Hindsight is 20/20.
United CEO Oscar Munoz said that he wished he had reflected for just a few more minutes before issuing a statement during his company’s viral fiasco in April.
“If I had just waited for another ‘x’ amount of time, my initial response with my name on it would have been different,” Munoz said during a panel discussion at a conference in Mexico, according to Travel Weekly.
On April 10, 69-year-old Dr. David Dao was violently dragged off of his overbooked United flight. Video footage showed police dragging him down the aisle by his arms, and bloodied from the incident. According to his lawyer, Dao lost two teeth, his nose was broken, and he sustained a concussion.
Immediately after the incident, Munoz released a short statement:
“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”
But media attention on the incident did not die away. And so the following day, Munoz released another statement that was more apologetic. “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,” Munoz wrote. “No one should ever be mistreated this way.”
Munoz took “full responsibility” for what happened and promised to “do better.”