United Airlines Won't Be Fined for Dragging Passenger Off Flight
The government decided the airline had already provided “correct compensation.”
The Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that United Airlines will not be fined for dragging Dr. David Dao off of an aircraft in April.
United was originally notified of the department’s decision in a May 12 letter, however that letter was only made public this week by passenger advocacy group Flyers Rights, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The now infamous incident sparked national outrage after a viral video showed the 69-year-old man being violently dragged from his seat. As Travel+Leisure reported in April, the airline wanted to put four crewmembers on the flight who needed to work the next day and requested that Dao give up his seat. When he refused, crew called airport security who forcibly removed him.
According to Reuters, the government came to its decision not to fine the airline because it had already provided “correct compensation” for four out of five passengers on the Chicago flight that Dao was removed from. The airline also reached its own settlement with Dao.
Paul Hudson, president of Flyers Rights, told Reuters for “the Department of Transportation to conclude that United Airlines’ conduct did not warrant an enforcement action is a dereliction of duty.”
“This incident should never have happened and we are implementing all of the improvements we announced in April, which put the customer at the center of everything we do,” United said in a statement, on the government's decision.
“We still have work to do,” the airline noted in the statement, but added that it has made “meaningful strides that improve our customer experience demonstrated by an almost 90% reduction of involuntary denied boardings year-over-year since May 1.”