United Airlines has announced it will conduct a review of its operating policies, after enduring a storm of criticism over the past few days for an incident involving a passenger dragged off an overbooked plane.
When video footage of Dr David Dao being forcibly removed from flight 3411 went viral, United apologised "for the overbook situation".
This was followed by a comment from the airline's boss, Oscar Munoz, who said it was an "upsetting event to all of us here at United". He subsequently wrote to staff stating that he "emphatically" stands behind them, and described Dao as "disruptive and belligerent".
Munoz's handling of the situation did not go down well, and this was reflected in the parent company United Continental's share price, which dropped by three per cent in early US trading yesterday.
He has since issued another apology, in which he also announced that United would be reviewing its crew movement, its policies around overselling and its relationships with security authorities.
|Letter in full|
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 apologise 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 incentivising 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.