United settles with doctor dragged off flight for undisclosed amount

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United Airlines set out to fix its image, Thursday, reaching an undisclosed settlement with the dragged passenger at the centre of a worldwide uproar and promising to refocus on customer service.

The settlement is conditioned on the amount remaining confidential, say attorneys representing David Dao.

In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Demetrio said the settlement also averts any lawsuit against the city of Chicago.

"United has taken full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago", Dao's lawyer, Thomas A. Demetrio, said Thursday.

United will "empower its personnel to make decisions and find solutions that make sense for both customers and employees", CEO Oscar Munoz said in a letter to senators Wednesday that was sent in response to inquiries about the unusual removal.

David Dao was violently removed from his seat by a Chicago Police officer in an April 9 incident that was caught on camera by fellow passengers, and sparked outrage worldwide.

After passengers boarded, four crew members of Republic Airline - which operates many United Express flights - arrived late after their plane to Louisville was delayed by a mechanical problem.

United said that the offer was part of the carrier's efforts to fix the damage from Dao's rough removal.

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While not a factor in this month's incident, United also said that starting in June it will pay customers $1,500 with no questions asked if the airline loses their bag.

The footage showed airport police officers pulling the 69-year-old Kentucky physician from his seat and dragging him down the aisle.

"We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do", McCarthy said. He said he did not want to leave the flight because he works as a doctor and had patients to see the following day.

Munoz first defended the airline and described Dao as "belligerent" before publicly apologizing days later and vowing to do better.

Dr Dao's daughter later said her father's harrowing ordeal was worse than his experiences during the Vietnam War. His face injured and bleeding, Dao ran back onto the plane, collapsed and was taken out again on a stretcher.

The airline already has altered some policies, including no longer relying on law enforcement to deal with customer service issues.

The increased compensation puts United in line with rival airline Delta, which announced days after the forced removal in Chicago that it was increasing its maximum compensation for passengers giving up seats to almost $10,000, up from $1,350.

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