Southwest Airlines extends 737 MAX cancellations through October 1

FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co on Thursday said it was extending the cancellation of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes from its flying schedule until Oct. 1, a day after the Federal Aviation Administration warned it had uncovered a new issue that must be resolved before the plane can be ungrounded.

The airline had previously planned to keep the jet off its flying schedule through Sept. 2. Boeing Co’s MAX fleet has been grounded since March, following a second fatal crash in five months.

Southwest, the world’s largest MAX operator with 34 jets, said the delay will result in removing about 150 flights out of its total peak daily schedule of 4,000.

The FAA on Wednesday said it had identified a new potential risk that Boeing must address on the planes.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Boeing will not conduct a certification test flight until July 8, under a best-case scenario. The test is a necessary step before Boeing can submit a formal request for approval of a software upgrade for the planes.

Southwest said it “made this decision before any developments of the past few days.”

Once the FAA approves the MAX for flight, Southwest has said it would take about 30 days to get the jets up and running again.

American Airlines said on Thursday it did not “have any schedule announcement to make at this time.” United Airlines on Wednesday said it was extending cancellations into September.

Boeing shares were down 2.5% at $365.48 on Thursday.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Bill Berkrot)

United says cockpit door codes may have been published online

FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines aircraft taxis as another lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, U.S., February 7, 2015. REUTERS/Louis Nastro/File Photo

By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Codes to gain access to United Airlines cockpits may have been made public, the carrier said on Monday, but it stopped short of confirming a report that a flight attendant inadvertently published the codes online in a potential threat to air security.

The airline still could keep its flight decks secure through other measures, Maddie King, a spokeswoman for United Continental Holdings Corp, said in an email. She declined to specify the other safeguards because of security considerations.

“We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” she said.

Citing a pilot who was briefed on the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that United, the world’s third-largest airline by revenue, had alerted pilots that access codes to unlock cockpit doors were mistakenly posted on a public website by a flight attendant.

Cockpit security emerged as a top priority for airlines in September 2001, when hijackers took control of United and American Airlines planes and crashed them into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. A third airliner commandeered by jihadists crashed in a western Pennsylvania field.

The United unit of the Air Line Pilots Association said in a statement that the accidental leak of information showed the need for stronger protections for flight deck doors.

The union has long backed secondary barriers, which it said would cost $5,000 each, and called on Congress to mandate them.

“The installation of secondary barriers on all passenger aircraft is a simple and cost effective way to bolster the last line of flight deck defense,” the union said.

(Editing by Frank McGurty and Bill Trott)

United Airlines reaches settlement with passenger dragged from plane

FILE PHOTO - A United Airlines Boeing 787 taxis as a United Airlines Boeing 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, U.S. on February 7, 2015. REUTERS/Louis Nastro/File Photo

By Timothy Mclaughlin

CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines <UAL.N> and the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, they said on Thursday, in the carrier’s latest step to contain damage from an incident that sparked international outrage.

Viral videos of Dr. David Dao being dragged down the aisle of a United jet and Chief Executive Oscar Munoz’s handling of the incident touched off a public outcry, prompted calls from congressmen for new industry regulation, and led United’s board of directors to reverse an agreement to make Munoz company chairman in 2018.

United said earlier on Thursday that it would offer passengers who give up their seats up to $10,000, reduce overbooking of flights and no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats.

Southwest Airlines also said on Thursday that it would end overbooking of flights.

Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was injured when Chicago aviation police removed him from his seat and then dragged him from the plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.

United has taken “full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago,” Thomas Demetrio, an attorney for Dao, said in a statement.

Demetrio said there was no need to proceed with separate litigation against the city. Republic Airways, United’s regional partner which operated the flight that Dao was on, has also been released from responsibility as part of the settlement, Demetrio’s office said.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office declined to comment on the settlement.

The three Chicago Department of Aviation officers who pulled Dao off the plane and a supervisor involved in the incident remain on paid leave, said Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Karen Pride, who declined to comment on the settlement.

United said in a separate statement that it was pleased to reach “an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411.”

“We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do,” the airline said.

Munoz stressed that point in a letter sent on Thursday to customers, saying the airline would increase its focus on their satisfaction.

“We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words,” he said.

Separately, officials at 10 of the busiest U.S. airports said their rules prevent security officers from physically removing passengers from airplanes unless a crime is committed.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang)

U.S. lawmakers press United on man dragged off plane

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz (L) testifies next to UAL President Scott Kirby at a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on "Oversight of U.S. Airline Customer Service," in the aftermath of the forced removal on April 9 of a passenger from a UAL Chicago flight, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By David Shepardson and Alana Wise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers harshly criticized United Airlines Inc <UAL.N> on Tuesday, demanding answers from the carrier’s apologetic chief executive after a passenger was dragged off an overbooked flight last month.

United CEO Oscar Munoz’s appearance before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was a test of how the Republican-led Congress would respond to an incident that enraged air passengers across the country.

Republicans largely back President Donald Trump’s push to undo rules and regulations they say hamper business growth. But Committee Chairman Bill Shuster told airline executives that Congress will take action if airlines do not act and added they “would not like the outcome.”

Shuster said the airlines owe the public answers. “Something is broken,” he said.

The hearing opened with a litany of complaints about air travel from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, many of whom travel back and forth to their districts weekly.

Munoz apologized again and took responsibility for a series of problems that led to the incident. He first apologized on April 11 in a letter to employees.

“In that moment for our customers and our company we failed, and so as CEO, at the end of the day, that is on me,” Munoz told lawmakers.

“This has to be a turning point.”

Munoz was joined at the hearing by United President Scott Kirby and executives from American Airlines <AAL.O>, Southwest Airlines <LUV.N> and Alaska Airlines <ALK.N>.

Consumer anger at cost-cutting airlines boiled over when David Dao, 69, was dragged from a United flight at a Chicago airport on April 9 to make room for crew members.

Fellow passengers recorded the incident, sparking backlash against the airline, which initially resisted taking blame.

United reached a settlement with Dao last week and changed its policies by reducing overbooked flights and offering passengers who give up their seats up to $10,000. The airline has promised to no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats.

Southwest said last week it would end overbooking altogether. The company will tell Congress it expects denied boarding incidents will fall 80 percent as a result of the change.

Alaska Airlines told the committee it is considering changes to its overbooking. But American Airlines said it would not end the practice.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday that Trump would not, at this point, weigh in on whether new airline regulations are needed.

“I’ll leave it up to Congress to decide whether it’s appropriate to address this legislatively. Once there was a piece of legislation, then we could have an opportunity to weigh in,” Spicer said on Monday.

But it is unclear how any new legislation would square with Trump’s deregulatory push.

Shortly after he took office, Trump directed federal agencies to do away with two old regulations for every new one. He asked airline executives in February to identify regulatory hurdles.

(Additional reporting by Steve Holland and Amanda Becker in Washington; writing by Roberta Rampton and Amanda Becker; Editing by Mary Milliken and Meredith Mazzilli)

United Airlines reaches settlement with passenger dragged from plane

FILE PHOTO - A United Airlines Boeing 787 taxis as a United Airlines Boeing 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, U.S. on February 7, 2015. REUTERS/Louis Nastro/File Photo

By Timothy Mclaughlin

CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines <UAL.N> and the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum, they said on Thursday, in the carrier’s latest step to contain damage from an incident that sparked international outrage.

Viral videos of Dr. David Dao being dragged down the aisle of a United jet and Chief Executive Oscar Munoz’s handling of the incident touched off a public outcry, prompted calls from congressmen for new industry regulation, and led United’s board of directors to reverse an agreement to make Munoz company chairman in 2018.

United said earlier on Thursday that it would offer passengers who give up their seats up to $10,000, reduce overbooking of flights and no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats.

Southwest Airlines also said on Thursday that it would end overbooking of flights.

Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, was injured when Chicago aviation police removed him from his seat and then dragged him from the plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.

United has taken “full responsibility for what happened on Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago,” Thomas Demetrio, an attorney for Dao, said in a statement.

Demetrio said there was no need to proceed with separate litigation against the city. Republic Airways, United’s regional partner which operated the flight that Dao was on, has also been released from responsibility as part of the settlement, Demetrio’s office said.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office declined to comment on the settlement.

The three Chicago Department of Aviation officers who pulled Dao off the plane and a supervisor involved in the incident remain on paid leave, said Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Karen Pride, who declined to comment on the settlement.

United said in a separate statement that it was pleased to reach “an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411.”

“We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do,” the airline said.

Munoz stressed that point in a letter sent on Thursday to customers, saying the airline would increase its focus on their satisfaction.

“We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words,” he said.

Separately, officials at 10 of the busiest U.S. airports said their rules prevent security officers from physically removing passengers from airplanes unless a crime is committed.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang)

Illinois bill would ban passenger removal after UAL incident

Community members protest the treatment of Dr. David Dao at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

By Timothy Mclaughlin

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An Illinois lawmaker on Monday introduced a bill to ban the forcible removal of travelers from flights by state or local government employees after a United Airlines passenger was dragged from an aircraft last week.

The Airline Passenger Protection Act, sponsored by Republican state Representative Peter Breen, came after Dr. David Dao, 69, was pulled from a United flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to make space for four crew members.

The treatment of Dao sparked international outrage, as well as multiple apologies from the carrier, and raised questions about the overbooking policies of airlines.

Under Breen’s measure, passengers could not be removed from flights unless they were presenting a danger to themselves or others, an emergency was taking place or the passenger had caused a serious disturbance, according to a copy of the bill introduced in the state capital, Springfield.

“A commercial airline that removes validly seated customers without serious cause breaches the sacred trust between passengers and their airlines,” the bill said.

The legislation would also bar the state of Illinois from making travel arrangements, doing business with or having investments in any commercial airline that maintained a policy of removing paying passengers to make room for employees traveling on non-revenue tickets.

Dao, who was traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, on April 9, suffered a broken nose, a concussion and lost two teeth when he was pulled from his seat by officers from the Chicago Department of Aviation to make room for four employees on the overbooked flight.

The three officers, who have not been named, were put on paid leave last week, the department said.

“The treatment of the passenger in last week’s incident at O’Hare is inexcusable and must be stopped,” Breen said in a statement. “It reflected badly on the airline, the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois.”

United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz on Monday again apologized for the incident. [nL1N1HP1HM]

United said on Friday it was changing its policy on booking its flight crews onto its own planes. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Illinois bill.

Lawyers for Dao have moved to preserve evidence from the flight, filing a motion to keep surveillance videos and other materials related to United Flight 3411 in preparation for a possible lawsuit.

The city and United agreed to preserve the evidence, Dao’s attorney said on Saturday.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by Andrew Hay and Peter Cooney)

United passenger launches legal action over forceful removal

A video screengrab shows passenger David Dao being dragged off a United Airlines flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in this video filmed by @JayseDavid April 9, 2017. Jayse D. Anspach via REUTERS

By Alana Wise

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lawyers for the passenger dragged from a United Airlines plane in Chicago filed an emergency request with an Illinois state court on Wednesday to require the carrier to preserve video recordings and other evidence related to the incident.

Citing the risk of “serious prejudice” to their client, Dr. David Dao, the lawyers want United and the City of Chicago, which runs O’Hare International Airport, to preserve surveillance videos, cockpit voice recordings, passenger and crew lists, and other materials related to United Flight 3411.

Chicago’s Aviation Department said on Wednesday that two more officers had been placed on leave in connection with the April 9 incident, during which airport security officers dragged Dao from his seat aboard a United jet headed for Louisville, Kentucky. One officer was placed on leave on Tuesday.

Paul Callan, a civil and criminal trial lawyer in New York, said the public outcry over Dao’s treatment would likely push the airline to a quick and generous settlement.

“Because United has such a catastrophic PR problem, this case has a much greater value than such a case would normally have,” he said.

United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz on Wednesday apologized to Dao, his family and United customers in an ABC News interview, saying the company would no longer use law enforcement officers to remove passengers from overbooked flights.

“This can never, will never happen again,” he said.

Munoz is under pressure to contain a torrent of bad publicity and calls for boycotts against United unleashed by videos that captured Dao’s rough treatment by airline and airport security staff.

Dao was removed to make room for additional crew members, United said.

Footage from the incident shows Dao, bloodied and disheveled, returning to the cabin and repeating: “Just kill me. Kill me,” and “I have to go home.”

As of Tuesday, Dao was still in a Chicago hospital recovering from his injuries, his lawyer said.

On Wednesday, United said it would compensate all passengers on board the flight the cost of their tickets.

Munoz said United would be examining the way it compensates customers who volunteer to give up seats on overbooked planes, adding that it would likely not demand that seated passengers surrender their places.

Some U.S. lawmakers called for new rules that could make it more difficult for airlines to overbook flights as a tool for increasing revenue.

U.S. President Donald Trump said it was “horrible” that Dao was dragged off the flight, according to an interview from the Wall Street Journal. Rather than calling for an end to the practice of overselling, Trump said that instead, there should be no upper limit to incentives carriers can offer passengers in exchange for their seats on overbooked flights.

Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate committee that oversees transportation have questioned United’s actions.

But Delta Air Lines Inc CEO Ed Bastian on Wednesday defended overbooking as “a valid business practice” that does not require additional oversight by the government.

“It’s not a question, in my opinion, as to whether you overbook,” Bastian said on a call with analysts. “It’s how you manage an overbook situation.”

The backlash from the incident resonated around the world, with social media users in the United States, China and Vietnam calling for boycotts of the No. 3 U.S. carrier by passenger traffic and an end to the practice of overbooking flights.

Shares of United Continental closed 1.1 percent lower at $69.93. They fell as much as 4.4 percent on Tuesday.

Two online petitions calling for Munoz to step down as CEO had more than 124,000 signatures combined by Wednesday afternoon. Munoz told ABC he had no plans to resign over the incident.

(Reporting by Alana Wise in New York; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington, and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Richard Chang)

United won’t use police to remove overbooked passengers

Community member protests the treatment of Dr. David Dao, who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight on Sunday by the Chicago Aviation Police, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois,

By Alana Wise and David Shepardson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – United Airlines will no longer use law enforcement officers to remove passengers from overbooked flights after global outrage erupted over a video showing a passenger dragged from one of its planes in Chicago.

“We’re not going to put a law enforcement official… to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger,” United Continental Holdings Inc Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz told ABC News on Wednesday morning. “We can’t do that.”

Munoz said the incident on Sunday resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense” in the situation and that Dr. David Dao, whom security officers pulled by his hands from the cabin before takeoff, was not at fault.

An online petition calling for Munoz to step down as CEO had more than 45,000 signatures on Wednesday morning, but he told ABC that he had no plans to resign over the incident.

Shares of United Continental were about flat in morning trading. They had fallen as much as 4.4 percent on Tuesday.

The backlash from the incident resonated around the world, with social media users in the United States, China and Vietnam calling to boycott the No. 3 U.S. carrier by passenger traffic.[L8N1HK0L9]

On China’s Sina Weibo, #UnitedAirlinesforcespassengeroffplane was still pinned as one of the most talked-about topics on the microblogging site’s front page.

As of Tuesday, Dao was still in a Chicago hospital from injuries he sustained when airport security snatched him from his seat aboard United Flight 3411 to Louisville, Kentucky, his lawyer said.

“Currently, (Dao and his family) are focused only on Dr. Dao’s medical care and treatment,” Chicago-based lawyer Stephen Golan said in a statement on Tuesday.

Video recorded by fellow passengers showed Dao on his back as security officers dragged him from the cabin of the parked plane. Other footage shows him, bloodied and disheveled, returning to the cabin and repeating: “Just kill me. Kill me,” and “I have to go home.”

Much of the social media uproar stemmed from Dao’s status as a paying passenger who was being removed to make room for additional crew members on the overbooked flight.

In the ABC interview, Munoz apologized profusely to Dao, his family, passengers and United customers.

“This can never, will never happen again,” he said.

(Reporting by Alana Wise in New York; Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Angela Moon in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

New computer glitch delays United Airlines flights

Computer glitch downs the planes

By Ingrid Melander and Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) – Thousands of passengers were delayed worldwide after a computer glitch temporarily halted departures at United Airlines, the latest in a series of outages to affect rival companies in the industry.

“Earlier tonight we experienced an issue with our weight reporting system, which caused system wide flight delays,” the airline said in a statement on its Twitter feed late on Thursday in the United States.

“We have resolved the issue and are working to get customers to their destinations as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Passengers said they had been forced to wait onboard planes or inside terminals as flights were delayed for several hours.

“On the plane for more than an hour, away from the gate and no communication. What’s happening?,” one passenger tweeted.

In Paris, passengers complained as check-in lines grew for a flight to New York, a Reuters reporter said on Friday morning.

The airline said the problem had been resolved as of 3 a.m. eastern time (0700 GMT) on Friday.

It is the third computer glitch to hit United’s owner United Continental Holdings in recent months and the latest in a series of problems that have tested the reliance on technology of some of the world’s largest carriers.

On June 2, software needed to dispatch United’s flight plan briefly lost functionality.

In July, the same airline’s flights were disrupted after a computer problem blocked access to reservations records.

The following month, Delta Air Lines canceled hundreds of flights and delayed many others after a power outage hit its computer systems.

And in September, a system-wide computer problem at British Airways caused significant delays.

After the two previous incidents, United Continental Holdings said in July it had invested in backup plans.

But multiple recent outages have prompted some experts and passenger groups to question whether the airline industry has invested enough in technological infrastructure, given new profits from baggage and cancellation fees.

(Reporting by Ingrid Melander, Tim Hepher; Editing by Keith Weir)

Could this be the Beginning of a Complete World Collapse?

A Day of Chaos on Wall Street today!  As this is being written, the New York Stock Exchange had been closed for over 4 hours.  The Greek Government is scrambling to fix their financial disaster and headlines are screaming out that the real crisis in the financial news is that China is headed for a crash much like what happened to us in 1929. As I have watched the news today, riveted by what is happening all over the country, all I could do was sit and connect the dots. Could the world’s financial system be taking the first major step towards a complete collapse?

This morning, United Airlines had to suspend and cancel flights all over the country because of a “computer glitch”; The Wall Street Journal’s Website went down because of a “computer glitch”.   All of these computer glitches and I have a hard time NOT connecting them together. And if these incidents are related, then it had to be by something evil.

There is massive flooding all over the country and power outages occurring because of them. We are also suffering from drought and threats of disease that are wiping out some of our food supply.  The warning signs are continuing to flash brighter.

Last night I received a phone call from a recent prophetic guest and wonderful friend, John Kilpatrick.  He told me that, “The next 90 days will be more important than the last 54 years of your ministry all together!”  He went on to warn me, “Do not be distracted as the next months are crucial!  Your voice must be diligent and clear in the next 90 days!”

Time after time, our prophetic guests have told us all that we need to be preparing NOW!  It IS time to get ready for what is to come!  John Shorey, Rick Joyner, Joel Richardson, Carl Gallups and Rabbi Jonathan Cahn are among those that have just recently been warning the world of what is to come!  I cannot help but think of their words as this day unfolds.  We will see more of these days of uncertainty, we will see more chaos.

According to Joe Grano, Chairman and CEO of Centurion Holdings LLC and former chairman of Homeland Security Advisory Council: “The two places America is most vulnerable is our financial systems and our energy grid. And the biggest warning light is that our enemies not only can shut down our financial system but also our grid.”

I am committed to bringing you as much information that I can as the days unfold.  We are going to be working on this together!  On our next broadcast, we will be talking about these world shaking events and piecing them together on the show.  We will be discussing the many events that are coming together in this world and what we can begin expecting in the days to come. Today we began construction on our new Roku network “breaking news” facility. We are so eager to finish this new building so that we may bring you the cutting edge news as soon as it is breaking.

The Lord is speaking to all of us in so many ways.  We want to hear from you if you feel He is speaking to you!  Please send us information that you find and news that you feel is important during these prophetic days.  We want to hear from you!  Please email us at newsteam@jimbakkershow.com.

God Bless you.

Love,

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