Ah, another day, another scandal. United Airlines has gotten themselves into a heap of trouble after the unjust removal of passengers from an overbooked flight. As a solution to someone’s failure to do their job correctly, the flight was overbooked and an order was issued for the removal of random passengers in order to accommodate others. Dr. David Dao was one of the passengers forced to leave the flight, but he refused and was left bloodied and humiliated. As seen on cell phone footage taken by another passenger, Dao was dragged down the aisle and injured in the process. According to various sources, the airline needed four seats for airline staff and they offered $800 vouchers for those who were willing to give up their seats. When no one offered, they went forth with plan B. Am I crazy, or does that violate some sort of rights? Either way, the handling of the situation was poor and now the airline is suffering because of it. According to an article from AOL.com, American Airlines has lost $800 million in value. The shares in the company have dropped 3.8 percent which is detrimental to a company as big as they are.
But with all of that, what has really struck a chord with me is the release of details about Dr. Dao’s “troubled past.” According to WGN, Dr. Dao was “convicted of drug-related offenses after an undercover investigation. Court documents allege that Dao was involved in fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances and was sexually involved with a patient who used to work for his practice and assisted police in building a case against him.” So, the man is no saint, no one is, but why does any of this matter?! What does his past have to do with how he was manhandled on the plane? This does not justify his mistreatment or the disgusting behavior of the guard. I never understood the point of bringing up someone’s past in situations where it does not matter, and it has happened so often recently. United Airlines is using it as a way to decrease the sympathetic response that Dr. Dao is getting which in turn is increasing the criticism that they are receiving. It is straight up slander on Dr.Dao’s name and a poor PR response, especially in this situation. Either way, the airline is suffering and I am sure that Dr. Dao has his legal team ready to go.
More details will be provided as the case develops.