Had the rule been in place last Sunday, United Express Flight 3411 still would have been overbooked by four seats, but United employees could have dealt with the situation in the gate area instead of on the plane. "This is a great time to say, 'Enough, already, ' to the airlines".
Video shows he was forcibly removed from the airline by heavy-handed Chicago Aviation Security police officers. They also said a lawsuit was forthcoming.
Delta is giving airport employees permission to offer passengers up to nearly $10,000 in compensation to give up their seats on overbooked flights. According to an internal email, the change states, "No must ride crewmember can displace a customer who has boarded an aircraft".
At least one other airline is rethinking its policy too.
The same day a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American was dragged from a plane after refusing to give his seat to a staff member, a Canadian man - on a trip from Houston to Calgary - was stung by a scorpion. When no one voluntarily came forward, United selected four passengers at random. He screamed as officers pulled him from his seat, and was bloodied by the altercation.
The following day, United Airlines chief executive Oscar Munoz issued a statement saying he apologizes "for having to re-accomodate" the customers.
The video has been viewed millions of times worldwide, and caused a global uproar and grabbed headlines in multiple countries.
A United spokesperson confirmed to NPR that the policy change is "to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure". On Friday, company Chairman Robert Milton said the board supported Munoz. "I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what's broken so this never happens again".
A United a spokeswoman also said Wednesday that the passengers who were on the flight would receive compensation equal to the cost of their tickets, according to the AP.
United announced it was examining policies governing customer service, employee training, and handling oversold flights.
After the uproar over the mistreatment of Dao, who suffered a concussion, a broken nose, and lost two teeth, other USA carriers are looking at their policies, said Henry Harteveldt, a travel-industry analyst.
David Dao was released from the hospital overnight and was at a "secure location", attorney Thomas Demetrio said at a news conference during which a member of Dao's family spoke out for the first time.
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