United Airlines announced earlier on Thursday 10 major policies to prevent another incident of violently removing a passenger and improve customers’ experience — and some changes have already been implemented.
The announcement comes after the shocking video of Dr. David Dao, who was forcibly removed from a flight because United needed extra seats for standby crew members, went viral on April 9, leaving the man with a concussion and two missing teeth.
A review of the “Dao” incident will be underway by April 30, according to CNN.
“Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what’s right,” said United CEO Oscar Munoz in a statement.
Thomas Demetrio, the attorney for Dr. Dao who also reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount with the airline on Thursday, said in a statement in response to the roll out:
“Both Dr. Dao and I applaud United for promptly addressing the many issues that have plagued passenger satisfaction in the arena of airline customer service. All of its policy changes announced today are passenger friendly and are simple, commonsense decisions on United’s part to help minimize the stress involved in the flying experience. Dr. Dao is proud, despite his ordeal, to have played a role in spearheading these announced changes. And going forward, he hopes United takes the lead in inspiring the entire airline industry to supply passengers the dignity, respect and fairness we all deserve.”
Here are United’s policy changes:
- Limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only.
- Not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk.
- Increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000.
- Establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with creative solutions such as using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportations to get customers to their final destination.
- Ensure crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure.
- Provide employees with additional annual training.
- Create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans.
- Reduce the amount of overbooking.
- Empower employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment.
- Eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a “no questions asked” policy on lost luggage.
According to CNN’s Jon Ostrower, the policies have also been released in Mandarin.