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United Airlines under fire over 'passengergate'

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 01:37

United Airlines sparks outrage for the treatment of a passenger who was physically dragged off a plane the airline had overbooked. David Pollard reports.

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Cabin service without a smile.... Video of security at Chicago forcibly removing one United Airlines passenger because of overbooking going viral - globally. 130 million people on Chinese social media platform Weibo alone have watched it. Some asking whether the man - reported to be a 69-year-old doctor - would have suffered the same fate had he not been Asian. Others - including e-commerce giant JD.com founder Liu Qiangdong - calling for a United Airlines boycott. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "The investor relations department of the airline will clearly be pulling their hair out in the context of recent events but I think all airlines - and it's not just this particular one although of course they've handled this operation very badly - all airlines will routinely try and overbook their airlines because they know or assume that there will normally be a number of people who will book and not turn up." But wafer thin operating margins in the sector and volatile fuel prices may not be defence enough. United's shares heading into turbulence - nearly four per cent down in early trading on Tuesday. And - after last month's 'Leggingsgates' scandal when two girls were refused boarding because of what they were wearing - it puts United boss Oscar Munoz under pressure. Though from him: no apology so far for the way the passenger was handled. Munoz instead reportedly calling him "disruptive and belligerent" for refusing to cooperate.

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United Airlines under fire over 'passengergate'

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 01:37