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United announces new policies to prevent future passenger ‘dragging’

The airline will stop deplaning passengers unless safety and security risks are involved.

Apr 27, 2017, 7:35 am*

IRL

 

Samantha Grasso

United Airlines is moving forward from the violent removal of passenger David Dao earlier this month, and their new 10-point report on changing policies explains just how.

The report, published Thursday, says the airline allowed internal procedures to get in the way of respecting passengers, and outlined how the airline will prevent similar situations from happening.

The report begins with United taking “full responsibility” for the April 9 incident, a marked difference from the company’s initial stances.

Among those changes are limiting the use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only, and no longer requiring customers to give up their seat if safety and security isn’t at risk. In August, the airline will begin offering additional training for front-line staff, though the policy changes also list “empowering” employees to resolve customer issues in the moment.

The report also includes several changes for overbooking and rebooking, the former the airline seeks to reduce. Flight crews must be booked on flights no later than one hour prior to takeoff, and the airline is increasing customer compensation for volunteers, saying that those who choose to be denied boarding can be given up to $10,000.

If a customer denies boarding, United is creating a team to devise “creative solutions” for getting the customer to their destination, be it using other airlines or nearby airports. They’re also seeking to create an app to identify passengers willing to give up their seats, which will allow them to set their level of compensation they would accept in such a situation.

“This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline,” CEO Oscar Munoz said in an accompanying statement. “Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust.”

H/T the Washington Post

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*First Published: Apr 27, 2017, 7:28 am