The internet was furious at United Airlines this past weekend after troubling footage surfaced of a passenger being dragged from his seat and removed from the plane.
The passenger, Dr. David Dao, refused to give up his seat on an overbooked flight out of Chicago, and United took things a liiiiiittle too far. Dr. Dao said he had patients to see early the next morning, and he would have to be dragged off the plane before he left. So United dragged him off.
Obviously, United was in the wrong; the company had no legal right to remove Dao.
It’s going to take a lot of damage control from United before the public forgets about this incident. The company has taken one step, modifying its overbooking policy in the wake of the public-relations nightmare.
Per TMZ, “effective immediately, a passenger cannot be removed to accommodate a United crew member unless it’s essential for the crew member to make the flight in order to work another flight, AND the crew member arrives at least 60 minutes before the doors close.”
The change was put in place so United will no longer need to remove people from a flight after they’ve boarded. Crew members need to be there at least an hour before the doors close—otherwise, they have to take another flight.
This won’t satisfy the public, of course. But at least it’s a very small sign that United plans on making changes.