Last month, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz was named U.S. Communicator of the Year by the magazine PRWeek.
Now he’s being raked over the coals for his response to a violent passenger incident on a United Airlines flight.
Public relations experts say the CEO should have quickly offered an unreserved apology after a customer was filmed on Sunday being forcibly removed from his seat and dragged down an overbooked aircraft’s aisle.
Instead, Munoz apologized only for “having to re-accommodate … customers.”
Many customers found the response to be overly callous — and said so on social media, where video of the incident had gone viral.
But Munoz doubled down in a letter sent to United employees on Monday afternoon, describing the passenger as “disruptive and belligerent.” He also said that “employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.”