The story of United Airlines and Dr. Dao is primarily a case of media deciding that we must care about this story and that we must side with Dr. Dao. It’s really a case of everyone acting badly – everyone.
To the people who call it signs of a police state, not at all. We might be heading for a police state but this isn’t proof. United is a private airline and the so-called police were aviation security, not local police, who followed protocol.
What we don’t see in the admittedly unpleasant videos is what happened before. The airline said the doctor was “unruly and belligerent”. What did he do to make them concerned? We don’t know.
As soon as security approached him and told him to leave his seat, the doctor acted like a five-year old and screamed for dear life. He apparently hit his lip on an arm rest and was not beaten. He was dragged and that appears to be excessive force.
Somehow, he then got back on the plane, running to the back screaming like a Rottweiler with a bomb strapped to his back that he had to “get back home” and “kill me now”.
Flying on someone else’s plane is a privilege though we do pay for it. It’s not an unqualified right and those guidelines are spelled out in the small print. The doctor should have accepted the authority of the crew and gotten off the plane.
Most of us would be unhappy but we’d boycott them or write a nasty letter. Dr. Dao should have taken the $800 dollars and a train home.
Having worked for the airlines, I can tell you they don’t bump passengers unless they have to. The crew weren’t going sunning at the beach. They were needed to take over for other crew so hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other passengers could make their flights. You would not only have many more disgruntled passengers, you would be fined a lot of money. People like Chuck Schumer would be out condemning you and there would be more regulations put on the airline. As it is, the airline only makes a profit on about ten passengers.
And, no the plane wasn’t overbooked and, yes they try their hardest to not bump passengers.
Should the airline have exercised better judgement? Perhaps they were allowed to offer more money or send the crew home by bus but not likely.
What if they then bumped someone else in his stead? Wouldn’t that person have been upset? I didn’t see anyone volunteering to take his place. All we see are morally righteous people on tape condemning the airline crew.
What if they arranged transport for the doctor? Maybe they weren’t allowed to offer that.
The airline called security for a reason. By the time security came to remove him, he had already raised alarm among the crew.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to see airlines dragging people off unless they had a shoe bomb and they should look at their guidelines to see how they can offer a more measured response next time.
However, Dr. Dao getting his way reduces the authority of the airline responsible for our safety. Without that, we have anarchy.
But, frankly, people who got all huffy should reconsider responding to the biased media next time. We still don’t have all the information.
While Dr. Dao’s history trading pills for sex isn’t relevant, his reaction might be tied to emotional or drug issues based on that very history.
Security might have used better judgment. However, the rules are zero tolerance because we live in a world of terrorists and bombings and Dr. Dao sure didn’t act normally.
Shame on all of us. We fell for it. The twitter comments insulting United were funny for a while but it’s not funny any longer. It was fake news.