'Never Happen Again': United Issues Updated Policy After Man Dragged Off Plane - NBC 10 Philadelphia
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

'Never Happen Again': United Issues Updated Policy After Man Dragged Off Plane

"What happened to my dad should have never happened to any human being regardless of the circumstance," said Crystal Dao Pepper

United Airlines issued an updated policy Friday in the wake of criticism sparked by a video showing a doctor being dragged off a plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Trina Orlando reports.

(Published Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017)

United Airlines issued an updated policy Friday in the wake of criticism sparked by a video showing a doctor being dragged off a plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. 

The new policy says crews traveling on United aircraft must be booked at least 60 minutes before a flight's scheduled departure. 

"This ensures situations like flight 3411 never happen again," the company's statement read. "This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience."

The move comes one day after attorneys for Dr. David Dao said the Kentucky man, who was dragged from the United Express flight, suffered a significant concussion, broken nose and lost his two front teeth in the ordeal. 

After he was dragged down the aisle of the jet, video shows him standing in the aisle with blood on his face and saying quietly, "I want to go home, I want to go home."

Dao’s lawyer criticized the flight’s crew for standing by idle as police used “violent” force to remove a 69-year-old from the plane, noting that Dao was not a threat to passengers or United employees.

In a statement issued Thursday, United said it "cannot stress enough that we remain steadfast in our commitment to make this right."

"This horrible situation has provided a harsh learning experience from which we will take immediate, concrete action," the statement read. "We have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again."

"No one should ever be mistreated this way," United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement earlier this week, his most contrite apology yet as details emerged about the incident. 

Munoz also pledged to conduct a wide-ranging review of company policies.

On Thursday, United added that it will not ask law enforcement officers to remove passengers unless it is a "matter of safety and security."  

The event stemmed from a common air travel issue — a full flight. United was trying to make room for four employees of a partner airline, meaning four people had to get off.

At first, the airline asked for volunteers, offering $400 and then when that did not work, $800 per passenger to relinquish a seat. When no one voluntarily came forward, United selected four passengers at random.

Three people got off the flight, but Dao said he was a doctor and needed to get home to treat patients on Monday. He refused to leave.

Three Aviation Department police officers got on the plane. Two officers tried to reason with the man before a third came aboard and pointed at the man "basically saying, 'Sir, you have to get off the plane,'" said Tyler Bridges, a passenger whose wife, Audra D. Bridges, posted a video on Facebook.

One of the officers could be seen grabbing the screaming man from his window seat, across the armrest and dragging him down the aisle by his arms.

Other passengers on Flight 3411 are heard saying, "Please, my God," ''What are you doing?" ''This is wrong," ''Look at what you did to him" and "Busted his lip."

United Airlines has since announced that all passengers on Flight 3411 will receive refunds for their tickets.

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the way Dao was treated "completely unacceptable" and praised Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans for taking "swift action." He promised that a city investigation would "ensure nothing like this ever happens again."

Dao’s lawyer said he doesn’t believe the incident was racially motivated and that it appears that airlines don’t have standard procedures for kicking people off plane.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it is reviewing Sunday's events to see if United violated rules on overselling flights.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS