United Airlines knows it can do better.
The company called the incident with Dr. David Dao — you remember, the guy who was forcibly removed from an overbooked flight — a “horrible failure” on Tuesday and swore it would never, ever happen again!
In a House Transportation Committee hearing, United CEO Oscar Munoz promised the airline will “do better” by reducing overbooking, limiting law enforcement use, and giving customers more incentive to voluntarily give up their seat.
He told the committee:
“We had a horrible failure three weeks ago. It is not who we are. It is not this company and frankly it is not this industry.”
We don’t think he had to be frank to say that airlines shouldn’t be brutalizing passengers, but whatever helps move progress along!
The company has been weathering a PR nightmare after video spread of the doctor being dragged off the plane earlier this month, which sparked mass outrage, a federal investigation, and a first-class lawsuit settlement.
In a company report on the incident, Munoz highlighted several points where United messed up.
The airline called on security when there was no safety threat, it booked a crew at the last minute, and didn’t offer enough incentives for passengers to give up a seat. He added:
“Our employees did not have the authority to do what was right or use common sense. This has to be a turning point for 87,000 professionals here at United.”
We agree. Let’s hope United turns off autopilot and changes course.