United CEO faces Congress after dragging of passenger

If changes are not made, he said, Congress was likely to step in.

The others are lower-level leaders from American Airlines, Southwest and Alaska.

United Airlines Inc UAL.N executives faced harsh criticism from US lawmakers that demanded answers on Tuesday following the forcible removal of a passenger from an overbooked flight in April, with the carrier's chief executive again apologizing for the incident.

"If we act, it's going to be one-size-fits-all", Shuster warned.

The "Customers, Not Cargo" Act, which would also prohibit airlines from bumping passengers from overbooked flights after they're seated on the plane, introduced by Sen.

Munoz apologized repeatedly for United's role in dragging Dr. David Dao from Flight 3411 at O'Hare Airport last month.

At the hearing, Munoz defended the policy of overbooking, saying it helps the airline better serve passengers.

"It was a mistake of epic proportions", United CEO Oscar Munoz told representatives, as he explained how United has changed its rules moving forward. Dao, a 69-year-old Kentucky physician, was treated in a way that no customer - or individual - should be treated, Munoz said, calling it a "terrible experience" that should never be repeated. "Some charge fees for baggage, some charge fees for oxygen, who knows?" Lines are long, planes are delayed yet prices keep going up, he said.

"You're not just in the transportation business, you're in the customer service business", she added. "It's on me. It was the wrong thing to say at the wrong time". He joked that he wanted to ask why airlines hate the American people so much, but he wouldn't.

"This has to be a turning point for the 87,000 people and professionals here at United", Munoz told the committee. Further, United will now offer passengers who give up their seats - in an overbooked situation - up to $10,000.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which held a hearing to examine airline customer service and consumer protection for passengers.

"It really shouldn't take a media event and a viral social to make executives in this industry rethink how they retreat their customers", McGee said. The hearing follows a slew of controversies involving airline workers and passengers, which have prompted some lawmakers to consider overhauling customer service policies.

The incident on the United flight sparked a debate over customer service on U.S. airlines; the topic of the hearing today, which featured a range of airline executives in the spotlight. Jordan said the airline expected the change to reduce the incidence of customers being denied boarding by about 80 percent.

During Tuesday's hearing, Munoz apologized to Congress for the airline's treatment of Dao.

Munoz said an investigation into the incident by the airline found four basic failures.

Chief Executive Officer of United Airlines Oscar Munoz speaks in NY in 2016. "It's got to be changes in policies and practices".

"His two front teeth were knocked out, his nose was broken and he suffered a concussion.that was very harrowing for him", he said.

The House of Representatives transportation committee carried out a hearing including the most important airlines.

United president Scott Kirby joined Mr Munoz at the hearing, along with senior executives of American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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