Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Dragged Passenger Reaches Settlement with United Airlines

Dragged Passenger Reaches Settlement with United Airlines

United Airlines and the passenger who was dragged from one of its flights in Chicago earlier this month have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, the airline has announced, in its latest step to contain damage from an incident which has sparked global outrage.

Thomas Demetrio is attorney for David Dao, the passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight earlier in April, speaks at a press conference on April 13, 2017.

The sum that Dao received was not disclosed as part of the deal his lawyers reached with the airliner, but the attorneys called the settlement "amicable".

United chief executive Oscar Munoz was criticised for his initial response to the incident. But Demetrio said a suit will not be necessary after United accepted complete responsibility for what happened so quickly.

Initial reports said security officers beat him, but that was later modified to suggest his injuries were inflicted as he was dragged off the aircraft.

Also Thursday, the airline released a report detailing mistakes that led to the incident.

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The confrontation between Dao, 69, and three Chicago Department of Aviation officers was caught on video by passengers on the flight.

Among them is a new customer service team to find "creative solutions" for passengers whose flights are disrupted or overbooked - solutions such as flying to alternate airports and using ground transportation. Among the changes was the announcement that the airline will offer travelers as much as $10,000 to give up their seats on overbooked flights.

The resulting videos of the incident were quick to go viral online, with thousands expressing their outrage over how United handled the situation.

Earlier Thursday, United unveiled new policy changes that aims to prevent a repeat of the public relations catastrophe that took place after Dao's April 9th incident.

Seth Kaplan, managing partner of the trade publication Airline Weekly, told AFP that the changes announced Thursday will help improve United's image, but he characterized many of them as modest. The flight's destination was Louisville, Kentucky. He was quick to point out that overbooking complaints are not an issue for the airline, saying: "We've been fortunate to have fewer and fewer no-shows".

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