CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago aldermen have floated two proposals to avoid another airport fiasco like the one in which Chicago Department of Aviation security officers dragged a United Airlines passenger off a flight when he wouldn’t willingly give up his seat for airline employees.
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) has introduced a measure to fold the CDA security officer force into the Chicago Police Department’s airport detail, but Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38th) the two forces have different responsibilities and should remain separate entities.
Sposato said merging the two forces could be problematic.
“What if these guys, we want to say we want to make them Chicago police, and for some reason, somehow, some way they don’t pass something. Now what? Now we just throw them out? That’s it? You’re fired?” he said.
Another group of aldermen, including Public Safety Committee Chair Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) introduced a separate ordinance that would prohibit any city employee from removing any passenger from an airplane, unless a crime is being committed, or a medical emergency exists.
Reboyras said city employees never should have removed any passenger from United flight 3411.
“No, not while they’re overbooked. No, why should they? They should nothing to do with that. Look at what occurred,” he said.
Dr. David Dao suffered a concussion and a broken nose, and lost two teeth when he was dragged off United flight 3411 earlier this month, according to his attorneys. Dao will “probably” file a lawsuit against the airline and the city, attorney Thomas Demetrio said last week.
United CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized for the incident, saying Dao did nothing wrong, despite earlier stating he had been “disruptive and belligerent.” Munoz also vowed United never again would ask police or security officers to remove a paying passenger simply for not voluntarily giving up a seat when an airline employee needs to get on a flight.