United Airlines issues new crew booking policy

Posted April 20, 2017

This policy came under fire nearly a week ago after a passenger was taken from his seat and dragged off a flight that was getting ready to leave Chicago O'Hare International Airport and travel to Louisville, Kentucky. Cellphone video of the incident sparked widespread outrage and created a public-relations nightmare for United.

If the crew member is not booked an hour before the flight, then he or she will have to wait for the next available flight.

"This ensures situations like flight 3411 never happen again", a spokesperson told CNN in a statement.

CEO Oscar Munoz, who came under fire for his initial response, in which he maintained staff took the best course of action as they were facing a passenger who was "disruptive and belligerent", has since apologised to Dao.

According to an internal email published by TMZ, crews who are not checked in within the 60-minute window will have to book the next available flight.

The poll from Morning Consult - which was conducted after a passenger was violently dragged off a United flight last week - could spell trouble for the embattled airline. His lawyer Thomas Demetrio said David Dao suffered a concussion, a broken nose, and lost two teeth. Now-viral videos of the incident show a man, his nose bloody and his glasses almost knocked off his face, being dragged by the arm across the aisle.

United has been under fire since videos emerged of security officers forcibly removing a passenger from his seat and dragging him down the aisle by the wrists.

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

If there aren't enough volunteers, airlines can pick passengers - on United, those who paid more for a ticket or fly frequently are less likely to be selected. United needed four seats to transport employees to Louisville and didn't get any takers when it offered financial compensation to passengers who would voluntarily leave the flight.