United Releases Full Report of Policy Changes and Reaches a Settlement With Dr. Dao

United Releases Full Report of Policy Changes and Reaches a Settlement With Dr. Dao

The mysterious death of a rabbit and other recent missteps have tarnished the airline's reputation.

Published April 27th

After enduring much deserved public scrutiny and bad press, United Airlines released an official report into the incident with Dr. David Dao. In the report, the company took full responsibility for the harm caused to the passenger and highlighted several policy changes to be made in order to prevent another violent situation from occurring. 

The report was effectively rolled out just as the airline company reached a settlement with Dr. Dao and his wife for a confidential amount

Earlier this month, Dao was traveling with his wife on a flight from Chicago to Louisville. After boarding, passengers on the flight were notified about four crew members who needed take the flight. Although passengers were given an incentive to give up their seats, the flight could still not accommodate the crew members.

Then officers from the Chicago Department of Aviation were called to the scene to help. What resulted was nothing short of an extremely violent attack on Dr. Dao. Video footage of a bloodied Dao getting dragged down the aisle quickly went viral and United's credibility soured. 

As a result, the airline released a full report wherein they claim full responsibility for the incident involving Dr. Dao.

"We can never apologize enough for what occurred and for our initial response that followed," the report starts. "United Airlines takes full responsibility for what happened."

Additionally, the airline has made policy changes to prevent future altercations. First, United crew members will now be required to book flights at least 60 minutes in advance. This way, no last minute crew members will need to be shuffled onto a fully booked plane.

Second, customers who have already been seated will not be asked to give up their seat, as Dr. Dao was during his flight. Third, the airline will now offer up to $10,000 to any passenger willing to give up his or her seat. During Dr. Dao's flight, compensation up to only $800 was offered to the seated passengers.

Last, the airline admitted the crew needs to be properly trained for situations such as this. Now the company will provide annual training for all employees on the front line. 

Although these changes could help customer relations, they do not speak to several other incidents that have occurred on United flights.

Most recently, a large rabbit in consideration for the largest rabbit world record mysteriously died on a flight from London to Chicago. 

The rabbit, named Simon, was in perfect health before boarding, according to his owner. Although it is still unknown what happened to Simon, United has offered the following statement:

"We were saddened to hear this news. The safety and well-being of all the animals that travel with us is of the utmost importance to United Airlines and our PetSafe team. We have been in contact with our customer and have offered assistance. We are reviewing this matter."

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

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