United Airlines Quickly Settles Out Of Court With Dragged Passenger
United Airlines has decided to settle out of court with a passenger who was forcibly removed from a Chicago flight, bringing to light the company's troubled policies.
Reuters reports United and representation for Dr. David Dao came to an agreement on Thursday (April 27) for an unspecified amount. The incident took place on a Kentucky-bound flight April 9 between Dao and members of the Chicago Department of Aviation officers after he was removed to free up space for members of the staff. After his ordeal went viral, the airline's practices were magnified and mocked on social media. It didn't help when reports of scorpions and prized rabbits fell into the mix. Dao lost two front teeth and sustained other injuries in the incident. He's expected to get nasal surgery in the near future.
Thomas A. Demetrio, a lawyer representing the 69-year-old, called the settlement the right decision. “Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has,” Demetrio said about the company's CEO Oscar Munoz. “In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded.” The New York Times adds the company took the time to address changes in their polices, which include a higher price point for passengers willing to give up their seat ($10,000 from $1,350). They also decided to no longer use the Chicago Department of Aviation officers for remove passengers.
"We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do," the airline said in a statement. "We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words."