Passengers were stuck because United Airlines canceled their flights. The CEO took a private plane

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United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby apologized Friday for hopping on a private plane to get out of the New York area earlier this week while thousands of United passengers were stranded because the airline canceled so many flights.

“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 issued by the airline. “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.”

Kirby concluded by promising “to better demonstrate my respect for the dedication of our team members and the loyalty of our customers.”

Kirby caught the private flight from Teterboro, New Jersey, to Denver on Wednesday, when United canceled 750 flights — one-fourth of its schedule for the day. That figure does not include flights on United Express.

United has canceled nearly 3,000 flights this week, with the largest number at its Newark Liberty International Airport hub in New Jersey, which was hit by thunderstorms for much of the week.

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