United policy updates: crew accommodation in overbooked flight situations

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“It’s never too late to do the right thing”, said United’s CEO Oscar Muñóz in his first public statement after the incident in flight 3411.  Earlier today, via OMAAT, TMZ broke news of a memo distributed to United In-flight services changing the policy in a situation similar to that of last week’s fiasco.  TMZ explains:

Effective immediately, a passenger cannot be removed to accommodate a United crew member unless it’s essential for the crew member to make the flight in order to work another flight, AND the crew member arrives at least 60 minutes before the doors close.

The idea is that the airline will make decisions on who to boot from a flight at the gate or lobby area … before the passengers board the jet.

If a crew member arrives less than 60 minutes before the doors close, tough luck … they have to take a later flight.

This policy would’ve prevented Dr. Dao’s incident, but at least it is a bit of good news in a terrible week for United.  Oscar did promise change, and change has already begun.  I’m looking forward to see, however, what other policies are changed in the coming days, leading up to April 30th, which is the hard deadline given by Oscar to review and update relevant policies.  Here’s a screenshot of the memo:

In conclusion, it’s good to see quick measures taken to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again, but it’s time now to be proactive and not reactive.  Let’s see what else United comes up with to keep your and my business.

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