United Airlines changes ruling over boarding off duty employees

It comes after a passenger was dragged off an overbooked flight in Chicago

United Airlines changes ruling over boarding off duty employees

United Airlines (Photo: Wikipedia)

United Airlines has changed its rule on commuting employees boarding flights while not on duty.

It comes after an incident which saw a passenger dragged off an overbooked flight in Chicago.

Crew members and staff taking a United Airlines flight to get to another city for work will now be required to check in one hour before departure.

A United spokeswoman said this is meant to prevent ticketed passengers being asked to leave the plane after having taken their seats. 

The incident happened on Sunday on a flight preparing to leave O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

It sparked widespread outrage, with calls for congressional hearings and a petition urging the airline's chief executive to resign despite apologising to the passenger, his family and those on the flight.

The passenger in question was one of several chosen at random to leave the flight.

His lawyer Thomas Demetrio said David Dao suffered a concussion, a broken nose, and lost two teeth. A lawsuit has not been filed, but Demetrio has indicated one is forthcoming.

The incident has prompted a US congressman to propose legislation to prohibit airlines from forcibly removing passengers from flights to make room for other customers after they have already boarded the plane.