United to compensate people on flight when man dragged off
Apr 19 2017
I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: "my deepest apologies for what happened", United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement.
United Airlines will no longer use law enforcement officers to remove overbooked passengers from aircraft in the wake of a video that showed a Chicago passenger dragged from one of its flights on Sunday. Travel and public-relations experts say United has fumbled the situation from the start, but its impossible to know if the damage is temporary or lasting.
The man refused to give up his seat on a United flight to Louisville, Kentucky, after the airline said it needed to make room for crew members commuting to the city.
He added: "We are not going to put a law enforcement official onto a plane to take them off ... to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger; we can't do that". "We can't do that".
The interview came three days after the violent eviction of a passenger from a United Express flight.
Citing the risk of "serious prejudice" to their client, Dr. David Dao, the lawyers want United and the City of Chicago, which runs O'Hare International Airport, to preserve surveillance videos, cockpit voice recordings, passenger and crew lists, and other materials related to United Flight 3411.
Lawyers for the passenger dragged from a United Airlines plane in Chicago filed an emergency request with an IL state court on Wednesday to require the carrier to preserve video recordings and other evidence related to the incident.
Asked whether Dao was at fault, he said: "No".
Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans says the officers had the authority to board the plane but that the rest of what occurred is under investigation.
Nearly 24 hours later, after global condemnation of the airline's behavior had time to sink in, Munoz struck a far more contrite tone. He described the man as "disruptive and belligerent".
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, to whom the letter is addressed, apologized Tuesday for the incident amid significant coverage on news outlets and an intense outcry on social media. Munoz said Wednesday that he had left a message for Dao.
The 69-year-old grandfather was seen being ripped from his seat after refusing United Airline's $1,000 in compensation as he said he had patients to see the following day.
Dao's lawyers already have taken steps toward filing a lawsuit.
Attorney Thomas Demetrio said at a news conference Thursday that Dr. David Dao has been discharged from a hospital but will need reconstructive surgery.
Airport officials have said little about Sunday's events and nothing about Dao's behavior before he was pulled from the jet that was bound for Louisville, Ky.
Likewise, the Chicago Aviation Department has said only that one of its employees who removed Dao did not follow proper procedures and has been placed on leave.
Three of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.
"From a human-to-human standpoint, to watch a human being get dragged down an aisle with their head banging off arm rests, and not think that it could have been handled better, I would assume that - and we could probably all agree on that", he said.
At first, the airline asked for volunteers, offering $400 and then when that did not work, $800 per passenger to relinquish a seat.