At first, it was funny, but then it was just sad when a video went viral of a doctor on a United Airlines flight being dragged off the plane by Chicago Police Department law enforcement officials. His bloodied face could be seen dripping on the floor. After intense and serious backlash by the customers on the plane and from Americans, the CEO of United just made a huge announcement.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz stated in an interview with ‘Good Morning America’ that because of the recent attack on one his customers that he will now institute a new policy whereby they will not use police to remove unruly passengers from airplanes.
The CEO admitted that he felt very ashamed over how Dr. David Dao had been treated. As a result, he promised that the company’s passenger removal policy would be consistently re-evaluated. He said the following,
“That is not who our family at United is. This will never happen again on a United flight. That’s my promise.”
People were also enraged by what happened because Dao had been a booked, paid and seated passenger. They were trying to force him off the plane to make room for a crew member going on their way to another job. But Dao refused to give up his seat because he is a doctor who insisted he had patients he needed to see.
Because of everything that went down United spokesperson Maddie King promised that all passengers on flight 3411, the flight in questions, will be completely reimbursed their ticket price. This was announced shortly after the local police department released information that three officers involved in the incident that dragged Dao away have been placed on an administrative leave.
CEO Munoz did apologize for everything that happened to Dao. But then he proceeded to make excuses for these actions by saying that Dao was disruptive and belligerent despite the fact that no eyewitnesses have corroborated this story. The viral video shows one woman in the background heard yelling that what happened to Dao was wrong.
This is especially a headline-grabbing issue considering San Francisco city supervisor Jeff Sheehy had recently asked for a new ordinance to be passed that would prohibit this type of forcible removal in the future.
These issues could be more effectively dealt with if airlines increased the upper limit on vouchers for customers they ask to change planes, in order to accommodate another person or overbooking. United is known for their overbooking and their delayed flights so it would certainly be something financially worthwhile for them to look into.
In the long-run even if they make money off the few people they suckered out of money, they will lose hundreds of thousands more in business after an embarrassing and humiliating video like this goes viral. Because who wants to fly with an airline like that? United Airlines needs to do some serious re-evaluating because if they don’t they will find their rival competitors pushing in on their business.
While the humorous memes online and via social media are funny in reality, this speaks to a much deeper issue of customer service within airlines.