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United Airlines says it will testify at House hearing

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Despite last week's disaster, in which a bloodied passenger got forcibly dragged off a flight, United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz said Tuesday there are now no plans to fire anyone at the company.

Limited competition at many major airports could blunt any nascent boycott of United.

Airline President Scott Kirby told analysts and reporters that it is too early to tell whether the Dao incident has hurt bookings on the carrier. "There was never a consideration for firing an employee".

United did not say when Mr Munoz met with the Chinese consulate officials. In an email to United personnel, he labeled Dao "disruptive and belligerent" and insisted: "I emphatically stand behind all of you". He also repeated his characterization of the incident as a "system failure", and he described the entire experience as "a true learning opportunity" and "a watershed moment for our company", the report added. The 69-year-old Asian-American physician was violently removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight by security officers to make room for crew members at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago after refusing to give up his seat as requested.

Some politicians and consumer advocates have called for a ban on overselling flights.

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United already announced changes to policies in place regarding overbooking.

"Whether it is overbooked planes, delayed flights or sky-high fees, the laws we have now in place to protect consumers have been frequently and flagrantly ignored by airlines more concerned with profits than passengers", said Blumenthal. "It's really too early for us to tell anything about bookings, and in particular last week because it's the week before Easter". Wall Street analysts have been mostly silent about the Dao incident, perhaps believing that it won't have a noticeable impact on United profits.

The violent removal of a passenger on a United Airlines flight has prompted US Senator Richard Blumenthal to propose a new passengers Bill of Rights that would mandate compensation for travellers involuntarily "bumped" from their airline seats.

The statement from a United spokeswoman said the airline offered the couple a discounted hotel rate for the night, and rebooked them on a Sunday morning flight.

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