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United Airlines Settles with Doctor Dragged Off Plane

  • Ken Schwartz

FILE - United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz is pictured prior to an interview in New York, June 2, 2016.

United Airlines reached an out-of-court settlement Thursday with a doctor who was dragged off one of its flights after he refused to give up his seat.

The airline and Dr. David Dao's lawyers agreed not to disclose the amount of money he will receive.

United put out a brief statement saying it reached an “amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident.”

United changes policy

The airline said earlier Thursday that from now on, no passenger would be forced to give up his seat except in cases of safety and security.

Those who volunteer to surrender their seats when a flight is overbooked would get up to $10,000 in compensation.

“Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect,” United chief Oscar Munoz said. “Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard and we profoundly apologize.”

Chicago aviation police dragged Dao up the aisle of the packed plane when United needed to make room for airline employees.

Three other passengers volunteered to give up their seats, but Dao was picked out at random and refused to leave, saying he had to get home to treat patients.

Congress gets involved

His nose was broken, some teeth were knocked out, and he suffered a concussion. Cellphone video captured the scene. Dao, with blood streaming down his face, could be heard screaming with other shocked passengers.

The incident prompted calls in Congress to bring back government airline regulation.

Some lawmakers demanded outlawing the practice of overbooking flights, in which airlines sell more seats than are available to ensure a full plane.

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