United Airlines found themselves in the middle of extreme controversy and serious side-eyeing after video emerged of authorities forcibly removing Dr. David Dao, a passenger on a Chicago flight bound for Louisville, Kentucky, last Sunday.
On Monday while their stocks remained intact, United offered a half-ass apology, essentially blaming the 69-year-old victim for what occurred. On Monday evening, United Airlines stock closed out at $71.40, up almost 1 percent from Friday. However, as the video continued to make social media rounds and the public became engulfed in rage, people hit the company where it hurts the most: their pockets.
Beginning on Tuesday, as more videos were released, the company’s stock simultaneously began to fall, dropping by at least 4 percent, translating to almost $800 million decrease in value.
Later on Tuesday, C.E.O. Oscar Munoz released the following statement on the company’s site:
The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.
I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.
It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.
This was United’s third apology and the one that actually took responsibility for the event. United better lawyer up because Dr. Dao has hired high-profile Chicago attorney, Tom Demetrio, DNAinfo Chicago reports. According to Demetrio’s bio he’s “negotiatied well over $1 billion in settlements and acquired the largest personal injury verdict ever upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court. He has never lost an appeal.”
SOURCE: DNAinfo Chicago