United changes policy, crew can't displace seated passengers

United changes policy, crew can't displace seated passengers

Delta Airlines will now offer passengers up to $10,000 to relinquish their seats on overbooked flights in the future as the airline industry reacts amid the public outcry against United Airlines for violently removing a passenger from an over-allocated flight.

Delta is letting employees offer customers almost $10,000 in compensation to give up seats on overbooked flights, hoping to avoid an uproar like the one that erupted at United after a passenger was dragged off a jet.

The carrier said it has imposed a cut-off time of 60 minutes before departure for all bookings of flight crews on its own planes. It will require employees seeking a seat on a plane to book it at least an hour before departure, a policy that might have prevented last Sunday's confrontation. "This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience", CNN quoted United spokesperson Maggie Schmerin as saying.

Even before this week, Munoz was under pressure from activist investors to improve the airline's performance, including its customer relations.

Federal rules already demand that airlines compensate passengers who get bumped from a flight, but the maximum required payout is $1,350.

Airlines need to rethink the policies by which they book, and often overbook, flights.

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Delta has reviewed its incentive policy to persuade passengers to give up their seats.

Footage of the incident went viral, and United has since come under fire for how it responded.

Ben Schlappig, a travel blogger who first wrote about the Delta compensation increase, said it shows Delta is trying to reduce forced bumping.

However, a year ago Delta Airlines bumped more passengers from flights than any of its competitors, partly because of its generous incentive system. Southwest Airlines paid $758, United $565, and American Airlines $554.

The passenger was forcibly removed from the Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight 3411 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, reports CNN. United later said a seat was needed for a commuting crew member, and no one had volunteered to leave the plane.

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