United CEO apologizes for 'truly horrific' passenger incident

The 31-second video, which has been viewed nearly 150,000 times since it was posted on Facebook, was taken on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville.

Much of that outrage has been directed at United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, who issued a statement saying: "This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United".

United executives poured flames on the controversy, by then viral on the internet, by refusing to apologise to the passenger whom chief executive Oscar Munoz described entirely falsely as "disruptive and belligerent".

"Everything is injured", David Dao, 69, said when asked what was hurt, according to WLKY.

The Chicago Department of Aviation said an officer had been placed on leave and that the dragging "was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure".

There is no word on the condition of the man removed from the plane. Videotape of the confrontation spread across social media.

Audra Bridges posted the video and said the incident left her and fellow passengers "shaky and disgusted". "I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers".

What's even more appalling is that paying customer David was booted from his flight along with three other passengers to make room for United employees.

"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", Munoz said. According to the government, 434,000 passengers voluntarily gave up seats on the country's largest 12 airlines a year ago, including almost 63,000 on United.

He said, "No one should ever be mistreated this way".

In the USA, the head of the Chinese American Citizens' Alliance, an advocacy group, said he may ask members not to fly United to the group's upcoming convention in Chicago.

Christie called the practice of "bumping" passengers off flights "unconscionable".

On Tuesday, Munoz said he was committed to "fix what's broken so this never happens again".

The debacle has also sparked a controversy in Kentucky, where a local newspaper reported on Dao's past, leading to accusations of victim-blaming. Axios has more detail on a few of those policies - including the fact that the flight wasn't originally overbooked but became "oversold" as soon as United discovered it had crew to transport.

  • Zachary Reyes