United Airlines issues new crew booking policy

Gladys Abbott
April 20, 2017

Immediately following its recent crisis-in which a passenger was forcibly removed after refusing to give up his seat-the airline said that it needed the seats to accommodate its commuting crew members.

According to a memo obtained by the Associated Press, the airline is letting its employees offer passengers up to almost $10,000 to vacate their seat on an overbooked flight.

The air carrier on late Friday said that, henceforth, crew members would be allocated seats at least an hour before departure.

United said the change is an initial step as it reviews policies in order to "deliver the best customer experience".

Even before this week, Munoz was under pressure from activist investors to improve the airline's performance, including its customer relations. American Airlines updated its rules to say that no passenger who has boarded the plane will be removed to give the seat to someone else.

Airlines need to rethink the policies by which they book, and often overbook, flights.

Delta Air Lines is moving to make it easier to find customers willing to give up their seats.

It's legal to bump a ticket-holding customer off of a flight - but it's not customary to kick someone off a plane once he or she has boarded.

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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.

In a statement last week, United apologized to Dao and detailed changes it was making, including no longer using law enforcement officers to take passengers off a flight and reviewing policies and training programs.

The incident has created a major publicity nightmare for United Airlines and the internet is showing no mercy as well.

However, past year Delta Airlines bumped more passengers from flights than any of its competitors, partly because of its generous incentive system.

Ben Schlappig, a travel blogger who first wrote about the Delta compensation increase, said it shows Delta is trying to reduce forced bumping.

Dao's lawyer Thomas Demetrio on Thursday said there will "probably" be a lawsuit against United Airlines over the incident.

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Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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