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United Airlines CEO Apologizes for Private Jet Use Amid Weather Disruptions and Flight Delays United's recovery from the weather challenges has been slower than other airlines, with significant operational difficulties at their Newark, Denver, and Chicago hubs.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Key Takeaways

  • United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby apologized for using a private jet during a period of widespread weather disruptions.
  • The airline faced significant challenges on Wednesday, with over 750 flight cancellations and stranded passengers.

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LOGAN CYRUS | Getty Images
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby apologizes for taking private jet amid weather chaos.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby issued an apology on Friday for taking a private jet earlier in the week amid widespread delays due to weather disruptions.

Kirby acknowledged that his decision was "insensitive" and apologized to customers and the United team members who were working tirelessly to assist travelers.

"Taking a private jet was the wrong decision because it was insensitive to our customers who were waiting to get home," Kirby said in a statement to multiple outlets. "I sincerely apologize to our customers and our team members who have been working around-the-clock for several days—often through severe weather—to take care of our customers."

A spokesperson for United added to The Wall Street Journal that Kirby opted for the private jet on Wednesday because he was unable to secure a seat on a commercial flight and that his travel was not paid for by the airline.

United Airlines had canceled over 750 flights on the day Kirby took the private jet from New Jersey to Denver, and some commercial travelers were stranded for days in New York area airports where weather disruptions had caused widespread delays.

Related: It's Not the Weather: Most Flight Cancelations Are in Airline's Control, According to a New Report

In his statement, Kirby acknowledged the dedication of United employees throughout the week, recognizing their professionalism and expressing regret for diverting attention away from their hard work.

"It's clear to me they represent the best of United and I regret that I distracted from their professionalism," he said, per The WSJ.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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