United won't remove seated passengers from overbooked flights anymore

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United employees had a passenger, Dr. David Dao, beaten and dragged off a flight in order to make room for stand-by employees on a route from Chicago to Louisville on April 9.

The incident, caught on cellphone cameras, has been a public-relations disaster for the airline.

The policy change was announced internally on April 14, the Associated Press reported. Dao suffered a significant concussion, a broken nose and a sinus injury and lost two front teeth, according to Demetrio, who said the incident likely will result in a lawsuit. Chief executive officer Oscar Munoz initially called Dao "disruptive" and "belligerent" and apologised only for the need to "re-accommodate" him, but later struck a more contrite tone in a nationally televised interview.

"This ensures situations like flight 3411 never happen again", she said.

The policy change comes almost a week after a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight so a crew member could take his seat.

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No crew member "can displace a customer who has boarded an aircraft", according to the email, which was sent Friday. At some point, he went limp, and the officer dragged him off the plane.

His lawyers have filed an emergency request with an IL court to require the carrier to preserve video recordings and other evidence related to the incident.

Members of the U.S. Congress have also expressed concern, as U.S. House Representative Judy Chu, a Chinese American, has written both to the United Airlines and to the U.S. Department of Transportation demanding answers. "I promise you we will do better".

One of Dr. David Dao's lawyers, Thomas Demetrio, said as much Thursday during a news conference in which he suggested that Dao could be "a poster child" for the mistreatment of passengers by the airline industry. Munoz himself said on Wednesday that he had left a message for Dao.

This rule change is no doubt in response to the storm of criticism United Airlines is weathering for forcibly removing a passenger who didn't want to take the compensation.

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