Settlement Details (or Lack Thereof)
Unfortunately, financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed, according to Dao’s lawyers. They did praise Untied CEO Oscar Munoz for his taking full responsibility, especially not blaming the City of Chicago. Reading online forums, many seem to think this was United’s best course of action – paying him off quickly, as every single mention of this incident will continue to drag United’s name through the mud and harm their financial prospects.
The police officer working for the city who actually removed Dao from the United flight has since been suspended and is pending review, after recently releasing his own report on the incident.
United’s Proactive Steps
United has taken active steps since the April 9 incident to stem the bleeding and ensure this does not happen again. They’ve promised to no longer use officers to forcibly remove customers, liberally expanded the freedom that gate agents and United personnel have to make offers and incentivize people to give up their seats.
This incident has spurred further changes in the airline industry, with Southwest no longer overbooking flights, and Delta increasing its offer limit to volunteers to $10,000. Previously, at United, they were limited to four times the cost of the flight, and in fact only offered $800 during the flight in question before Dao was booted.
Communication of Changes
United sent out an email to Mileage Club members, titled “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” – apologizing and listing out their changes to corporate policy.
- No longer using law enforcement to remove customers
- Not requiring boarded passengers to give up their seat unless for safety/security reasons
- Incentives for voluntary rebooking up to $10,000
- New “no questions asked” $1,500 reimbursement policy on lost bags
- New employee app for “on-the-spot goodwill gestures” – miles, travel credit, amenities
More information available online, at hub.united.com.
United wants to put this behind them as quickly and quietly as possible (hence the settlement), and has made several sweeping changes that have rippled with the other airline carriers. Hopefully this makes for a more pleasant flying experience.
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