A video of a doctor being yanked and dragged off of a United Airlines plane went viral Monday and the company is losing billions of dollars because of the inappropriate actions that occurred on an overbooked flight that was not really overbooked.
The airline asked four people to deplane but only one refused.
According to Jonathan Guerin, United spokesman, all 70 seats were filled but the plane was not overbooked as the airline originally reported. Regional affiliate Republic Airlines operated the flight and selected four passengers to be removed to accommodate crew members who were needed in Louisville the following day.
CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement that “No one should ever be mistreated this way.” He apologized again Tuesday but that did not prevent the company’s shares from falling 6.3 percent in market trading. United has a $21 billion market cap but by early trading Tuesday, shares dropped 4 percent.
The total amount in loses comes to an estimated $255 million of United Airlines market value.
“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,” CEO Oscar Munoz said.
Dr. David Dao was one of the four passengers that were asked to leave the plane. Dr. Dao refused and was later pulled out of his seat and the plane. He is a physician in Elizabethtown, KY and is currently being treated in a Chicago hostipal for unspecified injures.
“The family of Dr. Dao wants the world to know that they are very appreciative of the outpouring of prayers, concern, and support they have received,” Golan said in a statement. “Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Dao’s medical care and treatment” and will not be making any comments to the media.
The incident came two weeks after United took withering criticism for requiring two girls to change out of leggings before boarding a flight in Denver. United explained that leggings and yoga pants are among banned attire for people flying with employee pass privileges because such fliers are viewed as representing the company.