David Neeleman is the former CEO and founder of JetBlue. He, among many others, saw the video of a United Airlines passenger being forcibly removed from the plane with violence.
He offered his own insight on the issue and a solution to prevent mishaps like this from happening again. The solution? To give employees power to increase monetary incentives so that people will voluntarily give up their seats.
“If you have a situation where you have people on an airplane and you have to pull someone off, there’s a price to get volunteers,” Neeleman told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”. “It’s about giving control … [to] the gate agent to be able to bid a higher price to be able to get people to voluntarily to leave the airplane. It’s as simple as that.”
He remarked, “This won’t happen again at United.”
United Airlines has been under fire for removing a doctor from one of its planes with excessive force. The man hit his head and was dragged off the airplane unconscious. The way he was treated has left many people upset with the airline and rightfully so.
Three passengers got off, but one man wouldn’t leave his seat. According to another passenger, Tyler Bridges, the man was a doctor who had patients to see the next day and could not get off.
Bridges posted the video to the internet of Dr. David Dao of Kentucky being dragged off the plane by force.
“Everyone on the plane kind of was freaking out,” Bridges recalled. “Kids were crying. Everyone was upset [and] really disturbed by the scene. It looked like he was knocked out. Unconscious. He had a bloody nose like his nose was busted, his glasses were off, [and] he was really in rough shape as they pulled him off the plane limp.”
In a statement Tuesday, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said, “The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.”
“I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right,” he added.
Attorneys for Dao issued a statement on behalf of the doctor and his family.
“The family of Dr. Dao wants the world to know that they are very appreciative of the outpouring of prayers, concern and support they have received. Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Dao’s medical care and treatment,” said Chicago attorney Stephen Golan of Golan Christie Taglia.
Disclaimer: We have no position in JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) nor United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) and have not been compensated for this article.