United Airlines’ chief executive has said he will not quit amid an explosive backlash to video of a screaming man being dragged off a plane.
Oscar Munoz said he felt “shame and embarrassment” and vowed it would never happen again to a seated passenger on one of United’s overbooked aircraft.
The embattled aviation boss said the passenger in question, David Dao, deserved “certainly an apology”.
Mr Munoz had initially described Mr Dao as “disruptive and belligerent”.
“That shame and embarrassment was pretty palpable for me and for a lot of our family,” the contrite chief executive told ABC’s Good Morning America programme.
Asked if he would stand down, Mr Munoz said: “No. I was hired to make United better and we’ve been doing that and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Mr Dao was pulled off Sunday evening’s flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, because the flight was fully booked, and the airline wanted to get four passengers to leave to make room for four staff members.
After Mr Dao refused to leave the plane, law enforcement officials dragged him out, and Mr Dao was left bloodied by the confrontation.
The footage provoked international outrage and the Dao family has issued a statement expressing gratitude for the “outpouring of support”.