How Random Was United's Decision to Boot the Doctor? - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

How Random Was United's Decision to Boot the Doctor?

Airlines overbook flights using an algorithm to offset losses from seats that would otherwise go empty should a passenger not show up

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Alternative Video Workflow Media with title Pepper-Presser-1492098085863 (Published Thursday, April 13, 2017)

    When Dr. David Dao was randomly selected to be removed from a flight, he refused and was subsequently dragged away, triggering a wave of public outrage and a flurry of apologies from United Airlines.

    But how exactly was he picked? That much is less clear.

    Passengers on the flight told NBC News the airline had picked passengers at random using an algorithm, but industry insiders and the airline's contract with its flyers indicate it's unlikely the algorithm left much up to chance.

    Airlines overbook flights using an algorithm to offset losses from seats that would otherwise go empty should a passenger not show up.