No United Airlines Firings Over Passenger Dragging At O'Hare: CEO

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

"It was a system failure across various areas, there was never a consideration for firing an employee".

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.

Last week, video of the passenger being forcibly removed from his seat on a Chicago-Louisville flight by police officers went viral on Chinese social media, becoming the hottest topic on Weibo with over 1 billion views and 360,000 comments. Many users of Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter, called for a boycott of United.

"We are looking at a broad array of issues", Munoz said.

Because the incident aboard United Express Flight 3411 was a systemic problem, the company won't fire anyone in management - including Munoz - or its rank-and-file workers.

United Chairman Oscar Munoz said the carrier has sent emails to its "most loyal corporate customers".

Dao lost two teeth and suffered a concussion and broken nose during the incident, his lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, said.

Munoz also said the airline would no longer summon law enforcement, as it did in the Dao situation, unless it was a matter of safety or security.

Kirby said United was able to trim its capacity in the past partly by using small regional jets to fly between major markets, such as Newark to Atlanta, instead of using them to fly mostly to small markets such as Rochester, Minnesota.

"It's really too early for us to tell anything about bookings, and in particular last week because it's the week before Easter", he said.

United, which reported first quarter 2017 revenues just slightly above consensus expectations Monday evening, confirmed the meeting with Chinese officials but did not provide details such as the date or what exactly was discussed, by press time.

"We are and will make the necessary policy changes to ensure this never happens again", Munoz said.

Despite concerns about United's reputation, its financial results soared, with adjusted earnings of 41 cents a share beating the 38 cents consensus forecast, despite rising fuel and staff costs.

United President Scott Kirby said some of the airline's corporate clients had "appropriate questions" about the incident.

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