- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz promised Wednesday a “thorough review” of the airline’s use of law enforcement on flights after videos of a Kentucky doctor being physically dragged off a plane sparked an international uproar.

“The use of law enforcement aboard an aircraft has to be looked at very carefully,” Mr. Munoz told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” in his first interview since Sunday’s incident.

He declared that the airline will no longer put a law enforcement official onto a plane “to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger.”

“We can’t do that,” he said.

The news comes amid a wave of backlash against United after Dr. David Dao was videotaped by other passengers being forcibly removed from a fully booked plane after he refused to relinquish his seat to accommodate employees from a partner airline.

One of the Chicago Department of Aviation officers involved in removing Dr. Dao was placed on leave Monday pending an investigation.

“It was a system failure,” Mr. Munoz said Wednesday. “We have not provided our front-line supervisors and managers and individuals with the proper tools, polices, procedures that allow them to use their common sense. … That’s on me. I have to fix that.

“This will never happen again,” he said.

Mr. Munoz, whose initial tepid response to the incident sparked criticism, said a more appropriate reaction was postponed because he was still trying to gather all the facts.

“I think my reaction to most issues is to get the facts and circumstances,” he said. “My initial words fell short of truly expressing the shame.”

“That shame and embarrassment was pretty palpable for me and for a lot of our [United] family,” he said.

Mr. Munoz said he owes an apology to Dr. Dao, who is reportedly recovering from his injuries at a Chicago hospital. The CEO was asked whether any of the blame from Sunday’s incident could be placed on Dr. Dao, whose history of felony drug and fraud convictions from more than a decade ago resurfaced Tuesday.

“No, he can’t be [at fault],” Mr. Munoz said. “He was a paying passenger, sitting on our seat in our aircraft and no one should be treated that way. Period.”

Despite the backlash, Mr. Munoz said he has no intentions of stepping down.

“I was hired to make United better and we’ve been doing that and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” he said.

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