United CEO says David Dao debacle was 'a watershed moment'

Airline executives said it was too soon to see any effect of the incident on leisure travellers, or on travellers from China, where the controversy sparked especially sharp criticism because of Dao's Vietnamese ethnicity.

The incident on United Flight 3411 last week that sent the airline into an unprecedented public relations crisis hasn't caused it to downgrade performance expectations going into the second quarter.

United Won't Use Police To Pull Paid Passengers From Flights, Airline CEO Says: VIDEO: United CEO Oscar Munoz called Sunday's incident on a flight out of Chicago a "system failure" during an ABC News interview.

Thomas Demetrio is attorney for David Dao, the passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight earlier in April, speaks at a press conference on April 13, 2017. This comes after a P.R. disaster in which a passenger was dragged off an April 9th flight in Chicago so extra crew members would have seats.

Munoz started the call with an apology to David Dao, the 69-year-old Kentucky physician who was dragged off the plane by Chicago airport officers who had been summoned by United, and to all other customers. "It is obvious from recent experiences that we need to do a much better job serving our customers", Oscar Munoz said in a statement.

Dao received a concussion and a broken nose and had two of his teeth knocked out.

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His latest apology came as surveys in the USA hinted at the damage the incident has done to United's reputation. Many web users vowed to boycott United, charging the company discrimination, claiming that the passenger had been selected to be dragged off the plane because he was Asian.

United's earnings for the first three months of the year bested analyst projections, earning 41 cents per share, excluding one-time items, versus an expected 38 cents.

Mr Munoz has declined to address that change until the airline finishes an internal review. And any crew members seeking seats on a United or United Express flight will have to reserve those seats at least 60 minutes before the flight's scheduled departure.

"You can and should expect more from us", he said.

Scott Kirby, airline president: It's really too early for us to tell anything about bookings and in particular last week because it was the week before Easter.

Barclays analyst Brandon Oglenski told Munoz that "accidents happen. hopefully, we can put this behind us".

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