United Airlines CEO: Passenger Being Dragged Off Was a ‘System Failure,’ ‘This Is on Me’

United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, apologized for the passenger who was dragged off an overbooked flight over the weekend during a sit-down interview with Good Morning America, which aired on Wednesday, April 12.

“This will never happen again,” Munoz told ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis. “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.”

Oscar Munoz
Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Continental Holdings Inc., speaks during a discussion at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce aviation summit in Washington, D.C. in 2017. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As previously reported, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, resident Dr. David Dao and three other passengers were randomly selected to leave so that four United Airlines employees could take their place. Dao, 69, refused, leading security to violently pull him out of his seat and down the aisle. His head was left bloody and his stomach was exposed during the appalling, now-viral incident, which was caught on camera.

Dao, a physician who claimed he had appointments with patients the next day, is currently undergoing treatment for his injuries at a Chicago hospital.

Munoz initially called Dao “disruptive” and “belligerent,” but has since changed his tune. “I think my reaction to most issues is to get the facts and circumstances. My initial words fell short of truly expressing the shame,” he explained to ABC. “It was a system failure. We have not provided our frontline supervisors and managers and individuals with the proper procedures that would allow them to use their common sense. They all have an incredible amount of common sense and this issue could have been solved by that. This is on me; I have to fix that, and I think that’s something we can do.”

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