United Airlines has sparked outrage for the treatment of a passenger who was physically dragged off a plane the airline had overbooked, with one of the security officers involved in the incident placed on leave pending an investigation. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
UNDER-FIRE United Airlines had more than $1 billion ($1.3 billion) wiped off its value in one day after a bloodied and upset doctor was dragged off a flight he paid for.
David Dao was forced to leave so staff from a partner airline could have his seat for a connecting flight to Louisville, in the US state of Kentucky.
Shocking video of the incident, in which he is shown bleeding from the mouth and apparently disoriented, provoked fury around the world, The Sun reports.
OVERBOOKED FLIGHTS: What are your rights?
Even the White House weighed in, with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying: “When you watch the video, it is troubling to see how that was handled.”
Earlier today the carrier’s stock plunged four per cent, but rose after an apology by Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United Airlines’ parent company, United Continental.
Mr Munoz has pledged to review policies, saying passengers should not be mistreated and describing the removal by airport police as “truly horrific.”
“I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologise to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard,” he added. “We take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.”
Mr Munoz, who was last month named “US Communicator of the Year” by PR Week, also said the company would reassess policies for seeking volunteers to give up their seats, for handling oversold flights and for partnering with airport authorities.
He said that he would not resign, despite widespread outrage at the company’s actions.
“I was hired to make United better and we’ve been doing that and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” he told Good Morning America on Wednesday.
United CEO Oscar Munoz: I’m sorry. We will fix this. https://t.co/v8EPGsiDCi pic.twitter.com/eOPiYcagvo
— United (@united) April 11, 2017
Dr Dao was seen on mobile phone videos recorded by other passengers at O’Hare Airport.
A lawyer who represents Dr Dao said his client is being treated at a Chicago hospital for injuries he sustained in the incident.
Chicago lawyer Stephen L. Golan says David Dao’s family is “focused only on Dr Dao’s medical care and treatment.”
He says the family “wants the world to know that they are very appreciative of the outpouring of prayers, concern and support they have received.”
This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.