United Airlines faces massive pressure over hospitalized passenger. CEO issued apology statement for ‘horrific event’ after call to boycott the airline
United Continental has lost nearly $800 million in total value on Tuesday, the day after a video of a man being dragged off an overbooked flight. Shares in the company had declined about 3.8 percent in mid-morning trading, a steep drop for a major company like United. By late afternoon, United shares had recovered to be down about 1.5 percent, putting its hit closer to $100 million.
United Airlines and its chief executive are facing mounting public revulsion and social media pressure over terrible incident with passenger who was dragged off an overbooked flight.
The controversy began on Monday morning when video emerged of a man being violently dragged off a United Airlines flight. Dr David Dao a 69 year old passenger, who had been seated on the plane, was then asked to leave because the flight had been overbooked. When he refused, a Chicago police officer grabbed him while some official crew members, staff members wounded him badly by dragging him from his seat. Since then, United has been dealing with severe backlash.
Footage of the incident, which occurred at Chicago’s O’Hare International airport on a flight bound for Louisville, was shared on social media and prompted outrage globally.
David Dao after being dragged off the parked plane, said repeatedly that he was being discriminated against because he was Chinese, according to Tyler Bridges, a fellow passenger on the flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky.
On Chinese social media, the incident attracted the attention of more than 480 million users on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.
The CEO of Airlines issue his apology statement after public revulsion and immense social media pressure in form of a worldwide call to boycott the airline.
United Airlines apologises for removal of passenger
In latest issued statement Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said, that incident was truly horrific and the airlines takes “full responsibility” to make things right.
CEO of United Airlines Oscar Munoz issued a statement apologizing to Dr. David Dao without naming him. “I’m sorry. We will fix this,” Munoz said that the incident was truly horrific and the airlines takes “full responsibility” to make things right. The complete issued statement was a under,
“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.”
Dragging Passenger off the Plane turns into a PR nightmare for United
Meanwhile United Airlines is scrambling to overcome a public relations crisis arising from the incident. The airline’s CEO Oscar Munoz has issued multiple statements apologising for “having to re-accommodate” the man.
In the United States, social media outrage continued, with the incident trending on Twitter for the second consecutive day. Many users promoted hashtags #NewUnitedAirlinesMotto and #BoycottUnitedAirlines.
This is the second time in less than a month that United has been caught in a social media storm. In late March, a United gate agent’s decision to refuse to board two teenage girls wearing leggings provoked a viral backlash.
The U.S. Department of Transportation launched an inquiry into the incident, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called for new rules to curb the airline practice of overbooking flights.
Munoz, a former railroad executive who took over the helm at United in 2015, had already been under pressure from activist investors to improve the airline’s performance, including its customer relations. Video showing Dao being yanked from his seat by airport security An online petition calling for Munoz to step down had nearly 22,000 signatures by early Tuesday evening.
United has about 20 percent of total U.S.-China airline traffic and has a partnership with Air China, the country’s third-largest airline, according to analysts. It flies to more Chinese cities than any other U.S. carrier. Last year, United added nonstop flights from San Francisco to Hangzhou, its fifth destination in mainland China.