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United CEO Now Wants a Review of 'Horrific' Plane Incident

Oscar Munoz said the airline will mount an investigation into how and why a passenger was literally dragged off one of its planes.

by Drew Schwartz
Apr 11 2017, 10:24pm

Screenshot via Twitter user Jayse D. Anspach

After labeling the United passenger who was ripped from his chair and dragged down the aisle of a plane on Sunday "disruptive and belligerent," the airline's CEO released another statement Tuesday, calling the event "horrific." 

"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 onboard," CEO Oscar Munoz wrote. "No one should ever be mistreated this way. I want you to know that we take full responsibility and that we will work to make it right."

In a now-infamous story of violence and corporate insensitivity, doctor David Dao was forced from the plane after refusing to give up his seat for a company employee. The incident quickly went viral on social media after a few passengers onboard the plane took a video of the violent altercation.  

After first standing behind his employees' actions, Munoz now says United will mount a review of how it manages "oversold situations" and incentivizes volunteers to give up their seats on overbooked flights, as well as how the airline works with airport security and local law enforcement. 

"It's never too late to do the right thing," Munoz wrote. "I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what's broken so that this never happens again."

Munoz's flip-flop—from essentially placing the blame on Dao to taking responsibility—isn't the only one United made Tuesday. After saying publicly that the flight from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked, the airline "clarified" that the flight was actually just sold out, USA Today reports.

According to Munoz, the airline will let folks know the results of its investigation by April 30.

Update 4/12: On Wednesday, Munoz told ABC's  Good Morning America  that the airline would not use law enforcement to remove passengers in the future, Financial Times reports.

"This can, this will, never happen again on a United Airlines flight. That's my premise, that's my promise," Munoz said. "We're not going to put a law enforcement official to take them off the aircraft. To remove a booked, paid, seating passenger? We can't do that."

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