United Airlines CEO: No one will be fired in passenger ejection

Oscar Munoz, the CEO of the United Airlines on Wednesday said that no employee of the organisation, including himself, will be fired over the dragging of a man off their plane due to overbooking of passengers.

Listing it a "system failure" at a conference call, CEO Oscar Munoz said said that this was a true learning opportunity and would ultimately prove to be a watershed moment for our company, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Whether it is overbooked planes, delayed flights or sky-high fees, the laws we have now in place to protect consumers have been frequently and flagrantly ignored by airlines more concerned with profits than passengers", said Blumenthal.

The fiasco has hurt shares of United Continental, which dropped about 4 percent on Tuesday, despite the company reporting better-than-expected earnings late Monday.

"The buck stops here, and I'm sure there was lots of conjecture about me personally", Munoz said, saying he'd had "fulsome" conversations with United's board of directors in the wake of the incident.

Chicago aviation officers dragged the 69-year-old doctor - one of four passengers randomly selected for removal to accommodate United employees - after he refused to budge or accept a travel voucher incentive.

Munoz and his top lieutenants indicated that it was too early to tell if bookings had been affected by the incident.

An engaged couple were removed from a United Airlines flight to Costa Rica on Saturday, as the airline remained under scrutiny following outrage caused by a video last week of a passenger being forcibly removed from a flight.

Mr Munoz declined to address that or other possible changes until the airline finishes a review by April 30.

There was "never consideration" of firing an employee over the incident, he said.

The carrier last week announced two rule changes in response to the incident, including ending the practice of calling police to remove passengers from overbooked planes.

Morningstar said, "The flight 3411 incident, while undoubtedly a public relations disaster, will most likely not materially affect United's medium- to long-term financial and operational performance".

And some U.S. politicians have called for a total ban on overselling flights.

Many users of Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter, called for a boycott of United. Analysts had projected earnings of 38 cents per share on revenue of $8.38 billion, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

United is projecting that pre-tax profit margins in the next quarter will exceed this quarter's 1.7%, and that passenger revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric, will rise 1% to 3%.

  • Salvatore Jensen