Passenger who was dragged off jetliner settles with United
The passenger who was dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat settled with United for an undisclosed sum on Thursday in an apparent attempt by the airline to put the fiasco behind it as quickly as possible.
David Dao's legal team said that the agreement includes a provision that the amount will remain confidential. One of his lawyers praised United CEO Oscar MuÒoz.
MuÒoz "said he was going to do the right thing, and he has", attorney Thomas Demetrio said in a brief statement. "In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened ... without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago."
The settlement came less than three weeks after the episode and before Dao had even sued. The deal means that United will not face a lawsuit, which could have been costly, both in legal bills and in further damage to the airline's reputation.
United issued a brief statement, saying that it was pleased to report "an amicable resolution to the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard Flight 3411".
The dragging was one of several recent embarrassments for United.
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Demetrio said that the settlement also averts any lawsuit against Chicago officials. The airport police officers who pulled Dao off the jet work for the city.
The department's roughly 300 officers guard the city's two main airports but are not part of the regular Chicago police force. They receive less training and cannot carry guns inside the terminals.
Also on Thursday, the airline released a report detailing mistakes that led to the incident. United said that it would raise to $10,000 the limit on the payments it offers to customers who give up seats on oversold flights and increase training for employees.
The airline has vowed to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking.
United representatives have not said whether ticket sales have dropped since Dao was removed from the jet.