Society

Delta To Offer Close To $10K For Overbooked Flights

| by Jordan Smith

Staff at Delta Airlines have been authorized to offer passengers up to almost $10,000 if their flight is overbooked.

The announcement comes in the wake of a United Airlines passenger being forcibly dragged from his seat on a flight departing Chicago on April 9, The Hill reported.

Staff at the gate will be able to offer a maximum of $2,000 compensation, while supervisors can pay out up to $9.950. To date, gate staff were authorized to compensate passengers up to $800, while supervisors could hand out up to $1,350.

David Dao, a 69-year-old doctor, allegedly has several injuries, including a broken nose, concussion and two lost teeth, stemming from being removed from the United flight. News of the incident quickly spread after a video was shared on Twitter.

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The trade union for United pilots issued a statement April 13 denying any responsibility for the incident.

"No United employees were involved in the physical altercation," it read, according to Forbes.

"This violent incident should never have happened and was a result of gross excessive force by Chicago Department of Aviation personnel," it added.

It went on to comment on the backlash.

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"Social media ire should properly be directed at the Chicago Aviation Department," the statement said.

Aviation attorney Thomas Demetrio, who is representing Dao, disagrees.

"Will there be a lawsuit? Probably," he said, according to CBS. "Just because United is responsible, doesn't mean the city of Chicago isn't responsible."

Anger at United increased after CEO Oscar Munoz described Dao as being "disruptive and belligerent," suggesting his removal was justified.

Munoz subsequently apologized on two occasions to Dao.

Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger said United is "particularly good at bad service," CBS News reported.

"People remember when United broke a customer's guitar a while back and wouldn't pay to have it fixed. That customer wrote a song about it and put it on YouTube," he added.

United released a further statement April 13 in which it vowed to make changes, including no longer using law enforcement to remove passengers from flights.

"We continue to express our sincerest apology to Dr. Dao. We cannot stress enough that we remain steadfast in our commitment to make this right," United's statement said. "This horrible situation has provided a harsh learning experience from which we will take immediate, concrete action. We have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what's broken so this never happens again."

Sources: The Hill, Forbes, CBS News (2) / Photo credit: John Taggart/Wikimedia Commons

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