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Whitney Poyntz(CALGARY, Alberta) -- One Canadian mom said she was "amazed" when a flight attendant stepped in to soothe her crying baby mid-flight.

Whitney Poyntz, who was flying back home to Calgary, Alberta, from Palm Springs, Florida, on April 19, thanked WestJet flight attendant Ashley Drysdale in a now viral Facebook post.

Poyntz, 28, said her 4-month-old daughter Kennedi was thankfully asleep when she boarded the flight.

"Once the captain came on the intercom it woke her up, which is obviously no ones fault," the mother wrote on WestJet's Facebook page. "About 30 min[ute]s later all hell broke loose."

Poyntz, who was accompanied by her husband, said "we did not have a happy baby," and were met with glaring eyes from other passengers.

Next, the mother wrote that Ashley, the flight attendant, asked if she could "take" Kennedi and walk up and down the aisle with her. That did the trick and her newborn was "calmed down," the mom wrote.

Poyntz told ABC News that she "didn't know what to feel. I was amazed that someone wanted to help like that."

The mother then snapped a photo because "when she was soothing her, it melted my heart seeing her smiling and talking to her."

In a statement to ABC News, WestJet praised the flight attendant for her actions in the incident.

"WestJet's caring crew are one of the reasons we have been named as the most trusted airline in Canada," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Ashley is a true representative of the WestJet brand."

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iStock/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) --  Las Vegas is a city known for makeovers. Hotels, casinos and restaurants are constantly changing, upgrading and becoming as modern as they can be.

But there's a notable exception in downtown Las Vegas. At the El Cortez Hotel and Casino, the longest continuously running hotel and casino in the city, a suite that's a trip back in time is available to book, but only for those in the know.

The Jackie Gaughan suite is a tribute to the El Cortez's former owner, Jackie Gaughan. He and his wife, Bertie Gaughan, lived in the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom suite with living room, sitting room and kitchen for 25 years. Jackie Gaughan died in 2014 and the suite has only recently become available for bookings.

But it's not as simple as simply calling the hotel or booking online. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by management and if it's deemed a good fit, only then will arrangements be made.

ABC News was invited to tour the suite and see the place one of Las Vegas' most influential moguls of gaming called home.

The time capsule of a suite has '80s decor, with pink-upholstered walls and pink marble and gold bathrooms. The blue kitchen has all its original appliances.

"Our heritage is our biggest asset, " Adam Weisberg, director of marketing for the El Cortez, told ABC News. The El Cortez is the only casino on the National Register of Historic Places. "The suite pays homage to our previous owner and the history we are so proud of."

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William N. Finley IV/@WNFIV(NEW YORK) -- Fyre Festival organizers are still trying to explain what happened around their luxury concert event that was planned for this weekend in the Bahamas but postponed amid a storm of complaints posted on social media.

The festival, tickets for which cost up to thousands of dollars, erupted into what the island nation's tourism office called "total disorganization and chaos" after hundreds of prospective concertgoers landed in the Bahamas. The planned lineup included performances by Ja Rule, Daya and Tyga.

In a previous statement released Friday, Fyre Festival said, "Due to circumstances out of our control, the physical infrastructure was not in place on time and we are unable to fulfill on that vision safely and enjoyably for our guests."

On Saturday, the organizers of what was to be the festival's first year promised in a statement posted to its website that "all festival goers this year will be refunded in full. We will be working on refunds over the next few days and will be in touch directly with guests with more details."

"Also, all guests from this year will have free VIP passes to next year’s festival," the statement read.

So Fyre Fest is a complete disaster. Mass chaos. No organization. No one knows where to go. There are no villas, just a disaster tent city. pic.twitter.com/1lSWtnk7cA

— William N. Finley IV (@WNFIV) April 27, 2017

The statement also said that the Fyre Festival was created by rapper Ja Rule and technology entrepreneur Billy McFarland after a "partnership over mutual interest in technology, the ocean, and rap music."

"This unique combination of interests led them to the idea that, through their combined passions, they could create a new type of music festival and experience on a remote island," the statement continued. "They simply weren’t ready for what happened next, or how big this thing would get."

The statement then explained that interest in the festival quickly went viral. Festival organizers experienced what they called "roadblocks" after realizing that the island of Great Exuma didn't have the infrastructure needed for the event.

"So, we decided to literally attempt to build a city," the statement read. "We set up water and waste management, brought an ambulance from New York, and chartered 737 planes to shuttle our guests via 12 flights a day from Miami."

The Fyre Festival said that they plan to hold a festival in 2018 but "at a United States beach venue."

Ja Rule spoke out Friday via social media, saying he was "heartbroken" about what happened in the Bahamas. He also maintained that it was not his fault but he is "taking responsibility" and is "deeply sorry to everyone who was inconvenienced by this."

pic.twitter.com/KuJYxfsQJ4

— Ja Rule (@Ruleyork) April 28, 2017

For his part, McFarland, 25, admitted to Rolling Stone that his team was "a little naive in thinking for the first time we could do this ourselves. Next year, we will definitely start earlier. The reality is, we weren't experienced enough to keep up."

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in a statement Friday said it was "extremely disappointed" with how events unfolded around the festival. "Hundreds of visitors to Exuma were met with total disorganization and chaos. The event organizers assured us that all measures were taken to ensure a safe and successful event but clearly they did not have the capacity to execute an event of this scale."

Hallie Wilson, one attendee who along with her friends spent $4,000 to celebrate a friend's bachelorette party, told ABC News on Friday that she and more than 100 others landed back in Miami after spending hours trying to fly back in.

"It's been the longest 24 hours of our lives," she added.

Another attendee Trevor DeHass told ABC News that despite the Fyre Festival being promoted as an all-inclusive upscale weekend, he said that he and his friends were served two slices of bread, a slice of cheese and a small salad for dinner Thursday.

@FyreFraud Here's the dinner they fed us tonight. Literally slices of bread, cheese, and salad with no dressing. #fyrefraud #fyrefestival #dumpsterfyre pic.twitter.com/NmNXakSFlq

— Tr3vor (@trev4president) April 28, 2017

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Dina Mitchell(NEW YORK) -- Fitbit has disputed a Wisconsin woman's claim that her Fitbit tracker exploded on its own.

Dina Mitchell said she had owned her Fitbit Flex 2 for about two weeks, when earlier this month, the fitness tracking device allegedly caught fire on her arm while she was reading a book. She said she suffered second-degree burns on her arm after her Fitbit tracker exploded.

But following an investigation, San Francisco-based Fitbit says the fitness tracker did not malfunction.

"Based on our initial investigation, including testing of her device by a leading third-party failure analysis firm, we have concluded that Ms. Mitchell's Fitbit Flex 2 did not malfunction," a Fitbit spokesperson told ABC News. "The testing shows that external forces caused the damage to the device."

The spokesperson continued, "We have not received any other complaints of this nature and we want to assure our customers that they can continue to enjoy their Flex 2 and all Fitbit products with confidence."

Mitchell had told ABC News in an emailed statement last Sunday, "I was literally just sitting and reading when my Fitbit exploded. It was either defective or really mad I was sitting still so long ... I don't know. Either way, it burned the heck out of my arm."

She said she ripped the device off of her arm as it was still burning and tossed it onto the floor. Mitchell said her doctor had to pick pieces of plastic and rubber out of her arm after the incident.

An emergency care provider in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area told ABC News affiliate KTRK that Mitchell was treated the day after she said the incident occurred.

Mitchell, who said she got the tracker as a birthday gift, said Fitbit offered her a free replacement device after she notified the company about the apparent malfunction.

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Taylor Dunn(NEW YORK) -- Growing up in Arizona, Kara Goldin had no idea she would one day be working to revolutionize the American beverage industry.

“I’ve always had this mindset that you just have to keep learning along the way and trying to figure it out. I also have a lot of trust of what happens day after day without thinking through exactly what’s going to happen next week,” Goldin told ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of ABC Radio’s “No Limits With Rebecca Jarvis."

Goldin had an early introduction to the world of healthy ingredients from her father, who worked in the Healthy Choice division of Conagra. When Goldin was born and her mom went back to work, her father was determined to make healthier, easier meals for Goldin and her four older siblings, she said.

“My dad decided that he didn’t like TV dinners that were the typical, mystery meat TV dinners that were available in the frozen food section so he decided, 'What if I develop a better-tasting ... TV dinner, which was Healthy Choice.”

Goldin later went on to study communications in college and minored in finance at Arizona State. She originally set out to become a journalist, but instead found herself in the tech world, working her way up the ladder at AOL, where she became VP of shopping and e-commerce partnerships and grew AOL’s shopping startup to over $1 billion in under seven years.

Goldin’s shift from Silicon Valley executive to beverage CEO came gradually. After her third child was born, Goldin “really started to look at everything not only that I was doing from an exercise perspective, but also from an eating perspective and drinking perspective.”

Her final challenge: giving up Diet Coke, of which she says she consumed 12 cans of every day!

“I had a love affair with my Diet Coke,” Goldin said. She quit cold turkey.

Her replacement? “I was never a water drinker. And so I started slicing up fruit and throwing it in water to get myself to drink more water.”

When she looked for a similar product in the grocery store, she couldn’t find it. So she set to work in her own kitchen, brewing up water with no sweeteners and a hint of natural fruit flavoring.

The same day Goldin gave birth to her fourth child, Hint Water made its debut at Whole Foods. As Hint Water began growing, Golden says she reached out to an executive at a large beverage company for advice. What he told her changed everything. He said: “This company will never work because Americans love sweets.”

That's when she says she realized, “We could actually change health in America by helping people really eliminate their need for sweet.”

Now Hint is sold in stores like Whole Foods, Target and Wal-Mart, and is the main brand of water at tech companies including Google and Facebook. Goldin attributes Hint’s success to her tech background, but also to the healthy choices her father made.

“I never really realized the impact that had on me. I didn’t go into food right away,” she said.

“I think just being able to look at something and say, 'I can do better than this.' I mean, that’s what great entrepreneurs do right,” she added.

To hear more of Kara Goldin’s story and how she created Hint Water, listen to “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Friday as investors weighed weaker-than-expected GDP data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 40.82 (-0.19 percent) to finish at 20,940.51.

The Nasdaq gave up 1.33 (-0.02 percent) to close at 6,047.61 while the S&P 500 finished at 2,384.20, down 4.57 (-0.19 percent) from its open.

Crude oil prices were little changed at about $49 per barrel.

GDP: A day before President Trump marked his 100th day in office, the Commerce Department said the gross domestic product grew by just 0.7 percent in the first three months of his presidency. The fourth quarter saw a 2.1 percent gain for GDP.

Winners and Losers: Time Inc. announced Friday the company is no longer looking to sell itself, causing the mass media company's stock to plummet 17 percent.

Shares of Build-A-Bear Worshop jumped nearly 9 percent after earnings beat investors' expectations.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly a month after a United Airlines passenger was recorded on video being dragged off a plane to make room for airline employees, the company's CEO, Oscar Munoz, is set to testify on Capitol Hill, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

On Tuesday morning, Munoz, along with leadership from other domestic carriers, will face questions about the incident and what can be done to improve the relationship between airlines and passengers.

“Next week’s oversight hearing will give committee members an opportunity to get much-needed answers about airline customer service policies and what is being done to improve service for the flying public,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Penn.).

The passenger, Dr. David Dao, lost teeth and suffered cuts and other injuries from the April 9 incident on board United Express Flight 3411, requiring surgery, according to his attorney.

United Airlines and Dao's attorney on Thursday announced a settlement had been reached. The airline repeatedly apologized to Dao for the incident. The settlement includes a provision that the amount remain confidential, according to Thomas Demetrio, Dao's attorney.

Demetrio and Munoz both described the settlement as "amicable."

"Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has," Demetrio said in a statement. In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened in Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the city of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded."

The agreement was announced the same day that United released a slew of changes in policy, such as limiting involvement of law enforcement on matters outside of safety and security. Customers will also no longer be required to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk. Additionally, compensation for voluntary denied boarding will be increased up to $10,000, along with other changes.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to convene at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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Amazon(NEW YORK) -- Continuing with its Echo line of digital home assistants, Amazon on Wednesday unveiled Echo Look, a personal stylist device with a built-in camera that is meant to help people choose what outfit to wear. But the idea of a home assistant with a camera has alarmed some privacy advocates, with many reacting skeptically on Twitter to the e-commerce giant's announcement.

While it currently has no official release date, the Echo Look is said to have a camera that connects with a user's smartphone to give a real-time rear-view when a person turns his or her back to it. It is also said to allow a user to snap selfies of outfits and catalog them to remember the last time a particular outfit was worn.

It also reportedly uses an algorithm that compares two outfits and decides which looks better.

But as the announcement was made, several privacy advocates on Twitter warned about the potential ramifications of new device.

Amazon just confirmed that the videos and photos recorded by the Echo Look will be stored 'indefinitely.' https://t.co/sjpZymsfs3

— Kate Crawford (@katecrawford) April 26, 2017

This how it ends. Not with a bang but with fears about failing the social competition of fashion choice. Lame. https://t.co/LSeXvixJTc

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) April 27, 2017

The company said the camera would only be active when it is manually turned on, and that a light and audio cues would alert a user when it is on.

But artificial intelligence experts pointed out on Twitter that a full-length picture of someone in the same place every day could give Amazon a lot of information.

These experts said this would allow the company to ascertain a user's skin color, size, measurements, if a person was pregnant and what clothing brands someone likes.

"All this to sell you more clothes. We are selling out to surveillance capitalism that can quickly evolve into authoritarianism for so cheap," tweeted Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina.

Amazon described in a statement to ABC News the measures it says were taken to make the new device "secure."

"Amazon takes customer privacy seriously and we have taken measures to make Echo Look secure," the statement read. "These include hardware control via the mic/camera off button, disallowing third-party application installation on the device, rigorous security reviews, and encryption of images and communication between Echo Look, the Echo Look app and Amazon servers."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.) -- Indiana's flagship public university is tapping into online education by buying for-profit Kaplan University in hopes that the two institutions will create a new public university.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said the school will stay true to its land-grant mission of expanding its offerings to as many people as possible, but said it cannot do so without entering the online higher-education market. 

“We took a long build-or-buy analysis and came to the honest recognition that we would be very unlikely to succeed building it ourselves,” Daniels told The Washington Post.

Purdue said it plans to acquire Kaplan University’s 32,000 students, 3,000 employees and 15 brick-and-mortar campuses and learning centers from Graham Holdings Co., which will maintain Kaplan’s international, professional and test-prep businesses. Purdue currently serves students at its West Lafayette campus and two regional campuses. The new entity will become a third level in the Purdue system, and will operate almost exclusively online.

The deal still needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission, which already accredits Purdue and Kaplan. If approved, Purdue will pay Kaplan $1 upfront for the transfer of its institutional assets to Purdue, and then Kaplan can earn up to 12.5 percent of the new school’s revenue if certain conditions are met, The Washington Post reported.

Under a 30-year contract, Kaplan, which has been in a yearslong slide, will continue to provide the new university with technical support, human resources for transferred employees, admissions and financial-aid assistance, marketing and other back-office functions. Purdue can opt out after six years.

Either side can cancel the deal if the new school generates $25 million in cash operating losses for three consecutive years or if the aggregate cash operating losses top $75 million at any point in the initial 30-year term, according to The Washington Post.

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U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(BETHESDA, Md.) -- More than 80,000 Osprey child backpack carriers have been recalled in the U.S. and Canada after reports that children can slip through the leg openings.

The recall of all models of Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium carriers comes after four children slipped through the leg opening, resulting in one report of a skull fracture and one report of scratches to the head. The recall involves the carriers that were manufactured between January 2012 and December 2014.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises consumers to stop using the recalled carriers and contact Osprey for a free seat pad insert, which can be used with the existing safety straps to secure the child in the carrier.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ahead of some major tech company earnings on Thursday, the NASDAQ closed at an all-time high of 6,048 up 23.71 ( 0.39 percent).

The rest of the markets closed flat for the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 20,981 ( 0.03 percent). The S&P closed up 1.32 to finish the session at 2,388 ( 0.06 percent).

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Ingram Publishing/iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Dr. David Dao, the United passenger who was filmed being dragged off a flight in Chicago, has reached a settlement with the airline, his attorney said in a press release.

A condition of the settlement includes a provision that the amount remain confidential, Dao's attorney, Thomas A. Demetrio, said in a press release.

Demetrio described the settlement as "amicable" and praised United CEO Oscar Munoz.

"Mr. Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has," Demetrio said in a statement. In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened in Flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded."

The settlement was reached on the same day that the airline announced changes to improve the customer experience.

Dao's attorney said that as a result of the doctor's ordeal, Dao became the "unintended champion for the adoption of changes, which will certainly help improve the lives of literally millions of travelers."

Demetrio said he hopes other airlines "follow United's lead in helping to improve the passenger flying experience with an emphasis on patience, respect and dignity."

United also described the settlement as "amicable."

"We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard Flight 3411," United said. "We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do."

On April 9, fellow passengers took cellphone video of a bloody Dao being dragged off a flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. United later apologized for the incident and vowed that the company will conduct a “thorough review” of the “truly horrific event.”


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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New video has emerged of a Wisconsin man who said he was forced off a Milwaukee-bound Delta Air Lines flight after he used the bathroom while the plane was delayed on the tarmac.

Video posted to Youtube showed the man, later identified as Kima Hamilton of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as he argued with a Delta crew member who asked him to exit the plane on April 18.

Fellow passenger Krista Rosolino, who recorded the video, described the incident in an open letter published to a blog.

Rosolino said that Hamilton got out of his seat to quickly use the bathroom as the plane sat on the runway.

She said he was told that he couldn't use the bathroom the first time he asked to go. After waiting 30 minutes, Hamilton said it was an emergency and went to the restroom, according to Rosolino.

When he returned to his seat, however, a Delta employee told him to exit the plane.

"I need more information, sir," Hamilton is heard saying in the video. "I haven't done anything. I paid for this ticket and ... I have to be home."

"I tried to hold it the first time and you said I absolutely couldn't and I'm being kicked off the plane?” Hamilton said, before the employee responded, "I need to talk to you outside."

Hamilton said later the plane was delayed in taking off, and he could no longer wait to use the bathroom, that is why he got up.

"Sometime later, we were still taxied [and] the plane hadn't moved...and it's at an emergency stage now," Hamilton told ABC affiliate WISN-TV on Wednesday.

Describing Hamilton as a "nice gentleman" who played hide and seek with her infant as they waited to take off, Rosolino called the incident "the most outrageous treatment of a paying customer that I have seen."

She said the flight crew made everyone get off the plane and then re-board after the incident.

"Not only did your staff truly harm and humiliate one person who was forced to pay hundreds of dollars for a new same-day flight, but you forced the rest of us passengers to endure a 2 hour saga of watching a man being targeted for having a bathroom emergency," she said.

Hamilton said he eventually complied and exited the plane. He told WISN that he was greeted by FBI agents, who he said came to arrest him, but ultimately decided not to.

He said that he was forced to buy a ticket on another airline at three times the price to get back to Milwaukee.

Over email, a Delta spokesperson said that Hamilton was removed from the plane because he did not comply with instructions.

In an accompanying statement sent by the same spokesperson, Delta said it was important for passengers to comply with crew members' instructions.

"Our flight crews are extensively trained to ensure the safety and security of all customers," the statement read. "It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at the critical points of takeoff and landing."

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday declined to guarantee that middle-class families wouldn't pay more under President Trump's sweeping tax overhaul plan.

"I can't make any guarantees until this thing is done and it’s on the president's desk. But I can tell you, that’s our number one objective in this," Mnuchin said on ABC News' Good Morning America.

The blueprint, which the White House unveiled Wednesday, calls for dramatically cutting federal taxes for businesses and simplifying rules for individuals. The plan would slash corporate taxes to 15 percent for large and small businesses, as well as consolidate categories for individual taxes, lowering the top bracket from nearly 40 percent to 35 percent.

But the Trump administration left key questions about the tax plan unanswered, such as how it will affect the middle class and the wealthy. Mnuchin avoided sharing further details of the plan in the interview with GMA Thursday morning.

"The details of taxes are very complicated and we're committed to working quickly and getting this done," the treasury secretary said.

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FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(NEW YORK) -- United Airlines will cut back on overbooking and develop an automated system to gauge customers' interest in voluntary, compensated bumping at check-in, the airline announced Thursday in a review of the April 9 incident that saw a passenger dragged off an aircraft.

Following in Delta's footsteps, United will also increase its incentive payment cap for voluntary denied boarding to $10,000.

"Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect," embattled CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement. "Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard. Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right."

In one of the airline's biggest PR fiascos to date, passengers on board a United aircraft still at the gate at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport filmed fellow passenger Dr. David Dao wrenched from his seat and dragged down the aisle of Flight 3411 after refusing to deplane to make room for crew members deadheading to Louisville.

According to documents obtained by ABC News, Dao and his wife initially expressed interest in United's offer to bump passengers in exchange for an $800 voucher, but later declined after learning they were not guaranteed a flight that same day.

When none of their fellow passengers volunteered for re-accommodation, the couple was informed they had been selected to involuntarily surrender their seats. They refused, and a United supervisor summoned security officers.

Described in aviation department reports as "aggressive" and "combative," Dao repeatedly rejected officer's orders to exit, declaring, "I don't care if I get arrested."

According to the reports, when officers attempted to extricate him from his seat, Dao allegedly flailed his arms, hitting his mouth on an armrest during the struggle. Because Dao "would not stand up," a Chicago aviation official explained in one report, officers removed him "by dragging him."

After his forcible removal, Dao ran back onto the aircraft -- his face apparently bloody, according to video of the incident -- and was removed once again via stretcher a short time later.

Dao's attorney -- who said allegations of aggressive behavior are "utter nonsense" -- told reporters his client suffered a broken nose, injury to his sinuses, concussion, and lost two front teeth.

After the altercation went viral, four Chicago aviation officers were placed on paid administrative leave.

"Our review shows that many things went wrong that day, but the headline is clear: our policies got in the way of our values," Munoz said in a statement distributed Thursday alongside the incident review. "Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust."

In the days following the incident, United pledged to never again summon law enforcement to forcibly remove a paying customer from an aircraft, except for security reasons -- a promise they reiterated in Thursday's report.

In fact, the report outlined a total of 10 policy changes resulting from the Dao incident, including some previously reported by ABC:

  • Law enforcement officers will not be asked to remove customers from United flights unless it is a matter of safety and security.
  • Customers already seated on a plane will not be required to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk.
  • Beginning Friday, April 28, maximum compensation for voluntary denied boarding will be increased up to $10,000.
  • A "customer solutions team" will be established by June to provide gate agents with creative solutions. They'll explore putting passengers and flight crews on flights to nearby airports, using other airlines or providing ground transportation.
  • Crews must be booked on flights at least 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Gate agents will undergo additional annual training beginning in August on difficult situations like this.
  • A new automated check-in process will be introduced later this year that will "gauge a customer's interest in giving up his or her seat on overbooked flights in exchange for compensation."
  • Reduce overbooking, particularly on smaller aircraft and the last flights of the day.
  • A new "in the moment" app will be launched for flight attendants by July and gate agents later this year that will allow them to give customers miles or other compensation the moment a disservice occurs.
  • Customers will be paid at least $1,500 on any permanently lost bags.

Involuntary denial of boarding incidents like Dao's are among the most "difficult" situations for gate agents and other employees, United said in the report.

According to company statistics submitted to the Department of Transportation, the vast majority of passengers denied boarding gave up their seats voluntarily, in exchange for travel vouchers or other incentives. Fewer than 1 in 23,000 customers are involuntarily denied boarding, the airline said, and many of those are kept off the plane due to weight restrictions, aircraft down-sizing, or security concerns. Only a handful are kept from boarding due to overbooking or crew positioning issues, according to United.

Dao's flight was plagued by overbooking and crew positioning issues, United clarified in the report. (Previously, United had disputed reports that the flight was overbooked, saying the incident stemmed only from crew movement problems.) One passenger who had not yet received a seat assignment was involuntarily bumped prior to boarding, and two more were booted from their seats to make room for United crew members displaced by maintenance issues.

"This has been a defining moment for our United family," says the report. "It is our responsibility -- our mission -- to make sure we all learn from this experience."

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