April 27 United Airlines Chief Executive
Oscar Munoz said less than one passenger was involuntarily
denied boarding per 23,000 on an average last year, responding
to questions from lawmakers regarding the rough removal of a
passenger from one of its flights.
The airline uses offers to encourage volunteers to deboard a
plane and had 16 volunteers for each passenger who had to be
involuntarily denied boarding, Munoz said in the letter to the
U.S. Senate Commerce Committee late on Wednesday. (bit.ly/2q9YCjH)
Last year, United involuntarily denied boarding to 3,765
customers across more than 86.8 million mainline passengers in
the airline, Munoz said.
The airline had a Thursday deadline from the committee to
answer detailed questions about the incident on United Flight
3411, from which 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor David
Dao was dragged off by airport security officers to make space
for the four crew members on the flight.
Dao was hospitalized and, according to his lawyer, lost two
front teeth, broke his nose, and suffered a concussion, and will
likely sue the airline.
The flight from Chicago to Louisville on April 9 saw the
four Republic Airlines crew members arrive at the gate around
the time of boarding and United offered increased compensation
for volunteers onboard due to the last minute nature of the
request, Munoz said in the letter to the Senate committee.
When the request for volunteers was unsuccessful, the United
crew followed an "involuntary denied boarding process," he
Four passengers were then selected to deboard the plane,
with fare class and domestic itineraries as the deciding
Separately, United Airlines said on Thursday it would offer
passengers who volunteer to forfeit their seats on overbooked
flights up to $10,000 and limit the use of law enforcement to
safety and security issues alone.
The company also said traveling crews are to be booked onto
a flight 60 minutes before departure.
(Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by