PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The United Airlines incident on Sunday involving a paying passenger involuntarily removed from his flight by aviation officers has caused a stir of emotions and raised a number of questions, including your rights as a paying passenger once you board a flight.
But you should also know the airlines have rights, too, and it's all listed in their contract of carriage.
"Cause there's a contract of carriage created when you purchase the airline ticket and there's expectations by the passenger and like many contracts that we sign every day, we don't read the fine print. We don't know what our rights are," said Gwen Bjornson, a local aviation attorney.
"In that contract with each airline, it has their protocol on if they have to involuntarily remove somebody, why they do that, how they go about doing it, and the compensation for it, right? And they have limitations on there, and each airline can set their own internal policies," said Bjornson.
Bjornson says the airline could have done better by offering higher compensation.
"It wasn't handled very well. They could have done several things since they didn't have volunteers. They could have upped the compensation and avoided all of this disruption to the airline and to their reputation," said Bjornson.
But at the same time, she says a passenger must always listen to crew member instructions once on a plane.
"Once a passenger has boarded an airplane, they have to follow crew member instructions or risk facing jail time and federal penalties as well as civil fines," said Bjornson.
On Good Morning America Wednesday morning, Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United, apologized and promised to do things differently in the future.
"We are not going to put law enforcement official onto a place to take them off to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger; we can't do that," said Munoz.