To say that United Airlines has had a bad week would be an understatement. On Sunday night, a passenger, 69 year old doctor David Dao, was violently removed from Flight 3411 out of Louisville when the flight was overbooked and had to accommodate for personnel. United CEO Oscar Munoz’s dispassionate statement and deeply misguided letter to United employees earned the public’s ire before he finally apologized for how the situation went down. This incident was yet another symptom of the often toxic nature of air travel and its dehumanizing effects, but there appears to be a silver lining for frequent fliers.
According to a report from NPR, United Airlines can no longer bump passengers that have already been seated, updating its former policies for United employees. A spokesperson from the airline explained that this new change would “make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure. This ensures situations like Flight 3411 never happen again.” This new rule would mean that if a United employee didn’t meet the 60 minute deadline, they would have to wait until the next flight instead of disrupting a paying passenger.
According to that United spokesperson, “This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience.” Good. The fewer customers who get their faces smashed into arm rests the better.