United Airlines CEO announces he will not step down and says he felt 'shame' when he saw the controversial video

Telegraph Reporters
Passenger David Dao was forcibly dragged off a plane

Days after a video in which a passenger was dragged from his seat on an overbooked flight circulated on the internet, the CEO of United Airlines has promised police will not drag passengers off his planes again.

Oscar Munoz, CEO, announced on Good Morning America that he will not step down and that he felt "shame" when he saw the viral video of a bloodied David Dao being forcibly removed  from the plane by airport security to make way for United employees.

"This will never happen again," he vowed.

United CEO says he felt "ashamed" to see passenger dragged off flight: "That is not who our family at United is." https://t.co/CSfQczBZgFpic.twitter.com/1iqZcrfzvq

— ABC News (@ABC) April 12, 2017

He said: "We are not going to put a law enforcement official onto a plane to take them off … to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger; we can’t do that."

After being asked about his initial, muted response in which he commended employees for their actions, he said:  "I think my reaction to most issues is to get the facts and circumstances.

"My initial words fell short of truly expressing the shame."

Anger in Vietnam grew quickly after it emerged that Dao was not Chinese, as many had at first assumed. Vietnamese also dismissed allegations over Dao's past as irrelevant and possibly racist.

"Dr. Dao didn't do anything wrong on that flight and that's the main thing," wrote Clarence Dung Taylor in a post that had more than 4,000 likes.

A demonstration against United Airlines at O'Hare Airport in Chicago Credit: Joshua Lott/AFP

"Watching this makes my blood boil, I'll never fly United Airlines," commented Anh Trang Khuya on Facebook, the most widely used social media platform in Vietnam.

Nguyen Khac Huy wrote: "Boycott United!!! This is excessive! Let's be loving and united, Vietnamese people!"

There was no immediate comment from the government or in state media.

Tuyet M. Le, Executive Director of Asian American Advancing Justice, speaks during a protest against the treatment of Dr Dao Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters

Video footage showing Dao being pulled from United Airlines Flight 3411 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Sunday went viral and caused a worldwide backlash against the company.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz was widely criticised after he initially responded to the incident by writing to staff to 'commend' their actions and accused Dr Dao of being 'disruptive and belligerent'.

Dr David Dao being forcibly removed from a flight to make room for United Airlines staff Credit: Reuters

However after the company's share price began to slide Munoz issued a stronger apology, calling the confrontation "truly horrific."

Munoz said in a note to employees that he continues to be disturbed by the events of Sunday night.

He said: "No one should ever be mistreated this way."

He pledged to review the company's policies for seeking volunteers to give up their seats, for handling oversold flights and for partnering with airport authorities and local law enforcement and said he was committed to "fix what's broken so this never happens again."

The company plans to share results of the review by April 30.

 

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