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article imageKorean man sues American Airlines for discrimination in bumping

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 15, 2017 in Travel
After a 69-year-old doctor forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight because the airlines needed his seat for a crew member, a Korean pastor has launched a lawsuit against American Airlines alleging discrimination in being bumped from a flight.
Pastor Benny Shin filed the lawsuit Thursday. The suit was formally filed about two hours after Dr. David Dao’s lawyers held a press conference announcing they are most likely going to file a lawsuit against United Airlines for injuries caused to their client after he was forcibly removed from a United flight on Sunday.
Shin’s lawsuit was first reported by TMZ. The incident that is subject of the Korean pastor’s lawsuit occurred in June 2016 when Shin planned to fly from Dallas to Corpus Christi. He had a ticket and was waiting to board the flight until a gate agent told him he couldn’t.
According to court filings, Shin had purchased his ticket and had selected his seat but was still not allowed on the plane. He further alleges there were between five and seven white people in line behind him and they were allowed to board. American gave him a voucher to fly the next day.
Shin is suing for $6 million, claiming the experience left him humiliated, embarrassed and he was scared when he was not allowed to board the plane.
The incident involving Dao and United Airlines has drawn a lot of attention to the policy of airlines overbooking and bumping passengers. Airlines traditionally sell more seats than their planes can hold so they do not have empty seats as a result of no-shows. When the flight remains overbooked as in the case of United Airlines Flight 3411, the airline ask for volunteers to miss the flight in exchange for a later flight, monetary compensation and if required, accommodation. If there are not enough volunteers, they choose people to keep off the plane.
Outrage on social media was perhaps the strongest in China and Vietnam where users claimed Dao was removed from the flight because of his race.
READ ALSO: Man dragged off United flight plans to sue: lawyers
Outrage over what happened to Dao led for calls to further legislate airlines regarding overbooking and bumping. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is calling for regulatory reforms of the airline industry. Christie told Fox & Friends, 70 percent of flights to and from Newark’s airport is operated by United Airlines and many people have no choice. He said, “The attitude of that airline is terrible.”
In Canada, Transportation Minister Marc Garneau said what happened with the United flight is “unacceptable” in Canada and the government is working on new legislation that will include a passengers’ bill of rights.
READ ALSO: Canada is to adopt new legislation on overbooked flights
In the wake of the outrage caused by what happened in Chicago on Sunday, more lawsuits such as the one brought by Shin can be expected.
More about United airlines, American airlines, airlines overbooking, Bumping, Discrimination
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