United Airlines will no longer allow crew members to bump passengers already on board flights after facing heavy criticism for its removal of a Kentucky physician earlier this month.
The policy change came after video surfaced on social media of officers with the Chicago Department of Aviation dragging Dr. David Dao off Flight 3411 after he declined to relinquish his seat to make room for a crew member.
Dao’s attorney said last week that the confrontation left Dao with a broken nose and a severe concussion. Two of his front teeth were knocked out and he was hospitalized for three days.
The change was outlined in an internal email on April 14, The Associated Press reported. Crew members are required to make “must-ride bookings” at least an hour before the flight is scheduled to leave, according to the AP. The airline previously allowed crew members to make bookings until the time of departure.
A spokesperson for United confirmed the policy update to NPR, saying it “ensures situations like Flight 3411 never happen again.”
"This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience," the spokesperson told NPR.
United is not the only airline that has adjusted its policies in the wake of the dragging incident.
Delta Air Lines updated its financial incentive policy to offer up to $9,950 to passengers who volunteer to give up their seats on overbooked flights. American Airlines changed its conditions of carriage and said it would not “involuntarily remove a passenger who has already boarded,” The Washington Post reported.
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