United CEO says no one will be fired for dragging incident

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Munoz said he has received “a lot of support” from United’s high-end customers, although “obviously a lot of people have ideas and thoughts about how we can make things better.”

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He said the airline will have more to say later this month after it finishes a review of its policies on overbooked flights. Munoz said he takes full responsibility “for making this right” after the April 9 incident aboard a United Express plane at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

“You can and should expect more from us, and as CEO I take full responsibility for making this right,” Munoz said. He and other executives vowed to treat customers with dignity, and said that what happened to Dao will never happen again.

Even in normal times, airlines closely — even daily — scrutinize numbers such as advance sales and occupancy levels on planes. Yet United officials said they couldn’t measure whether the dragging has affected their business.

United Airlines executives said Tuesday that it’s too soon to know if last week’s dragging of a man off a plane is hurting ticket sales. The chief executive said no one will be fired over the incident.
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“There was never a consideration for firing an employee.” “It was a system failure across various areas,” Munoz continued.

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CEO Oscar Munoz and other executives apologized again on Tuesday before discussing the airline’s latest financial results with analysts and reporters.

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Some politicians and consumer advocates have called for a ban on overselling flights. Munoz declined to address that or other possible changes until the airline finishes a review by April 30.
Munoz started the call with an apology to David Dao, the 69-year-old Kentucky physician who was dragged off the plane by Chicago airport officers who had been summoned by United, and to all other customers.

Airline passengers need to be protected
has supported him. “I’m sure there was lots of conjecture about me personally,” said Munoz. Then he noted that the board of United Continental Holdings Inc.

It is not clear whether United oversold Flight 3411, but the flight became overbooked when four Republic Airline employees showed up after passengers had boarded and demanded seats so they could commute to their next assignment, a United Express flight the next morning. United announced two rule changes last week, including saying that it will no longer call police to remove passengers from overbooked planes.

He said that United’s forecast for the April-through-June quarter has not changed. “It’s really too early for us to tell anything about bookings and in particular last week because it was the week before Easter, that’s normally a very low booking period,” said United President Scott Kirby.

In this Thursday, June 2, 2016, file photo, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz waits to be interviewed, in New York, during a presentation of the carrier’s new Polaris service, a new business class product that will become available on trans-Atlantic flights. Munoz said he was committed to “fix what’s broken so this never happens again.” (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) Munoz said in a note to employees Tuesday, April 11, 2017, that he continues to be disturbed by the incident Sunday night in Chicago, where a passenger was forcibly removed from a United Express flight.

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Dao’s lawyers have taken steps that foreshadow a lawsuit against the airline and the city of Chicago, which operates O’Hare Airport.

He initially supported employees and blamed Dao, calling him “disruptive and belligerent.” On Tuesday, he was asked if the company ever considered firing anyone. Munoz’s early statements on the incident were widely criticized.

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