Thu, Apr 13, 2017 - Page 7 News List

No police for overbooked passengers: United boss

Reuters and AP, NEW YORK and CHICAGO

United Airlines chief executive officer Oscar Munoz said that the company would not use law enforcement officers to remove overbooked passengers from aircraft in the wake of a video that showed a forcible removal of a Chicago passenger on Sunday.

Munoz told ABC News that the problem resulted from a “system failure” that prevented employees from using “common sense.”

He said he had no plans to resign over the incident, which has drawn worldwide condemnation.

Munoz profusely apologized to the passenger, his family, passengers, the airline’s customers.

“This can never, will never happen again,” he said.

The comments followed a contrite apology by Munoz issued on Tuesday afternoon, almost two days after the confrontation at O’Hare International Airport.

After people were horrified by video of a passenger getting dragged off a full United Express flight by airport police, Munoz had initially said on Monday that the airline was reaching out to the man to “resolve this situation.”

Hours later, his tone turned defensive and he described the man as “disruptive and belligerent.”

However, as details emerged about the man seen on cellphone videos recorded by other passengers and the videos went viral, Munoz changed his tone.

“No one should ever be mistreated this way,” he said, adding the removal was “truly horrific.”

He also pledged to conduct a wide-ranging review of company policies.

The passenger was identified as physician David Dao, 69, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, who was convicted more than a decade ago of felony charges involving his prescribing of drugs and spent years trying to regain his license.

However, while Dao’s history quickly became a focus of attention, there is no indication that his past influenced how he was treated or that the airline or police were aware of his background.

According to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure’s records, Dao graduated from the University of Medicine of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in 1974.

He was licensed in Kentucky, but his license was suspended in 2003 for allegedly writing fraudulent prescriptions.

His license was restore 2015.

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