In the latest apology since the forced deplaning scandal broke, United CEO Oscar Munoz said his airline will no longer use law enforcement officials to remove passengers from overbooked flights following the uproar over a viral video showing a passenger being violently dragged from a plane.
“We are not going to put a law enforcement official to take them off,” Munoz said in an interview with ABC on “Good Morning America” Wednesday. “To remove a booked, paid, seated passenger, we can’t do that.” Munoz said he felt “shame” when he initially saw the viral video, and apologized to the passenger and family of David Dao, who remains hospitalized and is currently contemplating a legal challenge against the airline.
As reported previously, United initially offered passengers up to $800 before selecting passengers to remove from the flight. It was not clear why it didn’t keep ratcheting the offer higher until it found a clearing price instead of resorting to what eventually became the worst PR scandal in United’s recent history.
Munoz called the incident, in which police officers were eventually brought on board the plane to help remove Dao – who refused to deplane – a “system failure.” One security officer has reportedly been placed on leave.
“We have not provided our frontline supervisors and managers and individuals with the proper procedures that would allow them to use their common sense,” he said. “This is on me. I have to fix that, and I think that’s something we can do.”
Meanwhile, an online petition calling for Munoz to resign following the incident has nearly 50,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning, but the top executive told ABC he has no plans to step down.