United Airlines reaches settlement with
passenger dragged from plane
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[April 28, 2017]
By Timothy Mclaughlin
CHICAGO (Reuters) - United Airlines <UAL.N>
and the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this
month have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, they said on
Thursday, in the carrier's latest step to contain damage from an
incident that sparked international outrage.
Viral videos of Dr. David Dao being dragged down the aisle of a United
jet and Chief Executive Oscar Munoz's handling of the incident touched
off a public outcry, prompted calls from congressmen for new industry
regulation, and led United's board of directors to reverse an agreement
to make Munoz company chairman in 2018.
United said earlier on Thursday that it would offer passengers who give
up their seats up to $10,000, reduce overbooking of flights and no
longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers
Southwest Airlines also said on Thursday that it would end overbooking
Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was injured when Chicago
aviation police removed him from his seat and then dragged him from the
plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from O'Hare
International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.
United 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. Republic Airways, United's regional partner which
operated the flight that Dao was on, has also been released from
responsibility as part of the settlement, Demetrio's office said.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office declined to comment on the
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 said in a separate statement that it was pleased to reach "an
amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard
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A video screengrab shows passenger David Dao being dragged off a
United Airlines flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in
this video filmed by @JayseDavid April 9, 2017. Jayse D. Anspach via
"We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced,
which will put our customers at the center of everything we do," the
Munoz stressed that point in a letter sent on Thursday to customers,
saying the airline would 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.
Separately, officials at 10 of the busiest U.S. airports said their
rules prevent security officers from physically removing passengers
from airplanes unless a crime is committed.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Additional reporting by
David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang)
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