Unless you have been living under a rock as of late (or don’t have access to the internet), there is a huge scandal that has erupted after a passenger was removed, quite aggressively, when a United Airlines flight was overbooked. Images of security officers sliding the man along the aisle of the plane from his arms and legs remain in the minds of anyone who has seen the footage. The flyer was David Dao, a Vietnamese-American doctor, and photos and video of him bleeding along his face have caused a scandal in full swing that continues with great momentum.
Flyers and customers of the airline are outraged, the company’s CEO is shocked and disturbed by the situation, and an officer is now on leave. Still, the backlash continues around this crazy and terrifying controversy.
Still, while the United incident took a turn for the violent, CNN reports this is not an unusual situation. As per the Department of Transportation, in 2015, 46,000 travelers were bumped from planes against their will due to overbooked flights. Despite this, the true essence of the scandal was how United’s staff and officers dealt with the incident.
While Oscar Munoz, CEO for United Airlines apologized for the incident, stating he was horrified and disturbed by what happened on that flight, he also promised a thorough review of the incident by April 30th.
But, what really happened? As the story goes, after everyone settled in for the flight, United needed to find seats for four crew for another flight. As per a United spokesperson, if these crew members didn’t get seats aboard the plane, the flight would have been scrapped all together.
Still, apparently, the man who ended up being violently removed from the plane (and his wife) had, at first, volunteered to catch another flight, according to Jayse Anspach, a fellow passenger. Sadly, once they realized the next plane wouldn’t be leaving until Monday afternoon, they declined leaving the plane, as Dao had to be back for work.
As the officers continued to insist he leave, he insisted on staying. As Anspach noted, Dao was emphatic around the situation; he kept telling them he simply couldn’t be late for work and that he was a doctor.
However, the officers did not listen to his reasoning. They proceeded to drag the man down the plane’s aisle, which resulted in him hitting his head on an armrest; causing him to bleed from his mouth.
According to Tyler Bridges, another passenger, as the incident took place, Dr. Dao stated he was being profiled as a Chinese passenger.
A statement was released by the man’s lawyers, as he was at a Chicago hospital seeking treatment. The Dao family relayed their appreciation of support, concern, and prayers from the public around the incident. However, the statement also relayed that the family would not speak to media until David was released from the hospital.