Illinois bill would ban passenger removal
after UAL incident
Send a link to a friend
[April 18, 2017]
By Timothy Mclaughlin
CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois lawmaker on
Monday introduced a bill to ban the forcible removal of travelers from
flights by state or local government employees after a United Airlines
passenger was dragged from an aircraft last week.
The Airline Passenger Protection Act, sponsored by Republican state
Representative Peter Breen, came after Dr. David Dao, 69, was pulled
from a United flight at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to make
space for four crew members.
The treatment of Dao sparked international outrage, as well as multiple
apologies from the carrier, and raised questions about the overbooking
policies of airlines.
Under Breen's measure, passengers could not be removed from flights
unless they were presenting a danger to themselves or others, an
emergency was taking place or the passenger had caused a serious
disturbance, according to a copy of the bill introduced in the state
"A commercial airline that removes validly seated customers without
serious cause breaches the sacred trust between passengers and their
airlines," the bill said.
The legislation would also bar the state of Illinois from making travel
arrangements, doing business with or having investments in any
commercial airline that maintained a policy of removing paying
passengers to make room for employees traveling on non-revenue tickets.
Dao, who was traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, on April 9, suffered a
broken nose, a concussion and lost two teeth when he was pulled from his
seat by officers from the Chicago Department of Aviation to make room
for four employees on the overbooked flight.
The three officers, who have not been named, were put on paid leave last
week, the department said.
[to top of second column]
A United Airlines Boeing 737-800 and United Airlines A320 Airbus on
seen approach to San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco,
California, April 14, 2015. REUTERS/Louis Nastro/File Photo
"The treatment of the passenger in last week's incident at O’Hare is
inexcusable and must be stopped," Breen said in a statement. "It
reflected badly on the airline, the City of Chicago, and the State
United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz on Monday again apologized for
United said on Friday it was changing its policy on booking its
flight crews onto its own planes. The company did not immediately
respond to a request for comment on the Illinois bill.
Lawyers for Dao have moved to preserve evidence from the flight,
filing a motion to keep surveillance videos and other materials
related to United Flight 3411 in preparation for a possible lawsuit.
The city and United agreed to preserve the evidence, Dao's attorney
said on Saturday.
(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Andrew Hay
and Peter Cooney)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.