United changes policy, crew can't displace seated passengers

John Slater, a United vice president, said bumping passengers to accommodate airline employees happens infrequently, and that federal guidelines requiring rest for crew members made it necessary to get the employees on the Sunday flight to Louisville.

Last week (April 9), the video of a man on board a United Airlines flight being forcibly removed from his seat by airport security, made global headlines.

United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said the policy change is the first step of an ongoing review of what happened.

Lawyers for Dao have moved to preserve evidence from the flight, filing a motion to keep surveillance videos and other materials related to United Flight 3411 in preparation for a possible lawsuit. The Transportation Security Administration and United Airlines cleared the passenger to fly, and he trusted that he would travel on that flight in exchange for the purchase of his ticket.

Dao suffered a severe concussion, broken nose, and lost two front teeth.

Video shows he was forcibly removed from the airline by heavy-handed Chicago Aviation Security police officers.

The policy change comes almost a week after a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight so a crew member could take his seat.


The incident has highlighted the ways airlines handle bumping passengers off flights.

A United official told passengers that it needed four volunteers to give up their seats for off-duty crew members.

United's changed policy was outlined in an internal April 14 email, according to the AP.

A United Airlines Boeing 787 taxis as a United Airlines Boeing 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, U.S. on February 7, 2015. Later, Munoz offered a more emphatic mea culpa, saying: "No one should ever be mistreated this way".

On Thursday, United released another statement reiterating its apology to the afflicted customer and promising "immediate, concrete action" to prevent any similar incidents.

Earlier this week, United CEO Oscar Munoz said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that if the airline ever does need to boot a paying customer off a flight, law enforcement officers will no longer be involved.

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