United Air­lines hits a new low


United Air­lines took the air­line in­dus­try to a new low when a pas­sen­ger, Dr. David Dao, was knocked out and then dragged off an over­booked flight. Se­cu­rity of­fi­cials un­seated the pay­ing pas­sen­ger and dragged him through the aisle in a vi­o­lent man­ner that has sparked world­wide anger against United for its prac­tice.

Flight 3411 from Chicago O’Hare Air­port for Louisville, Ken­tucky, was over­booked be­cause the air­line needed to trans­port four em­ploy­ees to Louisville. Air­line rep­re­sen­ta­tives asked for four vol­un­teers to exit the plane in ex­change for a free ho­tel stay and $400 to take the next day’s 3 p.m. flight. When no one took United up on the of­fer, they upped the cash re­ward to $800, but there were still no tak­ers. And then United ran­domly se­lected pas­sen­gers to off­load.

The first peo­ple se­lected were a cou­ple who po­litely ex­ited the plane. The next man cho­sen re­fused, claim­ing he was a doc­tor that needed to see pa­tients the next morn­ing. Ac­cord­ing to pas­sen­gers, the man be­came very up­set, and said he was call­ing his lawyer. Af­ter two se­cu­rity of­fi­cers asked the man to leave, he still re­fused. A third se­cu­rity of­fi­cer pulled the man out of his seat, bash­ing his head on an arm­rest, al­legedly knock­ing him un­con­scious. His limp body was then dragged down the aisle and off the plane. Hor­ri­fied pas­sen­gers gasped, scream­ing “This is wrong!” and “Look at what you’re do­ing!” while mul­ti­ple peo­ple recorded the al­ter­ca­tion on smart phones.

The CEO of the air­line sub­se­quently apol­o­gised af­ter is­su­ing a state­ment on the com­pany’s process. The CEO has been shamed. Mean­while, the pas­sen­ger has filed a case against United Air­lines ask­ing the court to di­rect the air­line to pre­serve sur­veil­lance videos, cock­pit voice record­ings, pas­sen­ger and crew lists, and other ma­te­ri­als re­lated to United Flight 3411. The Chicago Avi­a­tion Depart­ment sub­se­quently has placed three of­fi­cers on leave.

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