Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

United Airlines alters policy on booking flight crew

United Airlines alters policy on booking flight crew

At least one other airline is rethinking its policy too.

This rule change is no doubt in response to the storm of criticism United Airlines is weathering for forcibly removing a passenger who didn't want to take the compensation. Delta supervisors, who had previously been restricted to a $2,000 cap on vouchers offered to bumped passengers, can go all the way up to $9,950.

Among other things, United has tried to make good by reimbursing all passengers on the flight in question, and promising that it will never ask police to remove customers from flights again. Overbooking on flights happens all the time.

According to that United spokesperson, "This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience".

Members of the U.S. Congress have also expressed concern, as U.S. House Representative Judy Chu, a Chinese American, has written both to the United Airlines and to the U.S. Department of Transportation demanding answers.

There is something extremely wrong when the thought of flying makes me more afraid of airport and airlines staff than of terrorists.

Some carriers trolled United with coy messages on social media-Qatar Airways, for instance, Tweeted that it was "united in our goal to always accommodate our passengers".

"If you offer enough money, even the guy going to a funeral will sell his seat", Ross Aimer, a retired United pilot, said as cited by the AP. But no one volunteered, so the airline chose the passengers.

David Dao, the 69-year old Kentucky physician yanked off the fully booked flight after refusing to give up his seat for a crew member, sustained injuries and may need surgery, according to his attorney. Two officers tried to reason with the man before a third came aboard and pointed at the man and basically told him he had to get off of the plane.

Over 150,000 people have signed an online petition calling for United boss Oscar Munoz to be sacked after he initially claimed in an email to staff Dr Dao had been disruptive and belligerent. He refused to leave. However, if passengers will be delayed more than two hours (four hours for worldwide flights) the guidelines double and airlines must pay four times the one-way fare, up to $1,350.

Munoz had said that Dao was acting disruptively and belligerently.

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