United pledges to review policies on removal of passengers

Posted April 26, 2017

Alderman Mike Zalewski said he did not know who will represent the airline before the Aviation Committee, but Munoz has been notified of the hearing scheduled for Thursday.

The practice lets airlines keep fares low while managing the rate of no-shows on any particular route, said Vaughn Jennings, spokesman for Airlines for America, which represents most of the big US carriers. Even more unfortunate was the fact that I was returning from a spring break trip with seven of my students from Louisville Male High School who also witnessed the unconscionable treatment of the passenger.

Overbooking is legal, and most airlines do it in anticipation of no-shows, the US Department of Transportation said.

"We've not been able to contact him directly", Munoz said.

Delta in 2016 had 1,200 denied boardings for the entire year, or one in 100,000 passengers.

There stood the passenger who had been dragged, now identified as Dao, on his back to the front of the plane, appearing dazed as he spoke through bloody lips and blood that had spilled onto his chin. When Dao refused to leave his seat, one of the officers could be seen grabbing the screaming man from his window seat and dragging him down the aisle by his arms.

In 2015, Munoz took over as CEO from Jeff Smisek, who was ousted amid a federal investigation into ties between the carrier and the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

"This situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused, and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help", the letter says. A day earlier, the top four members of the Senate Commerce Committee asked Munoz and Chicago airport officials for an explanation. He said he had no plans to resign over the incident that has drawn condemnation around the world. United is the dominant carrier at New Jersey's largest airport, which is in Newark.

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Munoz added, "The first thing is to apologize to Dr. Dao, his family, the passengers on his flight", he said.

"This will never happen again", he said.

Now one of the global aviation industry's longest-standing advertising mottos has been critically damaged and the question for United is how to fix that damage, restore passenger confidence and effectively compete in an ongoing marketing scrap with its Dubai rival that appears to be landing more punches.

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.

United and Emirates are two of the main protagonists in a long-running feud between the Arabian Gulf carriers and their U.S. rivals who accuse them of benefiting from billions of dollars in unfair state subsidies - a claim vociferously denied by Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

What are passengers entitled to when they get bumped from a flight? Usually, passengers go voluntarily, lured by cash or voucher incentives offered by the airline.

At first, the airline asked for volunteers, offering $400 and then when that did not work, $800 per passenger to relinquish a seat.