PHOTO: United Airlines has issued a second statement by CEO Oscar Munoz. (photo via Flickr/Daniel Ramirez))
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz took a second crack at a more heartfelt apology this afternoon as the controversy continues to swirl around the carrier’s treatment of a passenger who was dragged off a flight after refusing to give up his seat.
Munoz swung and missed on his first attempt Monday with a tepid mea culpa in which he apologized for having to “re-accommodate” travelers on Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville.
United asked for four volunteers to give up their seats Sunday night so that airline crew members could be in Louisville by the morning for new assignments. But it was the last flight of the night, the next wasn’t until 3 p.m. Monday, and none of the passengers were enticed even by $1,000 in compensation and an overnight hotel stay.
When UA then chose four passengers to be removed and re-booked, shocking video emerged of one man who refused to give up his seat and was dragged down the aisle, bleeding from the mouth, by law enforcement authorities.
The video has been seen more than 6 million times and spawned social media outrage.
“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,” Munoz said in a statement. “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.”
READ MORE: United Is Its Own Worst Enemy
The passenger, Kentucky physician David Dao, identified himself on Tuesday afternoon and is receiving treatment at a Chicago hospital, according to an attorney representing the family.
“I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right,” Munoz continued in the statement. “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.