Before you lynch United Airlines, get the whole story, and stop defending the ridiculous behavior of David Dao

By Ben Alonzo 393 Comments
lynch

On April 9, 2017, United Airlines had to remove a passenger with a history of trouble, but that wasn’t the headline you’ve probably seen. Bits and pieces of videos and passenger accounts tell only half of the story. The internet is a great thing, but it’s also full of stupid people that could care less about facts. America has a perpetually outraged culture that finds anything it can to be angry about and the mainstream media is happy to feed that culture. A fabrication or misleading story can make it around the world in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, if you’re the business owner, you may be at the receiving end of a digital lynching. This is 2017 and we should be past lynching people, but the ignorant court of public opinion is continuously finding its next victim. There’s more to the story and people should not call for a boycott of the company without first considering all of the facts.

Before You Lynch United Airlines, Get the Facts

Dr. David Dao, a 69 year old man, was taken off United Express Flight 3411 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sunday (4/9/17). Social media blew up with short clips of what appeared to be an older man babbling something and bleeding from his mouth. A full video of the entire incident has not been publicly available. United Airlines regularly has to bump people from flights, but it’s only a small percentage, usually as a necessity to allow for other employees to get to where they need to go. This is standard practice, not new, and happens all of the time. In fact, most people are compensated more than their original ticket price and go about their way. It might be inconvenient for the average passenger, but what happened on United 3411 was discussed all over the internet this Monday.

It’s easy to play quarterback as an anonymous person on the internet, fueled by outrage hashtags and Facebook posts. However, those of us that are professionals and have been bumped off of flights before know this behavior is unacceptable, especially for a doctor.

I have been bumped off of countless flights because I regularly fly. You might be angry or inconvenienced, but if you have any experience with flying at all you have a backup plan. Certainly, if you’re some kind of critical doctor, you should be leaving earlier, have a backup plan, purchase another ticket, or make a more reasonable plea, as a professional, to the company and passengers. I immediately questioned the claims of needing to see patients or that this was some kind of critical doctor. Maybe this was because I think with a scientific mind, focused on evidence, facts, logic, the whole picture and reason, instead of blind outrage and emotion.

Some of the pictures and a few Twitter videos looked bad, but this wasn’t the whole story. Before lynching United Airlines, it would be smart to find out more information.

As far as the premise of him being a doctor needing to see patients? There is a lady in one video repeatedly saying “this isn’t right, oh my God.” If any one of these selfish, gutless, hypocritical passengers said this doctor should have a priority, be allowed to break the rules after being told to leave, then why didn’t they give up their seat for him? Hypocrites are disgusting. Not one of these selfish people on that flight bothered to stand up and give their seat for this fool, which is just typical. Dau has a history of behavioral problems, made an ass out of himself, caused all of this by his actions, and these people are just turning this into a sensational mess.

At the end of the day, this is a company that has a right to ask you to leave their aircraft at any time. You may be compensated later, but you must leave the aircraft, if you’re asked to leave. A professional, acting like a civilized human, knows this already. This has happened to me multiple times, even overseas, but I remained professional and avoided this kind of incident.

It’s easy to get hurt, especially if you’re resisting a lawful order where police are forcefully removing you. A professional would likely have the intelligence of avoiding this or finding other options before the situation even escalated to the point it did on Sunday. If you fall while someone is executing a lawful order because you were resisting, is that the airlines fault? Does it mean that police roughed you up? So far, the videos do not show excessive use of force. How else would you get an unruly passenger, who refuses to comply, off of your plane? It was not United Airlines that forcefully removed the passenger, it was police executing a lawful order.

Dao can be seen telling a police officer that he would sue the airlines, they have to drag him away, and to go ahead and take him to jail. He clearly plans to resist and even says he will make them drag him.

It immediately occurred to me that this passenger didn’t act like a professional. There were rumors that he claimed to be a doctor. I had originally questioned this because of the way he was acting, but he is indeed a troubled doctor from Kentucky. Not surprisingly, his behavior has been justified by various random internet social justice warriors as normal or even “PTSD” because of what had happened to him.

Some people say he was acting the way he was because he was traumatized by being forcefully removed from the plane, which was his own fault. However, this seems to be his regular behavior and is clearly unjustifiable, especially as the professional everyone is making him out to be.

His behavior was very unprofessional, seemed to exhibit mental illness, he refused to comply with lawful orders on multiple occasions, he’s a convicted felon, lost his medical license, and lied to the United Airlines staff. Dr. David Dao’s past would seem to suggest he should have no business being around patients, especially after he was arrested and convicted of trading drugs for sex. Why is a doctor that was convicted of drug dealing as a doctor being allowed to practice again? The State of Kentucky is insane for even considering letting this guy practice medicine.

Various news media organizations, such as Daily Mail, are also reporting that Dao had well-known mental problems, noted in court documents:

“A psychiatric report prepared for Kentucky’s medical regulator revealed a series of issues, including that he is generally not forthright, tends to have poor decision-making and needed anger management.”

Syracuse.com news reports:

“Dao was arrested in 2003 after being accused of trading prescription drugs for sexual favors from a male patient he later hired. He denied paying for sex, but was charged with 98 felony drug counts for illegally prescribing and trafficking painkillers, including hydrocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet.”

Dr. Dao’s own ridiculous behavior caused the situation to escalate to the point of him being forcefully removed from the flight. Even after he was removed by force, he continued to defy a lawful order and ran back onto the plane. Maybe Dao needs a mental evaluation?

Whoever is defending Dao’s ridiculous behavior needs to check on their own reasoning capacity. This guy is not a professional and has a history of trouble. His actions on United 3411 were just another example of his failed reasoning capacity.

What you do see on the videos being passed around is a public that doesn’t know his history, witnessing something they don’t see all of the time (an old man being forcefully removed), the guy making a big scene, and people being upset over witnessing all of it.

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The voice of reason is almost always buried under a pile of ignorance and often goes ignored by most.

When you look at just the facts, the whole story, and reason, Dr. Dao caused this entire event to unfold. He acted unprofessionally and refused to comply with multiple, reasonable, lawful orders.

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Agenda-laden, highly manipulative, censored websites, such as Reddit.com, quickly manipulated posts to the top, feeding the digital lynch mob. Forget the whole story, we’ve got a lynching! Get your pitchforks! Digital lynching is a dangerous trend on social media and could potentially hurt someone and or destroy a business.

When you look at blind emotion, sensationalism, and outrage, you just see an old man that was beaten up by United Airlines for not giving up his seat. That sure sounds outrageous. Too bad that isn’t true.

Before you digitally lynch a business, think about the facts, whole story, and be reasonable.

The facts are United never “beat up” David Dao, he broke the law by refusing to leave (yes, even if you paid for a ticket or already sat on the plane, it’s in the fine print, you have to leave), refused to move when police showed up, and ultimately was responsible for this whole mess. It was the police that forcefully removed him, not United. He has a history of dishonesty, aggressive behavior, and decision-making problems, as a matter of public record, which is relevant because his behavior led to the viral videos you see.

Thinking of never flying United again? Every other major airline bumps passengers, sometimes forcefully removes people, and has similar carriage policies. People need to calm down and be reasonable, but that’s hard to do when you’re high on emotions and perpetual outrage. Reason would have prevented this whole thing from happening.

There are a lot of uninformed people making comments on social media (completely making up their own rules) about what United’s “Contract of Carriage” actually says. Please read it here so we can stop misinformation. Rest assured, you can be removed from a flight, even after paying, boarding, and sitting down. This has happened before, regardless of whether people like it or not.

There are still uninformed people claiming Dao was never convicted. Please, verify this for yourself because Dao is a convicted felon and numerous news agencies have confirmed his identity and record.

In fact, Heavy.com reports the State of Kentucky once thought of him as a danger to the safety of his patients and general public:

Dao’s medical license was suspended on October 16, 2003 by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure because of his transgressions. He applied to have it completely reinstated in 2007, but the board shot it down.

It cited Dao’s practice as constituting “a danger to the health, welfare and safety of his patients or the general public.” The ruling added that it has “probable cause to believe that the physician has committed certain violations in the recent past that present probable cause to believe that (Dao) will commit similar violations in the near future.”

Need more evidence? See the State of Kentucky record.

You should consider all of the facts, including public record history, when trying to understand what happened. A smart person wants the most information possible, not just bits and pieces. His history is a matter of public safety record and is relevant to why he acted the way he did.

No, there’s no secret rule that says a doctor gets to stay on a full flight, even after being asked to give up his seat, just because he’s a doctor, that’s Hollywood stuff.

People are being unreasonable, suggesting the airlines play a game of auction onboard the flight, offering huge amounts of money to entice people to get up and walk off. This is probably why most of the people making stupid, unrealistic suggestions like this have not/are not/and never will be leading a company of any decent size. You would bankrupt your company doing something like that. Imagine how expensive tickets would be. It’s kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. The airline did indeed offer a substantial amount of money to entice people to leave, but it didn’t work this time, and you can’t just increase the offer to infinity amount of money.

No, you can’t just blame the airline for needing to get their crew somewhere. Airlines are extremely complicated with millions of factors and special computer algorithms that keep thousands of flights operating smoothly every hour all over the world. The uninformed, armchair expert solutions being offered by random internet commenters are not realistic, feasible, efficient, smart, or effective for a large airline operation.

I do not work for United and I’m not associated with them in any way. However, I bet most of the people claiming they will never fly again hardly did to begin with or would still buy a United ticket, if it was the cheapest option. People are all talk on the internet.

There’s a lot of people attacking journalists for providing more details about Dao’s background. Whenever you have no argument or anything tangible to add to the actual facts, it’s always best to attack the author, get personal, and whatever else (every experienced author is used to this). Historically, how many people have been hurt because people in an outrage rushed to attack and silence anyone they didn’t agree with?

You will find that the second someone takes a stand, they will immediately tick off roughly half of their audience. The more important the issue, the more bold the stand, the more specific the reasoning, the more divisive it will become, especially among the American public. Maybe someday we will value science and reason more than outrage, tradition, and emotion.

As far as people accusing me of being a corporate shill… please see my websites and articles all over the internet. I’ve done far more for the public than most of the people attacking me. I’ve dedicated a large portion of my life to public service, emergency medical service, education, helping others, and informing people. My articles are about informing the public, not feeding blind outrage or sensational media coverage. I’m doing my part to inform people about science and technology matters, including things like this that have internet social media buzzing. Over 7,000 people have read this article, as of Friday, April 14, 2017. At least triple that amount have seen it elsewhere on social media. Most people do not bother commenting or liking on articles, but they see the information. I’ve always thought of the consumer first, but I will not compromise just to make everyone happy, that’s impossible. You just can’t please everyone, especially if you take a stand on something.

It’s crazy for so much of the public to attack anyone that wants the full story, more details, background, and whole picture, as if there’s something wrong with being informed before rushing to lynch United. America has a culture of political correctness, turning the problem individual into the innocent, encouraging perpetual outrage and victimization. This culture of sensationalism and political correctness is dividing and destroying an entire nation – taking us futher away from reason. Too many people are generally not interested in science, facts, or reason.

As for myself, I will continue to act professional on a flight, keep my dignity, follow the rules, and leave the flight upon being asked – whether I was already seated or not. I would rather keep my dignity and walk off the flight, instead of being dragged off by police. Again, this has happened to me before and I’ve always complied with the airline crew. I was always compensated, given a hotel, and a free flight the next day. Why should this be different for anyone else?

You may find the idea that an airline can ask you to leave (even if you paid and already sat down) as unfair, but rules are rules.

David Dao knew (he stated it in a video that he wanted them to drag him) this would happen. David Dao could have acted like a professional and calmly left the plane, but he didn’t.

What I’ve said above doesn’t have to reflect your exact opinion and I do appreciate every one of you taking the time to read my articles. Everyone has opinions, but some are more informed and reasonable than others. The lightning speed of social media makes it easy for misinformation, sensationalism, and blind outrage to utterly destroy people and business. This is why it’s important to get as much facts as possible and to avoid being a part of the digital lynch mob.

I will say that events like this seem to resonate with the general public because people often see airlines as evil. Passenger incidents like this give the public something that collectively brings them together under one umbrella of outrage. For example, I hate being assaulted by the TSA every time I travel, but it continues and there’s hardly any outrage or lynching over it. Corporate greed and terrible policies are a real thing, I agree. We have to be reasonable, if we expect others to be reasonable with us. Out of all of the things we could be outraged about, maybe we should pick our battles a little more carefully.

Be More Outraged About TSA Assaults

Where is the outrage over the TSA assaulting men, women, and children every single day? When the lynch mob was proud of itself for costing United $600 million in a temporary stock slide, what about the TSA assaulting people? Do we have such a huge double standard with dignity?

You want airport outrage? Check this out. Where is the outrage over this?
You want airport outrage? Check this out. Where is the outrage over this?
You want airport outrage? Check this out. Where is the outrage over this?
You want airport outrage? Check this out. Where is the outrage over this?

Where is the outrage and lynch mobs about the TSA assaulting men, women, and children? Why are you guys angry about what happened in this case to Dao, but not the daily assaults that occur in the name of a false sense of security? Think of all of the innocent people being assaulted every year.

Passengers getting bumped off happens all the time, but what made it different this time is David Dao refused to leave after airport the crew told him to, and then after security came to remove him from a flight. At that point, regardless of whether you think it’s fair or not, especially after 9/11, you must leave the flight. Maybe people should be mad at the airport security team that actually touched Dao? United didn’t beat him up or drag him off the airline. This was the perfect storm of someone with poor decision-making capability refusing security orders to leave a flight as well as poor handling by the security officers.

Again, the video seems to indicate United didn’t touch this guy. Therefore, the issue is the security team. Regardless, every other civilized person typically gets up and leaves with dignity. In the age of internet video, most of us know that once officers ask you to leave and you refuse, it can get ugly. In airports, there’s more of a zero tolerance policy than in the streets.

Despite the facts that are now out, various news sources and social media posts continue to spread misinformation about this event.

More reading: LA Times: No, the media did not identify the wrong David Dao as United’s passenger

There’s a great blog post about this from a pilot’s wife…

More reading: check out “I Know You’re Mad at United but… (Thoughts from a Pilot Wife About Flight 3411)”

For the people commenting (reminder): Name-calling and ad hominem, as a way to disagree with an author, represent the bottom-feeders of Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement.

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Update 4/14/17: Digital lynching is absolutely a thing. The only difference between a digital lynching is that it’s safer for the victim because at least the mob are just keyboard warriors typing comments online – nothing more than pixels on a screen, thankfully. At least nobody (yet) has physically done anything or followed through on their threats. Many people have knee-jerk reactions to sensational media coverage, which is exactly what they want. However, this is dangerous and real people can get hurt. Innocent people are getting death threats because an unreasonable bloodthirsty public wants a target and they don’t care who gets hurt. Bringing down an entire airline can destroy an entire economic ecosystem. Blind outrage is a serious problem because people, despite feeling they’re informed, act out of emotion and ignorance, which can harm people. This recent story is an excellent example of digital lynching. People are so emotional that they act like anyone that even remotely presents an argument that doesn’t flat out attack United becomes a target of the mob mentality.

The fact is people get removed from airlines. This ridiculous notion that you cannot be removed from an airline once seated is just delusional. Even after you pay and are seated, you could be asked to leave. My point was that a professional, especially doctor, had no reason to act the way he did. Keep in mind that this individual threw a fit *before* he was dragged off. This individual told them on camera to drag him off and they did. Keep in mind an entire plane sat by as this all happened. Nobody bothered to offer him their seat. We have an immediate problem with this picture because either everyone is a hypocrite or they believed it “looked bad” but they were right for “removing him after he refused the crew’s order and securities orders.” Which is it?

One interesting thing is PR. United’s CEO did flop around like an idiot and absolutely didn’t make his company look good. I can agree with some of the comments that he was just “covering” or sounded “disingenuous.” United also made an odd comment that they would no longer use police to remove people. Would you feel safe flying on an airline that says it will not use police to remove people? How will they remove people? I have to admit United has a terrible PR department and leadership. This was a rare situation (person dragged off aircraft because they wouldn’t leave for flight crew to travel). Because of the sensational coverage and culture of perpetual outrage… this has become a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. In a politically correct culture full of “outrage of the day” mob rule, large companies know that a payout is often demanded as a “blood sacrifice” to the masses, whether they were right or wrong. It’s interesting to see what large companies do to appease the masses. Will people still care in 1 month? We will see.

Did this highlight policies that need to change? Sure. It’s concerning that people are ok with the TSA abuse and have a double standard with their outrage and money. Attacking people that had nothing to do with this event accomplishes nothing, doesn’t change bad policies, and only takes the blame away from the corrupt actors that made and utilize such policies. Maybe the lynch mob should encourage independent media, bloggers, and anyone else with a voice to write more about this stuff to raise awareness – within reason. We all lose when we attack each other.

My overall point is for people to clam down, don’t immediately react to every sensational news piece with blind rage, embrace all the facts, be reasonable, don’t attack people that had nothing to do with this situation, and think of the fallout this will cause for regular flyers. Stop the death threats to people that had nothing to do with this event. Once again, most people will act civilized and walk off a plane with dignity, especially after a crew and security tells them to, which is why you hardly ever see things like this happening – it shouldn’t happen. Excessive use of force is something real and it would also be great if people were this outraged over the regular abuse of power that occurs in this country. Imagine the power of people being consistent and applying the same standard to everything and everyone. If you say you’re not going to fly, then follow through. Talk is cheap and most people are all talk. I encourage people that feel strongly to do everything they can *legally* to prevent something like this from happening again.

What will change after this? If this was so bad, why did everyone on that plane sit there and do nothing? If people really believed this doctor was a priority and needed to “see patients”, why not give up their seats? It would seem an entire aircraft watched this and didn’t seem to think he was really a priority. If you’re going to use the excuse people were in shock and disbelief, that’s a weak argument. In this time of internet videos showing police dragging people off and countless examples of excessive use of force, what adult hasn’t seen abuse of power before? We’ve had decades of video accounts and sensational media coverage — it’s nothing new. Do people have such poor reasoning skills and lack of compassion that they just pull out their cameras and don’t bother to give up their seat for this doctor? Are people just being hypocrites? Could this have also been prevented by passengers being less selfish and giving up their seats for this man? Could it be possible that con artists can abuse situations like this to get huge sums of money – is it just possible that this may happen? Does this now set a precedent that people don’t have to leave an aircraft – even after being asked to by the crew and security? What happens when people refuse to get off the plane – even after upping the payout to $50,000 and a free hotel? Where does this end? Should rage be with the actual people that touched Dao or the flight crew? Where is the reason? These are questions that don’t seem to be of concern for the bandwagon mob. These are valid questions.

TL;DR… In general… for those lacking the ability to reason or have a civilized, respectful discussion… basically:

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bio
Author: Ben Alonzo is a scientist, tech expert, professor, and director of ULTRATechLife.com. He’s currently CEO of the tech firm Storm Sector. Ben holds a M.S. in Geoscience, M.S. in Nutrition and Health Sciences, and a B.S. in Geoscience. He’s a highly-rated professor that teaches several courses at multiple colleges, including earth science, environmental science, oceanography, meteorology, and public health. His diverse background also spans network and computer systems, healthcare, telecommunications, weather forecasting, consumer electronics, computer programming, and web development. Ben holds numerous professional certifications, ranging from information technology to healthcare and emergency medical technician. He’s been writing about science and technology for over 10 years.
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  • Bill (Class of 81)

    Your a fool if you think dragging someone off is normal. I fly frequently and heard what he said. I have never seen a first class passenger bumped for crew.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      No one said dragging a person off is normal. Certainly not the author.
      Removing people from a flight against their preference happens all the time. And it’s nice to see that they do this across class of ticket sales actually. First Class or Coach. Family member or doctor. At least it’s a fair selection method.

  • Sandy

    Whoever wrote this excuse for an article- stop victim shaming. Dao’s past has nothing to do with the present. What, because he had some mental problems (“poor decision-making skills”) it’s okay to diminish his human presence to being tossed around like a toy and bloodied up?? I’m sure he would NOT have a bloody face if there WEREN’T airline attendants or security exacerbating the situation….

    It is FINE for UA to remove someone from a plane as it is noted in the ticket agreement…but the way in which it was done was ghastly. Dragging someone off a plane?? Since when are humans (albeit non cooperative) not treated as humans? Especially if someone has mental issues they should be treated with MORE care, not less. Majority of the time when a cop arrests someone for good reason, they don’t give a bloody face for no reason.

    • Matthew Wrobel

      He is not a victim. He chose his own reality. He broke two federal laws. He agreed to the airline ticket by laws that say an airline can involuntarily deny boarding to passengers under certain provisions; one being a must ride status for crew members traveling to protect a flight. It’s unfortunate that the airport police hurt this man, but he is in wrong here NOT United Airlines.

      • Adam Cloud

        The problem with that you’re pointing out is that they already allowed him on the plane, and attempted to “force” him to volunteer.

        Tell me, do you believe the practice of over-selling tickets to people and booting them off of airplanes is okay?

        You’re using ridiculous legal terms to absolve the airline of an ethical and moral code, which is to provide a service that the man paid for.

        • Matthew Wrobel

          Adam, you may think the terms and conditions are ridiculous, but they are legally binding and very common at every airlines. Every single passenger agrees to this when they purchase a ticket. There were no ethics or morals that were compromised on that flight. He disobeyed a crew members instruction to give up his seat. Federally illegal. After existing the aircraft the first time, he illegally re-entered. Federally illegal. TSA, FAA, and homeland security take real issue with people just walking on onboard without permission. This was not a charity flight, this was a business transaction, with many terms and conditions. He is very fortunate he is not in jail.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Adam, no one was asking him to volunteer at that point. He was ordered off. Question practices all you want, the airfare contract reads that you can be removed at any time and without reason. He, and anyone who flies, agrees to that up front. Air travel is a service – not an entitlement. You go on their terms or find another means.

          • James

            Read my explanation to Craig Rowland above….

      • James

        There were no federal laws broken. He was being forced to volunteer to be off loaded. For him to have violated a federal law, he would have to have committed a crime in the air, or have been a safety risk to passengers and/or crew. If he had committed a crime (which he did not) while the aircraft is still at the gate, or on the ground at O’Hare, violation of the City of Chicago Ordinances and/or State of Illinois law would be how he would be arrested. The federal laws are in place for while the plane is in air space in which jurisdiction cannot be determined,

    • Linda Lee

      Sandy, he REFUSED to comply with airline/federal policy and procedure. Law enforcement was summoned as a result. Because of his stark lack of cooperation, he became injured in the process. The police did not deliberately bloody him up. Your post reflects a chronic cultural preoccupation with and promotion of victimization. Sometimes mentally ill people act aggressively.

      The whole matter got out of hand. Opportunistic passengers handily used their cell phones to capture a moment, where it then went viral. People are out for blood, treating Mr. Dao as a kind of Rosa Parks of the unfriendly skies.

      I almost wish air travel hadn’t gotten cheaper over the years. I believe there is a direct correlation between cheap tickets and the caliber of people who fly these days (i.e., Mr. Dao’s fellow passengers).

      • Larry Perkins

        Are you suggesting that a certain class of Americans should take vacations by car increasing their chances of dying on vacation?

        • Linda Lee

          Well, you have to admit there’s a sizable percentage of people who don’t like the airlines. So if you feel driving a car is statistically more dangerous (which it is), then fly. But the rules are different. You are no longer on your own turf. Play by the rules.

      • James

        Law enforcement WAS summoned, but it was NOT law enforcement who dragged him from the plane. It was Chicago Department of Aviation Security officers (don’t be fooled by “police” written on one of the officers back, they are not police – that’s a whole conversation/debate by itself). The CDOA officers arrived and did not understand the difference between a customer service issue and the law. No law had been violated. This doctor (no matter his history) had entered into a contract by paying for a ticket, the payment of which was accepted by United. He was even issued a boarding pass for the seat. The Chicago Police, who were assigned, showed up and realized immediately the over reaction of the CDOA officers. The CDOA officers have no authority to even board an aircraft and have no legal authority to make an arrest even if there had been a crime. They reacted to United’s desire to off load him and played “bouncer” simply because they thought they could. If they assumed he had committed a crime and was being arrested, he would have immediately been hand cuffed for the safety of others, safety of the officers and his own safety, in addition to it being protocol to place an arrested subject in hand cuffs. No trained police officer anywhere in the country would have dragged a passenger by his arms. In the gate area, while waiting for medical help to arrive to tend to his injuries, he stood and ran back onto the plane (as seen with a bloody face in other videos). At that point, it could be argued that he could have been arrested, but in this day and age, that would have simply exacerbated an already contentious situation. I commend the Chicago Police for concentrating on the doctor’s medical needs instead of focusing on the airline’s poor ticketing issues and the fiasco caused by the CDOA’s untrained officers. Of course, responding CPD would not arrest the CDOA officers, but I would not be surprised if they were not charged for harming the doctor at a later date.

    • Sandy Stengel

      His past does have something to do with the present. His behavior in general. No one should be treated this way but I bet there is more to the story than you and I know or can judge.

      • Annette Avila Nuñez

        The past can influence the present (like, he went crazy years ago or something) but in the moment it was about the way he chose to act. Not about anything else.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      The “ghastly” part was created by Dao himself. He was ordered off the plane by a competent authority. He could have been hog-tied (a perfectly legal and safe means of restraint used by law enforcement) but imagine the crap you’d be spewing then. The authorities gave the guy every chance to walk off with dignity. He made it otherwise.

      • Zoe

        He had already boarded. They were supposed to not let him on the plane if it was overbooked. They chose the WRONG TIME to boss him around.

  • Concerned Citizen

    These sorry excuses from airline representatives are inexcusable. If an airline can’t manage its passenger list any better than that, it should not be in business.

    • Sandy Stengel

      You are ignorant of all airline rules, regulations and operations so it is not for you to say these are “sorry excuses” .when the truth be told.

      • Lucenut

        The TRUTH is this is going to cost United north of $250 MILLION. Defending their terrible performance is “sorry”.

      • Concerned Citizen

        The truth be told, they have had 150 years to figure it out. Not having it done in that amount of time amounts to contempt for passengers or complete incompetence. Every industry has rules and competent members of those industries make it work. So your silly rules excuse is invalid.

        By the, it is obvious that United planted all you shills on public media.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          You’re seriously saying that there were multiple, regulated passenger airlines in business 150 years ago?
          FWIW, I wish United were paying me to comment as I do. It’s just a firmly held set of beliefs on the matter of agreements and accountability.

  • Adam Cloud

    Typical and ridiculous victim-blaming and character assassination by the author of this garbage. The problem does not lie with Dao, but you would have to know the root of the problem to understand that, which is the over-selling of seats on airplanes. That is the entire catalyst to situations like this. Of course, you’ll recite legal rhetoric all day long about how people are “supposed” to act, because that’s apparently the only thing you know how to do is push your theoretically-correct behavior on others, but in the end, had the company not oversold the flight in the first place, this never would have happened.

    Next you’ll try to sit and say “Every airline does this” as if that makes it right, and claim that “You agree to their conditions when you purchase the tickets”. And yet you will will not understand that the root of the issue lies with the company because they practice profiteering and unethical methods of business when they oversell flights.

    Just because something is legal does not make it ethical or moral, which people seem to have a hard time comprehending these days.

    • Williams Nils

      So true…

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Character assassination is not in order, and really didn’t need to be included – except that the author offers it up as an explanation of possibly why Dao behaved as he did.

      No one, however, has the right to fly. The only mode of transportation to which you are entitled is what your feet or assistive devices afford you. In air travel you accept the terms of service or don’t buy a ticket. It’s their business, they make the rules. If they do it so badly, they won’t make a profit. But that shouldn’t be your concern.

    • Booboo

      That’s the point here, though… if you have an issue with the regulations in place, then why is this United’s fault?

      These type of practices are common and legal among all kinds of major industries in this country. Everyone in the U.S. wants to make more money by doing less… it’s nothing new.

      Your problem is with goverment policies and an entire industry’s standards. First, the flight was not overbooked in the traditional sense, but the airline was taking seats to move crew members to be able to work a downline flight. (Also, they were not United, but Republic Airways, a contractor regional airline, but sure, acting as a representative of United, so we will go with it). There are CFRs in place requiring airlines to move crew members to avoid canceling other flights by necessary means, including bumping paid passengers (the “greater good” conundrum that can be argued either way). Also, union contracts restrict exactly HOW crewmembers can be transported.

      It may not be “right” by your moral standards, but it is right by the law… so then do something to fix it instead of complaining about the company! Or just quit flying commercial.

      Overselling tickets was not an issue in this case, but was brought to light by it. If you don’t like that either, then talk to your congressman. Then everyone can pay more for airline tickets but have these rights that you want.

    • Tom Petrik

      Airlines oversell flights. That’s how they are able to keep airfare so low. Choose which you want, expensive and cancelled when not full or cheap and we fly you whhenever we can?

  • Ben Chang
  • Aj Reddy

    what a bullshit article. You are insulting the intelligence of almost everyone including someone who has been flying for 30 years and I can run circles around this asshat who wrote this post. It is so worthless to even answer this author.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Good to hear you can run in circles. Keep running.

      • finsII

        “Keep Running” So your a bitch as well as being an ass kisser for the airline. Why don’t you tell us how you are associated with the airline industry.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          How low did you have to stoop to come up with trying to demean me? I’m not affiliated with the airline industry. I fly a lot. I’ve been in a few less-than-happy situations with them, and learned all about what few rights one possesses in air travel. It’s their real estate. I have no “right” to fly, so I play by their rules. As should everyone else.

          • Elle Elle

            Maybe she’s dating the author. Who knows? An embarrassment all around as a person.

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            Now there’s a mature comment Elle. When one has nothing intelligent to say, stupid should still be the last resort.

  • Ad Genesis

    Hey author have you seen the video where the old man was yanked from his chair by that big bad officer? Have you seen it? You seemed to have no compassion like those UA employees including the CEO.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Please. The “old man” had to be yanked from his chair. If he had gotten up and walked like he was asked to do….

    • Tom Petrik

      Have you seen all the videos? Including where he tells them he’s not giving up his seat? That they will have to drag him from the plane? he’s an adult, he can act like one.

  • Michael Prazak

    When I pay for something I expect to receive it. If I have paid for my flight, then it is my right to decide whether or not I’m gonna give it up. If I need to be at a certain place at a certain time, then I am smart enough to know how to arrange my schedule to get there. It’s not my problem when you as a business don’t have the common sense to have seats available for your so called valued employees. If not for the valued customers, then your employees would cease to exist. So it seems to me that the business owner would become a little smarter in the way that they handle getting their employees from point a to point b, and remember that without the paying customer, you have no business. The man paid for his seat, bottom line, he was causing no disruption until you told him that something he paid for was no longer his. Your so called compensation don’t mean shit when you have to be somewhere at a certain time. because believe it or not, your employees are not the only ones who have priorities. This was totally unnecessary, and it could have been handled a whole lot more professionally by not only the police department, but by United Airlines as well.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      You’re missing some salient facts. In air travel you have almost no rights – even though you paid for your ticket. It’s an agreement you make when you buy the ticket. Included in that contract is an understanding that they can refuse you for no reason at any time. A smart person reads and understands this when making plans. They allow for contingencies. The troubles this man faced were largely created by him – not the airlines – when he refused to honor the terms of a contract he made. He is in the wrong. He breached his contract.

      • finsII

        My problem is I can’t force myself to kiss the airlines ass to get a seat that I paid for. My last trips have been by rail. Much more comfort and a lot less money. Part of the enjoyment of the vacation is the trip. They even have seats that your ass can fit in.

      • Carrol Brooks

        Looks like that’s going to change really fast, ” Included in that contract is an understanding that they can refuse you for no reason at any time.” That would be a death sentence for any Business in a Capitalist Society, which is why the CEO started damage control in the first place!

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Nah. There is a reason the industry is allowed to operate that way. You don’t understand airline business operations. It has been this way for years and I doubt it will change now.

          • James

            It is already changing. Other airlines watched as UAL’s stocks dropped by $2B. Delta have already stated that they will approve the offer of up to $9,950 for passengers to volunteer…..even though the mandated industry cap on payment is $1,350. The cap will be changed in the near future.

      • James

        The small print is not there for airlines to bully passengers. There is a legal standard used and that would be reasonableness. It would be reasonable to tell a passenger who runs up to a gate for his/her flight after the jetway door and the flight is closed, that he/she is not being granted boarding. It would be reasonable for an airline to tell a passenger he/she is intoxicated and a risk to other passengers and off load him/her. It is NOT reasonable to off load a passenger who paid for a seat for which the airline accepted that payment, was issued a boarding pass, was actually seated and then asked to leave. If you are right about breeching his contract, you ned to campaign against the multi million dollar law suit he will win.

    • Larry Perkins

      Anybody that buys an airline ticket and expects it to go as planned is due for a rude awakening. About half the flights I have been on had problems. That is just the way it is. You can not reasonably expect to arrive on time. Longest delay was 2 days. There was a 10 hour delay where a sheriff was assigned to babysit the passengers. 35 passengers had to be bumped one time leaving empty seats so that the plane would be light enough to take off. A number of times it was equipment problems. Thankfully before takeoff and not afterwards.

  • Carla

    There is so much bad logic in this article. You don’t blame the victim; you blame the perpetrators. That’s how we as a society get justice. If your house is robbed, we hope the cops don’t say “the lock on his door was loose, or, he is a “troubled” man, or he shouldn’t have bought a house in this bad neighborhood in the first place”, etc. It’s especially disgusting how you throw in mental illness or being “troubled” as you call it, as a reason we should favor the airline. God help anyone in your family who might have a mental illness! As for overbooking being “normal” – wow, that’s normalizing outrageous customer service. We should be fighting this practice with every tool we have! What if hospitals overbooked? Or schools? Or restaurants? If I purchase something, I expect to receive that product, not some poor substitution. As should you. And finally, why should employees have more rights than passengers? Mightn’t the employees take a later flight, or a bus?! You go after the other passengers as hypocrits for not giving up their seats. Why should they? They PAID for their seat. The four employees should have given up their seats when they saw what was happening. Stop being a shill for corporations, and help us take back our rights as consumers.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      What makes the doctor a victim? Only his own bad behavior!
      I can’t believe that this late in the game you’re unaware that the airlines acted completely within its contract of carriage. Paying for a seat does NOT necessarily entitle you to make the flight.
      You seem to forget that air travel is not a right. It’s a service offered on the company’s terms; terms which you accept – all risks included – when you buy a ticket.

      • Carrol Brooks

        You need to get your head pulled out of your ass and realize where it actually began. Lawsuits are filed every day and won in court, causing the rules to change. I guess He who loses the most money truly loses in the end. How much has United lost in stocks so far? ;)

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          It occurs to me that people who begin their remarks with statements like yours are the reasons we have these kinds of incidents occur. I personally don’t care if the airlines suffers…their CEO was stupid, but make no mistake – there are a lot of people will continue to fly United.

        • Larry Perkins

          Do you think UA will increase fares because of this?

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            Yes, I do. It’s going to cost them big, and they pass those costs along to the consumer so they can stay in business.

      • finsII

        He paid for the flight. He was entitled to the seat. United was very unprofessional in the way they acted.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          READ! The contract made when one buys an airline ticket says that you are NEVER entitled to a seat…they are able to bump you for any time with no reason required.

          • turtle14

            I did read it and still don’t agree with you. Once boarded, Dao would have to be covered by United’s Rule 21 Refusal of Transport, which he did not violate (until United harassed an intimidated him).

      • Carla

        What kind of business is that?! Paying for a seat does not entitle you to a seat? Omg. Thank goodness other industries don’t follow this “policy”. Pay for your house, but you might not get it. Pay for a new car, but you might not get it. Pay for a college education but you might not get it. You’re such a corporate shill that you don’t even see the illogic in your statement. Good luck with that.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Right, it doesn’t make sense for a purchase…but airfare is NOT buying something finite like a house or car. You pay to take advantage of their service, with the understanding that you can be refused at any point.
          Corporate shill? I wish I worked for an airlines!

        • Tom Petrik

          No, actually read all that fine print you normally click “I accept” to. Buying a ticket DOES NOT guarantee you a seat. You are allowed to be removed by an airline for any reason, including getting a flight crew to another city so instead of four people disrupted, it’s 200 or more disrupted and complaining, plus every stinking flight down the line from them.

      • turtle14

        Paying for a seat AND being on the plane already DOES entitle you to take the flight as long as you don’t violate United’s Rule 21 for Refusal of Transport. Dao did not violate this rule unless you look at how he behaved AFTER he was told to get off the plane and dragged against his will. I can’t wait to see what United has to pay up for this.

  • Craig Rowland

    Very reasonable article and you can tell it came from a pro. Yes, they absolutely have this right. He was entitled to a payment for being volunteer, but the second he refused to leave the plane he was violating federal law.

    14 CFR 125.328

    “No person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crewmember in the performance of the crewmember’s duties aboard an aircraft being operated under this part”

    Refusing the commands of the flight crew has consistently been considered interfering with a crewmember’s duty.

    clear as day in new video – “you can drag me out, I’m not going” “i’d rather go to jail”

    https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=655_1492004707 (a new video of this idiot)

    “disruptive”

    dɪsˈrʌptɪv/Submit adjective
    causing or tending to cause disruption.
    “disruptive pupils” synonyms: troublemaking, troublesome, unruly, rowdy, disorderly, undisciplined, attention-seeking, riotous, wild, turbulent;

    “belligerent”
    bəˈlɪdʒ(ə)r(ə)nt/Submit adjective 1. hostile and aggressive. “the mood at the meeting was belligerent” synonyms: hostile, aggressive, threatening, antagonistic, pugnacious, bellicose, truculent, confrontational, argumentative, quarrelsome, disputatious, contentious, militant, combative; More:

    Again, this guy is ultimately responsible for his own actions in escalating this. All of you angry morons attacking the author just don’t want to admit you’re wrong about this stuff.

    • James

      Very well written. Great explanation. However, this presupposes the “disruptive” and/or “belligerent” passenger is being removed by a legitimate and recognized law enforcement agency. In this case, the Chicago Department of Aviation “Police” do not have powers of arrest, nor are they permitted to board an aircraft. Their purpose is access control through perimeter gate entrances. They are also not armed. A legitimate law enforcement agency’s officers would be armed. If a Chicago Department of Aviation police officer encounters a criminal incident and an offender is in need of detention or arrest, they call for the Chicago Police, as they are the primary law enforcement agency at O’Hare. In this case, the incident was handled by DOA officers who should have waited for Chicago Police officers, that were dispatched, to arrive. They did not. Had a Chicago Police officer arrived before DOA, the Chicago Police officer would have ascertained that the issue is an airline customer service issue and would NOT have taken action to forcibly remove a fare paying passenger already in his assigned seat. In addition, Chicago Police officers are not trained to drag someone by the arms to remove a person from any location (perhaps only to save someone from a burning house or vehicle). If an arrest is required by law, the Chicago Police Use of Force Model is complied with. The person under arrest would initially be hand cuffed and then walked off the aircraft. Only if the person in cuffs continued to pose a threat to him/herself, other passengers or the officers involved, would the officers increase the use of force to gain compliance. They “use of force” includes physical manipulation of arms or wrists to gain compliance, the use of pepper spray (but not in a confined area such as an aircraft), or use of a taser. Even in hand cuffs, a person can inflict injuries upon the arresting officer/s and can still be considered in need of the use of force. Cleary, in this incident, no hand cuffs were used. This begs the question as to wether the subject was actually in custody, or wether the officers were simply acting on the request of removal and not effecting an arrest (which, as i previously stated, is legally not applicable with DOA police). If this is the case, the “hands on” aspect of the DOA officer’s actions were illegal and a violation of the person’s civil rights.

    • Daniel Kane

      If the man performed an illegal act, he can and should be arrested. The very fact that now 4 days post incident there is not a hint of an arrest warrant or criminal complaint makes your point specious at best. It can be presumed in the absence of an arrest or complaint that no crime was committed.

      • whjke33

        It goes both ways. If it was a criminal act to remove Dao, his lawyer should be seeking assult charges. I think everyone knows what’s going on here: removal of Dao was not illegal (hence no filing of criminal charges on the part of Dao), he will probably win with breach of contract or federal regulations (hence why the lawyer is suing for damages), and United doesn’t want to PR disaster of press charges and jail the guy well after they had a chance to and when the world is against them. Though people have been jailed before for refusing to leave a plane:

        https://patch.com/new-york/huntington/huntington-woman-who-was-arrested-flight-suing-airline-0

    • william smith

      So what if a crewmember demands a blowjob, do you get dragged out and beat up if you refuse?

      • whjke33

        So what if the passenger was making bomb threats and waving knives, he can’t be dragged out and ‘beat up’ if he refuses?

  • Ralf Lenkler

    Not once is it mentioned that all passengers were allowed to board the plane although the airline new all the time they were overbooked. Once you are seated you should not have to leave. The overbooking situation MUST be handled at the gate before boarding and not when all passengers have been seated, looking forward to get away. It’s indeed UNITED’s fault all the way and I hope a hefty law suit against UNITED will be the result. Don’t be so fucking greedy airliners. You can afford a few empty seats every now and then. Skip overbooking all the way and don’t sell products that are not on the shelf. Period.

    “Callan said he had reviewed United’s so-called contract of carriage, the fine print that passengers agree to when they buy tickets. He said that while the contract allows United to deny passengers boarding, it says nothing about removing a passenger from a plane unless the passenger is disruptive.”

    Meaning being disruptive before rude police officers create a tense situation resulting in the victim being disruptive of course.

    The history of any individual should not be brought up for an issue not related to the current situation. I don’t care about this persons mental status. I care about how he was treated.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      You don’t know that the airline knew they were overbooked. They had a full flight. The employees that needed to travel may have been a late addition, or at least new information to the gate agent.

      • turtle14

        I have heard the flight was full, but not overbooked. Regardless, the customer had already boarded. The ability to deny boarding had already passed. Now his eviction was covered by United’s Rule 21 Refusal of Transport. Dao did not warrant removal under Rule 21 until after he was harrassed and intimidated. I’m pretty sure the courts will find the same way.

    • Mike Willens

      This was not a situation where the flight was overbooked. Apparently the flight crew arrived at the gate after the passengers had already boarded. The 4 person crew needed to get to Kentucky otherwise flights downstream would have been delayed or cancelled. It was unfortunate that passengers were already on the plane, but it happens all the time. I personally had this happen to me and I immediately got off the plane —
      even when I felt like I had a good reason to stay on. While I agree everyone could have acted differently, from the airline folks to security to the the belligerent passenger to the other passengers who sat and watched — the fact of the matter is that the airline had the legal right to remove the passenger from the plane. It would never even dawn on me to refuse to get off a plane that I was asked to leave by airline authorities. If the passenger had simply done as he was told (ever here of 9/11?) we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

      • Lucenut

        You sound like a pussy. 9/11 had nothing to do with bully cops and terrible customer service.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          The cops were not bullies. The passenger was a jackass.

  • Gernot Trolf

    The gate agent should have kept open seats and or not allowed Dao to board. period.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      You don’t know that it was a gate agent error, The plan to move the 4 employees could have been very last minute, and he/she might not have known. Situations like that fall upon a gate agent all the time. Like, when a plane is delayed last-minute in order to connect passengers.

      Though if the gate agent had a crystal ball, I’d bet they would have been happy to keep Dao off the plane from the outset.

  • finsII

    How about United acts like a professional organization and pay people enough to give up there seat. Or how about being professional enough to schedule properly. How about driving the crew to the other airport or use another airline to move them. The airlines have developed the same attitude the railroads developed in the early 1900’s…
    The Public be Damned. And this attitude killed the passenger rail service in the USA

    • Joe Elliott

      Unfortunately, another example of government overreach. The government has limited what the airlines can offer.

      • turtle14

        Have they? I honestly don’t know, but I’ve just read a story of one family of 3 receiving $11K for getting bumped twice and then canceling their flight. Another friend of mine got a bunch of $$ AND 25K miles. What kind of trouble would United get in if they paid more than $1350?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      How about you learn all the intricacies of operating an airline before you make a judgement. I don’t know them all, but just from looking at the surface there’s a lot of work going on. How do you know that the bump wasn’t caused because a plane went down in another city that disrupted the plans for the employees to get to their next flight? If a vehicle transport was the most efficient, wouldn’t the airline have chosen to take money from customers instead? What if the other airlines didn’t have space for them either? That’s just for starters – there’s a lot you don’t know here. It’s not about attitude, it’s about making your business work.

      Passenger rail service died because it’s s-l-o-w. Two days to get somewhere you can fly in two hours. With the cost of unions, they are required to be subsidized by the government to keep running. And I’m sure the people who can’t fly are glad they do.

      • turtle14

        These are all red herrings. It’s irrelevant WHY the customer was bumped. What’s relevant is HOW he was bumped – with no sense of human decency. We are not talking about efficiency but about morality and humanity.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          That guy was afforded EVERY OPPORTUNITY to get off that plane under his own volition. The only morality involved with HOW he was removed was dictated by the passenger himself. The passenger told the officials they would have to do it that way. He forced the officers to remove him as they did.

          Personally, having seen officers forced to restrain and remove unruly people, I have found an old-fashioned rope restraint with carrying to be human and safe. It’s not pretty (looks like hog-tying) but it’s efficient and no one gets hurt. I would have gone that route myself, but the passenger fought back – that’s where the injury came in.

    • Larry Perkins

      Delta had to cancel 150 flights that week for lack of crews.

    • Tom Petrik

      What’s enough? They offered $1000 and a hotel stay. NO ONE accepted it. So they chose randomly. When chosen like that, you are not guaranteed a seat, you must leave the plane, not argue about it, not tell the air crew and the Chicago department of aviation police that they’ll have to drag you off. And then complain when they do drag you off.

      • turtle14

        Apparently, enough is more than $1K and a hotel stay. They are “allowed” by the FAA to go as high as $1350, but I don’t think there’s anything to prevent them from going higher.

        From a pure profit perspective, they could go as high as the money they’d lose if the flight to which their employees were trying to get was also canceled. Surely it’s higher than $1350 x 4.

      • finsII

        They are taking him off to move a crew to make more money. They should offer more money or learn to schedule. Under your criteria it’s here is what we will pay lump it or leave it. If no one would take it obviously it’s not enough money

        • Alli Holl

          To make more money? More like to transport another airplane full of people (potentially consisting of more doctors!!) to their destination, as well. He inconvenienced and delayed hundreds of people.

  • Lucenut

    This blogger is an absolute ASS. The bottom line here is that United is going to lose north of $250 MILLION for doing this. Not a very good business practice. And at least one of the airport rent-a-cops has no more career.

    • Joe Elliott

      Three

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Possibly that. But I bet they don’t go out of business and people don’t stop flying with them.

      • turtle14

        Only because they don’t always have a choice.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          You ALWAYS have a choice. You don’t HAVE to fly anywhere with any airline. You can drive, take a train, take a bus. Flying is a convenience.

    • Larry Perkins

      Nothing against your post I just needed a place to post this. I find this situation unusual. I have been on many flights where passengers were bumped. Once it was 35 passengers. In all cases there were enough volunteers. Even the time 35 passengers were needed to leave the plane. Most of the time I was flying with college groups and the students would talk among themselves to decide how high they would try to push the airline before accepting the offer.

  • Joe Elliott

    Bullshit. The Airline F’d it up. A person’s past has no bearing on the present. This was a civil matter and the police should have said as such and stayed out of it. They are guilty of Assault and Battert. No off, ands or buts about it.

    You are the same people who rallied against Judge Gorsuch because he ruled against the trucker. Hypocrites much?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      I’m curious how you read it as assault and battery when the person who caused ALL physical harm is the person you see as a victim. It was NOT a civil matter. Educate yourself before you spout something like that. It’s a FEDERAL situation, which is why the airline staff didn’t handle it. They pulled him off the plane, but he was injured by his own thrashing and resistance. He banged his head – no one slammed him into a wall. FWIW, I didn’t have any problem with Gorsuch.

      • Curt A

        You would make a great Nazi, Annette

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Flattery will get you everywhere – and no where at the same time.
          I just believe in following the rules – I don’t make them.

          • turtle14

            Hence, the Nazi comment. Keep the blinders on.

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            No blinders. In fact, far less than there appear to be on others here. I read the contracts I sign – even if they are online and electronic – so I know what I’m getting into. I have a choice in that I don’t have to fly. It’s not a right, it’s a convenience offered with terms. If people want to set about changing the way things are, I’m all for it. But until then, don’t bitch about it either.

          • Eric Hamilton

            “Don’t have to fly,” huh? How about people who are only able to travel via air? Hawaiian and Alaskan residents, for example? Or do you consider boats to be an acceptable substitute? It’s an incredible claim that you’d read ALL of the contracts you sign–even if they are online and electronic. Do you use Windows? How about Microsoft Office? What about an Apple device? Or apps?
            You say folks can change things but can’t complain. I believe freedom of speech is a right. Not unlike the right to get what you’ve paid for–and the right to equal treatment under the law.

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            People don’t have to live in Hawaii or Alaska. It’s a choice.
            Those people were forced to take boats for years, by the way. Why do you think they were less populated for all those years?
            I do read all the contracts I sign – much to the chagrin over several mortgage companies over the years who would prefer I just sign where they ask. Saved myself a lot of money that way, incidentally.
            Folks can complain, and they can change things, but they don’t have a right to air travel. It’s a service – not an entitlement. In the case of air travel you don’t buy a seat, you pay for the privilege of sitting in one – at the airlines pleasure.

      • Jennifer Clayton

        How much do they pay you for this? This article and your comments have done the impossible…made me hate United even more…thanks!

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Oh Jennifer! You’ve given me power here! No one paid me, and no one could pay me enough. But you come close. I had influence!

  • Booboo

    FYI, the phrase is, “I couldn’t care less.” If you COULD care less, then you do care…

    • laurie lisk recsetar

      Also, “…would of never happened should” be “…would HAVE.”

  • Cuzco Wright

    If it is policy to take a fully paid passenger out of the seat he has paid for and drag him off the plane bleeding in front of all the other passengers THE POLICY IS CLEARLY WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Don’t be silly. It’s not policy at all. It’s a contractual agreement the passenger made with the airline when he bought his airfare. His removal was commensurate with that agreement. The methodology of dragging him off wasn’t necessarily something the airline wanted to have occur – but since he chose to physically resist, he didn’t leave them much choice. He HAD to go.

      • Matt Hay
        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Let’s be clear about your source. It’s one person’s analysis – nothing more. He has done a tidy job of spinning things to his point of view but he fails on several points. My biggest observation is that he doesn’t include precedents/case law citations that further the rule and interpretation of law. Possibly because they don’t support his opinion? I can’t say.

          That said, a court could find commensurate with the author’s opinion. Stranger things have happened. But in the end, irrespective of cause, the man became a nuisance and his removal on that ground alone is covered by the contract.

          • Concerned Citizen

            Why do you think your opinion matters?

          • JimmyBobb

            Same reason yours doesn’t.

      • Concerned Citizen

        Wrong

  • Kim Adams

    Had this man acted like this in mid-flight, everyone would have applauded the crew for taking action. Once in an airport, behavior like this will get you in trouble. Had this been a five year old throwing a temper tantrum in a restaurant, disturbing everyone’s meal, you would have been outraged had the parents not picked them up and taken them outside. This is a 69 year old man child having a temper tantrum because he didn’t get his own way. Your continued dissing of UA is positive reinforcement of negative behavior. Be an adult, do what you are asked. Time to put the big boy pants on…his behavior was totally for attention.

    • turtle14

      I hope your chickens come home to roost one day.

      • Kim Adams

        My chicken is 16 years old and knows better than to behave like that…each person is responsible for their own actions. A 69 year old man throwing a temper tantrum is no better than a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. The difference being, the toddler is just learning about the word no and we don’t always get our way..,the 69 year old man should already have learned this lesson. Your attitude tells me you blame everyone but the correct person for the incorrect behavior, you are an enabler of bad behavior, a reason why so many in today’s society believe they are entitled to everything just because they are here. Society has rules, airlines have rules, to include involuntary denied boarding…the federal government has guidelines in place for required compensation in such situations…all of which UA followed CFR › Title 14 › Chapter II › Subchapter A › Part 250 › Section 250.5
        14 CFR 250.5 – Amount of denied boarding compensation for passengers denied boarding involuntarily.
        And yes, they can ask you to deplane even if you are buckled in your seat.
        Keep in mind not ONE UA employee touched Mr Dao…the police were called in – per standard operating procedures. The Chicago PD did their job and removed him from the airplane. He broke federal laws (put in place after 09/11/2001) which required all passengers to follow all orders and instructions given by flight crew and employees of the airlines.

  • Howard Thomas Root

    Oh, no matter how hard you try and shame the Public, you got it wrong, but hey, you MIGHT even be working for the UA Public Affairs, and they contacted you to write this tripe? Thinly veiled pulp story, the way I see it! UA was wrong, and I surely Hope something comes out of this in a Positive way, for the Flying Public, eventually? Come at me Shamers, you know you want to!

  • Seshadri Srinivas

    This looks like a highly paid PR work of the United Airlines. First the airlines must stop overbooking. It is a legalized cheating. If they have 200 seats, they must sell to 200 persons. Selling and taking money for a product or services they don’t have means , a criminal deception. He paid the fare, he was seated, then somehow airlines have right to disrupt his travel plan is to be condemned. The passenger is right to resist. You want to demonize his assertive act? If people avoid united en mass, it will send a message to all buisinesses that customers need to be respected with dignity.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      I think you need to understand that this is part of the business model for airlines. They all do it, and it’s written into the contract that comes with an airfare purchase. I’m surprised by how many people are totally ignorant on the matter and don’t know that they are entitled to little more than a refund with a touch of compensation. The passenger had no entitlements to his seat.
      I don’t demonize the act of taking issue with being bumped. That’s understandable. But physical resistance was altogether uncalled for in this matter. He needed to get off the plane and pursue the matter with the airline – like 3 other adults on that plane managed to do. IMHO, the man didn’t earn any dignity points with his toddler-like tantrum.

      • Seshadri Srinivas

        A contract is taking the best interest of both the parties. Here the bushiness are bullying the customers and imposing unfair one sided terms with fine prints. If that gentleman has not resisted , this issue would not have come to the open discussion. If he had followed your method, one only a rich can afford a lawyer and dispute in this costly time consuming court system, second he may not get any justice. Now everyone is putting into themselves into the victims shoes and see the fairness in this game. The greedy corporate airlines and other businesses ill treating the customers must rethink their stupid business model. We need hundreds of Ralph Nader at this time to make these unethical immoral businesses to be held accountable.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Your thinking is very idealistic. True, a contract SHOULD be in the best interest of all parties. This one, however, is designed to serve the needs of a business in order to allow it to function and profit. It DOES include provisions for passengers – just not the ones everyone seems to think it should contain.

          I don’t think it’s bullying by the airlines at all. This is a SERVICE that they offer, not a right or entitlement. You accept their terms or don’t fly with them. It’s that simple. Anything beyond that may be altruistic, but it’s still idealistic and not pragmatic.

          The provisions of air carriage come up regularly. We see it when obese people are offended that they have to pay for two seats (when they take up that kind of space). We have seen it when an obnoxious, drunk, or intoxicated passenger gets kicked off a flight. We have seen it come up with regard to what passengers wear during a flight. Those people are getting bumped and the news is there always. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t imagine why. So this one incident really only stands out because the passenger threw a tantrum, told the airlines that he would sue if they removed him, and that they would have to drag him off the plane. I don’t think he should see any justice – except perhaps in a cell for misdemeanor crimes. He was in the wrong 100%. He’s going to sue, yes, because now he can make wild claims and the airlines is already planning to pay him hush money.

          I don’t find the airlines unduly greedy. You have no idea how complex the arrangement of air travel is, and what kinds of things prompt actions that require passengers to get bumped. A business has a right to make a profit and operate as it sees fit, within regulation, to achieve that profit. They aren’t a public service operated by the government. (And we don’t want that – look at the government run VA.)

          • Concerned Citizen

            Your thinking is not based on facts.

          • JimmyBobb

            Your idiocy is not based on reason.

          • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

            “True, a contract SHOULD be in the best interest of all parties.”

            The “fine print” as well as the “contract” to which you keep referring say nothing about what you keep maintaining.

          • Eric Hamilton

            The VA may be government-run, and it may have its problems, but I’d take the VA and its government-run problems any day over corporate greed running roughshod over anyone. Matter of fact, as a veteran, I DO choose the VA over corporate healthcare regularly. I have both options, and I go to the VA. SO save your crappy comparisons. You “don’t find the airlines unduly greedy.” I’d agree: they are duly greedy.

    • turtle14

      Hard to avoid United en masse, because sometimes they are the only carrier offering a flight to where you need to go. But that is part of the problem – lack of choice and partial monopoly result in the customer taking a beating (literally)!

      • Concerned Citizen

        Yes, and the ICC helps maintain that monopoly.

  • Howard Thomas Root

    Oh, no matter how hard you try and shame the Public, you got it wrong, but hey, you MIGHT even be working for the UA, PR, and they contacted you to write this tripe? Thinly veiled pulp story, the way I see it! UA was wrong, and I surely Hope something comes out of this in a Positive way, for the Flying Public, eventually? Come at me Shamers, you know you want to!

  • MR BOBONANZA

    plain and simple, united airlines sucks, they suck, and they suck…

    • MR BOBONANZA

      as does benny a, what a real sucker.

    • Alli Holl

      I believe you meant the entire airline industry. They all do this.

  • Larry Perkins

    I wonder if charges will be brought and the passenger will be prosecuted?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      I hope so. Probably not, but I’d love to see that hit the passenger, since the only other person harming him is himself.

  • william smith

    Bullshit…If United Airlines didn’t wait until the last minute to fly their employees around then this would of never happened. A schedule can be made out weeks or even months in advance but United wants to burn the candle at both ends to save money on scheduling and also knowing full well they can bump people off flights any time they want if need be. Bumping passengers off of flights should be illegal. Travelling is stressful enough, arranging for people to pick you up, watch your house, watch your pets or whatever else that has to be pre-arranged and then because some employees need to get somewhere you have all your plans turned upside down after you have done nothing wrong. Fuck you United, you are getting everything you deserve.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Did you stop to think that perhaps there was a problem somewhere else that precipitated this need? Like, maybe a plane went out of service somewhere else in the system – the plane that was intended to ferry the crew. Or perhaps there was an unanticipated delay, or other need that is not transparent to us and really none of our business. Before we go off half-cocked and assume UA was negligent, we should explore the facts.

      • D.K.

        Why does that matter? The issue was not a random one. Its one that happens all the time because they purposefully oversell in order to make more money because they know statistically people don’t show up for flights and most of the time they can accommodate. Lol its weird that you present it in this way like they’re the victim here.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          No, the result happens all the time – not necessarily the same cause. This one had a cause that was not related to over-booking.
          Over the weekend I flew on two completely booked flights. They were likely oversold, but the airlines calculated perfectly. Not one extra seat and no one got bumped.
          I don’t suggest the airline is a victim for having to remove a passenger, but given the guy was an asshat and threatening suit early on, I’d suggest that they are being victimized/bullied.

          • Concerned Citizen

            Yea, you gotta be paid. No sane person buys any of your statements,

          • JimmyBobb

            blah blah blah Paid blah blah. You’re just wrong.

          • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

            You have no idea what you are talking about. I am in the industry and find it quite likely she is paid. PR damage control happens a lot more than you think.

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            Would that I were in the industry. I could fly more frequently!

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          It may happen all the time because of flights being over-sold. This was not the case. Re-read your fact, the flight was full, not over-booked.
          I actually do think the airline is being taken advantage of here. Deep pockets are all some people can think about – including Mr. Dao when he threatened to sue before ever leaving the plane.

      • Concerned Citizen

        There is no assumption that UA was negligent. If the airline truly needed those employees to fly, they would not have let the passengers board. If they can’t schedule flights any better than that, they have no need of being in the business.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          You’re failing to consider that the airlines may not have had any options. It may not have been a scheduling error. Maybe the flight they were supposed to take got cancelled due to mechanical failures or a storm? 200 or so people in the next town wanted to take a flight. 200 vs. 4, you know who loses in that argument.

      • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

        “there was a problem somewhere else that precipitated this need? ”

        You really are new to the airline industry, aren’t you?

  • disqus_ubzDC4XSN5

    Um, he did let them know he was a doctor and needed to get to his patients. They didn’t give a crap.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      True, he made that statement. It didn’t appear to matter to any of the other passengers. To give him priority over the needs of others would have been grossly unfair.

      • Concerned Citizen

        Grossly unfair is kicking him off the plane.

        • Blake

          He paid the cheapest ticket on the flight and was selected by the computer to leave. He threw a huge fit. Doctors can be asked to leave flights too. There’s no rule that says they have priority. I guess nobody on that plane cared either, did they?

      • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

        When you start an auction, you carry it out to the end (until one gets the desired number of seats) or it becomes cheaper to charter an aircraft, which you could then reasonably terminate the auction.

  • Robert Atallo

    This is some impressive victim-blaming. A 69 year old Doctor trying to get home winds up beaten, bloody, and in the hospital, and it’s his own fault? No. No, no, no.

    • Obadiah_Plainman

      He spit at a flight attendant, tried to strike the LEO/security folks and ran back onto the plane, which created an actionable security breach alone. That’s assault, two felonies right there. Not victim blaming, FACTS.

      • Concerned Citizen

        Another paid commenter

        • JimmyBobb

          Sorry, calling people paid shills when you know you’re wrong is weak.

          • Blake

            I noticed these tactics. Retards that can’t argue will:

            1. Call you names because they can’t offer any kind of legit argument
            2. Accuse you of being a paid shill
            3. Attack you for commenting an opinion they don’t agree with
            4. Call you a homophobe or nazi

            Do I have it right?

        • Obadiah_Plainman

          Not really. I’ve been here for years, but nice try.

          • DerekW007

            And how many years at TWA before that?

      • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

        I might suggest you get the facts before commenting. “Actionable security breach”. Sorry sport. No such thing. To think the cops did not strike the Dr. and the Dr., in the struggle to maintain that which he paid for, did not accidentally strike the “cops” wearing jeans, is pure silliness. The Dr. spit “at” a flight attendant? How many were on board and where were they? Usually they stand back when the cops are called for legitimate reasons.

        More important questions would involve why the auction to buy the seats back stopped at such a ridiculously low number? Why did not the “airline” pay for a charter ($800) for those “employees” needing to get to the destination? I bet an offer of $1500 would have freed up a number of seats, eliminating the millions in losses United inflicted upon themselves.

        Most important. Why are you lying about what happened?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      A 69 year-old who behaved like a 2 year-old.
      His doctor status is not clear.
      He ended up hurt and bloody because he thrashed and resisted removal. Not like anyone took a rubber bung to his head. One of the videos shows him hitting his own head due to his movements during his removal.

      • Matt Hay

        He is currently a board certified pulmonologist, what about that status is unclear? He has admitting privileges at U of L.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Matt, I’m hearing all manner of reports as to his status. Everything from being certified to trying to get his license back. Since I can’t verify the sources, I say it’s unclear.

          • txjames

            I’d say it is irrelevant.

          • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

            Irrelevant at best. Slander and libel come to mind as Annette prattles on.

          • Blake

            Look up the definition of slander because it doesn’t apply here. Neither does libel. Another retard. Have you calmed down yet? Are you still crying and stomping your feet?

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            That’s true too. It really has no bearing on whether or not he behaved incorrectly. Which I contend that he did.

      • D.K.

        Lol so the multiple other passengers’ voices heard crying out at the injustice of the situation and so incredibly disturbed by the scene that they literally SCREAM–that is all made up and in reality you have the full story that he “acted like a 2 year old” and deserved it. Yeah ok.

    • Alli Holl

      He was beaten? Wow you must have seen something the rest of us didn’t!

  • Penny Keeler

    I say the only stupid person here is the one who wrote this article

    • Daniel Lorence

      True that!

    • Vincent Cao

      so true :)

  • TBen

    Over booking a flight is not the fault of any passenger. Just because you are a “frequent” flyer does not make you an expert on this situation and you gleen your information from the same biased interweb as everyone else plus you make accusations of this passenger’s past with no supporting evidence. This was truly a waste of time to read especially coming from someone who seems to be a paid spokesman for united with a list of self created mail order credentials like yourself.

    • Blake

      “make accusations of this passenger’s past with no supporting evidence.” Hey retard, try reading the above article. Plenty of cited evidence. Wake up.

    • Alli Holl

      It wasn’t overbooked

  • Tom Petrik

    Before you lynch a business? Before you lynch anyone on the internet you should get all the facts. I’m tired of one-sided stories people pile on, and then the press picking them up. None of them are issuing any statements when they’re found to be wrong later.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      If the press is lynching Dao that’s on them. Not the author.

  • Greg Harris

    Wow, what a terrible article. Your point about obeying lawful authority is clearly spot on, but you go way overboard with all the rest. We are all bound to obey the lawful directives of the police. If the police are acting outside their authority then there are ways to deal with it thereafter. The balance of your article is full of assumptions and speculations. The Syracuse article states that the DR. was charged and arrested, but you indicate he was convicted. I don’t know if your comment is accurate or not, however, if it isn’t that surely is libel and grounds for a lawsuit against you and your company. People in the heat of an instant certainly don’t always obey the police and while they’re certainly wrong, it doesn’t mean they’re mentally unstable etc. Also, I think what is upsetting to many people is the fact that the incident could have been prevented had United done a few things differently. 1. Continue to offer more perqs and money until people were willing to give up their seats. Other airlines do this all the time and often far exceed their ‘contractual/rules of carriage’ obligations, just to avoid this very type of incident. At some price people will give up their seats. I’ve always seen the auction process work successfully. 2. Why let people board onto an oversold flight and get in their seats, unpack their baggage and perhaps call or email friends, clients, patients etc. that they’re on their way to their scheduled destination. To avoid this situation, wouldn’t it make more sense to do this at the gate, before letting everyone board? And the nonsense about flights having to leave on time has nothing to do with customer service, but is all related to airlines having to pay fines for overstaying their allotted time at the airport. The airline caused the problem, so it should bear the economic consequences. 4. Finally, more of a question than anything else, but when United conducted its ‘random’ lottery to decide who would get thrown off, were all seat-holders in the lottery or just the lowest class of fare and non frequent flyer members?

  • Verity Noble

    I’ve never responded to a post before and agree that he abound have complied but this is so clearly paid for damage control, it’s ridiculous! I fly frequently and have never been removed or seen anyone removed for this reason so I highly doubt it’s happened to you multiple times. Accusing someone of having a history of bad behavior without evidence is also ridiculous. I haven’t actually even watched the video yet so am not on anyone’s side but such blatant paid damage control is pathetic.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Verity, does it not make sense to be as fully informed as possible before commenting?
      I can only speak for myself, but no one is paying me for damage control.
      I fly often, have seen people bumped, seen people volunteer, been delayed, and even been mistreated once. If you haven’t had anything happen, good for you. Some people have all the luck.

      • Concerned Citizen

        Now you have totally lost all credibility.

        • Blake

          Annette, these retards commenting here aren’t interested in being informed. They just attack the author. I think this was great because it had sources was well thought and even had the video. The only people being unreasonable are the ones commenting shit they don’t know about.

          • Concerned Citizen

            Speaking of being uninformed…

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            Blake, I agree that they aren’t interested in being informed or holding anyone accountable.

      • DerekW007

        You fly often and never been mistreated once? Ever? At all? I’ve been on this planet 47 years the surest sign proving someone is full of shit is why they say something ‘always happens’ or ‘never happens.”

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          Derek, I didn’t say that I’ve never had anything bad happen to me. Re-read please. I said that I *have* been mistreated. I’ve been unsatisfied with airlines too. But I complain and get resolutions like an adult. And I’ve seen lots of other people do likewise. Further, I don’t see any reason the passenger in question could not have comported himself likewise.

  • Seshadri Srinivas

    Consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader has nailed this Corporate greed. Most corporations need to be fair and accountable to people and customers. Everyone should be assertive like David Dao in dealing with corporate bullies. This article is biased in favor of the airlines possibly a PR plant to demonize the victim.
    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/14/ralph_nader_explains_why_united_airlines

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Do we think “demonize” might be a strong word? I think the author calls the passenger on the carpet for poor comportment unbecoming to an adult. Unbecoming to anyone over the age of 2 years, for that matter.

      • Concerned Citizen

        You, yourself have demonized him, and continue to do so.

        But we realize you are paid to throw up all this vitriol.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          I don’t demonize him. I contend that he displayed bad judgment and poor behavior. I say that he is only a victim of his own action. I refer to him as an asshat because of how he behaved.
          Naw, no one could pay me enough to hold onto this. It’s just passion for accountability that drives me here.

          • Concerned Citizen

            Two counts of lies there.

  • Bruce Brown

    His treatment was unforgivable. Are you claiming that if he does have a mental illness issue that that excuses his treatment? On the contrary it makes it even worse. Are mentally ill people to be brutalized and thrown about being dragged down an aisle? Lets not even address whether or not an airline should be allowed to overbook. Is there any justifiable reason to treat ANYONE like this?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Treatment? Are you referring to his pig-headed tantrum in the middle of a plane? He literally told them they would have to drag him off to remove him from the flight. So they only complied with his demand.
      If the guy is mentally ill, it would at least render me somewhat sympathetic – but it would also support the need for the officers to do what they had to do. The passenger wasn’t treated like anything. He got banged up as a result of his own thrashing during resistance. No one pulled out a baseball bat or cold-cocked him with a gun.

      • Concerned Citizen

        Wow, you really are embarrassing yourself.

        • JimmyBobb

          She’s right. He could have stood up and walked off like an adult, but he acted like an asshole so the police had to drag him off the plane. It was up to him.

          • Concerned Citizen

            Hey! Another shill!! How many of you are there?

          • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

            Bobb, the Dr. was right and Annette is wrong, not just morally but on the law.

            The carrier could have auctioned off the seat but chose not to, stopping at some silly number. They could have chartered an aircraft (about $800), they could have had the four employees driven (5 hours). Instead they had brownshirts come on board and evict a passenger, not because he was a safety or a security threat (the only two reasons for which I would call the cops), but because he was correct in the law.

            Had the remaining passengers any integrity, they all would have exited the aircraft, for both security and safety reasons.

        • Jim Gose

          No, con citizen, the passenger was/is just another asshole acting like an asshole. I’m not defending the policy of bumping passengers but the doc got what he wanted.

      • Alli Holl

        You are right. Don’t bother anymore, the media/keyboard warriors have spun this one too far out of control already. What about the first three passengers who exited the plane like civilized people? This man inadvertently caused his injuries.

  • Art R

    Paid for propaganda. You don’t do this to someone for united workers that did not want to sit in jump seats the whole flight. Bumping should only be done pre-boarding. Once a customer has been seated, the seat is theirs. Period.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Art, I believe the law would disagree with you.

      • Concerned Citizen

        You may disagree but the law and contract of carriage would not.

        • Blake

          Ah another internet lawyer Concerned Citizen You probably didn’t even read it.

          • Concerned Citizen

            As if you would know. Being a UA shill doesn’t give you any special knowledge.

      • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

        Annette : Your “belief” of the law is wrong. As usual.

  • D.K.

    You know why this story wasn’t told? Because it was not important information to what actually happened. A man was dragged off the plane. If he had been a black teenager in a hoodie who had been in a gang would it make it alright? If it had been a latino woman who “copped” an attitude with the flight attendant would that have made it ok? This information all came out basically the same day United was trying to get away with blaming the guy. It did not stick. For ONCE victim blaming propaganda explaining why someone’s background means they deserved to be assaulted was not successful in tearing someone down. FINALLY.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      All manner of people get removed from planes. Race, etc. is irrelevant. The guy was an asshat. He wasn’t assaulted, he hurt himself while resisting removal. Though I might have supported an inclination to slap him silly instead.

      • D.K.

        Huh? You clearly missed the point. You should probably learn how to do close reading a bit better. My point was about victimizing blaming and how the media (or in this case a corporation trying to cover their own ass) does a deep dive into the person’s characteristics or history to discredit what happened to them.

        • Blake

          I already told you stop being a hypocrite. You’re the same guy on the other forum demanding people look into the irrelevant past of Trump and his family. Then you turned around and said nobody is allowed to look into Hilary’s background. Then you came on here and said nobody can consider this asshat doctor Dao’s background. Hypocrite

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          And you missed where I said that there is no merit in probing the man’s past. It’s irrelevant and immaterial. The media shouldn’t bring it up – I agree.
          I don’t, however, believe he’s a victim of anyone but himself. He made poor choices, defied authorities, and banged himself up while resisting. But you want to consider him a victim?

      • Concerned Citizen

        You really have lost the argument when your best argument is to resort to childish behavior by insulting one’s character.

        Also, shills for the airline are not helping the airline with such rude and uncalled for verbal behavior.

        • D.K.

          I agree with you @disqus_tSUAY1bZU4:disqus. Funny how Annette seems to have so much time on her hands to go through this entire list of comments and basically comment on anyone’s comment that is against what the airline did.

          • DerekW007

            I wonder if her work email ends in @united.com

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            If only! Then at least I could fly cheap!

          • Annette Avila Nuñez

            I’ve been off work and on a couch with nothing to do besides read the comments here. I do feel strongly on this topic. Hence, since the situation afforded it, I comment.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          You know what’s funny? I’ve been using that line on a lot of people with your opinions. I didn’t insult the man’s character, I opined on his behavior. He behaved like an entitled 2 year-old. I understand the behavior in a toddler, not an adult. Hence, my opinion is that he behaved like an asshat.

          • Concerned Citizen

            You have still lost your argument. Nobody but other airline employees agree with you.

  • turtle14

    Mr. Alonzo, as educated as you appear to be, you appear to be severely lacking in emotional intelligence. Your defense of United on legal grounds misses the point and your character assassination of Dao is at best irrelevant and at worst exhibiting extremely poor judgment (though some would say racist, I sincerely do not believe that is the case with you here – I think it’s coincidental the customer was Asian, though it certainly adds fuel to the fire).

    You correctly note that their contract of carriage allows them to deny boarding to passengers, although it seems they may not have followed FAA rules (https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights) that require them to provide “a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn’t.” But the public’s outrage over Dao’s forcible removal from the flight is not about whether United was legally allowed to remove Dao (although this incident is correctly drawing more scrutiny to the contract of carriage and its enforcement, which allowed such egregious treatment of a fare-paying customer). The public’s outrage over this incident is rather about the morality of a corporation (if you believe corporations are people, as we seem to in the good ol’ USA) or perhaps, the morality of the employees enforcing the rules, or better yet, the morality of the person(s) that came up with the rule to begin with, and continue to enforce it and stand behind it as though legality overtrumps morality, common sense, and humanity.

    Just because someone (or in this case a corporation) is allowed to do something, doesn’t mean he/she/it should. Nobody, perhaps except you and a few like-minded people, can look at the video of Dao being pulled off the plane – stomach exposed, face bloodied, with a loss of all dignity – and say that he was treated humanely and justly, regardless of what the law allows. The outrage is over this undignified treatment, which simply cannot be justified. The outrage burned brighter when the CEO failed to apologize for the way his employees treated Dao. This outrage is thus now a very bright warning sign that something is wrong, morally wrong, with United’s approach to the enforcement of their legal rights. There is no humanity present in these passengers’ videos.

    Your claim that Dao behaved “unacceptably” after being told he had to get off the plane is misguided. Just because Dao’s purchase of an airline ticket included his default acceptance of United’s draconian contract of carriage does not mean he should amenably accept with smiling face the sudden drastic change to his entire schedule and those of his patients. Whether he’s a good doctor or has past transgressions is not relevant – he could have simply been a husband wanting to go home to see his wife or even a single guy wanting to make it home before his favorite TV show started. It is perfectly natural to expect to fly home when you’ve purchased a ticket (and gotten on the plane already). I believe the alternative flight he was offered was on the next day – it’s safe to say that many reasonable persons would feel extremely put out by being involuntarily bumped under these circumstances. The fact that United is legally allowed to deny boarding (again, after he’s already boarded, and most likely without providing him the required written explanation) does not mean that the person being denied can’t be angry, even to the point of resisting getting off the plane.

    This likely could have been avoided – United may have had other choices. United could have lured another passenger off by paying higher than what they offered or even higher than what the FAA specifies in the passenger’s Fly Rights indicates (compensation equal to 400% of their one-way fare or $1350 maximum). Surely everyone has a price and they could have found another person to deplane. It’s also unclear whether United sought alternative flights (on competitors) for its employees or whether these employees could have taken a cab/limo to the airport in sufficient time to make the next flight. Perhaps United acted according to the law, but this is still irrelevant to the public outrage over this incident.

    This article takes a similar stance to mine against United and comes from a priest with an MBA nonetheless – http://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/04/11/united-airlines-debacle-isnt-about-customer-service-its-about-morality.

  • http://www.timoey.com timoey

    The passenger’s background does not matter. Bringing it up does not excuse what United Airlines did and attempts to distract from the wrong that was done. What United did was outrageous and as it turns out was illegal and a breach of contract. See:
    http://www.newsweek.com/why-united-were-legally-wrong-deplane-dr-dao-583535

    So before you come to your own conclusion about who is right and who is wrong, do get ALL the facts as you ask others to do.

    Now regarding those other incidents, yes they are likely outrageous and uncalled for to. But they should not take away from David Dao’s particular incident. They should be addressed on their own merits.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Thanks

      • boys

        You are right no matter was his past. Like someone else said if they had offered the full money chances are pretty good that they would have had a taker. This just another business that does not care about anything but themselves. Look at Target, Starbucks for example. I think people are getting tired of giving there money to companies that don’t even like us. The only way to get there attention is to hit the bottom line, don’t give them your money shop somewhere else like I did this week when I got my tickets.

        • Blake

          Then stop bringing up Hilary or Trump’s past then or you are a hypocrite

  • jim in az

    Strange how the media has spent so much time on this but won’t give the time of day to such things as ‘hands up don’t shoot’, ‘Christians being blown up in Egypt, teaching Islam in our public schools including praying, but not allowing Christians from praying; allowing elected officials and appointed judges to be sworn in using the Koran and pushing for Shiria Law, or calling a terror attack a terror attack. The corruption and stupidity of our media is beyond sick and depraved. It has gotten to where I won’t watch any main stream media for any news.

    • ryanov

      Because none of that is true. And you spelled sharia wrong.

      No, wait, the swearing on the Koran thing is probably real. I’m not Christian. What should I be sworn in with?

      • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

        Exactly, well said and thanks for speaking up.

  • Paula Rejniak Kipke

    It is not a requirement for passengers to act “professional” since many of them or not. According to item 2b in United’s regulations “The priority of all other confirmed passengers may be determined based on a passenger’s fare class, itinerary, status of frequent flyer program membership, and the time in which the passenger presents him/herself for check-in without advanced seat assignment.” This does not mention that standby employees are entitled to bump passengers so the airline can get them to work. Air travel has become increasingly expensive and unpleasant, and for some reason the industry treats paying customers like they are doing them a favor. Whether or not a passenger is a physician and regardless of his/her prior behavior, they deserve to fly home as scheduled. Why is what is convenient for the airline more important than what is convenient for the passenger?

    • Liam McAleavey

      Because, as far as I understand it, these were not employees flying standby. These were employees who needed a connecting flight to get to work. And yes, you’re paying for a seat, but do you own the plane? No, you do not. They will refund and compensate you for lost time and inconvenience, but you don’t have the final say.

      • Mac Sterling

        Read the article by the pilots wife mentioned above. This was not for the convenience of the airline. There are all kinds of FAA regulations concerning this situation (a crew needing to get somewhere else. And, if you were in Kentucky with a ticket for the flight the crew was supposed to be flying, and the flight was cancelled because some nut somewhere else refused to obey the airline rules, I’ll bet you would not be as sympathetic as you are now.

        https://thepilotwifelife.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/i-know-youre-mad-at-united-but-thoughts-from-a-pilot-wife-about-flight-3411/comment-page-16/

        • George Jovanovic

          The pilot’s wife! Real argument! Regulations are there, to protect the safety of operation. What pilot’s wige failed to mention is that the airline tookna rude shortcut, jumping about dozen procedures in order to invoke terrorist act against the person regardles how bad, did not act inapropriately. And lets be clear, it was a terrorist act, subject to federal prosecution regardles if it was a corporation or government agency. The Constitution emphasizes that all subject are equal in rights and responsibilities. In the future, people have to fear another terror because tha airline and whoever else in position of power goes scott free for criminal actions.

      • Paula Rejniak Kipke

        Airlines operate at the passengers convenience! Without us they would be out of business. Even if the employees needed to get to work, the airline needed to plan for that–a plan that didn’t involve booting paying customers off the plane. The practice of overbooking has become so commonplace that it is considered acceptable but it shouldn’t be, and not ALL airlines do it (see comment above from Australian airlines employee).

    • Scott B.

      You don’t understand how an airline operates. These aren’t standby employees. They are MUST Fly employees who need to get somewhere to crew an aircraft with hundreds of paying passengers depending on them to show up. In an oversell situation, suddenly everyone is a doctor with eight surgeries in the morning or a lawyer trying the death penalty. People just plain lie, as it appears “Doctor” Dao did. Rather, he probably had an appointment with his probation officer.

      • Paula Rejniak Kipke

        It doesn’t really matter what Dr. Dao’s reason for wanting to stay on the plane was. As a person who has twice flown home in situations where I would never have voluntarily given up my seat and in fact would have paid extra to stay on the plane, because I so urgently needed to go home, I can tell you that any person might have important motivation to behave that way. I do understand how airlines TODAY work, but it wasn’t always that way and shouldn’t be that way now. Airlines didn’t used to consistently oversell, and we have gotten so used to it that it seems acceptable. If you went to a restaurant and were denied a seat despite having a reservation, and especially if you were told that employees needed to sit there and eat before their shift began, you would be furious and take your business elsewhere. In the airline scenario that’s not an option. If the airline chooses to overbook they should find a solution that doesn’t make anyone unhappy–offer enough money that someone is inconvenienced, or see if they can recruit a crew to fly in the city where they are needed, etc.

        • Annette Avila Nuñez

          One more time – this flight was not oversold. It was impacted by a business need.

          • Swordfish

            Annette. Do you work for the Airline?

          • Paula Rejniak Kipke

            So if their business need was so great, they should have offered more money until they found someone who was WILLING to get off the plane. I’d wager the negative publicity they got from this incident has cost them more than offering more money would have. I hope it has, at least. What has happened to the customer being always right?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      It’s not a requirement to act professional. It is, however, required that you act like an adult. The passenger in question did not. That is the bottom line. He failed, requiring the situation to be managed and injured himself in the process, so he’s not a victim.

      As Scott B. notes below, there were hundreds of other paying passengers who were going to be held up if that flight crew didn’t get to their destination. Would your opinion hold if you were among those impacted by a flight that couldn’t happen because someone decided he was more important than you?

      • Paula Rejniak Kipke

        You’re missing the point. United decided that their need to squeeze every last dollar from paying customers by overbooking was more important than making sure that those paying customers got where they were scheduled to go WHEN they were scheduled to get there. Just because this is common practice doesnt’ mean that it’s right. Airlines haven’t always done this and not all airlines do even now–Australian airlines doesn’t and there are probably others.

        Also, have you ever desperately needed/wanted to go home? Perhaps we shouldn’t judge Dao’s behavior without knowing what his real motivation was. Twice in my life I have been desperate to fly home–so desperate that I would not only have been unwilling to give up my seat, but I would have paid extra to keep it! Once I was very ill (not contagious) and the other time was after a very traumatic event that occurred and I was flying home from Africa alone with 2 very young children (ages 11 months and 2.5 years). In my opinion, my need to get home was more important than anything at those moments in time.

  • whaddacrock

    The airlines are “authorized” to offer up to $1300 ($1350?) – why did they stop at $800?!! They should never frocibly remove a passenger from a flight (under these circumstances) until they have done all they can to get volunteers!!

    • Mac Sterling

      They did try to get volunteers, and no one volunteered. So, according to your theory, since they didn’t, then it is OK to ” remove a passenger from a flight (under these circumstances)”. If the good Doctor had been squirming and yelling and resisting all reason you and the rest of America would have been cheering the police taking him off. I was on the Dr.’s side at first when I saw him being dragged out until I read a few facts about what really happened. The video almost looks like the cops rushed in, grabbed him by the throat and dragged his ass off the plane as if he was a terrorist and for no reason. That is not what happened. The only mistake they made was somehow letting get back on board.

      • Blake

        Can somoene please moderate these stupid comments? I swear! This thing about 10,000 bucks is not for a 45 minute flight. There is no way any airline is going to offer that kind of money even if you missed a flight as their fault for just a short flight. No way

        • Concerned Citizen

          If they refuse the price demanded, they have no authority to bully a person out of their seat.

    • txjames

      You have that a little wrong. They aren’t “authorized” to do it, they are required by law pay 4x the ticket price up to $1350 for flights greater than 2 hours. They could pay $1,000,000 if they were so inclined, which would have been cheaper than the losses they are experiencing from all the fall out and excepted lawsuit.

    • Scott B.

      The airlines can offer any amount in vouchers or cash they want to entice volunteers. Delta just upped their top offer to nearly $10,000. When they decide to involuntarily bump a passenger then DOT regs kick in and require $1350 cash or 2x (2 hr delay or less) or 4x the ticket price–whichever is less.

  • JimmyBobb

    THANK YOU!

    I call the phenomenon you write of “The Weekly Outrage.” Every 7-10 days, something blows up on Twitter, the news picks it up, and it gets retweeted and repeated through the echo chamber and everybody posts on Facebook in indignant fury. It dies down in 7-10 days and then there’s something else for everybody to get outraged about.

    It’s like Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate. I suppose it’s to keep the proletariat’s mind off things that really matter.

  • jim hoch

    Ben Alonzo is running for head dbag

  • Nunya

    The writer is part of the media known as the lying press. Airport Security had no business assaulting the Dr trying to evict him from the seat. The flight crew had no business calling Security to have the Dr evicted. The reason the security guards are suspended, soon to be fired and possibly charged criminally us because what they did was wrong. Not because of internet outrage. The reason United will be paying the Dr millions of dollars is the same.

    • txjames

      You know he is a member of the lying press by stating that this happens to him all the time. It is actually very rare that passengers are involuntarily bumped off a flight.

      Hasn’t it also been shown that this Dr David Dao is different than the Dr. David Dao who lost his license?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      You really don’t have a clue, do you? There is so much ignorance displayed in your comment about the “assault” and “evict” acts that I can tell you are not well-read. It’s fine if you disagree, but don’t pretend to be knowledgeable.

      • Nunya

        LOL, stop with the pseudo intellectual drivel. You have no idea who I am, how many degrees I have or anything else. You’re on the wrong side of this debate. The security department suspended all the officers involved, the CEO of United apologized several times and the company changed its policy about calling law enforcement to deplane a passenger. Yet you still think you’re correct? When everyone else around you is telling you, you’re wrong, maybe it’s you

  • Shawn Stush Jack

    This writer, is an asshole of the highest degree, so much so, you can’t see it and will never in this lifetime comprehend how much you are…

  • Avatar

    Nah man. They beat the shit out of him and that ain’t right. Neither is your defence of it.

    Asshole.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      No one beat him! He thrashed and damaged himself on the way out.

      • Swordfish

        Yep. Sure.

  • Bryan Dorn

    To defend United just proves you are a professional jackass……

    • Blake

      you’re a mean man mister. my argument to you is FU

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Did it hurt to stoop that low with your insults?

  • Tahir Usman

    Total bullcrap article. Airline has an obligation to get you to your destination on the flight that you are booked on. If they over booked then they should have left their bloody employee behind. Specially their employee if indeed these pax were off loaded for employees…. Bloody bad show. Hope United are sued blind

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Airlines have no such obligation. Read the laws and contract citations found in these comments. And read all the articles that state that this was NOT an overbooked flight.

    • StewSue

      Airlines don’t have an obligation, lol. This wasn’t an overbooked flight. Dr Dao accepted the offer and was off of the aircraft. Then he changed his mind and ran back onto the plane. That’s when he became a problem

  • Doxepin

    The carriage contract specifically talks about bumping and compensation when denied boarding. Dr. Dao was granted boarding. Fucking donut. Just as well you’re an expert at scinece and not law, eh?

  • PreTeenParent

    Did things get blown out of proportion? Yes. Were there snap judgements? Yes. Did both sides overreact? A resounding yes. But this incident has shed light on practices that should not be ok. You repeatedly point out that “this happens all the time” and throughout the industry. Simply because something happens often does not make it acceptable. Murder happens all the time, still not ok. So that us provably pushing things so how about… the food service industry. Food borne illness happen more frequent fuss any of us would like to think about, does that make it ok? Should i just accept that i got sick because the food was not handled properly? Or how about service? How many people out there have had great food ruined by poor service. Rude servers who act like the customer is a burden. Do were simply say ok this hassles all the time so we should just take it. No. We let the server know by reducing the amount of tip we leave. If it’s a common issue at an establishment, we let them know that we won’t accept this and stop frequenting their business. We do not simply accept it because “it’s common practice across the industry” or because “it happens all the time.”

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      You cannot equate murder, food borne illnesses, etc. to this event. This was a man who violated the terms of his contract with the airlines.

  • George Jovanovic

    Turns out that the public is there for the airline, not another way round. The fact that because of incompetent planing procedure, the company put in small print option to bump passengers, does not justify the practice. What ever is Dr. Dao’s history, making an issue falls in profiling category. If that is so, why not bump people with two dozen outstanding parking fines, or deadbeat parents? There are legitimate reasons to refuse service, and about those rules, there are hundreds of books and instruction published by authorities, airlines or experts. Another question is how is the airline not involved when the incident happened under airline responsibility and on airline iniciative. To add insult to injury, as the text said, airline employees were polite and inactive, wich above all presents a miserable picture about service, public relations and incompetence.
    In the airline I used to work for, practice was, to arrange DHC through other operators and to charge the cost either to the branch which was at fault or from funds, arranged for events like that one. Four passengers, $800 per pop, would sufice to engage small twin with adequate capacity to haul four crew members from Chicago to Lexington.
    Only thing that company has not is common sense.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      I think you have that backward. The public is the party that wants to fly. The airline makes it possible – under their terms and conditions. If we don’t like those conditions we have other choices – another airline, trains, buses, automobiles. Nothing in Dao’s history or ethnicity is at issue, and shame on those who allege that. What is at issue is that he broke the contract, violated the terms by not complying with directions to remove himself, made a ghastly scene and injured himself in the process – but wants to be construed as a victim.
      Honestly, there’s more credibility in a 2 year-old who simply shouts, “I don’t wanna!”

  • Jasmin Julisu
  • Jasmin Julisu

    It appear it might be the writer himself who are serving “crap”?

    In response to this incident, Forbes had an article about the legal aspect -based on Uniteds contract with its passengers.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/omribenshahar/2017/04/14/david-dao-versus-united-what-does-the-airline-contract-say/#37bf296018ad

  • Chris O’Leary

    Digital lynching is not a thing and united is a company not an individual, classic kiss-ass victim-blaming, this writer would probably have supported the nazis and blamed jews for the holocaust

    • Mike Wazowsky

      Exactly!

      • Blake

        Digital lynching is same thing = cyber bullying, using digital means to hurt someone, incite violence, you know. . . . it is a real thing.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Now there’s a stretch in logic.

      • Chris O’Leary

        Logic? Have you read the article? Logic doesn’t apply, it’s conjectiure and lies.

  • Mike Wazowsky

    This is the most ridiculous crap I’ve read……..

    Almost feels like united paid some random person to write it to help with their current ‘image’ issue.

    • disqus_tu7SEHpgGp

      The “author” makes several claims to “logic”, a topic with which he is apparently unfamiliar. Insulting article at best.

      • Blake

        Yeah the author sounds like a total idiot that has no idea what science is or logic. I’m an astronaut, lawyer, God, Spartan, and better than you! “You” and your “logic” are “insulting” to “readers.” Go back to Buzzfeed.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Thank you for saying “almost” since most of us who share opinions with the author are not paid by the airlines or their PR firm.

  • Skippydelic

    OK, Ben Alonzo, here’s how this works…

    The legal authority here is 14 USC 250, which covers oversales by airlines.

    Under the law, if a flight is overbooked, an airline can deny BOARDING to a passenger, and require them to give up their seat BEFORE they get on the plane.

    Once the passenger has boarded, that provision is null and void, as OTHER rules then apply.

    The law DOES NOT allow an airline to REMOVE a passenger who has ALREADY boarded!

    Further, the law DOES NOT allow a passenger to be REMOVED to make space for employees!

    So now, let’s see what United did wrong.

    1: United FAILED to act to deny boarding to Dr. Dao in a timely and proper manner;

    2: United FAILED to properly plan to get the other flight crew transported to their destination;

    3: Once passengers had BOARDED, United had NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to remove ANYONE due to overbooking and/or other flight crew needs;

    4: United had NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to require a paying passenger to deplane involuntarily once they had boarded;

    5: United had NO GROUNDS WHATSOEVER for calling airport security;

    6: Airport security had NO VALID GROUNDS for removing Dr. Dao from the plane;

    7: United’s CEO had NO business blaming Dr. Dao for THEIR unacceptable conduct;

    Dr. Dao was 100% WITHIN HIS RIGHTS to remain on the plane, and to refuse to leave!

    I hope Dr. Dao sues their asses off!!!

    • whjke33
      • Skippydelic

        But who was INTERFERING with a flight crew?

        Dr. Dao was ALLOWED TO BOARD, and was ALREADY SEATED when this whole thing started!

        Again, if he was going to be denied BOARDING, he had to be denied BEFORE he boarded!

        So when Dr. Dao asserted his legal right – and rightly so – HOW does that constitute ‘interfering with a flight crew’?

        • Blake

          So if someone was allowed to board, already seated, and then the crew asks him to leave, you believe that nobody can ever have a passenger removed for any reason? Are you the lawyer from the Simpsons TV cartoon show?

          • Skippydelic

            For ANY reason? No.

            For the reasons that United gave? Yes.

            Can a flight crew ARBITRARILY kick a passenger off the flight with NO valid grounds for doing so? No.

            Does a flight crew have an OBLIGATION to take EVERY possible course of action BEFORE demanding that a passenger deplane? YES!

            In other words, what SHOULD they have done BEFORE demanding that Dr. Dao leave the plane?

            If United DIDN’T follow Federal laws and rules, was that Dr. Dao’s fault? NO!

            If United didn’t PLAN properly, was that Dr. Dao’s fault? NO!

            Have I enlightened you yet? ;-)

        • whjke33

          Pursuant to USC § 46504 ‘interference’ or ‘intimidation’ is determined by the crew itself. There are reasons the crew is give wide latitude to make this determination as they will not have anyone else but them in the air. Maybe this isn’t the best way to define these things, but it is the current law. Now maybe they did overreact, but this is what give them the right to remove Dao from the plane.

          If they breached their contract as per sections 21 and 25 (and 24) of their carriage contract or federal regulations as per CFR 250 as you cite then Dao is entitled to compensation for such, but he certainly isn’t entitled to compel them to make good on a contract or federal regulations. His place for recompense is in the courts not on the plane. Moreover since, it was legal for them to remove him from the plane by their own discretion, he will have no case of criminality on the part of any party involved in his removal.

          If I paint your house and you don’t pay me and I say “I’m not leaving until you pay me”. Two things are true: you broke the contract and have the right to sue me and I am trespassing and can be forcibly removed.

          • Skippydelic

            Are you saying that it DOESN’T matter whether United was right or wrong?

            As of this point, to be honest, if United HAD tried to have Dr. Dao charged under 14 USC 46504, they’d probably have TEN TIMES the PR headache that they’ve got now!

            As far as whether it was ‘legal’ for them to remove Dr. Dao, that’s questionable at best. Regardless of how much latitude a flight crew has in any given situation, the fact remains that their demand that Dr. Dao give up his seat AFTER he’d ALREADY boarded was JUST PLAIN WRONG! As I pointed out in my original post, United was wrong, and CONTINUED those wrong acts!

            There was NO reason that Dr. Dao was asked to leave his seat OTHER than the fact that his name had been chosen ARBITRARILY, and by a COMPUTER, NOT as the result of any impropriety on Dr. Dao’s part!

            So, regardless of ‘latitude’, was it NECESSARY for them to demand that Dr. Dao give up his seat AFTER he’d ALREADY boarded?

            Remind me to never hire you to paint my house. ;-)

          • whjke33

            “Are you saying that it DOESN’T matter whether United was right or wrong?”

            *YOU* were the one that kept saying ‘under the law’. I’m telling you what the law is. It’s up to you to determine if you think that law is fair and whether it is ‘right or wrong’

            “As of this point, to be honest, if United HAD tried to have Dr. Dao charged under 14 USC 46504, they’d probably have TEN TIMES the PR headache that they’ve got now!”

            Maybe. But they don’t have to even charge him so much as be immune to his claim of criminal assault by UAL. This is why Dao would loose in such a criminal case. But that doesn’t matter. They are free to take TEN TIMES the PR headache if they want, this is their right, what is not a right, is for Dao to remain on that plane.

            “As far as whether it was ‘legal’ …. JUST PLAIN WRONG!”

            You’re conflating legal and moral. You spent all this time citing a particular regulation (not a USC btw), and then saying it’s wrong because of this violation in regulation. You can’t have it both ways and now claim that because I’m showing why their removal is legal that “but it was wrong even if it was legal!” So which is it, are you appealing to legality or morality? If the former, you’re wrong, they did have the right by USC, if the later, I certainly didn’t mention any of that–I’m telling you what the law is. Feel free to opine on the ‘wrongness’ of it all, but you certainly can’t derive that from the law because the law doesn’t support your case.

            “There was NO reason that Dr. Dao was asked to leave his seat OTHER than the fact that his name had been chosen ARBITRARILY, and by a COMPUTER, NOT as the result of any impropriety on Dr. Dao’s part!”

            Yes, and it’s within the airline’s right to do so. If the airline wants to do so either because it really is part of the contract that they can, or if they want to breach that contract, or even if it was a mistake by part of the crew, or because the sky is blue. It doesn’t matter what silly reason you attribute to the airline, after they decide that they want that guy off of there, he doesn’t get to make them abide by the contract or federal regulations anymore than I get to stay in your house just because you didn’t pay me for a service. His place of recompense is in the courts not on the plane. It is their property, he is now trespassing and also violating USC 46504.

            “So, regardless of ‘latitude’, was it NECESSARY for them to demand that Dr. Dao give up his seat AFTER he’d ALREADY boarded?”

            Of course not, UAL screwed up on many levels, but then don’t bother citing CFR , because what your’e arguing is independent of the law. The law is very clear, if the flight crew wants him off, or even if they just want to not abide by their own contract or federal regulations, if they want to be sued for not completing with the deal, but by remaining on that flight he is guilty of criminal trespass on their property and in violation of USC 46504.

            “Remind me to never hire you to paint my house. ;-)”

            Ha! But if I did, you do agree I have no right to grip on to one of your chairs until you do what I want, right? And if you call the cops and they bloody my nose by removing me, you agree that I don’t get to say “was it NECESSARY FOR you to demand me to leave” (no you could have paid me), or “there is NO reason that I should be asked to leave the seat in your house other than the fact that you didn’t want me there”.

    • Lee Spurlock

      There is no reason anybody can give for treating anybody like this man was treated , I don’t if the story has three sides there is not excuse for this kind of treatment.

      • Annette Avila Nuñez

        Whose treatment? Mr. Dao who threatened to sue and instructed that authorities would have to drag him from the plane? Mr. Dao who thrashed and injured himself in the process? No one wanted to “treat” him any way except like other passengers who were being disembarked. He chose to behave as he did, no one else. He is accountable.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Skippy you’re starting off with the wrong premise. This was NOT an overbooked flight. That much has been made clear 100 times.
      Next, you’re code citation is incorrect. It’s CFR, not USC.
      Further, you should revisit the legal definition of boarding. A plane is not considered boarded until the hatch closes.
      The contract of carriage, not the law, allows the airlines to remove employees for business needs.
      The link provided by whjke33 is awesome for explaining things. Since you don’t have a firm grasp on the above, it may behoove you to revisit and rethink your statements.

      • Skippydelic

        Yes, I KNOW that the flight wasn’t overbooked; the idea was to build the foundation for showing the DIFFERENCE between the regulations and the actual situation!

        CFR = Code of Federal Regulations; USC = United States Code. They work together.

        Just curious, where did you get your ‘legal definition’ of boarding? ‘Not until the hatch closes’ is fine in theory, but given that passengers have to check their baggage, check in at the gate, etc., BEFORE they get on the plane, there’s a LOT that happens when passengers are STILL inside the terminal!

        If a passenger is bumped within a reasonable amount of time BEFORE the boarding call, it’s not all that difficult to make the needed changes, i.e., not loading that passenger’s luggage on the plane, so it can be transferred to the rebooked plane. Once passengers are SEATED, and baggage is loaded, wouldn’t a bumped passenger’s luggage have to be removed from the plane, too?

        While we’re at it, are you implying that United’s ‘Contract of Carriage’ SUPERSEDES both Federal regulations AND statutes? That’s a new one on me…

        Given how tenuous a grasp that YOU seem to have on the situation, I’m not sure that I’M the one who has to rethink my statements…

  • Jin ST

    Shame on you to even use the word lynching, people actually died getting lynch. Get out of here with that term you elitist prick

    • Blake

      Oh it was a lynching. What rock do you live under?

  • David Thomason

    I find it curious you failed to quote the particular rule in the “Contract of Carriage” you reference and even link to in your article. Having now read said “Contract of Carriage”, I believe you used a very disingenuous method to support your claims. The “Contract of Carriage” refers to “Refusal to Transport” and “Denied Boarding Compensation” but nowhere does it say anything like, “… you can be removed from a flight, even after paying, boarding, and sitting down.” As you say, it may have happened before, but that doesn’t make it right.

    Furthermore, regardless of Dr. Dao’s medical status, United had many, many more opportunities to do the right thing, long before they called the cops. Then, if you want to argue the ethics of the “Contract of Carriage” itself we can talk about the ethics of overbooking flights, treating passengers like cattle, etc. Yes, nearly all the big carriers do it. Too bad that United had to be the “whipping child” but so be it as I guaranty you that every major airline is now looking at revising how they deal with over-bookings.

    And for all your bragging about how many miles you have flown, I have over 3 million miles on airlines and yes, I’ve been bumped. It has been extremely rare, and more often, I have given up my seat so someone else could be on the plane. BUT NEVER HAVE I BEEN TOLD I HAD TO GET OFF THE PLANE DUE TO OVERBOOKING! Every single time I was bumped it was before I had boarded the plane. Letting people get seated and then taking their seat away is stupid beyond measure and United deserves the grief it is getting. If other airlines have done the same thing, then they should consider themselves lucky and work fast to change their policies as I am quite certain Dr. Dao has emboldened others to not give up a seat.

    Again, If somehow I missed the rule in the “Contract of Carriage” that says you can be removed from a seat, please amend your article cite the particular rule.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Re-read please. This was not an over-booked flight.
      Unless you’re privy to information not generally available to the public, it’s not clear that the need to bump was foreseeable.
      And I hope you’re wrong about Dao’s behavior encouraging others to act similarly. I wouldn’t encourage that kind of behavior in a child, much less an adult. If you don’t like the situation walk off the plane then grieve, sue, whatever, but don’t imperil the flight for others.

  • baruchzed

    I have the facts. United was completely in the wrong for the way they handled this. Dr. Dao’s history is irrelevant. The author of this article is a racist lickspittle, a kowtower to authority. Get a spine Ben. And some ethics.

    • Blake

      Are you the same guy on the other forum telling everyone Trump’s history is relevant, but Hillary’s isn’t? You sound like the exact type of hypocrite the author was speaking about. You need to get a spine. At least these people did something with their lives.

    • Claudia Marshall

      Security dragged the man off, not UA and YOU must be a kook also.

  • John Steinauer

    Every word here is BS. You can not see the brutality in what happened then you choose to be blinded by nonsense. The cops are not enforcers of corporate policy. He was not a criminal. It was a civil affair, not a law enforcement concern. The fact that you defend the indefensible tells us ,much more about your motivations than your words. Care needs to be taken when power of the sort see in the video is used, else we truly become a police state. The very fact that the airline was willing to go that far to get employees moved about tells us what they think about their customers. That part we can solve, we can all stop being their customers.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Um….air travel is regulated by Federal Law. The officers were not enforcing policy, but law. It’s not a civil affair.
      You need to consider that if those 4 employees didn’t get to their destination more than 200 people were going to be without a flight the next day. Would you be happy if you were one of those 200 people?
      United care about satisfying 200 or more people, enough to sacrifice 4 who were unhappy at being the sacrifice. Only 1 of the 4 behaved like a tantrum throwing 2 year-old.

      • John Steinauer

        Annette is a beautiful name. Just saying, but your defense of this is not. Sure air travel is regulated by federal law. But the passenger is not a criminal unless they violate criminal law. What criminal law did he violate? Expressing that he was not willing to deplane is a crime when he paid for his seat and already boarded the plane? Not voluntarily getting up and walking off in shame is a crime because the police turned goon squad grab him with force like he had robbed the local corner mart. No, surely a multi-billion dollar airline has more options to get employees to where they need to be than invoking a disagreement as a crime, and forcing the removal of an old man by brutal force. Then when faced with backlash investigating his background which has absolutely no bearing on the situation, and telling people his actions were childish as you have. Clearly he felt getting home was important, and not everyone is going to accept this “law” you keep citing as justification for this treatment of a customer. No they had and have many more positive options. What benefit to society is this law/policy combination when done in such a brutal way on a paying customer. The message is don’t disagree with the airline or else you risk your freedom or even you health and life. Be very careful about the threshold on what is declared a crime.

        Please don’t confuse your notion of legalism as righteousness because evil is evil in any skin. It was wrong, it was brutal, and before the dust settles this fuzzy distinction of a civil disagreement being a crime, because it took place on an airline will be cleared up. You will be embarrassed to have defended this saga, if your not already. The alternative is not to defend it and listen to the people telling you it was wrong. This confusion is exactly what terrorists hope for. They know that laws will be passed to try and limit a future attack that in turn will create this kind of conflict. They are not stupid and will attack some other way. These laws really only hurt the people, the airline, and the country. Please help get this fixed not defend the indefensible.

  • DerekW007

    Um, the people on the plane – who witnessed what happened – were shocked and appalled. Dao’s past didn’t have anything to do with what happened in that plane and there’s tape to prove it. It’s sad to see someone use the word “lynch” when speaking about a multi billion dollar corporation that literally doesn’t give a shit about anything but profit.u

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Did you watch those tapes? The guy told authorities they would have to drag him. It’s not likely that all the passengers who were upset were privy to that comment. He refused to behave like a competent adult. He needed to leave and resisted – incurring injuries to himself in the process.

      • DerekW007

        Nice to see in all the years Disqus has been around, this is the only article you’ve ever cared to comment on. Well, everyone needs to make a living.

  • Steve Meadows

    The airline should never bump a passenger in order to get their employees to a destination. This is a terrible way of doing business. There should be private shuttles to get employees where they need to go. This is a ploy by big business airlines to save money at the expense of the consumer, the consumer who has booked and paid for a flight. Airlines should never overbook. This, again, is a ploy by big business airlines to make sure their flights are full. Again, at the expense of the consumer. If airlines need open seats to shuttle their employees, then keep open seats, don’t book those seats. The airline industry has gotten away with things against the consumer for years. No other industry would be able to stay in business if it treated consumers the way the airline industry treats its bread and butter. The point is, consumers are tired of being treated this way by an industry who is out to cover itself, rather than good, quality and fair service. This is the reason for the outrage, not necessarily what was done to one passenger.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      For heaven’s sake. If you were one of the 200 or so passengers whose plane the employees were to attend, would you be happy to know that you couldn’t fly because that crew was grounded?
      You don’t know the circumstances which caused the need for that flight to carry the other crew. It was not an overbooked flight. Perhaps it had nothing to do with poor planning by the airlines but rather an act of nature or a mechanical failure.
      The airlines has a business to run. They don’t win a lot in situations like this – but they have to weigh the needs of 200 people versus 4.
      The industry is far more complicated than you may realize, they would sure prefer to be able to fly everyone without bumping. But you need to remember, this is a SERVICE and you have other choices to travel. The $ says everything. If you want to change things for the consumer, don’t fly. That will send the message.

  • Denis-Carl Robidoux

    Blah blah blah blah. This text stinks. As if overbooking was a morally acceptable practice, as if the past of one guy would be an excuse to beat him. Who pays your paychecks? Who is the customer who paid your business so you would write this bs? The businesses crossed the line a long time ago and if the business doesn’t back off with the overbooking and the bad treatment of customer then this public outcry will just be the tip of the iceberg. So stop taking people for dumb f***s and explain your boss and your customer to back off.

    • Blake

      wah wah wah……. yea, the author totally said it was ok to beat up people. You’re so smart for coming to that conclusion. I bow to you Denis!

      • Claudia Marshall

        He probably didn’t even read the article. If he did, don’t waste your time…no common sense.

  • Neil Churches

    Airlines in Australia do not overbook ergo we don’t find this a normal occurrence. I can’t help feeling the author is getting paid by UA and not giving them much value.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Well, I don’t work for the airlines, am not married to anyone in the industry, and have no compensation coming for my opinions. For what it’s worth – this was not an over-booked flight. It was full, but not overbooked. If that crew hadn’t been transported there were 200 other passengers in another city whose plane wasn’t going to get off the ground. The man was bumped, along with 3 other passengers, to serve a legitimate business need.

  • Blythe Dolores

    There are always more sides to the story but the truth is, people wouldn’t jump on this kind of thing had they only had good experiences themselves. I had a horrific experience with United–not once, many times–but one time in particular at the Chicago airport that was nothing short of traumatizing. No fault of ours, 100% United gate employees agitated attitudes and the general disdain the airline seems to have for its passengers. Overbooking, allowing passengers to bring checked bags to the gate (so they can avoid paying) which means everyone who paid the fee to check their bag loses out on overhead space. Their problem-solving skills get a zero as, from my experience in Chicago, the gate employees were looking to battle with any passenger who questioned, asserted or asked questions.

    United Airlines is horrible. It isn’t okay they overbook. It isn’t okay that any airline overbooks. Its actually totally screwed up that people get bumped if their are no volunteers. Its a shitty business practice and the good that can come out of this is that United and ideally all airlines will choose to be less greedy and not overbook.

    I find it interesting, too, that you lead this story claiming people are “lynching” United Airlines–a pretty insane choice of words–and yet, aren’t you doing the same to Mr. Dao?

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      I appreciate your measured tone – it far exceeds the caliber of what I see on most posts here.

      But please keep the facts straight – this was not a situation of over-booking. It was a full flight.
      I don’t read the article as lynching Mr. Dao. Rather, it’s pointing out that the passenger was not necessarily a victim and that he needs to be accountable for his behavior. Throwing a tantrum, resisting arrest, etc. wouldn’t be acceptable behavior anywhere, let alone on a plane. Yet people are wont to see him as mistreated, beaten, and bloodied by a nasty airline. My own experience with United is limited, though I did not find them impressive. But I don’t find them in the wrong here.

  • StewSue

    I’ve been flying fir 32 years and the bottom line is when the captain asks you to deplane, you do it. If you don’t police officers are called and you are forcibly removed. You cannot just sit on a plane and refused to deplane.

    • Blake

      You’re being reasonable. These other idiots commenting are just insane because a crew can ask you to leave. From reading these stupid comments most people are so delusional that they think nobody can be asked to give up their seat. Boarding is not complete until the cabin door shuts. God I cannot stand the dumbfuck American public cause these are the comments they do.

      • Sparafucile

        The crew can “ask”. But unless you’re being asked because there’s (already) a safety/disturbance/offensiveness issue, you retain the right to decline.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Not without reason.

      • Annette Avila Nuñez

        There is no reason. You fly at the airlines pleasure, not vice-versa.

        • Concerned Citizen

          Nope, there’s a contract, no pleasure, unless you mean the pleasure derived from abusing their passengers.

    • Sparafucile

      The Captain/Pilot did no such thing in this case. S/he never got involved.

  • Niso Khatamova

    this article is BULLSHIT. You were kicked off your sit many times? Oh fking really? Even international flights? BIG FAT LOL. Whoever wrote it definetely was getting something from UA. What does his past have to do with BEING DRAGGED OFF HIS SIT LIKE AN ANIMAL? Did he KICK OR HIT any of the auhorities? ONLY thing poor guy did was not willing to give up his sit. Is an author of the article trying to say that people with criminal past do not deserve the right to have a goddamn sit in the airplane? People with mental illness dont deserve it?

    • Blake

      LOL ROFL BULLSHIT LOL ROFL BIG FAT. What in the world did you read and how did you come to the conclusions you do? The author never said people with a criminal past can’t fly. Your airplane is full of criminal retards probably. Carry on snowflake.

      • Niso Khatamova

        No one said that people with criminal past can`t fly but the author was using this card to bad about the guy. Oh, by the way, I will use LOL FAT ROLF as much as I want and whenever I want. Thank you:) Have a great day!

    • Claudia Marshall

      Buying a ticket does not give you ownership to a seat. You should check your language…I know you think you sound like an adult, but you sound like trash!

      • Niso Khatamova

        Very “adult” of you to call a person that you don’t even know a trash :D Good job.
        No one is saying that he had ownership of the seat. Reread my comment, old lady. I said that author of the article is trying to use man`s past to justify actions of those wannabe authorities that didn`t use humane methods to ask him to leave.

        • Claudia Marshall

          Your post was difficult to read with texting abbreviations, misspelled words, cursing, and obvious immaturity, little girl. Maybe you should reread my post…I said you SOUND like trash and you do. When someone tells you to leave their property, which a commercial airplane IS (since UA owns it), you must leave. If you refuse, by law, the property owner may have you physically removed. If you want to behave like a spoiled brat, as the doctor did, be prepared to reap the consequence. And, he was asked REPEATEDLY to leave nicely and even told by security he would be removed if he refused. He told them they would have to drag him off…and so they did.

      • Niso Khatamova

        Oh, lady, you are one one to me to tell me to check my language. I am a 22 y. o. adult. You can ask your grand kids but not a random person over the internet. If you want to control how others express themselves, go to live in a communist country.

        • Claudia Marshall

          An immature child at that…no one tried to control you. I pointed out you sound like trash with that filthy mouth and you do. Feel free to express yourself however you like, but you should know what people are really thinking of you. Yes, I’m sure you don’t care…I don’t either, but thought you should know.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      He resisted and caused his own injuries. He did spit on airline employees – totally unacceptable. Get your facts straight.
      I don’t read the author as saying anything about people with a past of criminal or mental illness not deserving to fly.

      • Sparafucile

        Provide a citation for your assertion about his PRIOR spitting on anybody.

  • bradykelly

    What a steaming pile! Why can’t united account for their employees as “already boarded”, and bump the last four people to try and check in.

    Having to remove anyone because of the well known and accepted practice of overbooking simply emphasizes gross incompetence on the part of United’s management.

    If one of your passengers is possibly a doctor needing an urgent flight, I’m sure United could have just bought them a ticket on a different airline. If he has such an emergency he cannot wait 1 second longer, he should definitely not be lying with a commercial airline.

    Besides me finding no other mention of a Dr. on any other news I’ve seen about this flight.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      You really need to be clear on the facts here. Are you sure that United made an error? Or did the airline possibly fall victim to circumstances of nature, mechanical failures, etc. that disrupted the plans for their employees to travel to that location on another flight? This was not an overbooked flight – it was full. The airlines removed 4 passengers from this flight so that 200 more could travel on another flight. Would you feel the same way if your flight couldn’t take off because there was no crew? Particularly if you found it was held up because a reported adult couldn’t behave himself and threw a tantrum?

      • bradykelly

        It still smacks of incompetence. Surely United knew their crew had to be on the plane, and should have spared seats for them before allowing others to check in? If a United plane is landing somewhere without any United crew at the destination, why is that so?

    • Sparafucile

      Actually, it’s not up to United to consider them “already boarded”. The Contract of Carriage already specifies that they were. United’s “consideration” is irrelevant.

      • bradykelly

        And making their apparent disdain and disrespect for their passengers even more relevant.

  • Steve Gillanders

    Your time you spent questioning this victim’s credentials before realising he was a doctor… then delving into the victim’s medical past to discredit him within this article makes you exactly the kind of “ad-hominem bottom feeder” you describe in your notes for commenters. Your assertions of having been bumped from flights many many times seem highly implausible. I cannot give your diatribe any credence whatsoever.

    • Blake

      Steve, you sound like an idiot. I was here from the start and this author had more info days ago than the mainstream media was giving me. Victim? Diatribe? I thought this was a good article with reasonable arguments backed up by sources.

      • Steve Gillanders

        I’d admonish you for insulting my intelligence but I’m more amused than insulted.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      An attack on the “victim’s” credentials is out of order and irrelevant. The only thing that past would serve in this case is to explain why he was such an idiot instead of behaving like an adult. His past might explain him and buy an ounce of compassion, but would never excuse him.

      • Steve Gillanders

        I’m not really clear what point you are trying to make here to counter to my stated view. Perhaps you could write it more coherently so I can make sense of it? Sorry for being such an idiot!

  • Matt Davis

    Customers don’t exist to make the lives of companies easier. Telling a boarded customer in his seat, with his bags in the plane, that the ticket he bought is being invalidated and he’ll have to fly a full day later is a ridiculous request. People don’t have a day to give up, and if they did, they shouldn’t have to spend it in an airport.

    This poor planning should not have been taken out on customers.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Are you so certain about the poor planning aspect? Have you an insight that we don’t as to why the crew needed to be on that plane? Could it have been that a flight in another destination – that was intended to carry the crew – went out of service on a mechanical failure? Could it have been that a storm prohibited their intended flight from taking off? Unless you are 100% certain that it was merely poor planning, you probably shouldn’t hold that line.

      People taking flights need to understand that things can happen that mean they won’t make their trip. Mechanical failures, acts of nature, people behaving like jackasses on other flights all disrupt the system. If you absolutely 100% need to be somewhere, there are no guarantees – whether you’re walking, driving your vehicle, etc. Plan accordingly. The airlines does their best.

      • Matt Davis

        It’s all about respect for customers, and this incident has none of it.

        Storms happen all the time. Mechanical failures happen. Airlines should know how to deal with these things. It’s not like there was never a thunderstorm before that one. It’s not like crews have ever been mis-positioned before. You’re telling me there’s no system other than kicking people off of planes they already boarded, and I don’t agree.

        UA could have offered more compensation, in accordance with their own policy. They could have made a list of everybody who needed to fly and compared that to the capacity of the flight before they put everyone on board. They could have asked if any passenger was willing to take the doctor’s place, with compensation, before they called the Keystone Kops.

        Delta has raised their compensation to up to $10k for denying boarding. That tells me they have a system where these situations are all but impossible to happen, because they aren’t going to want to pay that every time there’s a thunderstorm. UA needs to figure it out.

  • Marshall Rosenstein

    You’re a scientist, not a lawyer, and are expressing an opinion without the facts or reading the fine (legal) print, just as you are admonishing people not to do in your own blog. http://www.newsweek.com/why-united-were-legally-wrong-deplane-dr-dao-583535

  • Thomas Day

    Another right wing nut blaming the victim because he’s asian. If it was a white male Christian you’d be all up in arms. Idiot.

    • Blake

      Snowflake confirmed. Don’t have an argument: 1. accuse of being racist 2. accuse of being right wing

  • brothervizlani

    Rosa Parks did not give up her seat even though the law was clearly not on her side.

    Was her refusal heroic and groundbreaking or was she just mentally ill and a troublemaker?

    You are right, it easy to armchair quarterback the decisions that were made, just be sure and understand you are doing the same thing, just for United’s team as opposed to Dao’s team.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Not even similar to Rosa Parks. Please.

      • Sparafucile

        Correct. Rosa Parks was only morally in the right. Dau also had the law on his side.

  • blaz

    I agree with everything that you wrote, but that does not mean that the fine print in this case is fair…it is not. It gives he airline more rights than the passenger and needs to be reviewed. Removing a passanger because they are a danger to themselves or to the other passengers is not the same as removing them because it simply benefits the airline.

    • Blake

      Life is not fair. I don’t think the author was discussing what was fair or not. By the looks of the comments on this article it just proves the authors point even more.

      • blaz

        Life can be very fair if we all work together, if the lucky ones choose to help those less fortunate. Or we can just say “bad luck”, and walk in the other direction.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Blaz, it’s the airlines business. They have a right to run it to their maximum efficiency. In this case, getting the other employees to another (probably full) flight of 200 or so people in order for that fight to take off was more efficient than removing and rerouting 4 people. Does the greater good of many others outweigh the interests of a few?

      • blaz

        Annette, you are correct..the airline has every right to do as it pleases, but look where that has got them. Being right often has nothing to do with being fair. When I treat my clients fairly, they will return. If I just tell them to read the fine print ,they probably won’t.

        • Sparafucile

          You’re both wrong. Contract law and statute law apply. The airline violated both of them.

          • blaz

            With law, there is no wrong or right…there is only interpretation of the law…If this were not true, then all supreme court judges would always agree, but they don’t.

          • Sparafucile

            There are no vagaries in the controlling contract & statute. If you think there are, then show them…
            https://www.yahoo.com/news/why-united-legally-wrong-deplane-134223391.html

          • blaz

            Well ,if you believe that, then why bother with courts or lawyers. It is never black and white, and telling people that they are wrong instead of simply disagreeing is a Trump world view.

          • Sparafucile

            So … you’ve got nothing. As I thought.

          • blaz

            No less than your explanation.

          • Sparafucile

            Only if you’re a moron. Which, well …

          • blaz

            Exactly my point.

  • Seshadri Srinivas

    Regarding the man dragged off the plane, David Dao is a common name among Vietnamese .

    The doctor on the plane was Dr. David Thanh Duc Dao MD. He has four children , all are MD. His wife is a M.D. He has a clinic in South Louisville. He has no criminal past of any kind. All members of his family are professional people.

    The other David Dao, lives 60 miles from Louisville has a criminal record. His name is David Anh Duy Dao.

    Here the United airlines , their PR firms and paid pundits who write articles mischievously present a bad picture of the victim. Connecting Dr. Dao with a criminal Dao, They all demonize him with their influence with the mainstream media. It is a corporate dirty trick to bully him , tarnish his image and send message to other customers of the ugly consequences if they stand up for their rights.

  • ourBIGpicture

    For years I had 10 days of precious vacation time. You travel and book hotels, entertainment, other connecting travel, pick times when there are special events, pack, plan and arrange for children and pets to be cared for. In Europe it is illegal to overbook. When family gets together they can’t usually rebook their time around your messed up travel plans. The airline should offer an incentive for someone to get off and raise the price untill they have enough people to get off voluntarily. This is the only way passengers have control over their previous plans and their most valuable time. It is about time someone stood up to this bad practice. If you have fixed plans it is rediculous to buy a separate ticket to make sure you can go. If this is your plan, than airlines should have to refund you if you don’t show up.

    • Blake

      “The airline should offer an incentive for someone to get off and raise
      the price untill they have enough people to get off voluntarily.”

      Did you read the story? They did keep offering more money, but it was just a 30 minute flight! What do you want them to do? Keep offering until they hit $50,000 for a 30 minute flight? You can’t reason with a nut job like Dao. He had the cheapest ticket and the computer picked him. If you have those kinds of vacation plans you should be smart and get there a little earlier…. you know it’s called being responsible for your trip.

      • ourBIGpicture

        In some cases there is no amount of money some individuals would accept to miss an event such as a child’s performance. They need to offer this to the entire plane. I saw on one airline a young guy who said he would take $3,500 and a hotel for the night. The airline agreed. Dao had a reservation. If he wanted a cheap ticket he could have gone standby. Thank you Mr. Dao. It is about time someone challenged this practice. My sister got picked for something like this and she has health problems and mobility problems. Her care taker got her settled on her flight and then went and caught hers. Eventually it got settled but it was an emotional tragedy for my sister. Not everyone has the mental capacity to be jerked around. Obviously Mr Dao is one of those. I hope that this promulgates that there be penalties for overbooking such as there is in Europe. Let the airlines offer incentive fairs for stand by as they used to do many years ago. Then those who buy a seat will get what they paid for and the airline has a chance at getting a full plane. Most will pay a little more, but it may make travel reachable for some that normally can’t afford this luxury as they will have the chance to fly standby. Blake: Your statements of how we should all adjust to this ridiculous practice is controlling. You know nothing about me, how busy my life is or anything else to be able to make comments about how I should adjust to a dysfunctional airline industry. You are obviously a person that has the time to take standby, and are in good health. My suggestion is that you try thinking what it would take for you to lose it, so maybe you can get a wider perspective. Not everyone has your tolerance and health. Since your time does not appear to be very valuable to you, a standby program may work out for you.

      • Sparafucile

        Yes, dummy, that’s what they should do. They’re trying to buy back a contract that they had no *right* to reclaim or invalidate. Free market, baby.

      • Cam

        I’m pretty sure that if it got up to $5,000,000.00 they would be able to consider it money well spent at this point.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      I’m not going to argue the practice – that’s a business need beyond your scope or mine. But I will say that the airlines do all they can to make it clear that you cannot 100% count on the flight – whether due to outside forces or their business needs. If you drove your own car somewhere there’s no guarantee you’d make the trip (cars break down, accidents happen, etc.) so why would you count on an airlines any more than you count on your own transportation?

      • Sparafucile

        Because the Contract of Carriage is what you purchase with a ticket. And it spells out under what conditions you travel. Dau complied with ALL of them.

  • Sirk Nottac

    Just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it right

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Depends on what you’re saying is right.

    • Sparafucile

      That’s OK — because the removal wasn’t remotely legal.

  • Winston Wulfe

    You are an idiot and you didn’t state any relevant facts at all. If everyone never questioned authority we wouldn’t be a country and we wouldn’t have civil rights. Only ignorant cowardly Lemmings follow authority blindly. His past is irrelevant to the situation and if you want to talk about the law united broke many more in that incident than he did. We are supposed to take someone that closes his argument with a 10 year old star wars meme seriously? Here are some relevant facts for you:
    This was not an overbooking situation. HE was bumped last minute after being seated for an employee transfer. Most airlines have standby and on call crews however they are paid at a higher premium. He had already encountered previous cancelled flights and had been delayed over 24 hours from his ticketed departure time.
    He had initially accepted the next flight until he learned it was 2pm the next day!. He was a doctor seeing patients, a senior citizen and grandfather wishing to come home to see his family. HE was traveling with his wife.
    He was offered only $800 compensation when United is required by law to offer $1350. A couple offered to give up their spots for $1600. There are people that have been compensated up to $17k by united in 2016 for being bumped. The people that assaulted him were not law enforcement. They are a private security firm that handles airport security. This is a unique situation unique to Chicago due to the corruption there. They were ordered by a judge to remove the police verbiage from their clothing. An order the security firm ignored. He was not chosen at random. United picks the person who paid the least for their fare because by law compensation is based on how much you paid. People with status can not get picked to leave and you can get bumped from a flight automatically if someone with higher status needs a seat. Also a sales transaction is a legally binding contract an airline can’t just ask you to leave for the hell of it or they are in breach of their contract and if its discriminatory then its illegal on their part. Its the same reason you can’t open a restaurant and refuse service to black people or jews just because you feel like it. Your licensing allows you to remove unruly customers or anyone breaking the law or the rules you post publicly but not just anyone. at anytime.
    So here are some real facts to chew on troll.

  • Keith Warren

    The article sounds like an airline media post. Paying passengers should come first. End of story. Airline Staff should make better plans re travel

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      That’s an ignorant statement.
      How do you know that there wasn’t a problem with airline planning? Could it have been that another flight went out of service, got stalled by a storm, etc. and that caused the problem?
      Until the law changes passengers have limited rights. Rather than make ignorant comments, do something to change the laws.

      • hermit_au

        Again, that would be irrelevant. It doesn’t matter why they needed staff somewhere else, they have accepted payment from this man to fly him from his place of origin to his destination, and that’s what they are obliged to do. If they need to move staff around, perhaps they should UNDERsell flights so that they always have a couple of spare seats for that purpose. Paying passengers take precedence over airline staff.

    • drs899

      You seem to be confusing a right and a privilege. No one has a right to fly unless they own the airplane, and a privilege is granted at the will of the owner and can be removed by the owner. As for inconveniencing four passengers, a lot more passengers would have been inconvenienced if the employees couldn’t get to their destination, and that flight had to be cancelled.

    • StewSue

      Airline staff should make better plans? LOL that makes no sense. Who can plan for mother nature or mechanical issues?

  • Christi Baus

    BS, I do not care who he is or what he did before. Shame on you for victim bashing. I do not agree with this practice of bumping. If airlines don’t have their staff properly positioned, maybe they should buy a ticket on another airline to get them there rather than ruin someone’s day and their own reputation. DOWN WITH UNITED!

    • Blake

      “i do not care” = I’m not interested in making an informed decision. Snowflake confirmed.

      • hermit_au

        I disagree. “I do not care” = your claims about the victim are irrelevant information that does not have anything to do with the rights or wrongs of this story.

    • Annette Avila Nuñez

      Who is victim-bashing? It doesn’t matter what he did before the incident, I agree. But there is no way I’m counting this guy a victim since he created the damage done to himself.
      You seem to find the airlines guilty for the problem with their staff and transit. That’s fine if you can definitely show that the airlines failed. What if a plane that was set to transport their people went out of service? What if their intended flight was cancelled, delayed, etc. by a storm or other act of nature? If it’s not their fault, how can you hold them accountable? Had the “victim” in this case gotten of the plane, it’s entirely possible the airlines might have been able to get him on another flight – but what they had to do was supply a crew for another plane to take off; unless you like the idea of the airlines stiffing a bunch of passengers in another site because the “victim” got his way.

      • Sparafucile

        “You seem to find the airlines guilty for the problem with their staff ”

        Well, duh.

        Companies are legally (in both civil and criminal courts) responsible for the official conduct of their employees.

      • hermit_au

        Annette, the customer had bought his seat on that flight, and he was entitled to fly. If the airline doesn’t have their staff where they need them, for ANY reason, that’s their problem. They can book them on another flight. The passenger should have priority, as he has paid for their service.

    • Sparafucile

      It’s the kind of ad hominem argument that does nothing but glaringly exhibit the weakness (and lack of actual citations supporting) the authors supposed case.

    • hermit_au

      Oh yeah. Couldn’t agree more.

    • The Truth

      I doubt you even read the article. I bet you read til you got to a part you didn’t like and immediately came down to the comments section.

  • Steve Stout

    Unruly passenger? Even United CEO disagrees with that assessment.

    • Blake

      “Even United CEO disagrees with that assessment.” Hey retard, the reason United CEO disagrees is because he knows saying anything else would make people like you rabble and lynch even more. It is really a damned if you do don’t situation. What an idiot. You think the CEO really believes this was their fault?

  • ExiledV2

    It looks like United itself decided they were in the wrong, considering they have now completely changed their policy: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/united-policy-crew-displace-seated-passengers-46830554

    So I guess your diatribe wasn’t all that accurate.

  • TomInCali

    His behavior was very unprofessional, seemed to exhibit mental illness
    And then the author embeds videos showing his behavior to be professional and calm. Saying “no” to a cop is not a sign of mental illness.

  • tom bennethum

    to all politically correct hypocrites he was aloud to make a call to corporate plead his case and when it didn’t go his way and trust me telling authorities you are not going to cooperate is never a good thing as a matter of fact it can be mistaken for being belligerent. this is the worst crime against humanity that happened that day, so all you politically and morally correct people can sleep well knowing that you with your support that dr dao will have made this country and all of humanity better.

  • kunndi k

    Irony:
    “The internet is a great thing, but it’s also full of stupid people that could care less about facts. ”
    Did the airline or airport security do anything wrong in this author’s eyes?

  • Tim Daley

    This article is ridiculous. He bought a ticket and we seated, not bumped prior. He broke no law until United forced him to, and that was simply not leaving his seat. Yes, look further into it. Yes, be aware of the other side before you post. But also don’t bring up an irrelevant past and blame the victim.

  • Paul Schwartzmeyer

    Why would you bump a guy AFTER HE GETS ON THE PLANE. Also, this reminds me of the episode where Jerry Soenfeld rents the car. The ticket is FOR THE FLIGHT. The fact is, United knows that no matter when you book, they can deny you a flight. That’s why they only offered $400.

    • mcmtnstr

      Republic Airlines. The guy’s lawyer said they offered $850 and a hotel room.

  • mcmtnstr

    Lengthy, but on point, so response in kind. The author didn’t mention a few other salient points: the airline this occurred upon was owned and operated by Republic Airlines, simply a United marketing affiliate; along with others, the Dr. had already peacefully deplaned, became upset at the gate counter, and ran back onto the aircraft and sat down. Serious security violation, police take over; it has been reported that the Dr. flailed at and spat on the plainclothes police officer- now believed to be an Air Marshall- reportedly, the good Dr.’s injuries were at least partly self inflicted when his hand finally came free from the arm rest as the police rightfully removed him from the commuter plane; the Dr. is limited by the state of Kentucky medical board to practice medicine only one day a week, due to his multiple drug convictions and anger management issues. Maybe he cut it too close playing around up in Chicago. And it is very baffling just why the CEO of United took ownership of the problem and apologized on behalf of Republic Airlines, the Chicago Aviation Police and the Federal Air Marshall service, without saying that he was doing just that. Lots of brand damage for no reason. Lastly, and theoretical, the conservative owned media appears to have wanted this to stay in the news. 7 days. Creating a huge, shiny object for many Americans to chase during a showy, preemptive missile attack on an abandoned air base in Syria and the MOAB bomb fiasco in Afghanistan, as well as distracting from another 4 day Mar Lago vacation and revelations that Trump’s lead campaign staff were under surveillance and FISI warrants for espionage for three years leading up to the election. All is not as it seems.

    • Sparafucile

      The relevant person, the one who sought the “assistance” from law enforcement, was a United Employee.

      Care to try again?

  • Sparafucile

    The fact-rejecting nitwit who wrote this is an embarrassment to the rest of us who work and teach in the sciences.

    I’d love it if he could offer a single citation from governing law or United’s Contract of Carriage to back up any of his inane assertions. But I know he cannot. Because they don’t exist.

  • hermit_au

    You love telling us how professional you are … do you mean a professional plane passenger? Professionalsim has nothing to do with it. The man bought a ticket for his seat for that flight, and he was entitled to his seat. If someone doesn’t get to fly, its the airlines employee who should lose their seat, not a paying passenger. Overbooking needs to stop. Does the author believe that we should always book with two airlines in case we get bumped off one? Ridiculous.

  • hermit_au

    It doesn’t matter why the Airline may have needed staff somewhere else, they have accepted payment from this man to fly him from his place of origin to his destination, and that’s what they are obliged to do. If they need to move staff around, perhaps they should UNDERsell flights so that they always have a couple of spare seats for that purpose. Paying passengers take precedence over airline staff.

    This is about a company taking money to provide a service to a customer and then deciding at the very last moment to deny the customer that service. If any other business did that they would be in big trouble.

  • DeSean Perez

    How much did United pay this writer? The tone is pretty bias lol

  • The Truth

    David Dao played everyone. His fake screams, being dragged off making himself appear worse of than he did. Do those sound like genuine screams? Where is the video of him getting back up and running back on the plane after he said he was a diabetic? David Dao made more money from this one incident than 99%nof the people on here would in 5 lifetimes. Only days after the incident his lawyer puts him in a hospital and said he had 2 front teeth knocked out, a concussion and broken nose. His compensation charges were like $50,000 for medical bills. Pain and suffering another 50. Being made a digital victim and causing United Airlines a major loss in stock mess. $10 million compensation. Just like a politician, he is laughing all the way to the bank.