United makes major change to ensure the nightmare of Flight 3411 can't happen again

On Friday, United Airlines announced that all crews traveling on board its aircraft should be booked 60 minutes ahead of the time of departure.

This is a significant policy change aimed at preventing the set of circumstances leading up to the violent removal of Dr. David Dao from happening in the future.

Even though passengers involuntarily denied boarding is quite common across the airline industry, the forceful removal of a fare-paying customer after he has boarded the aircraft is virtually unheard of.

And this is the exact scenario the new policy seeks to prevent.

RELATED: Reactions to the incident

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People react to United Airlines kicking a passenger off a flight
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People react to United Airlines kicking a passenger off a flight
Pepsi: We are the most hated company right now. 😓 United Airlines: 1 sec - Hold my Pepsi. #PEPSI #unitedAIRLINES
Not so friendly skies huh @united ? Makes me sick now how you treat customers. I hope he sues hard. #unitedairlines https://t.co/D13SDvHfLq
You want passengers to give up their seats because you have piss poor planning & then beat them up? Shame on you. @united #unitedAIRLINES
Apparently @united 's inability to coordinate a flight makes violent assault against customers ok. Never flying #UnitedAirlines again
NEVER flying @united ever again! Horrific, brutal, intolerable treatment of passenger, + tone-deaf "apology" from CEO. #UnitedAirlines
Dear United Airlines: People have smart phones.
Perhaps @MerriamWebster can help #United Airlines with the definition of "volunteer"
United Airlines to United Airlines: "I see your legging-gate, and I raise you a passenger beating" #UnitedAirlines #United #flight3411
Look on the bright side, United Airlines. After this incident, you'll never have to worry about a flight being overbooked again.
You thought United Airlines was tough on folks who wear leggings. Just wait to see what they do to folks in sweat p… https://t.co/x5Nzp7gcn1
Poor planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on ours. Fly Southwest. Fly Delta. Hell, fly Spirit. Not #UnitedAirlines
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In a statement to Business Insider, United Airlines wrote:

"We issued an updated policy to make sure crews traveling on our aircraft are booked at least 60 minutes prior to departure. This ensures situations like Flight 3411 never happen again. This is one of our initial steps in a review of our policies in order to deliver the best customer experience."

Last Sunday, gate agents handling United Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville were notified at the last minute that four crew members needed to travel on board the flight. The crew was needed in Louisville to operate a later flight.

Since the plane — operated by Republic Airways under the United Express brand — was packed and no one volunteered to give up their seats, four passengers were selected based on an algorithm to be involuntarily bumped. Three passengers deplaned peacefully with Dr. Dao being the lone holdout until he was brutally removed from the aircraft by law-enforcement.

FLASHBACK: Ex-lawmaker kicked off flight for trying to rally passengers

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Former NY Senator kicked off flight after trying to rally passengers against crew
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Former NY Senator kicked off flight after trying to rally passengers against crew
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Had gate agents received 60-minutes notice, they would have had more time to find solutions for the passengers who had to be bumped. Crucially, 60 minutes ahead of departure means the gate agent would now know if people needed to be bumped prior to boarding — preventing the need to physically remove passengers from the aircraft.

The disturbing incident and its accompanying cellphone footage has seen a wave of public anger, criticism, and ridicule heaped on the airline — with some even vowing to boycott the carrier.

While this policy change far from resolves the perfect storm of operational, cultural, public relations shortcomings that culminated in the manhandling of a paying customer, it's a significant opening act.

NOW WATCH: UNITED PASSENGER ATTORNEY: Dao has a concussion, broken nose, and lost two front teeth

See Also:

SEE ALSO: 'Infuriated' United pilots union slams cops for forcibly dragging passenger from plane

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