United Airlines and the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, they said on Thursday, in the carrier’s latest step to contain damage from an incident which has sparked international outrage.
Viral videos of Dr. David Dao being dragged down the aisle of a United jet and Chief Executive Oscar Munoz’s handling of the incident touched off a public outcry, prompted calls for new regulation of the industry by congressmen, and led United’s board of directors to reverse an agreement to make Munoz the company’s chairman in 2018.
United said earlier on Thursday that it would offer passengers who give up their seats up to $10,000, reduce overbooking of flights and no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats.
Southwest Airlines also said on Thursday it would end overbooking of flights.
Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was injured and hospitalized after Chicago aviation police dragged him from the plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from the city’s O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.
United has taken “full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago,” Thomas Demetrio, an attorney for Dao, said in a statement.
Demetrio said there was no need to proceed with separate litigation against the city. Republic Airways, United’s regional partner which operated the flight that Dao was on, has also been released from responsibility as part of the settlement, Demetrio’s office said.
United said in a separate statement that it was pleased to reach “an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411.”
“We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced,” the airline said, “which will put our customers at the centre of everything we do.”