- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Proposed State Laws Would Stop Airlines From Yanking Passengers Off Planes

© REUTERS / Kamil Krzaczynski / A United Airline Airbus A320 aircraft lands at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 11, 2017.
A United Airline Airbus A320 aircraft lands at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 11, 2017. - Sputnik International
Following an international outcry ignited by the forceful removal of an United Airlines passenger, a violent incident that was captured on video, a proposed bill came before the Illinois state legislature Monday that would prevent passengers from being physically removed from flights by local and state officials.

The measure comes a week after officers from the Chicago Department of Aviation forcibly removed 69-year-old David Dao, a Saigon-born doctor, from an overbooked United Airlines flight after he was chosen at random to forfeit his seat for a company employee in exchange for an $800 voucher. 

A United Airlines Boeing 787 taxis as a United Airlines Boeing 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, U.S. on February 7, 2015 - Sputnik International
Three Security Officers on Leave After United Airlines Passenger Incident

Dao was headed back to his home state of Kentucky from Chicago with his wife, and refused to give up his seat, prompting his removal. In the process the doctor lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose and what his lawyers describe as a "significant concussion."

Other passengers used their cellphones to film Dao being pulled off the plane by his hands and hitting his head against an armrest. He was able to return to the flight after he reportedly said he was a doctor who had to see patients the following day.

The airline has been hit with sharp criticism for both Dao’s treatment and their policies on overbooking, with some threatening a boycott.

Illinois State House Representative Peter Breen (R-IL) introduced the bill, which would prevent the state from dealing with airlines that allow passengers to be forcibly removed and also protects from prosecution those passengers who refuse to give up their seats. 

United Airlines advertisement - Sputnik International
Turbulent Times for United as Stock Falls by $1.4Bln in Wake of #DraggingGate

The bill reads, "Passengers place their total trust in our nation's commercial airlines to bring them safely from one place to another…Without this special trust, our nation's transportation system would be crippled, harming our business community and our tourism industry."

There are exceptions included in the bill for certain situations, such as if a person poses some kind of danger to other people on the plane.

Similar legislation has been introduced in the US Senate, where Sen. Chris Van Hollen introduced the Customers Not Cargo Act, which also prohibits airline passengers from being removed from overbooked flights.

Van Hollen said in a release, "We should act immediately to ensure that airlines cannot force passengers who have already boarded to leave the plane in order to free up seats for others. Instead, they must provide sufficient incentives to encourage passengers to voluntarily deplane." 

An ordinance was drafted last week as well by a San Francisco city supervisor that would bar law enforcement from assisting airlines in removing passengers who refused to give up their seats.

"I don't think our law enforcement officials should be spending their time helping an airline enforce a dumb rule and enforce their business failure," Supervisor Jeff Sheehy told local media.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала