It hasn’t been a very good week for United Airlines. If you are behind on the latest airline controversy, it all started on Sunday night on a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Ky. Since the flight was overbooked, United Airlines offered $1000 to passengers to volunteer their seats to make room for their employees. Nobody volunteered, which lead United to follow procedure and pick four random people to exit the aircraft.
Three left, but one refused to. The fourth passenger claimed to be a doctor who had patients he needed to see in Louisville. United called security officers, who violently yanked the passenger from his seat and dragged him off the plane, leaving him bloodied. The horrifying incident was caught on tape and posted online. As expected, the footage went viral.
The passenger was identified to be 69-year-old David Dao, an Elizabethtown doctor. He never made it home. It was reported that he is recovering from his injuries in a Chicago hospital.
People took to social media sites to vocalize their disgust and outrage with United Airlines in the best way they know how: memes. Twitter users mocked the major American airline for how they handled the situation and even called for boycott using the hashtags: #UnitedAirlines and #BoycottUnitedAirlines.
United Airlines Releases new Customer Service Training Video. pic.twitter.com/ygq3SwDua5
— The Other 98% (@other98) April 10, 2017
— LoganPhyve (@LoganPhyve) April 11, 2017
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz issued a statement on United’s Twitter account in attempt to explain why the passenger was removed from the flight. Emphasis on attempt.
United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411. pic.twitter.com/rF5gNIvVd0
— United Airlines (@united) April 10, 2017
Re-accommodate? Really, United Airlines? The statement only served as more material Twitter users could make fun of.
📈'Volunteer' means “someone who does something without being forced to do it.” https://t.co/qNAcMyplhZ
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 11, 2017
Twitter is more powerful than you think. After seeing Twitter calling out his bullsh*t, Munoz issued a second apology yesterday, one with a little more effort and better choice of words:
Statement from United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz on United Express Flight 3411
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.