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United to give $10,000 to bumped passengers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – United Airlines said on Thursday it would offer passengers who volunteer to forfeit their seats on overbooked flights up to $10,000 as part of the carrier’s efforts to repair the damage from the rough removal of a passenger.

United also said it would take actions to reduce overbooking flights and improve customer satisfaction.

United had spent the last two weeks embroiled in controversy after videos recorded by fellow passengers, which went viral, showed David Dao, 69, yanked from his seat aboard a Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight before takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to make room for crew members.

Dao lost two front teeth in the scuffle, incurred a concussion and broke his nose, according to his lawyer, and will likely sue the airline.

United typically oversells flights by less than zero to 3 percent of the plane’s seat capacity to account for no-shows.

United said it would no longer call law enforcement to deny passengers boarding, nor would passengers who are already seated be required to give up their seats on overbooked flights. United will adopt a “no questions asked” policy on permanently lost baggage, paying customers $1,500 for the value of the bag and its contents, beginning in June.

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