The chief executive of United Airlines has told his staff he was "upset" by the events onboard one of the airline's planes, in which a passenger was dragged off a flight by security men.
Footage of the passenger, reported to be a doctor, being pulled out of his seat and dragged off a United plane went viral online yesterday. The airline said it was because the flight was overbooked.
United chief exec Oscar Munoz made the following statement last night: “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”
A letter from Munoz to his employees at United was later published online, in which the airline boss said he "stands behind" all the company's staff.
|Oscar Munoz's letter to United Airlines staff|
Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I've included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.
As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.
I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.
Summary of Flight 3411