Travel

Posted: April 11, 2017

United Airlines CEO apologizes as stock valuation drops by $1 billion

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
VIDEO: Passenger Removed From United Airlines Flight

By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

United Airlines is continuing to battle fallout after video emerged Monday of a man being forcibly removed from his seat on Flight 3411 after not voluntarily giving it up.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that United Airlines Chief Executive Oscar Munoz has issued another apology after a letter he sent to employees published by The Associated Press appeared to defend the actions of the crew.

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“Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right,” Munoz said in the letter, according to The AP.

Related: When can an airline force a ticketed passenger off a plane?

United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said that the Flight 3411 was not overbooked, as had been reported, but that the man, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, physician David Dao, was removed to accommodate airline crew members, according to USA Today.

Related: United Airlines passengers describe scene as man dragged off flight

Munoz issued another statement and apology Tuesday:

The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. 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. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

It's never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what's broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We'll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.

I promise you we will do better.

The apology may be too little too late. CNN Money reported that United Airlines market value has dropped nearly $1 billion.

The news comes after an initial apology from Munoz said the team is “moving with a sense of urgency to work with authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened” and that it would reach out to the passenger affected “to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”

The letter to employees surfaced after that Monday statement.

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