Domingo, 27 May, 2018

Lawmaker sponsors Airline Passenger Protection Act in wake of United Airlines incident

City International Airport City International Airport
Tobias Pedroso | 21 Abril, 2017, 00:28

The airline sparked public outrage last week when a passenger, Dr. David Dao, was forcibly dragged off an overbooked flight after refusing to give up his seat to a United employee.

"A commercial airline that removes validly seated customers without serious cause breaches the sacred trust between passengers and their airlines", according to the legislation.

In a statement, Breen said that "the treatment of the passenger in last week's incident at O'Hare is inexcusable and must be stopped. It reflected badly on the airline, the City of Chicago, and the State of IL".

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz apologized for the forcible removal of a paying passenger from one of its flights on April 9th, 2017 and called the episode "truly horrific". All three officers have since been placed on administrative leave.

The violent incident saw the 69-year-old loose two front teeth, as well as suffer a broken nose and a concussion, said his attorney.

The legislation would also prohibit any IL government from "mak [ing] travel arrangements with, do [ing] business with, or hav [ing] any investments in any commercial airline or a company owning a commercial airline that has a policy allowing the involuntary removal of a passenger from an aircraft to allow an employee traveling on a non-revenue ticket to use the passenger's seat".

Commenting on Emirates' decision, Jill Zuckman, a spokeswoman for the "Partnership for Open & Fair Skies" advocacy group representing American airlines - including American, Delta and United - said "market demand has never played a role when the Gulf carriers decide where to fly". And after initially making no apology for the incident and praising the flight's crew members for following company policy, United has tried to make amends by offering full refunds to the other passengers and announcing that to avoid any repetition, any crew members that needed to travel would have to show up at least an hour before the plane's departure.

HB 4034 is now without any co-sponsors.