United CEO “humbled” by dragging incident

Oscar Munoz
Oscar Munoz

United Airlines’ chief executive officer, Oscar Munoz, has expressed regret for the incident in which a passenger was dragged off one of its flights.

In a statement to coincide with the announcement of a first quarter profit of US$96 million, Munoz said that the scandal in Chicago was a “humbling experience” and that United needs to improve its customer service.

“It is obvious from recent experiences that we need to do a much better job serving our customers,” he said. “The incident that took place aboard flight 3411 has been a humbling experience, and I take full responsibility.

“This will prove to be a watershed moment for our company, and we are more determined than ever to put our customers at the centre of everything we do. We are dedicated to setting the standard for customer service among US airlines, as we elevate the experience our customers have with us from booking to baggage claim,” Munoz added.

Meanwhile, United has changed its policy on overbooked flights following the incident that saw Dr David Dao lose two front teeth and suffer a broken nose. The US carrier says it will now make sure that crew members are allocated their seats at least an hour prior to the flight’s departure, to avoid the last-minute seats scramble that led to last week’s incident.

The airline’s net profit for Q1 2017 marked a sharp 69% decline compared to the same period last year, although the drop is not related to the incident on flight 3411, which occurred in the second quarter. Company revenues were up 2.7% to US$8.42 billion.

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