United executives take questions about dragging passenger

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz apologized again Tuesday for the carrier having police drag a passenger off a flight to make room for a crew member

The U.S. House Transportation Committee said Wednesday it plans to hold an upcoming hearing on commercial airline industry consumer issues after a passenger was dragged off an April 9 United Airlines UAL.N overbooked flight in Chicago to make room for crew members.

The airline is reviewing policies around handling oversold flights to prevent similar incidents, including talking to some passengers and employees about how the airline can take a more "commonsense approach", Munoz said. He also promised that such incident would never happen again, and that they would treat their customers with dignity.

Limited competition at many major airports could blunt any nascent boycott of United.

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. I'm sure there was lots of conjecture about me personally.

He had initially said, in an internal email later leaked to journalists, that Dao had been "disruptive and belligerent" and staff were "left with no choice".

United posted first-quarter earnings of 41 cents per share on revenue of $8.42 billion.

Munoz said he's met with the Chinese consulate to discuss the incident and has a previously planned trip to China within a few weeks. On Tuesday, he was asked if the company ever considered firing anyone.

United Flight 3411 was the subject of intense global scrutiny last week when Dao, a paying customer, was selected to be involuntarily bumped from his seat.

United is further reviewing its policies and training programs and will announce the results by April 30.

According to the couple, who said they were en route to get married, a federal marshal had escorted them from the plane before take-off from Houston, Texas, but United denied this on Sunday, saying in a statement that neither a marshal nor other authorities was involved. "That's normally a very low booking period", United president Scott Kirby said on the call. Lawyers for Mr Dao reported that their client, a physician from Pennsylvania, sought treatment for unspecified injuries at a local hospital following the incident.

Dao emigrated to the USA from Vietnam. Airlines can then say that maintaining quality service for their passengers is their priority.

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