United Airlines Stocks Plummet by over $800mn after Passenger Thrown off Plane*
The stock price of United Continental Holdings Inc. fell dramatically on Tuesday as the fallout continues over the airline’s handling of a passenger being dragged from one of its U.S. flights.
If the airline’s stock ends the day carrying these losses, the company will lose about $830 million from its market value, MarketWatch reports.
The company’s stock price opened at $70.15 Tuesday as the markets were largely unmoved by the scandal on Monday. However, it later plummeted to $68.37, a fall of more than 4%.
The market drop follows an incident in which a United passenger was forcibly ejected from an overbooked flight from Chicago to Kentucky.
Footage shot by other passengers showed the man screaming and struggling as airport police removed him from his seat and pulled him down the aisle of the aircraft. Later videos showed him back on board the aircraft with a bloodied face and appearing disoriented.
In a letter to employees United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz said that the passenger had “defied” security officers, Reuters reported.
“We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation),” Munoz wrote.
“When we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.”