United Airlines' passenger-dragging fiasco overshadows a strong earnings report
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 19, 2017,
Apr 19, 2017, 19:30
United Airlines executives said Tuesday that it's too soon to know if last week's dragging of a man off a plane is hurting ticket sales.
United's boss says nobody is getting fired at the embattled airline - including himself.
United CEO Oscar Munoz called the debacle "a system failure" during an investor call Tuesday, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, adding that there was "never consideration" of firing any employee.
"I'll ask all of you to wait until" April 30, when United will detail the results of a review undertaken in the aftermath of last week's incident on United Express flight 3411, from which passenger David Dao was violently dragged after being involuntarily bumped.
United has been under fire since video went viral showing Dao being dragged off the plane to make room for an airline crew.
The video shows Mr Dao being dragged from his seat and along the floor of the plane, which was awaiting take-off at Chicago's O'Hare airport. He and other executives vowed to treat customers with dignity, and said that what happened to Dao will never happen again.
Video of the bloody scene was widely seen in China, where United hopes to attract worldwide travelers, and Munoz said Tuesday that he met with the Chinese consulate in the U.S.in response.
United Chairman Oscar Munoz said the carrier has sent emails to its "most loyal corporate customers". Dao's attorney said the doctor suffered a concussion, a broken nose and lost two front teeth.
"It is obvious from recent experiences that we need to do a much better job serving our customers", Munoz said in a statement. He also said he plans to discuss the incident when he takes a previously scheduled trip to China in the next few weeks. "It's really too early for us to tell anything about bookings, and in particular last week because it's the week before Easter".
Frequent flying corporates, which generate about half of United's revenues, now want the airline to up its customer services game, the Wall Street Journal reports. Operating revenue jumped 2.7% to $8.42 billion, beating analyst expectations by $40 million, according to the website Seeking Alpha.
'In the first quarter of 2017, our financial and operational performance gives us a lot of confidence about the foundation we are building.