Date
21 July 2017
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has taken additional steps to contain damage from an incident involving a Vietnamese-American passenger earlier this month. Photo: Reuters
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has taken additional steps to contain damage from an incident involving a Vietnamese-American passenger earlier this month. Photo: Reuters

United reaches settlement with dragged passenger

United Airlines said it has reached settlement with a passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month, an incident that generated huge amounts of negative press for the carrier.

The airline and the passenger have settled for an undisclosed sum, according to announcements Thursday, Reuters reports.

David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was injured when Chicago aviation police removed him from his seat on a United jet and then dragged him out of the aircraft as the carrier sought to make space for four crew members on an overbooked flight.

Viral videos of the passenger being dragged down the aisle of the aircraft had sparked a public outcry and prompted calls from congressmen for new industry regulation.

The carrier has taken “full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago,” Thomas Demetrio, an attorney for Dao, said in a statement.

Demetrio said there was no need to proceed with separate litigation against the city. 

United said in a separate statement that it was pleased to reach “an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411.”

“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.

The carrier’s CEO Oscar Munoz stressed that point in a letter sent on Thursday to customers, saying the airline will increase its focus on their satisfaction.

“We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words,” he said.

United said earlier Thursday that it will offer passengers who give up their seats up to US$10,000, reduce overbooking of flights and no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats.

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RC

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