United Airlines has announced that they will no longer allow members of their staff to take the seats of passengers who have already boarded the plane. A spokeswoman for the airline, Maggie Schmerin, sent an email to the New York Times explaining the policy.
‘We issued an updated policy to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure. This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies.’
She also stated that law enforcement would no longer be used to remove passengers if they did not pose a security threat.
United’s change in policy was prompted due to the backlash from a scene where a passenger, Dr. David Dao, was violently removed from the airplane after he refused to give up his seat to members of United’s staff. It is possible that United was within their legal rights to remove Dao, but the scene sparked outrage and sent the company’s stock plummeting.
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