US carrier announces shakeup of booking policy after outrage over forcible removal of passenger.
United Airlines will offer passengers up to $10,000 (£7,700) for giving up their seats on overbooked flights, as part of efforts to repair the damage to its reputation after widespread condemnation over the forcible removal of a passenger.
An inquiry was launched after footage recorded by passengers at Chicago O’Hare airport and watched by millions globally showed David Dao, 69, being yanked from his seat on a Louisville-bound flight to make room for crew.
The offer of increased compensation came after rival Delta outlined plans to offer up to $9,950 in such cases.
United said it would “increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000”, and also promised action to reduce overbooking 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.
United also said it would no longer call police to stop passengers boarding, nor would passengers who were seated be required to give up their place on overbooked flights.