United Airlines has been under fire recently for forcefully removing a passenger to make room for Republic Airline’s crew members. The passenger, Dr. David Dao, suffered a concussion, broken nose, damaged sinuses and the loss of his two front teeth.
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Former Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza explained why overbooking wasn’t the catalyst that led to this dilemma.
“It was because of having to put crew members on the plane that the gate crew there in Chicago was put in the really unfortunate position of having to pull people off the airplane. So I don’t think you can blame overbooking for this,” he told FOX Business’ Charles Payne.
Baldanza said that it was Republic Airlines fault that this incident transpired in the first place.
“There was a Republic crew that needed to take a flight out of Louisville the next day and they sent their crew to get on that plane to Louisville. Somebody at Republic clearly knew they were sending that crew to the gate, but they didn’t get there until after the plane was bordered.”
Baldanza also explained how the situation could have been avoided.
“Airport agents at most airlines are quite good at handling situations like this before the plane is booked and many customers are actually quite eager to give up their seat for a free trip or some cash…If that gate crew had the ability to create the four seats for the crew members before the flight got bordered, I don’t think we ever would of had this issue.”