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David Dao and United Airlines Reach “Amicable” Settlement
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United Airline

Summary: United Airlines not only reached a confidential and “amicable” settlement with David Dao but also announced changes to their policies so this incident doesn’t happen again.

United Airlines may become the best airline after completely revamping their policies and procedures in light of the latest fiasco involving a Kentucky doctor being dragged off the plane. Not only did the bruised and beaten up passenger, David Dao, and the airline reach a confidential settlement, the company used his experience to address future incidents.


To learn more about the story, read Will United Get Sued by Doctor Who Was Violently Deboarded?

Social media exploded after cellphone footage showed Dao being violently taken off the airline when he refused to give up his seat on an overbooked flight. The airline needed four seats for crew members that were supposed to be on an earlier flight that ended up being delayed due to mechanic problems. If the crew members did not reach Kentucky to man the future flights, they would have to be canceled. After asking passengers to give up their seats with incentives of complimentary hotel and meals plus an additional voucher, no one took the offer. This required the airline to resort to a random drawing to find four seats, of which Dao and his wife along with another couple were the unlucky winners.

To learn more about Dr. Dao, read Doctor Physically Thrown Off United Flight Has History of Mental Illness.

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An internal investigation was conducted which found a number of mistakes made before, during, and after Dao was removed from the plane. One of the mistakes found was calling in law enforcement to handle a situation that was not a safety or security issue. The officers caused a concussion, broken nose, two missing teeth, and other injuries to Dao. The officers have all been placed on leave.

United stated, “We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do.”

One of Dao’s lawyers, Thomas Demetrio said, “Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adopting of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers. I sincerely hope that all other airlines make similar changes and follow United’s lead in helping to improve the passenger flying experience with an emphasis on empathy, patience, respect and dignity.”

United has taken full responsibility for what happened to Dao, stating that their internal policies got in the way of treating passengers with respect. Their new policies will place greater emphasis on their customers. CEO Oscar Munoz in a statement said, “This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline. Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust.”

The new policy will make it possible for passengers to receive up to $10,000 in travel certificates. United employees will also receive greater authority to help bumped passengers reach their destination, even if that means booking them on another airline or sending them to another airport. Demetrio added, “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, common-sense 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.”

The investigation’s findings noted that “the airline should not have tried to find space on the flight for crew members at the last minute. It also should have offered more compensation or more transportation options to entice customers to give up their seats voluntarily, but it acknowledged that agents did not have the authority to make such decisions.” United is making a total of ten changes to their policies so that customers become the priority. This includes an automated system that identifies which passengers are willing to give up seats and for what amount of compensation.

Do you think this move is enough to save United? Tell us in the comments below.

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