After days of controversy surrounding the violent removal of a passenger from a flight, United Airlines will reportedly offer compensation to passengers on Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday. According to a report from the Associated Press, the airline first announced its compensation plans on Wednesday. The reimbursement is just the latest step in the airline's attempts to apologize to passengers and the public for the horrific situation.
Various reports, including one from Bloomberg, confirmed the compensation. United Continental Holdings, Inc. will reportedly refund each passenger on Sunday's flight. In the days since, some of those passengers have described the incident as "really intense" and unbelievable.
The reports of reimbursement came after at least three public apologies from United CEO Oscar Munoz. Over the course of his apologies, Munoz called the event "upsetting" and "truly horrific," apologizing to the flight's passengers and particularly Dr. David Dao, the passenger who was removed. None of the company's published statements mentioned reimbursement, but they promised a "thorough review," and to fix the problems that caused the violence. According to various media reports, the Wall Street Journal first reported the news of the available refunds.
So far, the apologies and refunds don't seem to have protected United from fierce backlash. Since Sunday's incident went viral thanks to a disturbing video, the company's Twitter account has been barraged with harsh words and complaints, such as "Never fly with @united" and accounts of previous mistreatment. Even celebrities like Joss Whedon and Billy Eichner joined the commentary.
It wasn't clear on Wednesday evening how or when passengers would receive their refunds. Bloomberg's report counted 70 passengers who would need to be refunded, but it also wasn't clear how much that would cost United. The reimbursement likely pales in comparison to the financial loss the company suffered at the hands of the stock market, though. The airline reportedly lost at least $250 million in stock market value after Sunday's incident went viral.
United isn't the only organization dealing with Sunday's incident. The Chicago Department of Aviation reportedly placed three officers on administrative leave after the event. The United Airlines crew had reportedly called Chicago security personnel to remove Dao from the flight. Meanwhile, Dao himself was reportedly still recovering from the incident in a Chicago hospital on Wednesday. For Dao and United, the complete fallout from Sunday's altercation could be far from over.