Published on Friday, April 28, 2017

United reaches confidential settlement with doctor dragged from flight



A doctor who was dragged off an overbooked United Airlines' flight earlier this month to make way for crew members has agreed a financial settlement with the carrier.

Lawyers for Dr David Dao said that a condition of the compensation payment was that the amount would remain confidential.

Dr Dao, a Vietnamese-American, suffered concussion, a broken nose and lost two teeth when he was forcefully removed from the flight by security officers.

He had earlier refused to give up his seat after being randomly selected by staff who needed to find space for crew members on the flight from Chicago.

A video of the doctor being dragged screaming down the aisle of the aircraft caused international condemnation of the airline, which has since amended its overbooking policy.

It announced yesterday that it had increased compensation for passengers who agree to give up their seats on overbooked flights from a maximum of $1000 to up to $10,000.

The airline said it would also reduce overbooking, end the practice of forcing passengers to involuntarily give up their seats on overcrowded flights, and no longer use security officers to remove passengers.

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  • Overbooking

    Peter, passengers do pay in advance so if they are a no-show they have lost their money, (as far as the airline is concerned), that's why Ian's comment is so strange. Sure sell no-show seats on standby on the day at the last minute but to deliberately overbook in advance is just greed to the detriment of existing paid-up pax. United made the mistake of thinking only of themselves and treating the really important people - the passenger, as just numbers on a spread sheet. Businesses can't afford too do that in the social media age as United found out to their cost.

    By Keith Standen, Friday, April 28, 2017

  • Ludicrous comment

    If he was a fully paid up passenger he was entitles to travel, bumping passengers is not a valid reason, if the airline overbook that's their problem. I've worked in travel all my life, no airline needs to overbook - ever. If there's a no-show, so what, the airline have already been paid once for the seat, this is airline greed. I was once hosting a group to Morocco, the airline tried to bump me, (even though I had a group of 15 in my charge), the reason, they had resold my seat at a higher price only minutes earlier, even though we had all been booked on for over 3 months, when I promised I would sue, they immediately changed their attitude. What United did was unforgivable, if I was the victim, I'd sue the airline and the security people, the airline is ultimately responsible for what goes on on their aircraft. Airlines are nothing special, just another transport system, they have no special rights to treat clients this way and they know it judging by their CEO's continuous back-peddling, squirming on the hook and 'changing their ways' ever since.

    By Keith Standen, Friday, April 28, 2017

  • Airlines should NOT overbook

    If a pax doesn't turn up, he/she should still be charged for the flight. That would eliminate the need to overbook.

    By Peter Mannell, Friday, April 28, 2017

  • This payout is wrong.

    Several things were happening and they have all been rolled into one. The Traveller was bumped. Shame, but it happens. He was asked to leave, he would not. He caused mayhem as the aviation security officers tried to get him off. He is largely responsible for his own injuries, had he gone queitly he would have not been injured. The Airline did not cause his injuries airline security are the other party, if he thought he had a case it is them and not the Airline at fault. I personally would have charged him with endangering an airplane for refusing to comply with a lawful request.

    By Ian MacLean, Friday, April 28, 2017

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