United Issues Updated Policy After Man Dragged Off Plane

Delta OKs offers of up to $9,950 to flyers who give up seats

The policy change comes as the beleaguered airline is still in recovery mode in the aftermath of the viral video of a passenger being dragged off a Chicago to Louisville flight Sunday night. Had the airline not given passengers' seats to those crew members, additional flights out of Louisville, Ky., Dao's destination, would have been delayed or canceled, United said.

"Overbooking helps keep fares down because it provides a mechanism to make sure they get as much money from each flight as possible", said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and founder of Atmosphere Research Group.

Delta Air Lines is moving to make it easier to find customers willing to give up their seats.

Also Friday afternoon, Delta upped the amount of compensation employees can offer customers to give up seats on overbooked flights.

United said the updated policy is one of its initial steps in a review of its policies to "deliver the best customer experience". The airline would not disclose its current payment limit.

Any airline executive who believes that's expecting too much should try on the thought of their being the one asked to deplane, a possibility less inviting than having a scorpion land on one's head.

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.

United CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized to Dao and the other passengers on the aircraft.

As a result, it had the lowest rate among the largest USA airlines of bumping people off flights against their will - something that is legal but alienates customers and requires the airline to pay compensation of up to $1,350 per person. From the airline's perspective, any seat empty when the plane takes off is a missed chance to sell a ticket - even if it means selling the same seat twice. If they refuse to stop overbooking, as many have suggested, then the least they can do is offer passengers a boat load of cash.

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".



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