"And I'm sure there was lots of conjecture about me personally", the apologetic CEO said on the company's earnings call Tuesday.
"They want us to fix this and do the right thing", said Kirby, who added that the airline's sales team has been out and about talking to corporate clients.
"It's really too early for us to tell anything about bookings, and in particular last week because it's the week before Easter", he said.
An influential group of road warriors, better known as business travelers, is joining a push to stop the giant domestic air carriers from systemically mistreating and demeaning passengers - another outcome of United Airlines' recent customer service debacle.
Nobody at United Airlines will lose their job over an incident where a passenger was left with injuries while being forcibly removed from his seat.
He said it was too soon to say if the leisure travelers were staying away from United in the wake of the incident. But he said he had spoken with the United Continental board and received its backing. 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. "It is all about margin". In a press release announcing the expansion, United touted itself as the "top US carrier to China". In a Boeing 737-800 like the one the couple was on, United considers Row 21 "economy plus", an upgrade.
United is now engaged in a sweeping review of its policies to create what Munoz calls a more "common sense approach to doing things".
"What folks are anxious about here is that we saw the capacity increase domestically in the past month, month and-a-half", Barclays Plc analyst Brandon Oglenski told Kirby on Tuesday. "It's logical. This is not trying to go invade someone's hub". Also unclear: Will the rest of the industry stand pat as United builds greater market share, even if it's focused on the carrier's own hubs? "Everyone knows that United never should have been flying regional jets in markets like Chicago to Washington National or NY to Atlanta", Kirby said.
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. "This is about restoring United to where it should have been".
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