CEO says United will 'never" bring officers to pull passengers from overbooked flights again
Dr. David Dao, the injured passenger, tells WLKY he's not doing well
Two more security officers have been placed on leave and passengers say they are receiving compensation after a United Airlines passenger’s violent removal from a flight on Sunday.
A total of three Chicago Department of Aviation officers are on leave following the incident, which has turned into a publicity nightmare for United. Amid plummeting stocks and boycott threats, newly released footage appears to contradict United CEO Oscar Munoz’s claim that Dr. David Dao’s belligerence left officers with no choice but to forcibly remove him.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called for a suspension to the widespread practice of overbooking. Christie’s state has a special interest in United’s practices because he said the airline controls 70% of the flights at Newark Liberty International Airport.
As for Munoz’s earlier claim that Dao was at fault due to his belligerence, the CEO changed his heading, telling the morning show, “He can’t be. He was a paying passenger sitting on our seat in our aircraft, and no one should be treated like that. Period.”
United CEO: This ‘will never happen again’
Munoz came under fire for praising employees in a memo shortly after the incident and not issuing an apology to Dao for two days. By Wednesday, his tone had taken a contrite turn.
“That is not who our family at United is. And you saw us at a bad moment,” Munoz told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday morning.
That bad moment left Dao screaming as he was dragged off an oversold flight Sunday night. Passengers said blood dripped from his mouth after he hit his head on an armrest.
First, the shock. Now, the fallout.
“It’s not so much what I thought, it’s what I felt. Probably the word ‘ashamed’ comes to mind,” he said in the interview.
The CEO vowed to never again let a law enforcement remove “a booked, paid, seated passenger,” from a plane.
He said he has unsuccessfully tried to reach the passenger to apologize directly. He said Dao is not at fault, a change in tune from his initial comments on the matter.
“He can’t be. He was a paying passenger sitting on our seat in our aircraft, and no one should be treated like that. Period.”