A4A airlines will no longer remove boarded passengers from aircraft

All Airlines for America (A4A) member airlines are now committed to not removing a boarded passenger from an aircraft in a bumping situation and all are committed to ensuring crew being transported are booked in advance, A4A president and CEO Nicholas Calio said.

Speaking at the IATA Wings of Change conference in Miami, Calio said the recent incident in which United Airlines passenger David Dao was violently dragged off of an aircraft after being involuntarily bumped has led all US airlines, not just United, to thoroughly review policies. "Obviously, the entire industry sincerely regret" what happened on United Express flight 3411, Calio said. "A mistake was made. It was a bad mistake. All of the carriers from A4A have reviewed their processes."

A4A passenger airline members include Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines, Honolulu-based Hawaiian Airlines, New York-based JetBlue Airways, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Chicago-based United.

Calio noted that JetBlue already did not overbook flights before the United incident and Southwest has said it will stop overbooking in the current quarter. "Others are looking at their policie" regarding overbooking, he said. Although United Express flight 3411 on April 9 was initially overbooked, gate agents had resolved that situation by the time Dao and other passengers had boarded the Embraer E170 operated by Republic Airlines. A Republic crew then showed up at the gate to be transported on the flight from Chicago O"™Hare to Louisville, necessitating more bumped passengers.

Dao was forcefully removed from the aircraft by a Chicago Department of Aviation law enforcement officer after refusing to give up his seat for a crew member. Calio said A4A members will no longer remove passengers from aircraft after they have been boarded absent security or safety concerns. He added that A4A members will make sure crew being transported are booked and checked in prior to the passenger boarding process…

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