United Airlines stock tumbled almost 4% in early trading Tuesday morning before recovering late in the day as the company continued to deal with fallout after video surfaced showing a passenger being forcibly dragged from a United flight at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
The incident also sparked an global outrage across China, where it was the top item trending on Sina Weibo, as it was reported the removed passenger was Asian.
"I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard", Munoz said in a statement. Munoz said airline employees would be given more flexibility to deal with similar situations.
Despite initially saying Dao was "disruptive and belligerent", Munoz added that he certainly "deserved an apology".
Fearns' experience sounds remarkably similar to the one described by witnesses who saw and recorded United's forcible removal on Sunday of David Dao, a 69-year-old Elizabethtown, Kentucky, doctor who refused to get off his flight, stating that he had patients to see on Monday and needed to get home.
But his lawyers filed an emergency petition on Wednesday asking that all potential evidence from the episode be preserved. At one point, passengers said, Dao hit his head on an armrest. His legal team planned to hold a news conference Thursday to discuss the matter with reporters.
The filing with the Cook County Circuit Court likely presages an eventual lawsuit against United for the April 9 incident, where Dao was snatched from the seat he had paid for, and was dragged by his hands on his back off the parked plane, which had been bound for Louisville, Kentucky.
A total of three Chicago Department of Aviation officers are on leave following the incident, which has turned into a publicity nightmare for United.
The department announced on Wednesday that two more officers have been placed on leave.
The airline told passengers Sunday that four of them would have to leave to make room for some of the crew.
The event stemmed from a common air travel issue - a full flight.
But when asked by ABC whether the passenger was at fault in any way, Munoz replied, "No, he can't be".
"To have somebody pay for a ticket, reserve a seat, be seated and then dragged off the plane physically by law enforcement officers at the direction of United (Airlines) - it's outrageous", Christie told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday. When nobody accepted the airline's offer of $800 to relinquish a seat, the airline chose four passengers at random.
"They take the bait. and you dig yourself in a deeper hole", Bueermann said, comparing the United situation to that of a SC police officer seen on cellphone video in 2015 flipping a high school student backward in her desk-chair then dragging her across the classroom after she refused to leave. The man's face was bloodied and he appeared disheveled as officers dragged him along the narrow aisle of the plane.
Other passengers on Flight 3411 are heard saying, "Please, my God", "What are you doing?" "This is wrong", "Look at what you did to him" and "Busted his lip". Airline officials say it happens a lot more frequently than the public realizes.