Faced with a maelstrom of criticism and relentless shade-throwing online, United Airlines is bungling its response to yesterday’s forced removal of a passenger onboard a flight from Chicago to Louisville. Case in point: the airline’s CEO Oscar Munoz. In a letter sent to United employees Monday evening, the executive called the removed passenger “disruptive and belligerent.”
Update: Munoz offered a second statement on the incident on Tuesday, which is posted at the bottom of the article.
Munoz’ letter strikes an unapologetic tone, despite video showing the man being dragged down the plane’s aisle battered, bloodied, and literally screaming as onlookers shrieked in horror. The passenger, identified Tuesday as 69-year-old David Dao, reportedly told Chicago police “just kill me,” after being removed from the aircraft.
To recap, Sunday's incident occurred when United staff randomly selected four customers on a fully booked flight to disembark so four crew members could have their seats, at first in exchange for $400. Dao refused, so the airline called in Chicago Aviation Security officers to physically remove him, bludgeoning the man’s face amid the scuffle. He later returned to the aircraft, sowing more confusion.