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United Airlines reaches settlement with passenger dragged off plane

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-04-2017 Andrew Harris

Washington/ Atlanta: United Airlines avoided a lawsuit by settling out of court with a passenger whose forcible removal from a plane was captured on video and circulated online by fellow travellers, sparking widespread condemnation of the carrier.

Terms of David Dao’s settlement with Chicago-based United are confidential, according to a press release issued Thursday by Corboy & Demetrio, the law firm which represents him.

Dao, who had boarded the Louisville, Kentucky-bound flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, sustained a concussion, broken nose and two lost teeth during his forcible removal by police employed by the city’s Department of Aviation, according to his lawyers.

The ensuing viral video-fuelled controversy was the start of a spate of bad publicity for the United Continental Holdings Inc. unit.

It continued this week with the onboard death of a giant rabbit. Amid the fallout from the 9 April Dao incident, the company’s board cancelled chief executive officer Oscar Munoz’s expected 2018 elevation to chairman.

“We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411,” United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said in an emailed statement.

The carrier also updated its policies for oversold flights, saying Thursday it will pay as much as $10,000 to passengers who voluntarily give up their seats.

It was one of 10 policy changes the airline adopted to improve customer service after the Dao incident.

“We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the centre of everything we do,” McCarthy said. Bloomberg

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