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United changes crew booking policy after passenger dragged off plane

17 Avril 2017

The doctor dragged off a United plane in scenes which created global outrage was further insulted when the airline withheld his luggage, sending it on a convoluted path home.

Overselling flights is a fact of life in the airline business.

Just when you thought passenger challenges for United Airlines could not have gotten worse, they did.

"I can absolutely see other airlines following suit", he told The Independent.

Competition among businesses always tends to be good for consumers.

Mr Bell said he had no plans to launch a lawsuit. Overbooking on flights happens all the time.

It's still unknown how the scorpion got on the flight. And most of the time it works.

"Every minute that a plane is delayed because gate staff has to plead for volunteers or explain involuntary denial of boarding, or that the baggage handlers have to hunt down a bumped passenger's checked bag, is real money for the airline". When nobody offered, the airline randomly chose passengers. "They can say, 'Look, we're already solving the problem'". It's game theory if you will.

To put that figure in context, between 2015 and 2016 Delta paid an average of $1,118, Southwest Airlines paid $758, United Airlines $565, and American Airlines $554 per passenger that was requested to give up their seat. This means that the staff and crew were not technically United Airlines employees, and United pilots believe this is an important distinction.

David Dao, the 69-year old Kentucky physician yanked off the fully booked flight after refusing to give up his seat for a crew member, sustained injuries and may need surgery, according to his attorney. According to witnesses, he was pulled screaming from his seat by security and back to the terminal at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. According to a statement from the Chicago Aviation Police Department, Dao hit his head on an armrest and was taken to the hospital. The airline would not disclose its current payment limit.

"What we saw happen this past week was a major failure, but it shouldn't indict the entire practice of overbooking", Harteveldt said.

Competing airlines are taking note of the controversy and making changes of their own.