United's CEO apologized today after a man claiming to be a doctor was left bloodied and unconscious as he was dragged off an overbooked flight to make room for staff.
The airline is facing mounting outrage after video emerged of the man being forced to give up his seat by three cops who slammed his head against an arm rest - then dragged him off the flight by the arms as he bled from the mouth.
Airline Chief Executive Oscar Munoz released a statement after the airline earlier stood by its staff in the incident at Chicago O'Hare on Sunday night.
He said: '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."
The man - who claimed to be a doctor and said he needed to see patients the next morning - was one of four passengers selected by United to leave the 5.40pm flight from O'Hare to Louisville, Kentucky.
United had unsuccessfully appealed for volunteers who were willing to give up their seats for $800, stay in a hotel and fly the next day. The passengers were removed so airline staff could get to Louisville to man a flight the following day.
When the appeal failed, United staff selected four passengers by computer. A manager told passengers that the unlucky four were chosen at random - although many airlines automatically choose passengers with the lowest fares and who were last to check-in to offload.
Should overbooking not be illegal? It is fraud to sell something one does not own is it not?