Aviation

United CEO apologises again, vows to stop using police to remove passengers

Hannah Edensor

United Airlines is in serious damage control, after a passenger was forcefully dragged off an overbooked flight, and its CEO Oscar Munoz offered a pitiful apology in response that in parts blamed the customer.

Heck, it’s even sparked calls for a boycott and people to come forward and share their own crappy experiences with United.

But overnight, Munoz appeared on Good Morning America, saying he felt ashamed watching the footage of the passenger bleeding and being hauled down the aisle to make room for crew members to fit on the flight.

“The word shame comes to mind,” he admitted. “The first thing I think is important to apologise to Dr Dao, his family, the passengers on the flight, the customers, our employees.”

Munoz claimed the carrier will no longer use police to remove passengers from full flights, with the airline’s passenger removal policy set to go under review.

The footage went viral after Twitter users posted it online.

“This is not who our family at United is,” Munoz told Good Morning America.

You saw us at a bad moment and this could never – will never happen again on aUnited Airlines flight. That’s my premise and that’s my promise.

Munoz assured viewers that law enforcement will no longer be involved in removing “a booked, paid, seated passenger” and called the appalling incident “a system failure”.

He added that United would also reassess its methods of sourcing volunteers to give up their seats when flights are overbooked, launching a “thorough review”. Or they could stop overbooking flights, but anyway…

“No one should ever be mistreated this way.”

Munoz was also addressed about calls for his resignation after the embarrassment, saying:

I was hired to make United better and we’ve been doing that and that’s what I’ll continue to do.

Meanwhile, new reports of another video, which shows Dao prior to being hauled off the plane, saying he’d rather go to jail than give up his seat because he has patients to see in the plane’s final destination. He was also quoted saying they’d have to “drag him” off the flight.

In a statement provided to Travel Weekly, a United spokesperson said, “United Airlines continues to focus on making this right, as no one should ever be mistreated this way.

“As part of our commitment to ensuring something like this never happens again on a United Airlines flight, we are in the process of conducting a thorough review of our policies.

“This review includes examining how we move crews, incentivize volunteers in these situations, handle oversold situations and work with airport authorities and local law enforcement moving forward. We look forward to sharing the results of this review by the end of the month and remain committed to doing better.”

Prior to this TV appearance, Munoz was embroiled in a bit of a sh*tstorm when he firstly issued a weak apology for “re-accommodating” passengers, which resulted in its own collection of memes mocking his choice of words.

He then sent out an internal email to staff, which hit Twitter pretty darn quickly, where he said Dr Dao was “disruptive and belligerent” and praised staff for “going above and beyond” to provide excellent service continuously.

The Chicago Police Department issued its own statement via social media, claiming the man “fell”, while other reports claim the security guard responsible has been placed on leave.

A group of 21 senators on Tuesday also sent a letter to Munoz, per reports, announcing plans to examine the incident, while New Jersey governor Chris Christie apparently called for the US Department of Transportation to suspend airlines from overbooking flights, pending a review.

Although per Yahoo7 reports, Delta chief exec Ed Bastian called overbooking a “valid business process”.

“There are things that happen that create overbooking situations beyond just pure oversales,” he told analysts and reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s not a question in my opinion as to whether you overbook; it’s how you manage an overbook situation.”

But, Bastian conceded, “The key is managing it before you get to the boarding process. And that’s what our team has done a very effective and efficient job over.”

 

 



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Star appoints former Tyro CEO as new boss

Will a new boss mean better chances of winning on the pokies? There’s only one way to find out!

Share

CommentComments

Events

Spencer Travel expo goes off with a bang!

Don’t worry, it didn’t go off with a literal bang – although fireworks are always good fun at an event.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Sabre’s Darren Rickey

We caught up with SVP airline global sales at Sabre, who has been living it up in Barcelona and Southern France and honestly, we’re a little offended we weren’t invited.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb officially bans parties

The Airbnb party is officially gone! Now you’ll have to get pissed in a nearby park when you go on holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

TFE to bring Collection brand to Sydney

Complete with an infinity pool featuring sweeping city views, the new property is touted as a destination in itself, however, we can’t confirm that until we’re offered a free stay.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Avalon Waterways offers double Qantas Point incentive

Satisfy your point-junkie clients by scoring them four points per dollar spent on their next luxury river cruise.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand sets roll out date for long awaited bunk-beds in economy class

Praise the travel gods! Passengers will soon have the option to lay down in cattle class and we’re so excited we’ve decided to take our afternoon nap early.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas proposes scrapping bonuses if it is “harmed”

Qantas has copped some bad press lately, but the silver lining is it’s a great excuse for Alan Joyce to get a nice makeover!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing 737 MAX mid-air emergencies revealed in new investigation

Surprisingly the investigation came from the ABC and not from Air Crash Investigation, which kind of puts the show to shame a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Western travel agents banned from booking Hajj pilgrimage

Those looking to complete Hajj will have to enter the Hajj lottery, which you are still astronomically more likely to win than the actual lottery.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Virtuoso uncovers key differences in how each generation travels

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are conducting our own research to tap into the zoomer market by teaching the office dog TikTok dances. It’s not going well.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group completes its comeback with all ships back at sea

To honour the milestone, all 63 ships in the group’s fleet sounded their horns at once, which most likely scared the sh*t out of nearby fishing boats and unsuspecting wales across the world.

Share

CommentComments