United CEO to Testify in Front of Congressional Committee

Author

30 April, 2017

Dr. David Dao, the passenger who was forcibly removed from a flight earlier this month settled with the airline on Thursday for an undisclosed amount.

Dao's legal team said in a brief statement that per the agreement the amount will remain confidential, and praised United CEO Oscar Munoz. The 69-year-old doctor suffered a concussion, and a broken nose and teeth, according to his lawyers.

Separately, United Airlines said on Thursday it would offer passengers who volunteer to forfeit their seats on overbooked flights up to US$10,000 and limit the use of law enforcement to safety and security issues alone.

Gary Kelly, discussing Southwest's quarterly earnings on CNBC, said the airline has made the decision to "cease to overbook going forward, USA Today reported".

"United has taken full responsibility for what happened", he said, "without attempting to blame others".

To head off customer defections, United had already announced that it will no longer call police to remove passengers from overbooked flights, and will require airline crews travelling for work to check in sooner.

Information from CBS News was used in this report.

Munoz sent the panel a letter Wednesday in response to senators' questions, in which he said the airline crew had been designated "must-ride" on the oversold Chicago-Louisville flight because they were scheduled to operate a flight out of Louisville the next morning, and their original flight had been delayed. After no one volunteered to leave the flight in order to make room for commuting employees, the company randomly selected passenger Dr. David Dao to be removed with compensation.

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The hearings come as United executives scramble to put the dragging incident behind them, along with the avalanche of bad publicity that accompanied it.

United is also vowing to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking - the selling of more tickets than there are seats on the plane.

"Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes that will help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers", said Demetrio.

Munoz said that United Airlines will double their efforts to gain back the trust of their clients by the way they treat them.

"I hope other airlines will follow United's lead", Demetrio told The New York Times.

In an interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Munoz called the incident "a system failure across the board".

Dao attorney Thomas Demetrio applauded United's move, calling the changes "passenger friendly". Chicago Aviation Department officers then grabbed Dao and violently dragged him from the aircraft.


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