United Airlines errors
Last week, United Airlines made headlines across the country, but for all the wrong reasons, when video footage showed a man being forcibly dragged off a plane while unconscious and bleeding from the mouth.
The incident accured in the Chicago O’Hare airport on a flight scheduled to go to Louisville, Kentucky, when officials at United Airlines realized they had accidentally overbooked the plane and needed seats. The victim was David Dao, 69-year-old Vietnamese-American, who practices medicine in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, which is about 40 miles from Louisville. Dao had his medical license partially reinstated in 2015 after it had been suspended in 2003; his partial reinstatement allowed him to work one day a week for another doctor.
United Airlines initially offered a $1,000 voucher for passengers to catch another flight the following day, which would also be free of charge. They needed four seats to be freed before the plane could take off, no passengers volunteered, so the staff decided to randomly pick four people to get off of the plane. Unfortunately, one of those people was Dao who tried to calmly explain that he would not get off of the flight because he had patients to tend to the next day and would not be able to help them if he had to catch a later flight.
After a while the conversation became more heated with reports and videos showing Dao saying police would have to drag him off of the plane if they wanted him off. After refusing to leave for quite some time, officials on the plane felt they had no choice but to call the Chicago Aviation Security officers. At that point, Dao was dragged off the plane while unconscious, much to the shock and dismay of the other passengers. United Airlines continued making headlines when a secret email from the United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz was leaked. It commended the airline workers for how they handled the situation. He also referred to the victim as “disruptive and belligerent.” What the leaked email shows is that Munoz feels no remorse for the actions and extreme measures taken by his staff.
According to Newsweek, what United Airlines did to Dao was illegal. Once a person is granted access to the plane through boarding they cannot legally be removed from the plane due to being oversold. United Airlines needed to stop Dao while he was still at the gate, and then explain the situation to him and deal with it accordingly.
This situation was 100 percent avoidable in many ways. Once the airline officials heard that he had a valid reason for not wanting to have his flight rescheduled they should have randomly picked another person on the plane.
The Eagle staff will not tolerate or stand for this type of abuse on anyone, especially those who did nothing to deserve that type of treatment. Going forward we hope that United Airlines and Dao can find a way to put this situation behind them and end on amicable terms, and that United Airlines will have more compassion for their customers.