it's standard in the airline industry and, in the end, it all comes down to how the situation is handled.
On Bell's flight, the scorpion was removed by flight attendants and flushed down the toilet - which proved to be a problem once the Bells began searching online to find out whether the scorpion was venomous, because they couldn't identify exactly what it looked like.
In the final statement, posted to the company's website on Thursday, United said the team expressed their "sincerest" apology to Dr Dao.
Facing public outrage, United finally apologized and promised that this kind of incidents would never happen again.
To put that figure in context, between 2015 and 2016 Delta paid an average of $1,118, Southwest Airlines paid $758, United Airlines $565, and American Airlines $554 per passenger that was requested to give up their seat.
Furthermore, Delta was among the best airlines at not booting passengers involuntarily. At some point, Dao went limp, and the officer dragged him off the plane.
The video has been viewed millions of times worldwide, and caused a global uproar and grabbed headlines in multiple countries.
The airline plans to announce other changes and the results of its review by April 30.
He said a lawsuit would be filed against the airlines soon.