WASHINGTON – United Airlines said it will reimburse all the passengers who were on the plane from which a bloodied doctor was dragged Sunday night in Chicago.
Passengers can opt for cash or miles, the airline said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the doctor has hired two attorneys who are demanding that the embattled airline keep all evidence of the incident.
United has come under fire worldwide after videos of Dr. David Dao went viral. The videos taken by outraged fellow passengers show Chicago aviation police body slamming Dao then dragging him up the aisle on his back as blood dripped down his face.
Dao’s lawyers have asked the Cook County Circuit Court to order United and the city of Chicago to keep all video, cockpit recordings, passenger, employee and crew lists relating to the Flight 3411, which was bound for St. Louis, Mo.
The lawyers also want the airline and the city of Chicago to retain reports from the flight, along with the personnel files of the aviation officers who pulled Dao from the flight, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.
Dao’s legal team also announced that he will hold a news conference on Thursday morning. He has been hospitalized since Sunday night.
Dao was one of four passengers whom gate agents randomly selected to surrender their seats to accommodate United employees who needed to get to St. Louis, according to the airline. The passengers had already boarded the plane. After Dao refused to deplane, saying that he had to get home for patient appointments the next morning, aviation police were called and he was forcibly removed as shocked passengers loudly complained about his treatment.
The incident has become a public relations nightmare for United. CEO Oscar Munoz was criticized for a slow apology, thousands of people on social media have vowed to boycott the airline and the company’s stock nosedived Tuesday morning. On social media, late-night talk shows and radio programs, the airline has become the butt of jokes about how it treats passengers.
The Chicago Department of Aviation on Wednesday said it had placed two more officers on administrative leave until further notice as a result of the incident. Another employee already had been placed on leave.
City officials said Wednesday that the incident is still being reviewed.
Also on Wednesday, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), announced plans for the Customers Not Cargo Act, which would prohibit the forcible removal of passengers already aboard an aircraft “due to overbooking or airline staff seeking to fly as passengers,” CBS News reported. Van Hollen joined several other senators who collectively wrote a letter to Munoz on Tuesday “to demand answers” about the incident with Dao, the senator said on Twitter.
This article was first published by Talk Media News. It is republished with permission.