Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

United passenger dragged off plane has a strong legal case, experts say

United passenger dragged off plane has a strong legal case, experts say

The passengers were selected based on a combination of criteria spelled out in United's contract of carriage, including frequent-flier status, fare type, check-in time and connecting flight implications, among others, according to United.

Munoz called the embarrassment a "system failure" and said United would reassess its procedures for seeking volunteers to give up their seats when a flight is full.

The incident became a public-relations disaster for the airline company.

Munoz had issued a statement Tuesday night apologising for the incident, comments that came after United's first apology had added more fuel to the backlash.

Dao's attorney, Thomas Demetrio, indicated the family would be filing a lawsuit against United in the Circuit Court of Cook County, but did not say when it would be filed.

As of Tuesday, Dr Dao, a Vietnamese-American, was still in a Chicago hospital.

She said basically the problem is the "chasing of the dollar", but she still wanted to "ask the question about why they would have picked David Dao for this horrendous treatment, and whether it was that they felt they could push him around".

Chicago's aviation department has said only that one of its employees who removed Mr Dao did not follow proper procedures and has been placed on leave.

The department announced today that two more officers have been placed on leave.

For Dao, who came to the US after fleeing Vietnam by boat in 1975 when Saigon fell, being dragged off the plane "was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced in leaving Vietnam", Demetrio said.

"This will never happen again", Munoz said during the Wednesday interview with the morning show.

In a statement issued on the airline's website yesterday, Munoz said "It's never too late to do the right thing".

Last month, United Airlines barred two teenage girls from boarding a flight, after the gate agent said the leggings they were wearing were inappropriate.

Dao was one of four passengers involuntarily bumped from a United Express flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky., after airline employees failed to find volunteers willing to switch to a later flight. David Dao, 69, refused to give up the seat he had paid for after being asked to leave, and was dragged by his hands on his back off the parked plane, which had been bound for Louisville, Kentucky.

The backlash from the incident resonated around the world, with social media users in the United States, China and Vietnam calling for boycott of the No.3 U.S. carrier by passenger traffic and an end to the practice of overbooking flights.

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