United Making Big Changes After Chicago Incident

Bumped passengers will be offered up to $10K
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2017 7:13 AM CDT
United to Offer Bumped Passengers Up to $10K
Economy class seating on a United Airlines Boeing 787.   (Ted S. Warren)

United Airlines says passengers will now be offered up to $10,000 to surrender their seats on overbooked flights—and those who still refuse won't be hauled out of their seats by law enforcement. The airline issued a report Thursday detailing 10 changes it is making after the Chicago incident earlier this month, reports the Washington Post. United's report says its mistakes on April 9, when 69-year-old David Dao was dragged out of his seat by aviation police, included trying to make space for off-duty crew members at the last minute by bumping passengers involuntarily, only offering $800 in compensation to try to persuade people to give up their seats, and calling police when Dao refused to get off the plane.

In a statement, United CEO Oscar Munoz described the incident as a "turning point" and the start of a shift toward becoming a "better, more customer-focused airline." Reuters reports that other changes announced by United include a "no questions asked" policy on bags it permanently loses, for which passengers will be paid $1,500 starting in June. The report also details how passengers are selected for involuntary bumping, the AP notes. Those without frequent flyer status who paid the least for their ticket are most at risk. No word on any policy changes involving falling scorpions or dead bunnies, though United says staff will receive annual training for the "most difficult situations." (More United Airlines stories.)

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