A federal agency has decided not to punish United Airlines over an incident in which a passenger was violently dragged off an overbooked flight, and which sparked a national debate over industry practices.
The US Department of Transportation said it found no evidence that United violated the civil rights of Dr David Dao, 69, and insufficient evidence that it violated rules regarding bumping passengers off overcrowded planes.
A department lawyer told United about the decision in a May 12 letter, but neither the agency nor the airline made the matter public.
A passengers’ advocacy group, Flyers Rights, released the letter Wednesday after obtaining it through an open-records request.
A government official subsequently confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which said United did not comply with all aspects of the government’s rules on overselling seats, specifically by failing to provide Dr Dao and his family with a written denied boarding compensation (DBC) notice at the airport.