Fliers could face complications following viral United video

Passengers could face major implications if a flight is not overbooked and a seat is needed for an employee.

HOUSTON - Fliers traveling through Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport on Wednesday asked more questions surrounding the viral videos captured on board a United Airlines plane Sunday.

"I mean, don't they have private jets if they really want to get to work?” said United passenger Claudia Squires. “Why make other people suffer for that?"

KHOU 11 News was the first to report Monday the Kentucky-bound United Airlines flight where passenger David Dao was forcibly removed was not overbooked.

"This is very bad,” said civil rights attorney Susan Chana Lask. “Not only did United Airlines violate or breach a contract with this passenger -- it was bad enough they did that -- but they called airport security to forcibly remove him. Once airport security laid their hands on him the way they did, I see it as criminal."

Federal rules and the United passenger agreement guidelines regulate what happens if passengers are bumped from overbooked flights in “Rule 25” of the airline’s passenger agreement. However, the it does not address situations such as this one.

"They've been saying it's Rule 25, but that's completely untrue,” Lask said.

Attorneys representing Dao filed an emergency motion Wednesday to protect potential evidence. Lask said Dao has a strong case against both United as well as Chicago’s airport police.

"Millions, easily. It was very punitive what United Airlines did, and even after the fact when United Airlines CEO tried to disclaim any responsibility in using the wrong rule to deceive the public and make this man look terrible,” Lask said. “I think punitively, millions."

"Everybody has to follow the rules -- that includes employees as well,” Squires said.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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