United Airlines CEO seeks to move past dog death fiasco: ‘We got it wrong’
United Continental Holdings Inc’s boss expressed regret for the recent in-flight death of a dog that caused uproar online - and was followed just days later by a second dog being sent to the wrong country.
“We got it wrong last week,” Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz said in a speech to a Chicago business group. “We take this deeply seriously.”
Munoz acknowledged the shortcomings after a bruising week of public-relations fiascoes involving animals.
The dog died March 12 after a flight attendant had the pet and its crate placed in an overhead bin. In a separate incident, the airline sent a Kansas-bound German shepherd to Japan.
A US senator called United’s handling of pets “simply inexcusable,” saying 18 of 24 animals that died on a major airline last year were in the airline’s care.
The dog blunders occurred almost a year after United drew worldwide scorn when a passenger was dragged off a flight by security officials in Chicago.
The airline is learning from its mistakes, Munoz said in his speech.
“Ultimately this whole thing is about trust,” he said. “You have the right to demand the highest level of performance from us.”