• United cuts overbooking, hikes compensation after passenger fiasco

    Ramesh Tiwari
    April 30, 2017
    United cuts overbooking, hikes compensation after passenger fiasco

    Chicago ( AFP ) : United Airlines announced it will offer bumped passengers up to $10,000 in compensation and reduce overbooking following the dragging incident on board one of its flights that caused worldwide outrage.

    Those and other changes, which the airline called “substantial,” are the result of a two-week internal probe of the April 9 incident, video of which went viral.

    Passenger David Dao was pulled from his seat and dragged off the full plane by airport security in Chicago to make room for airline crew.

    The 69-year-old doctor suffered a concussion, and a broken nose and teeth, according to his lawyers.

    The footage of the incident captured by fellow Flight 3411 passengers — which included images of a bloodied Dao — resulted in widespread indignation.

    After initial missteps in which they appeared to at least partially blame Dao, the carrier and its CEO Oscar Munoz apologized repeatedly and launched the internal review to find out what went wrong.

    “Our policies got in the way of our values and procedures interfered with doing what’s right,” Munoz said in a statement announcing the results of the review.

    “This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline,” he said.

    The carrier’s report highlighted 10 changes, including increasing its cash enticement to $10,000, effective Friday, to get customers to voluntarily give up their seats on overbooked flights.

    “There was ambiguity (on the maximum cash offer) under our previous policy, which is why we are changing it moving forward,” United spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin told AFP.

    The crew on Flight 3411 had only offered $1,000, the report said.

    United also has begun reducing overbooking — the practice of selling more tickets than seats on a plane to account for no-shows — on certain flights “that historically have experienced lower volunteer rates,” Schmerin said.

    Such flights include those that are the last of the day and on smaller planes, both of which were factors on Flight 3411.

    Without enough volunteers to take later flights, airlines are forced to involuntarily “bump” passengers off overbooked flights.

    “It is our goal to reduce involuntarily denied boarding to as close to zero as possible,” Schmerin said.

    Other changes include a new customer service team to find “creative solutions” for passengers whose flights are disrupted or overbooked — solutions such as flying to alternate airports and using ground transportation.

    United was not the only airline to announce changes, as the dragging incident and its aftermath reverberated throughout the industry.

    United had already changed some policies, including no longer relying on law enforcement to deal with customer service issues.

    Delta Airlines also raised to $10,000 the amount it would pay for volunteers to get off overbooked flights.

    April, 2017

    • Connecting you with the world of travel and tourism

      News Brief

      Beijing: China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017 according to official data – the first time in seven years the pace of growth has picked up. The figure beats Beijing’s official annual expansion target of about 6.5%. Gross domestic product (GDP) totaled 82.71 trillion yuan (about 12.84 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, with the service sector accounting for more than half of the total.

      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week.

      Washington:  The hottest year on record was 2017 without a warming El Nino event, revealing a clear signal of continuing, human-caused climate change on our planet. The U.S. space agency NASA found 2017 to be the second warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, while the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ranked it as the third warmest. – Agencies

      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

      Wildlife in Chitawan , Nepal

      Window of Nepal Tourism

      http://www.nepaltournews.com/