Blumenthal wants probe into United Airlines dragging incident
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling for a federal probe into United Airlines after video surfaced over the weekend showing a passenger being forcibly removed from a plane in Chicago.
United says the passenger, Dr. David Dao, was bumped from his flight to make room for a crew member. When Dao refused to leave, police boarded the plane and dragged him off, bloodied and dazed. Dao said he couldn't get off the plane since he needed to see patients the next day. Three of the officers involved in the situation are now on leave.
More often, passengers lose their seats when carriers overbook flights in case of no-shows.
Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United Airlines, has since issued an apology, calling the confrontation "truly horrific." He also pledges to review the company's policies.
Blumenthal is now asking the federal Department of Transportation for a formal investigation into the incident.
Customers have relatively few rights when it comes to issues with major airlines, according to travel agents. Nancy Yale, of Cruise and Travel World in Fairfield, says that when it comes to overbooking, there are some rules but they're always in favor of the airline. If airlines cannot overbook seats, she says prices would rise.
Travel agents believe Congress could find a middle ground that could protect passengers more, but still give airlines the flexibility needed to make last-minute changes.