Schakowsky introduces bill prohibiting involuntary bumping following United Airlines incident

U.S.+Rep.+Jan+Schakowsky+%28D-Ill.%29+at+an+event+in+October.+Schakowsky+introduced+a+bill+Tuesday+that+would+prohibit+airlines+from+involuntarily+bumping+ticketed+passengers.
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Schakowsky introduces bill prohibiting involuntary bumping following United Airlines incident

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) at an event in October. Schakowsky introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit airlines from involuntarily bumping ticketed passengers.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) at an event in October. Schakowsky introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit airlines from involuntarily bumping ticketed passengers.

Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) at an event in October. Schakowsky introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit airlines from involuntarily bumping ticketed passengers.

Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) at an event in October. Schakowsky introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit airlines from involuntarily bumping ticketed passengers.

Rishika Dugyala, Reporter

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U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would prohibit airlines from involuntarily bumping ticketed passengers from flights, following the violent removal of a United Airlines passenger just over two weeks earlier.

“The treatment of Dr. David Dao on United Airlines Flight 3411 demands a permanent response,” Schakowsky said in a news release. “If an airline insists on overbooking, it must find the price that passengers are willing to accept in exchange for giving up their seats.”

The bill, authored by Schakowsky and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), instructs the U.S. Department of Transportation to modify its rules to require that negotiations for passengers willing to give up their seats take place before boarding.

To ensure the violent treatment of passengers will not be repeated, the bill would also block passenger removal from flights except for “genuine security or safety concerns,” according to the release.

Under current DOT regulations, airlines can involuntarily bump travelers after asking for volunteers. The travelers must be compensated — with some exceptions — but airlines are allowed to determine the amount and form of reimbursement.

“It is time for airlines to start treating their customers with respect,” Schakowsky said in the release.

United reached a settlement with Dao — the passenger who was forcibly removed — on Thursday, but the settlement terms were not disclosed. Both the company and an attorney representing Dao said the agreement was “amicable.”

The settlement was reached the same day United announced improvements to its customer experience in light of the incident earlier this month.
“Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: Our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered in doing what’s right,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a news release.
“Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust,” he said.

Email: rishikadugyala2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @rdugyala822

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