United Airlines has been giving customers glimpses of its monstrous true form for years now. But the full extent of the company’s disrespect for human life wasn’t clear until yesterday, when a paying customer, who has since been identified as Dr. David Dao, was violently ejected from an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville by police officers, one of whom has since been put on leave.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz then proceeded to make the matter even worse by pulling some positively Orwellian PR doublespeak: Dr. Dao was not “dragged” off the plane, you see. He was simply “re-accommodated.” This prompted the internet, in its infinite creativity, to find myriad ways to tell United to go re-accommodate itself, forcing Munoz to issue another statement more closely resembling an actual apology earlier today. Here it is, courtesy of Business Insider—which ironically enough just this morning ran an interview with Munoz where he talks about the importance of empathy.
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.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.