Three airlines — United, American, and Delta — are making big changes to how they deal with overbooked passengers in the wake of United’s fiasco last week.
After passenger Dr. David Dao resisted efforts to remove him from a sold-out flight to make space for last-minute crew members and was dragged bleeding down the airplane aisle by security officers, United was hit with a massive international backlash.
United Airlines had originally offered passengers up to $800 and a hotel stay if they would volunteer to leave the Chicago-to-Louisville flight, but after nobody took the offer, they chose four passengers to leave.
Now United says they will no longer allow their crew members to ask passengers to get off the plane after they’re already seated, according to CBS News.
American Airlines promised a similar policy of never removing seated passengers.
Delta took a different tack, announcing that their gate agents can now offer up to $2,000 to passengers willing to change flights, up from $800 under their previous policy.
But the amount can go much, much higher than that. When Delta supervisors are called in, they used to be able to offer a maximum of $1,350 but can now entice passengers with a whopping $9,950.
And Delta’s extra incentives have worked for them. Last year, they offered more money than any other airline and got more passengers to give up their seats than anyone else.
But none of this changes the common practice of overbooking, which industry officials say is necessary to keep ticket prices down.
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