Passenger forcefully dragged off United Airlines flight reaches settlement, amount undisclosed

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United Airlines moved to staunch criticism - and any customer defections - by reaching a settlement Thursday with a passenger dragged off one of its planes two weeks ago and issuing new policies created to prevent similar customer-service failures.

Lawyers for Dr. Dao called the settlement "amicable" and revealed that one of the provisions was that the exact amount agreed upon by both sides remain confidential.

Dao was pulled from his seat and dragged off the full plane by airport security in Chicago to make room for airline crew.

The incident was caught on camera and sparked widespread condemnation of United Airlines, who at first stood by their staff's handling of the situation, then later repeatedly apologised.

In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Demetrio said the settlement also averts any lawsuit against the city of Chicago.

He added that he hopes other airlines will follow United's lead to improve passenger service with an emphasis on "empathy, patience, respect and dignity".

Dao attorney Thomas Demetrio applauded United's move, calling the changes "passenger friendly". Dao's flight out of Chicago was overbooked, and United randomly selected him to be removed from the plane (which they had no legal right to do).


Earlier on Thursday, the airline announced several steps to prevent such episodes from recurring and said that passengers who had arrived on an aircraft should not have to give up their seats.

Reuters reports United and representation for Dr. David Dao came to an agreement on Thursday (April 27) for an unspecified amount.

"We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do", the carrier said.

United pledged to limit use of law enforcement to remove passengers from flights to safety and security issues, reduce overbooking, provide additional employee training and pay passengers on overbooked flights up to $10,000 to volunteer for a later flight.

He said he needed to get home to Kentucky to treat patients the next day. Dr Dao had refused to volunteer his seat.

Dao was asked to leave the plane after commuting crew members boarded at late notice. Southwest said Thursday it will no longer overbook flights in an effort to ensure ticket-holding customers will never be booted. 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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