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    United CEO Speaks Before Congress

    US Lawmakers Chide Beleaguered United Airlines Chief Over Passenger Abuse

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    The CEO of United Airlines faced harsh scrutiny in an appearance before Congress on Tuesday.

    United CEO Oscar Munoz was called to testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee over a passenger being dragged from one of his company’s airplanes last month.

    Also testifying at the hearing was United President Scott Kirby and executives from Southwest, American and Alaska carriers.

    Committee Chairman Bill Shuster warned Munoz and the other airline representatives that Congress will take action if airline officials do not, to prevent similar incidents in the future, adding that they "would not like the outcome."

    During the hearing, Munoz also apologized and took responsibility for the incident once again, admitting that the company had failed. He also apologized for his initial response to the incident.

    "In that moment for our customers and our company we failed, and so as CEO, at the end of the day, that is on me," Munoz stated. "This has to be a turning point.”

    United Airlines reached a settlement with passenger Dr. David Dao, 69, last week. A provision of the settlement is that the amount paid remains private.

    The viral video of Dao being assaulted sparked massive outrage on social media, and sent the airline’s stock plummeting.

    The settlement announcement came on the same day that United Airlines revealed some big policy changes, including raising the maximum incentive for a passenger to give up their seat when a flight is overbooked to $10,000.

    The airline also announced that they will be reducing the amount of overbooking on their flights and limiting their use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only, among other changes.

    Dao, who lost two front teeth as he was dragged by his wrists after refusing to give up the seat he had purchased and paid for, has said he is proud of the changes.

    "He is proud despite his ordeal to have played a role in spearheading these announced changes and he hopes that United takes the lead going forward in inspiring the entire airline industry to treat passengers with dignity,” Attorney Thomas Demetrio, who is representing the 69-year-old Dao, wrote in a statement following the announcement.

    Southwest has announced that they are ending the practice of overbooking flights entirely.

    “Alaska Airlines told the committee it is considering changes to its overbooking. But American Airlines said it would not end the practice,” Reuters reported.

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    Tags:
    Alaska Airlines, American Airline, Southwest Airline, United Airlines, Congress, Bill Shuster, David Dao, Oscar Munoz
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