United Airlines is still reeling from the debacle of the viral video of a passenger being violently removed from an overbooked flight. But the airline is trying its best to entice passengers back by offering cheap flights and financial incentives to people who will be removed from an overbooked flight.
According to a report from The New York Times, United Airlines is taking steps to try and win back its customers and it begins with measures to ensure what happened with the bloodied passenger won't happen again. The airline is offering a greater financial incentive, up to $10,000 in travel certificates, and a new limit on when passengers can be removed from the planes.
The report said that United Airlines mentioned that passengers that have already boarded the plane should never be made to give up their seats unless it's for safety or security problems. Law enforcement won't also be called to remove passengers due to overbooking issues and crew members traveling to other flights are to be booked to seats at least an hour before departure.
A new automated check-in process will be created to allow customers to express willingness to relinquish their seats in exchange for financial incentives. United Airlines raised the financial cap that they will be offering, up to $10,000 from the $1,350 cap, following Delta Airlines who recently raised their own cap to $9,950.
Aside from financial incentives, Fox reports that the airline is also offering cheap flights to destinations in Europe, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Flights to Paris now costs $433, down from the usual $800, and a round-trip to Mexico now costs less than $200, which is down from its regular cost of $500.
"Monitoring their airfare, it didn't seem there was much of a drop in prices immediately following the incident with Dr David Dao," Scott's Cheap Flights founder Scott Keyes said. He said that it was likely because United executives were hoping people would stop talking about it after 24 hours.
But since it didn't happen and people actually became enraged about it, the airline is now forced to offer cheap flights to get passengers to fly with them. This will likely be a small price to pay if it gets United back in customers' good graces. Check out the video of how much the debacle likely cost the airline.