United Airlines' Corporate Clients Are Pushing for Customer Service Fixes

Oscar Munoz United Airlines

United CEO: No one will be fired for dragging incident

At the start of a conference call to discuss United Continental Holdings Inc.'s quarterly earnings, Chief Executive Oscar Munoz and two other executives each somberly acknowledged the April 9 confrontation that left the passenger - 69-year-old Dr. David Dao - bloodied and injured.

United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said in a statement that the airline looked "forward to meeting with the committee and sharing with them the comprehensive review and the customer-focused actions we will communicate next week", Reuters reported.

Dao's lawyer said the senior citizen incurred a significant concussion, suffered a broken nose and lost two front teeth in the incident, and that he would likely sue the airline, which also drew scorn after banning two young women wearing yoga trousers from a flight.

United announced late last week that it would stop the practice of involuntarily removing passengers from planes once they'd boarded, as was the case on Flight 3411.

"I also want to apologize to all of our customers".

In response to the public outcry over the incident, United has said that it will require its employees to book seats on hour in advance, to avoid similar incidents of passengers being forced to give up their seats after boarding. The airline will also reportedly no longer call law enforcement to remove passengers from its flights unless there is a safety issue. "We are and will make the necessary policy changes to ensure this never happens again".

United's first-quarter financial results shows higher profits than those expected by analysts, which Munoz said gave the company "a lot of confidence about the foundation we're building".

While the CEO of the airline called Dr Dao "disruptive and belligerent", United shares fell by 6.3%, which was a whopping $1.4-billion (R18.6-billion) in real money. "We are making this a case-study on what not to do and then reinforcing what one might do in a similar instance, ' he said, adding that all airlines and their lawyers should be doing a 'post-mortem" of the incident.

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