United Airlines will link executive pay to customer satisfaction after outrage over a passenger being dragged from a flight

Rebecca Smith
The airline's boss requested his contract be rewritten to remove the expectation he would soon become chairman
The airline's boss requested his contract be rewritten to remove the expectation he would soon become chairman (Source: Getty)

After the recent incident when a passenger being dragged from an overbooked United plane went viral, the airline plans to introduce an executive pay scheme tied to customer satisfaction.

On top of that, the airline's boss Oscar Munoz won't become chairman in 2018, after his contract was amended following the incident, which had been captured on video and soon racked up headlines across the world.

Read more: United’s brand turbulence leaves rivals in cruise control

A prior agreement with Munoz has been reversed, which the firm said had been initiated by the chief executive himself. Future appointments to the chairman role will now be at the board's discretion.

The executive pay decision was made in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission financial watchdog.

It said: "United's management and the board take recent events extremely seriously, and are in the process of developing targeted compensation programme design adjustments to ensure that employees' incentive opportunities for 2017 are directly and meaningfully tied to progress in improving the customer experience."

The US carrier had been under fire after the video emerged showing passenger Dr David Dao being dragged from the plane in Chicago earlier this month, suffering a broken nose and losing two teeth in the process.

An initial response from United's boss appeared to attribute blame to Dao, labelling him "disruptive and belligerent", before a follow-up statement said Munoz "no one should ever be mistreated this way", and pledged to review United's crew movement, policies around overselling and its relationships with security authorities.

Read more: United Airlines changes policy after dragging man from flight

The airline has been asked to answer a series of questions about the incident at a Senate panel yesterday, but United has request a further week's postponement, promising a full response after gathering "the full set of facts about this incident" and finalising a "thorough review" of its policy.

Related articles