United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz sounded more apologetic about the flight incident that saw a
passenger being violently dragged off his seat by airport officers on Sunday. And to show how sorry Munoz and his company are, they are willing to spend by offering to reimburse all passengers on that controversial flight.
Munoz said in a guesting over "Good Morning America", that he feels much "shame and embarrassment" over the incident. He apologized to the passenger dragged off from his seat, Dr. David Dao, to Dao's family, the passengers on the flight, their airline customers and their employees.
The CEO said what happened does not reflect who they are as a family at United Airlines. He said that Dr. Dao just saw them at "a bad moment". Munoz also made a big promise that a similar incident will "never happen again on a United Airlines flight".
Meanwhile, the company also just announced that it is reimbursing all passengers on the same flight as Dr. Dao. It is being seen as an effort to make peace with all those affected including the public who expressed strong anger and disapproval over what happened to Dr. Dao.
Megan McCarthy, a spokesperson for the airline refused to say if the said reimbursement would be in cash, frequent flier miles or other forms. At this point, though, it is impossible to say just how much the reimbursement to 70 passengers on flight 3411 would cost United Airlines until they clarify details on their chosen form of compensation.
Giving compensations to airline passengers usually happens for flights that are delayed significantly.
Others are seeing the move as a means to counter the public relations mess the incident has created for United Airlines. The video of the incident where the passenger was seen being dragged off his seat and across the aisle went viral. United Airlines received huge global condemnation for the incident, while many Americans called for a boycott of the airline. It did not help also that Munoz's first statement lacked an apology for the passenger hurt in the incident. Munoz said then that his company followed protocol in handling the incident. He also appeared to be blaming the passenger whom he described as "disruptive" and "belligerent".
Munoz also received strong criticisms for his initial statement from social media users and some U.S. politicians. Company shares fell by as much as 6.3% on Tuesday, and since then Munoz has given two other statements of apology to Dr. Dao and the public.
Dr. Dao was treated in a Chicago hospital for his injuries according to a statement from lawyers who said they are representing the 69-year old Vietnamese-American doctor. The lawyers also sought a court order on Wednesday in Chicago requesting the preservation of evidence including surveillance videos, crew lists and other information that could be used in litigation.
There is still no word, though, from Dao if he would file a case against United Airlines. His family has also said in a statement that they appreciate the public's support and sympathy for Dao.