Kimberly Morin reports that most of you have seen the video of the passenger being dragged off of an overbooked United Airlines flight yesterday. The video has gone viral and stoked massive anger across the country.
Not only did United screw up by allowing any passengers to board before resolving their overbooking issue but they then screwed up by randomly selecting people who were ALREADY SITTING on the plane to be forced to leave.
There has already been a huge backlash against the airline for the incident, but it is about to get much worse for them.
Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation is apparently looking into this issue. As Fox News reported:
The U.S. Department of Transportation is reviewing United Airlines’ widely criticized handling of a passenger who was forcibly removed from a plane that had been overbooked.
A group of lawmakers also is calling for a congressional investigation into the case, as well as a closer look at the policies of airlines when a flight is at capacity.
United has come under fire after a 30-second video taken by a fellow passenger on the flight from Chicago to Louisville went viral late Sunday.
A 69-year-old Asian man was shown being dragged out of the plane. He went to the hospital for injuries on his face. Since then, one of the officers involved in the incident has been put on leave.
Specifically, the DOT is looking into whether United complied with the “oversales rule.”
“The Department is responsible for ensuring that airlines comply with the Department’s consumer protection regulations, including its oversales rule,” the Transportation Department said in a statement. “While it is legal for airlines to involuntary bump passengers from an oversold flight when there are not enough volunteers, it is the airline’s responsibility to determine its own fair boarding priorities.”
This isn’t something that doesn’t happen on a regular basis. Airlines often overbook flights but they typically deal with any overbooking by offering passengers incentives if they voluntarily chose to take a later flight. They usually do this before any passengers even step foot on a plane.
It’s unclear why United chose to wait until the plane was completely full. They had to know before they started boarding the plane that it was overbooked.
Maybe they should re-visit their policies and put some new practices into place and learn how to count before anyone boards their planes.