David Dao Settles With United Airlines
The deal means United will not face a lawsuit, which could have been costly, both in legal bills and in further damage to the airline’s reputation.
United took a major public relations hit after video of the April 9 incident in Chicago went viral over social media, and the airline industry’s practice of overbooking was thrust into the spotlight.
“As someone who is her niece, and grew up with Rosa Parks, and knowing her on a personal level, knowing all she endured and knowing what black people in this country endured at that time, I feel that you can not compare the two”, McCauley said.
Dr. David Dao was yanked off his flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., after crew members said the flight was overbooked.
Separately, officials at 10 of the busiest US airports said their rules prevent security officers from physically removing passengers from airplanes unless a crime is committed. Carriers still have to transport other pilots and crew members to work, and an air marshal could also need a seat. Now, if a United flight is completely booked, like the one Dao was on, the airline will ask the last person who paid for a seat to give his or hers up.
The three Chicago Department of Aviation officers who pulled Dao off the plane and a supervisor involved in the incident remain on paid leave, said Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Karen Pride, who declined to comment on the settlement.
United’s response in the immediate aftermath of the confrontation was widely criticized. That’s when things got physical, and he was dragged out of his seat and through the plane’s aisle. United CEO Oscar Munoz offered a formal apology on April 11, after first expressing regret for “having to re-accommodate” customers and then accusing Dao of acting “disruptive and belligerent”. Long said Dao was verbally and physically abusive and was flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest. They receive less training and can not carry guns inside the terminals. The airline vowed to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking – the selling of more tickets than there are seats on the plane. The airline also said it will offer up to $10,000 for customers who volunteer to change flights and, effective today, it will limit the use of law enforcement “to security issues only”.
However, he acknowledges that the attention around the United incident had prompted Southwest to move ahead with dropping overbooking.