Video stills of the United Airlines passenger who was dragged off an airplane.

Screengrab via kaylyn_davis/Twitter Screengrab via Audra D. Bridges/Facebook Remix by Samantha Grasso

United CEO apologizes for dragging passenger—after market value tanks

'I promise you we will do better.'

 

Samantha Grasso

IRL

Published Apr 11, 2017   Updated May 24, 2021, 5:50 pm CDT

 

In his third statement on the matter, United Airlines‘s CEO Oscar Munoz has finally apologized for the airline’s forcible removal of a passenger from a flight headed to Louisville on Sunday.

“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,” Munoz’s statement reads. “No one should ever be mistreated this way.”

In his first statement released early Monday morning, Munoz published four sentences apologizing for having to “re-accommodate” customers, making no mention of the man who was bloodied as a result. In his second statement, released later that day, Munoz appeared to blame the victim by detailing the entire encounter with the customer.

But in this third statement, Munoz appears to ask for forgiveness from those critical of his defensiveness, writing, “It’s never too late to do the right thing,” and announcing a full review of overbooking and standby procedures.

“I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right,” Munoz wrote.

The incident at hand refers to the Sunday flight out of Chicago, in which four passengers were “randomly” chosen by a computer (based on seat section and frequent flier miles) to deplane in order to accommodate four United employees who needed to be in the city for a Monday flight. United claimed the flight was “overbooked” and offered financial and hotel compensation for volunteers, but resorted to removing four people from the flight when no one came forward.

One of the people chosen, a doctor who said he needed to see patients the next morning, refused to deplane, resulting in multiple airport police boarding the plane to forcibly remove him from the seat. Police say the man hit his head on an armrest when pulled to the ground, leaving him to bleed as he was dragged toward the front of the plane. The Facebook video of the initial incident has been pulled offline today, though other footage of the aftermath exists on Twitter.

Munoz’s third attempt at taking responsibility for the altercation has come too late for some customers, or may have even come in response to United’s financial backlash: On Tuesday morning, United Continental’s market value had fallen by $950 million, though the company has appeared to slowly recover throughout the day. The day’s market is soon to close with a loss of about $255 million.

“I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again,” Munoz wrote. “I promise you we will do better.”

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*First Published: Apr 11, 2017, 4:12 pm CDT