When it comes to damage control and putting out PR fires, corporations have to tread very lightly. When you're representing a global brand, any number of moves you make will be open to public scrutiny.
And we saw what happens when a company starts endangering the lives of its customers with the wholeYou'd think that after doing something so awful to one of its paying customers, a company would be groveling at out feet trying to make it up to its customers.
His letter included some other hair-pulling language, like saying they asked him "politely" to leave his seat and "deplane," and that the crew was "left no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight."
Now the thing is with forcibly dragging a doctor off of a flight, you're going to have some backlash. Namely, from human beings pretty much all around the world who aren't mean-spirited psychopaths. Hell, the doctor they dragged off the flight was Asian (he's a Vietnamese-American), and now people all over. That's right, the airline might lose an entire country of fliers, a country with the world's largest population, because of their overbooking error and horrible way of handling it. And it's not like other people in other countries are excited about flying United anytime soon, either.
But the airline's CEO, Oscar Munoz, released an unapologetic letter to his staff calling passenger Dr. David Dao, a 69-year-old grandfather, "disruptive and belligerent."
The worst part? He painted the airline's reaction to the debacle as a positive one and commended his staff for the way the situation was handled.
"Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right."