The CEO of United Airlines has issued a stronger apology about a passenger who was dragged off a United Express flight, calling the confrontation “truly horrific.”
Oscar Munoz said in a note to employees last night that he continues to be disturbed by the events Sunday night in Chicago.
He said, “No one should ever be mistreated this way.”
Munoz was widely criticised for two statements Monday about the altercation in which he described the 69-year-old man taken off the plane as “disruptive and belligerent.”
United faced an unprecedented storm of protest on social media as video of the event spread globally, sending the airline’s share price tumbling.
On Tuesday, Munoz said he was committed to “fix what’s broken so this never happens again.”
He pledged to review the company’s policies for seeking volunteers to give up their seats, for handling oversold flights and for partnering with airport authorities and local law enforcement.
The company plans to share results of the review by April 30.
Earlier it emerged that he man dragged from the flight is a Kentucky doctor who was convicted more than a decade ago of felony charges involving his prescribing of drugs.
But the passenger’s unflattering history quickly became the focus of attention, even though there’s no indication that his past influenced how he was treated or that the airline or airport police were aware of his background.
A person with knowledge of the flight who was not authorised to publicly release the information told The Associated Press that the passenger was David Dao, 69, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Dao has not returned messages from the AP. He was captured on cellphone video getting removed from a flight Sunday at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
According to state of Kentucky documents, Dao was investigated for fraudulently prescribing drugs to a person with whom he was involved sexually. He was convicted of felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit. His license was restored in 2015.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said it was “troubling” to watch video of Mr Dao being dragged off the flight but said it’s unlikely the federal government will launch a separate investigation.
Spicer noted that local authorities and United are reviewing the incident in which a man was forcibly removed from a full United Express flight at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Videotape of the confrontation spread across social media.
Spicer said he was sure Trump has seen the video but that any comment from the president could influence a potential outcome of the investigations.