United Crew Can No Longer Bump a Boarded Passenger
The change in policy comes following backlash toward United after the airline forcibly removed a paying passenger from his seat to accommodate a crewmember. The passenger suffered a concussion and lost several teeth, according to his lawyer. Video of the incident quickly went viral, causing international outrage.
“We issued an updated policy to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure,” Maggie Schmerin, a United spokeswoman, told The Times via email Sunday. “This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies.”
The policy change is just one of several that have followed in the wake of this controversy. The first videos of the passenger’s removal showed law enforcement dragging him off the plane. United said last week that they will no longer use law enforcement to remove passengers from a plane, so long as the passenger in question does not pose a safety risk to other travelers.
United is conducting its own investigation to the incident and plans to make further changes to prevent any similar incidents from occurring, spokespeople from the airline said.
United hasn’t been the only domestic airline to change its policies in the wake of this controversy. Delta changed its overbooking compensation policy to allow certain employees to offer passengers nearly $10,000 to give up their seat on an overbooked flight.
Supervisors on Delta can offer the maximum of $9,950, up from a previous limit of $1,350.