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United settles with passenger who was dragged off flight

United Airlines has reached an amicable settlement for an undisclosed amount with the passenger who was dragged off a flight by law enforcement officers.

The settlement is conditioned on the amount remaining confidential, say attorneys representing David Dao.

"United has taken full responsibility for what happened on flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded," says attorney Thomas Demetrio.

United says it is "pleased" to report an amicable resolution with Dao, adding that it looks forward to implement a series of passenger service changes it announced earlier today.

The 9 April incident involving Dao, who was forcibly removed by Chicago aviation police from a United Express flight operated by Republic Airlines, led to widespread anger against United after a video showing Dao being dragged off the aircraft went viral.

United chief executive Oscar Munoz was criticised for his initial response to the incident. He subsequently apologised several times. United announced last week that Munoz will no longer be chairman of the airline's board in 2018, as initially planned.

Other US carriers have reacted by reviewing their own policies for the handling of passengers in cases where travellers have to give up their seats.

Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly says today that the airline will end overbooking in the second quarter. He was quick to point out that overbooking complaints are not an issue for the airline, saying: "We've been fortunate to have fewer and fewer no-shows."

However, he acknowledges that the attention around the United incident had prompted Southwest to move ahead with dropping overbooking.

"I will be honest with you, it wasn't on my list this month to work on," says Kelly. But the United incident had thrown overbooking into the spotlight, he points out.

"Why not do it now? We are going to do it and we will get it done," he adds.

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