Passenger dragged off United Airlines flight wins compensation

Brendan Cole
United Airlines sparks outrage after doctor physically dragged from overbooked flight

The man who was dragged off a United Airlines flight in a video that went around the world has received an undisclosed financial settlement from the airline.

The footage of Kentucky doctor David Dao, 69, being dragged off the flight after he refused to give up his seat to allow four United staff members to get from Chicago to Louisville went viral and sparked outrage .

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Lawyers for Dao said that a condition of the payout was that the amount would be confidential. His attorney, Thomas Demetri, said: "I hope he becomes a poster child for all of us. Someone's got to. Are we just going to continue to be treated like cattle?"

The Vietnamese Dao suffered concussion, a broken nose and lost two of his front teeth in an experience he described as worse than he went through during the fall of Saigon in 1975.

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Earlier on Thursday (27 April), the airline announced that it would in future offer up to $10,000 (£7,700) as an incentive for passengers to voluntarily give up their seats on overbooked flights and no one will be removed from seats against their will.

The company also said it had made 10 substantial changes to how it deals with customers.

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Dead rabbit triggers second PR debacle

In a separate PR disaster for the airline, United has also had to deal with the death of a continental giant rabbit called Simon on one of its flights.

Figures just released show that more animals died on United Airlines planes in 2016 than any other US carrier, with the Department of Transport saying that of the 26 animals which died while being transported, nine were with United.

Although United had the highest number of animal deaths, Hawaiian Airlines had a higher incident rate (3.99 per 10,000).

The public relations disaster of the incidents has led to speculation that United was forced to lower many of its fares, with Scott Keyes, from the website Scott's Cheap Flights, telling Travel + Leisure that they were "apology fares".

"I'm not privy to United's internal numbers," Keyes told the site, "but whatever drop in bookings they were seeing must have scared them enough to slash prices."

He pointed out that flights from the US to Trinidad and Tobago, for example, had halved since the Dao incident, from $550 (£426) to $274 (£213).

United Airlines

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