New Jersey governor calls for halt to airline 'bumping' rules

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CHICAGO (AP) - Here's the latest on the passenger who was dragged off a full United Express flight at Chicago's O'Hare Airport (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he has asked the Trump administration to suspend regulations that allow airlines to overbook flights.

Christie, a Republican, sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Tuesday, citing a passenger who was dragged off a United Express flight in Chicago on Sunday.

Christie called the practice of "bumping" passengers off flights "unconscionable."

United is a dominant carrier at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport.

A message left with Chao's office was not immediately returned.

United Airlines said Tuesday that the United Express flight on Sunday was not overbooked but was merely full. Its crew found out after passengers were already seated that four seats were needed for a United flight crew to get to Louisville to staff another flight the next day. If they hadn't

2:30 p.m.

The CEO of United Airlines has issued a stronger apology about a passenger who was dragged off a United Express flight. Oscar Munoz called the confrontation "truly horrific."

Munoz said in a note to employees on Tuesday that he continues to be disturbed by the events on Sunday night in Chicago.

"No one should ever be mistreated this way," he said.

Munoz was widely criticized for two statements on Monday about the altercation in which he described the 69-year-old man taken off the plane as "disruptive and belligerent."

On Tuesday, Munoz said he was committed to "fix what's broken so this never happens again." He pledged to review the company's policies for seeking volunteers to give up their seats, for handling oversold flights and for partnering with airport authorities and local law enforcement.

The company plans to share results of the review by April 30.


1:30 p.m.

A spokesman for President Donald Trump says it was "troubling" to watch video of a passenger being dragged off of a United Airlines flight. White House press secretary Sean Spicer says it's unlikely the federal government will launch a separate investigation, despite Trump's feelings.

Spicer notes local authorities and United are reviewing the incident in which a man was forcibly removed from a full United Express flight at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Videotape of the confrontation spread across social media.

Spicer says he's sure Trump has seen the video but any comment from the president could influence a potential outcome of the investigations.

Spicer adds he thinks everyone who has seen the video can agree the situation could have been handled better.


12:30 p.m.

The man dragged from a full United Express flight is a physician in Kentucky who was convicted more than a decade ago of felony charges involving his prescribing of drugs.

The passenger's unflattering history quickly became the focus of attention, even though there's no indication that his past influenced how he was treated or that the airline or airport police were aware of his background.

A person with knowledge of the flight who was not authorized to publicly release the information told The Associated Press that the passenger was David Dao, 69, of Elizabethtown, Ky.

Dao has not returned messages from The AP. He was recorded on cellphone video being removed from a flight on Sunday at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.

According to state of Kentucky documents, Dao was investigated for fraudulently prescribing drugs to a person with whom he was involved sexually. He was convicted of felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit. His license was restored in 2015.


12:41 a.m.

The treatment of the passenger dragged off an overbooked United Express flight at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport prompted outrage and scorn on social media.

The incident risks a backlash against United from passengers who could boycott the airline as the busy summer travel season is about to begin. For Chicago, it is another public relations nightmare following a crime wave in parts of the city that has been highlighted by tweets from President Donald Trump.

Munoz defended his employees, saying they followed proper procedures in dealing with the situation. The Chicago aviation department, however, suspended the security officer who dragged the doctor off the flight after he refused to voluntarily leave.

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