Major Shakeup in Airline Industry, Delta (NYSE:DAL) to Pay Compensation, United Changes Booking Policy

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airline policies

Things are changing for the better, finally. The recent fiasco of United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) dragging off a man forcefully from one of their flights even though he had a valid ticket, and the global criticism that followed after the video went viral, is shaking up the airline industry. Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) has decided to pay flyers close to $10,000 for giving up their seats. United has decided to change their booking policy.

Delta has decided to authorize their customer service agents to offer up to $2,000 for voluntarily deciding not to board in special situations. A voluntary boarding denial is when a customer himself opts for a payout instead of being removed from a flight. In 2016, there were approximately 1,200 voluntary denials at Delta, which comes to about 4 people every day. That is much below United that bumped off close to 3,800 passengers last year, which comes to more than 10 flyers every day.

The Compensation Can Go Up To $9,950

In some instances, Delta’s compensation can even go up to $9,950. But there are many rules before agents can reach that high, including authorization from superiors. The maximum payout till now has been $1,350 and that too in rare instances.

Delta’s bulletin to staff said, “To reinforce our commitment to our agents and their ability to care for our customers, we will be increasing the maximum allowable compensations limit for voluntary denied boarding’s (VDBs) system wide”. Further, Delta (NYSE:DAL) has advised their staff members to always “start at a lower compensation and increase, if necessary”.

United Changes Their Booking Policy

Meanwhile, United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) has decided to change their booking policy. In the future, crew members will have to allocate seats an hour before the departure time, at least. United says the move is aimed to improve their customer services.

There was outrage recently after Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from a flight departing from Chicago, in the process, breaking his nose and two front teeth. There was widespread condemnation after the shocking footage went viral. It was watched by millions of people online.

The physician had refused to leave saying he had a valid ticket and had already boarded the aircraft. Dr Dao also said he had to return quickly as his patients were waiting for him. Law enforcement officials took no notice of his protests, and dragged the man down, even as many of the passengers on the flight protested.