Speed Reads


This bill could make it so the United Airlines situation never happens again

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is introducing a bill that would "prohibit airlines from forcibly removing passengers after they have already boarded the plane due to oversells or airline staff seeking to fly as passengers," International Business Times reports. The bill, called the "Customers Not Cargo Act," comes in the wake of a viral video showing the violent removal of a passenger who refused to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines plane.

As it stands now, a 2008 federal rule limits the amount of money airlines can pay ticketed passengers to $1,350 if they are involuntarily removed from flights. As a result, airlines are basically incentivized to forcibly remove passengers rather than offer more money. "The airline should be required to offer the passengers an incentive that gets someone to volunteer to deplane, rather than drag them off — and right now the incentives are in the wrong direction," Van Hollen told IBT. "There will be a price point at which someone will voluntarily get off the airplane. That's what airlines should be required to do."

On Thursday, the lawyer of the passenger removed from the United plane said he suffered a concussion, broken teeth, and a broken nose in the event. But as James Pethokoukis writes for The Week, it could be harder to boycott United than you might think — read his entire analysis here.