United Airlines and Dr. David Dao, 69, have reached an “amicable” settlement after he was yanked from his seat aboard a Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight before takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Fortune reports.
The video which went viral showed that Dao was yanked to make room for crew members. Dao lost two front teeth in the scuffle, incurred a concussion and broke his nose.
According to his lawyer, Thomas A. Demetrio “Dr. Dao has become the unintended champion for the adoption of changes which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers.”
The monetary agreement in the settlement was however not disclosed.
Demetrio also praised United CEO Oscar Munoz for doing the right thing after he promised to do so.
“Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing and he has. In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded,” Demetrio said.
In a similar development, the airline said that it would offer passengers who volunteered to forfeit their seats on overbooked flights up to $10,000.
United said that the offer was part of the carrier’s efforts to repair the damage from Dao’s rough removal.
The offer came after rival Delta outlined plans to offer up to $9,950 in such cases.
United also said it would take actions to reduce overbooking of flights and improve customer satisfaction.
“Our goal is to reduce incidents of involuntary denial of boarding to as close to zero as possible, and become a more customer-focused airline,” the carrier said in the statement.
United said it would no longer call law enforcement to deny passengers boarding, nor would passengers already seated, be required to give up their seats on overbooked flights.
It will adopt a “no questions asked” policy on permanently lost baggage, paying customers 1,500 dollars for the value of the bag and its contents, beginning in June.
“This is a turning point for all of us at United,” Chief Executive Munoz said in a statement.
Munoz, who took the helm at United Airlines in 2015 as part of an effort to improve customer relations, has faced calls to step down after referring to Dao as “disruptive and belligerent,” in a statement, following the incident.
It sparked a national conversation on U.S. carriers’ treatment of customers in an industry comprising just a handful of competitors, following years of mergers and consolidations.
United announced last week that Munoz, in a move he initiated, would not become company chairman in 2018 as stated in his employment letter.