United Airlines has rolled out a new feature to their check-in process. The airline will now ask you if you have flexible travel plans and “Are you interested in possibly taking a different flight in exchange for a travel certificate?”
This new feature comes after the public outrage of Dr. David Dao being forcibly dragged off his flight when he refused to give it up by United employees. In the days since the event, United has apologized for the incident and changed their policy on displacing passengers from overbooked flights. Their new rule states that crew members will not be able to bump a passenger who is already seated in one of the airline’s planes, according to NPR.
The new check-in page also explains that “certificate dollar amounts may vary, but are at least $200” and that “The United representative at the gate will confirm the amount prior to changing your reservation.” The passenger will have the option to select “No Thanks” but it is still unclear if choosing this option ensures the passenger will not be bumped.
A statement from a United representative said, “Reaching out to customers before their flights allows our gate agents to easily identify customers who have flexible travel plans. This is not a new practice, but something we have done to help manage travel changes in advance.”