United Airlines has announced “substantial” policy changes following the recent incident aboard a recent flight when a passenger was dragged off the plane.
“The changes are the result of United’s thorough examination of its policies and procedures, and commitment to take action, in the wake of the forced removal of a customer aboard United Express Flight 3411 on April 9,” the statement on the airline’s website read.
The airline says they will now limit law enforcement to safety and security issues. It will also not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless it poses a safety or security risk.
Customer compensation incentives for voluntarily giving up their original seats will be increased up to $10,000.
The full list of changes is below:
- Limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only.
- Not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk.
- Increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000.
- Establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with creative solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportations to get customers to their final destination.
- Ensure crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure.
- Provide employees with additional annual training.
- Create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans.
- Reduce the amount of overbooking.
- Empower employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment.
- Eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a “no questions asked” policy on lost luggage.
The CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Muniz, said in the statement, “Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect. Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard and we profoundly apologize. However, actions speak louder than words. Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right and ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”
RELATED VIDEO: Daughter of Dr. David Daughter Says Family Was “Sickened” By United Airlines Incident
On April 9, Dr. David Dao was speaking to security personnel who told him to deplane after the airline overbooked the flight.
In a video of the incident taken by a fellow passenger, Dao could be heard telling personnel, “I won’t go, I’m a physician I have to work tomorrow, 8 o’clock…”
After the officer on board told Dao they’d have to “drag” him off, the 69-year-old doctor responded by saying he flew from Los Angeles and would “rather go to jail” than be forced to depart the plane.
“You’d rather go to jail than just get off?” questions the officer.
Another video of the incident taken later shows Dao bloodied and bruised as officials with the Chicago Department of Aviation dragged him through the aisle of the aircraft.