United Airlines reaches settlement with passenger dragged from plane - Metro US

United Airlines reaches settlement with passenger dragged from plane

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United Airlines has settled with the passenger dragged from a plane in Chicago on April 9, according to lawyers. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

United Airlines has reached an agreement with the passenger violently dragged off of an overbooked flight at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport earlier this month.

David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was hospitalized after Chicago aviation police dragged him from the plane by his hands on April 9 to make space for four crew members who needed to get to Louisville, Kentucky, in order for the airline to avoid flight cancellations.

Dao’s lawyers announced the settlement Thursday afternoon, though they did not disclose the terms of the agreement.

The settlement comes the same day that United released its much-anticipated report detailing the airline’s perspective of the incident as well as outlining steps it will take to prevent similar events from happening in the future.

Though United was initially criticized for its response in handling the situation, Dao’s lawyer Thomas Demetrio praised United CEO Oscar Munoz in a statement to CNN.

“Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has,” Demetrio said. “In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened … without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago.”

When no one aboard flight 3411 voluntarily gave up a seat on the overbooked flight, the airline randomly selected four passengers. Dao and his wife were among those selected. Dao, who had already boarded the plane and was seated, refused to get up because he had patients to see in the morning.

The airline was offering an $800 travel voucher and reimbursement for meals and hotels — it has since increased that compensation to $10,000 due to the backlash surrounding the incident with Dao.

Dao was hospitalized because he sustained a concussion and broken nose, and he lost two teeth when being dragged from the plane, his lawyer has said. Videos of the incident uploaded by other passengers were shared millions of times.

The incident has also inspired changes at other airlines, including Southwest and Delta.

“Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers,” Dao’s lawyer said in the statement to CNN.

United has been living out a public relations nightmare in recent months. The airline drew the ire of celebrities and feminists when it barred three young teenage girls from boarding a United flight because they were wearing leggings — attire deemed inappropriate by the gate agent. The incident with Dao followed two weeks later, then on Wednesday the airline was again under fire after a 10-month-old giant rabbit died on a United flight from Britain — the rabbit was going to O’Hare.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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