Martes, 19 Junio, 2018

United Airlines says it will testify at House hearing

Cris De Lacerda | 20 Abril, 2017, 08:34

Despite last week's disaster, in which a bloodied passenger got forcibly dragged off a flight, United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz said Tuesday there are now no plans to fire anyone at the company.

David Dao's attorney claimed last week that the 69-year-old doctor suffered a concussion, broken nose and lost two teeth during the incident. Three officers have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

She declined to say who would testify for United.

The airline already offered refunds to passengers on the flight and said police will no longer be called to remove paid, seated passengers from flights, unless for safety or security issues, Munoz said. Highlighting that achievement, Kirby said United did not have 25 cancellation-free days in the five-year period from 2011 through 2015.

United executives said on Tuesday they have fielded "appropriate questions and concerns" from corporate customers and are reviewing the assault on the passenger, as well as new policies aimed at preventing a recurrence.

United Airlines is experiencing a public relations fiasco after a passenger was injured while being dragged from his seat recently at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. But he acknowledged, "The buck stops here".

Spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin said the policy change is meant to make sure incidents like the one involving Dao "never happen again".

Munoz claimed that there was "never consideration" of firing an employee over the much-reported-on removal of David Dao from United Airlines Flight 3411 on April 9.

Munoz said he has sent a "personal note to our most loyal customers" about the incident, adding, "The response rate has been pretty high and positive".

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. And any crew members seeking seats on a United or United Express flight will have to reserve those seats at least 60 minutes before the flight's scheduled departure.

But the United chief later shifted tone, telling a television interviewer last Thursday that he felt "shame" for the incident and hoped to speak personally with Dao. "They want us to fix things". The incident got widespread attention on social media in China, which is a key market for United.

Government watchdogs and consumer groups alike have predicted that the dragging incident could lead to new rules from Congress or the U.S. Department of Transportation strengthening passenger rights.