April 11, 2017
United CEO Finally Apologizes
News broke yesterday that a doctor was forcibly dragged off United flight 3411 from Chicago (ORD)- Louisville (SDF). To summarize, United needed to free up four seats on the fully booked aircraft for flight crew, who needed to get to Louisville to work on another flight departing the following morning. When none of the passengers on board accepted United’s $800 voucher offer, the airline chose to involuntarily bumb four passengers. When one of the pasengers refused to leave, United got the local police to forcible remove him.
— Kaylyn Davis (@kaylyn_davis) April 10, 2017
The passenger has since been identified as David Dao, a doctor from Kentucky. He was taken to the hospital soon after to treat his injuries.
After a pathetic initial response from United CEO Oscar Munoz yesterday, in which he ‘apologized’ for having to ‘re-accommodate’ the passengers, he finally issued a half-way decent apology today, after facing huge backlash on social media and seeing United’s market cap loose $1 billion. Better late than never, though it’s not much consolation. Here’s the full statement:
The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.