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Man dragged off plane will sue United Airlines

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An American airline is in trouble for the way it treated one of its passengers. A passenger on a United Airlines flight was dragged out of his seat and pulled out of the aircraft along the floor of the airplane. The passenger, David Dao, was a 69-year-old doctor. Dr Dao became unconscious after security guards pulled him out of his seat. His face was covered in blood. He lost two front teeth and the security guards also broke his nose. The doctor paid for his seat but United Airlines ordered him to get off the plane because they wanted his seat for a flight attendant to sit down. The doctor explained he had to work the next day because he had many patients to see at his hospital. United staff didn't listen to him.

Dr Dao is going to sue United Airlines for damages. Dao was born in Vietnam and escaped from the Vietnam War in 1975. His lawyer said being dragged off the United Airlines flight was a "more horrifying" experience than living through that war. Dr Dao's daughter said: "What happened to my dad should have never happened to any human being….We were horrified and shocked and sickened to…see what happened to him." A video of Dr Dao being dragged off the flight went viral on social media. Over 150,000 people have signed an online petition asking the United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz to resign. He said he would not resign. He also initially did not apologize and said Dr Dao was at fault for his injuries.

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Scandal-hit United Airlines to offer passengers $10,000 to give up seats after doctor violently dragged from overbooked flight

The announcement came as United attempted to repair its reputation following a string of controversies

united airlines seat letters

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Scandal-hit United Airlines has announced it would offer passengers $10,000 to give up their seats on overbooked flights as the company attempts to repair its reputation.

The offer came after rival Delta outlined plans to offer up to $9,950 in such cases.

United also said it would take actions to reduce overbooking flights and improve customer satisfaction.

"Our goal is to reduce incidents of involuntary denial of boarding to as close to zero as possible and become a more customer-focused airline," the carrier said in the statement.

United had spent the last two weeks embroiled in controversy after viral videos showed Dr David Dao yanked from his seat.

united airlines seat letters

Dao, 69, lost two front teeth, suffered a concussion and broken nose during the scuffle aboard a Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight before takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, his lawyers said.

United typically oversells flights by less than zero to 3 percent of the plane's seat capacity to account for no-shows.

united airlines seat letters

United said it would no longer call law enforcement to deny passengers boarding, nor would passengers who are already seated be required to give up their seats on overbooked flights.

United will adopt a "no questions asked" policy on permanently lost baggage, paying customers $1,500 for the value of the bag and its contents, beginning in June.

"This is a turning point for all of us at United," Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said in a statement.

united airlines seat letters

The announcement came as new surveillance footage and audio recordings have emerged of the incident involving Dr Dao.

It was also revealed that the security officer who dragged the doctor from his seat was suspended just weeks before the incident which resulted in a PR disaster for the airline.

CCTV shows Dao boarding the plane and his wife rushing off and then running back on board as trouble erupted on board, while audio recordings reveal the moment security officers were called in.

Incident reports filed by the officers involved have given their side of the story for the first time, with one claiming that "minimal but necessary force" was used to remove Dao because he reacted "violently".

united airlines seat letters

Footage obtained by NBC News shows Dao boarding the flight from Chicago's O'Hare Airport to Lousville, Kentucky, along with other passengers.

Later an aviation police car pulls up next to the plane, and his wife, Dr Teresa Dao, frantically runs off and re-enters the terminal before running back onto the aircraft.

Video shows an ambulance pulling up alongside the plane and officers boarding the aircraft.

An audio recording of a call between an airline employee, who requested the officers so Dao could be removed, and aviation police was also released on Tuesday.

united airlines seat letters

In the call, a dispatcher says: "Any information? Were they drinking, were they doing anything like that?"

The caller responds: "No, it's something with an oversold, involunteer [sic] or something like that."

The dispatcher says: "Oh, you guys overbooked the flight? This is a departing flight?"

The caller responds: "Yeah."

Dao and three other passengers were ordered to leave the packed flight to make room for four airline employees.

united airlines seat letters

Mobile phone captured by passengers showed Dao refusing to leave, telling those on board he had to return to Kentucky because he had patients to see. He and his wife had been on holiday in California.

Video showed him being forcibly removed from his seat and dragged off the plane bloodied and apparently unconscious. Additional video showed him returning to the plane with his face covered in blood, telling officers: "Just kill me."

Dao's lawyer later said he suffered a concussion and broken nose, and lost two teeth.

NBC News reported that James Long, the officer who dragged Dao out of his seat on April 9, had been suspended for five just two weeks earlier for an incident of insubordination.

united airlines seat letters

In an incident report filed with the Chicago Department of Aviation afterwards, Mauricio Rodriguez Jr, one of the officers involved, wrote that "minimal but necessary force" was used, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Rodriguez wrote that officers asked Dao to leave the plane, but he responded: "I'm not leaving this flight that I paid money for. I don't care if I get arrested."

Long claimed Dao "refused to leave" and "folded his arms tightly", and when he grabbed him started "swinging his arms up and down with a closed fist" and was "flailing and fighting", NBC News reported.

Rodriguez's report claimed Dao knocked one of Long's hands away, causing him to fall and hit his mouth on the armrest.

The officers claimed they were "under duress" and feared losing their jobs if they didn't remove the passenger.

Once they got Dao off the plane he lay down and claimed to be a diabetic, and then ran back onto the aircraft and told officers: "I'm not getting off the plane. Just kill me. I want to go home."

united airlines seat letters

Long, Rodriguez and two other officers - Stephen Smith and Sgt John Moore - were placed on leave after the incident led to backlash against United Airlines after it blamed the passenger for being disruptive.

The airline's stock price plummeted amid a PR fiasco, which forced CEO Oscar Munoz to issued multiple public apologies.

But after one of the apologies he sent a letter to staff lauding the flight crew for following procedures as it dealt with a "disruptive and belligerent" passenger.

united airlines seat letters

Meanwhile, Dao's lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, told NBC News that the officers' claims were "utter nonsense" and that the doctor was not a threat.

Demetrio said: "He's a pussycat and there's video showing that. There was nothing he did that caused, that should ahve caused United to bring in the stormtroopers that came in."

The lawyer said Dao, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, is still recovering from physical and emotional injuries, and hasn't been able to return to work.

united airlines seat letters


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