United Airlines boss apologises for ‘truly horrific’ removal of passenger dragged screaming from overbooked flight

Patrick Grafton-Green

The boss of United Airlines has apologised for the “truly horrific” removal of a passenger dragged screaming from an overbooked flight.

A shocking video emerged on Monday showing the passenger being pulled from his seat and down the aisle in front of shocked travellers on a United Airlines plane from Chicago to Louisville.

The incident, which the airline said took place because the flight was overbooked and the passenger refused to leave his seat, caused an outcry on social media.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement on Tuesday he “continues to be disturbed by the incident".

He said the company would "fix what's broken so it never happens again".

He added: "I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

"I promise you we will do better."

The man was left bleeding from the mouth after being dragged from the plane

Earlier on Tuesday, Munoz had lauded the behavior of the flight crew in dealing with a "disruptive and belligerent" passenger, crediting employees with following established procedures on the flight.

In a letter written to employees he said: "This situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused, and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help.

"While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right."

Munoz conceded, however, that "there are lessons we can learn from this experience," and he promised an investigation.

Oscar Munoz accused the passenger of behaving in a

Chicago aviation officials placed a security officer on leave, saying the incident "was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure."

Meanwhile United's parent company's share price plummeted on Tuesday after a video of the incident went viral on Twitter.

The value of the carrier’s holding company, United Continental Holdings, had fallen over 4 per cent before noon, knocking almost a billion dollars off its value.

People around the world have also been cutting up their United Airlines loyalty cards in a mass boycott.

More than 50,000 people have so far signed a petition entitled Chinese Lives Matter calling for a US federal investigation into the airline following accusations of racism.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes