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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

United Airline stocks fall causing CEO to apologize for passenger abuse

It's obvious that United Airlines CEO needed to apologize to the country after a scuffle had occurred in which a 69-year-old physician, David Dao, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, refused to give up his seat in order for a United Airlines staff member to fly.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz originally described the passenger as "disruptive and belligerent," but after a video of the incident went viral, and the stock plunged a little over 1 percent, Munoz changed his tune and issued a strong apology.

Ironically, last year Munoz was actually named U.S. Communicator of the Year by PRWeek magazine. But his response to the incident makes that title as credible as Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize.

He should have immediately apologized after the customer was videoed Sunday but instead merely apologized for "having to re-accommodate . . . customers."

'Re-accommodate'? Is he for real?

Security was called by United crew and the guy was dragged down the aisle and received facial bruises because he didn't want to give up the seat that he paid for.

Oscar Munoz
To be fair, airline passengers are under agreement to abide by the directions of the airline in these cases, but the airline is under the obligation to provide a clear explanation of what the rights are of passengers. And in this case, if the plane was overbooked, the problem should have been handled at the gate instead of on the craft itself.

It was cold and callous of Munoz to respond the way he did, and with social media putting the incident out in front of the world, he was rather stupid to have blamed the passenger.

Yet even afterward, Munoz sent out a letter stating:
This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation."
Finally on Tuesday, Munoz provided a strong apology, calling the event "truly horrific."

"I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right," he wrote. "I promise you we will do better."

Munoz said the company will investigate how it moves crews and deals with over-booked flights along with how they work with airport authorities and local law enforcement.

But the clincher of the incident is that United was not even overbooked, according to USA Today.

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