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United’s CEO finally issued a real apology for forcibly booting a customer from a plane

On Tuesday afternoon, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz did what he should have done 24 hours earlier: offer a clear and unconditional apology for Sunday’s fiasco, in which a paying customer was violently removed from a United airplane.

This statement is much better than the one he made yesterday afternoon, when he wrote, “I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.” That statement — especially the Orwellian use of “re-accommodate” to describe a passenger’s violent removal from the aircraft — led to 24 hours of online mockery.

And as Munoz says, “It’s never too late to do the right thing.” The question now is whether United will change its policies to make sure an incident like this isn’t repeated in the future.