O'HARE — Passengers on a United Airlines flight who saw a man removed from his seat, bloodied and dragged off the plane will get their money back, the airline said Wednesday.
The passengers on United Flight 3411 scheduled to fly from Chicago to Louisville Sunday night will receive "compensation for the cost of their tickets," according to a statement from the Chicago-based airline.
A spokesperson for the airline did not say whether passengers would be compensated with credits for a future flight. Many who witnessed the altercation between Dr. David Dao of Louisville and Chicago Aviation Department security officers, employed by the City of Chicago, vowed never to fly on United again.
One passenger wrote that the incident "was traumatizing to many of us who watched this from such close proximity."
Chicago aldermen will hold an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon at City Hall to demand answers from Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans.
Dao, who identified himself to airport staff as a doctor, refused to get off the plane when he was randomly selected to be bumped to make room for United employees who needed to get to Louisville.
A series of videos — which have gone viral — shows several law enforcement officers gathered around Dao's seat before one officer lunges at him, and Dao lets out a loud wail.
One officer, who was not identified, was placed on leave Monday, "pending a thorough review of the situation," Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride wrote in an emailed statement.
"The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure, and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the department," Pride said.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel declined to answer questions about the incident Tuesday at an unrelated event. After the event, his office released a statement praising Evans for taking swift action and launching a "thorough investigation" to "ensure nothing like this ever happens again."
"Anyone who saw that video had the same reaction: This was completely unacceptable at every level," Emanuel said.
To represent him, Dao hired Chicago attorney Tom Demetrio, a partner at Corboy & Demetrio and a former president of the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.
Dao is undergoing treatment in a Chicago hospital for his injuries.
United Airlines' CEO Oscar Munoz offered his "deepest apologies" to Dao.
Munoz came under fire for his initial responses to the incident. He first described the flight's booted passengers as being "re-accommodate[d]," and in a letter to employees, called Dao "disruptive and belligerent" and said employees had "followed established procedures."
But in a public apology shared by United on Tuesday, Munoz changed his tone, describing the incident as "truly horrific" and saying United took responsibility.