Economy

United Changes Policy, Crews Can't Displace Seated Passengers

United Changes Policy, Crews Can't Displace Seated Passengers

United Airlines has changed its crewmember booking policy after the incident that put the airliner in news headlines all week.

United is reviewing the circumstances that led to the forcible removal of Dr. David Dao, of Kentucky, by Chicago aviation police officers on April 9.

The treatment of Dao sparked worldwide outrage, as well as multiple apologies from the carrier, and raised questions about the overbooking policies of airlines.

"I think it's a good thing, they should have offered that before from the get-go", one man at DTW said on Saturday. The incident - and Munoz's muted response to it - also prompted worldwide outrage, particularly from China, where public anger was fuelled by reports that the passenger was Asian. The airline said future crew members considered "must-ride" would be allocated seats at least an hour prior to departure, which would prevent crew members from being seated after passengers on a full flight already entered the airplane.

Dao suffered a severe concussion, broken nose, and lost two front teeth.

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Dao spent nearly five days in hospital and requires reconstructive surgery on his sinus.

No one volunteered, so the airline chose passengers.

United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz on Monday again apologized for the incident.

Other airlines have not said whether they will increase their compensation limits to displaced passengers. But what happened was wrong, he said.

Westjet Airlines spokeswoman Lauren Stewart acknowledged the company received Garneau's letter and following it would not be an issue.

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It's worth noting that this change doesn't mean a passenger couldn't be bumped off a flight due to overbooking.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said his airline co-operates with the government "on all matters".

"Bell said another passenger who was Mexican told him, "'Hey, that's a scorpion, they're unsafe, '.

Garneau's warning comes ahead of expected legislation to introduce a passengers' bill of rights.

Passengers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport said the policy is a no-brainer.

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