United Airlines said it has reached a settlement with Dr. David Dao, the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight on April 9 because he did not want to surrender his seat. Video of the violent incident was viewed online around the globe, unleashing a stream of criticism of the airline and the airport police.
“We have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411,” the airline said.
The parties agreed not to disclose the amount or terms of the settlement.
Dao had been preparing to go to court against United. Dao’s lawyers, Thomas A. Demetrio of Corboy and Demetrio, and Stephen L. Golan of Golan Christie and Taglia, praised United for taking “full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411 without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago.”
Dao was being removed to make room on the plane for additional crew members on the overbooked flight.
The settlement came the same day United released new policies regarding overbooked flights and passenger surrender of seats. One new rule is an increase in customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000. The airline also vowed to restrict use of law enforcement in such instances to safety and security issues only and to increase employee training.
“Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what’s right. This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline. Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust,” Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines, said in prepared remarks.
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