Experts say police who dragged passenger had other options

26 April, 2017, 09:08 | Author: Valerie Burke

Munoz's pledge comes after widespread outrage at a video that showed a forcible removal of a Chicago passenger on Sunday.

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Dao was one of four passengers involuntarily bumped from a United Express flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky. after airline employees failed to find volunteers willing to switch to a later flight.

"This situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused, and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help", the letter says.

Dao was undergoing treatment for his injuries at a Chicago hospital, according to lawyers for his family.

The backlash from the incident resonated around the world, with social media users in the United States, China and Vietnam calling for boycott of the No.3 USA carrier by passenger traffic and an end to the practice of overbooking flights.

Now one of the global aviation industry's longest-standing advertising mottos has been critically damaged and the question for United is how to fix that damage, restore passenger confidence and effectively compete in an ongoing marketing scrap with its Dubai rival that appears to be landing more punches.

In a widely ridiculed, tone deaf statement United CEO Oscar Munoz said that his employees "had no choice" but to call security officers and apologized for having to "re-accommodate" passengers. They said they want to make sure the city and the airline preserve surveillance video showing passengers boarding Sunday's Flight 3411 to Louisville at O'Hare International Airport. Passengers said blood dripped from his mouth after he hit his head on an armrest.

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Mr Munoz also promised every passenger on board the flight would get the price of their ticket refunded.

The Chicago Department of Aviation swiftly put the officer who removed Dao on leave, saying he had violated standard procedures and that the agency would not "tolerate that kind of action".

Much of the uproar stemmed from Dao's status as a paying passenger who was being removed to make room for additional crew members on the overbooked flight.

A police officer says to Dr Dao: "I have to drag you".

"That is not who are family at United is". If the airline is overbooked, their policy states that united will provide transportation without stopover on its next flight to convince you to give up your current seat.

"It's not a question in my opinion as to whether you overbook; it's how you manage an overbook situation", he said. The airline first asked for volunteers to take another flight, but when no one volunteered, four people were chosen at random.

"That's why I've asked the Trump administration to stop the overbooking until we set some more, different rules about how the airlines can conduct themselves".

Three people got off the plane, but the man in the video refused, reportedly telling officials he was a doctor and needed to treat patients the next day. That's what happened to nearly all the 40,629 passengers who were involuntarily bumped from US airlines in 2016.

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