Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom before changes can be made. This happened for United Airlines on April 9, 2017, after passenger David Dao was involuntarily dragged from flight 3411.
Mr. Dao was randomly selected as 1 of 4 passengers to exit the full flight in order to make room for United Airline’s staff. When Mr. Dao refused to comply, Chicago Department of Aviation law enforcement officers forcefully removed him, resulting in a broken nose, 2 lost teeth, and a concussion.
In recent United Airlines news, the company released a list of 10 new policies that will address speculation over how the Dao situation was handled and over flight safety and procedures. Some changes will go into effect immediately, while others will be introduced throughout the course of the year.
Major Policy Changes in United Airline News
Some of the most significant and relevant changes to United Airlines policies will include:
Limiting the Use of Law Enforcement
United Airlines has stated that it will no longer elicit the help of local law enforcement agencies when dealing with passenger issues unless the issue creates a safety or security concern.
Though Mr. Dao was not complying with United Airlines policy, he was not breaking any laws. Following the incident, 4 law enforcement officers involved in the incident were placed on suspension.
Seated Passengers Will Not be Asked to Leave
This new policy will ensure that no passenger will be removed from a plane once seated. United Airlines will continue its practice of offering compensation to those individuals who voluntarily give up their seat on a full flight.
Another policy in United Airlines news will allow employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment. This empowers employees to handle and de-escalate a situation without prior authorization.
United Airlines has also changed its policy surrounding the amount of compensation offered to individuals voluntarily giving up their seat prior to boarding. This figure increased from $1,350 to as much as $10,000. Passengers on flight 3411 were offered only $800 for their seats.
United also plans to create a customer solutions team that will provide agents with creative solutions for helping these voluntary passengers. Alternatives will include using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportation to help passengers reach their destinations.
Crew Member Flights
This policy states that all crew members must have flight assignments in place no less that 60 minutes prior to take-off. This, in light of the fact that Mr. Dao was forcibly removed to make room for 4 crew members traveling to Louisville without prior flight arrangements.
More United Airlines News
Not all of United Airline’s new policies were implemented due to the Dao incident. Other new policies include “no questions asked” on lost luggage and a reduction in overbooked flights. Two issues that most frequent fliers would love to see resolved.
We’ve all been there. Standing near baggage claim, watching the suitcases go ’round and ’round, but yours is nowhere to be found. It’s lost. Would you feel better if someone offered you $1,500 for your lost bag?
Well, that’s exactly what United Airlines proposes to do for bags deemed “permanently lost“. And do so without proof of the value of the bag or its contents.
Too bad they didn’t make a Flight Radar for your luggage!
United Airlines claims efforts will be made to reduce the number of overbooked flights, therefore eliminating a recurring need for passengers to voluntary give up their seats.
Though many of these policies have already gone into effect, others are scheduled for the next few weeks and some won’t be seen until later this year. Keep your eyes peeled for when these new policies roll out.