Videos and images of a bloody man being beaten and dragged from a United Airline Flight surfaced yesterday, causing outrage and United losing $800 million in value, from $22.5 billion to more than $750 million.
The victim is identified as 69-year-old grandfather, Dr. David Dao, who specializes in internal medicine. In the videos, Dr. Dao was heard saying that he needed to go home to Louisville to tend to his patients.
He is also a father of five, where four out of five of his children are doctors. His wife Teresa, 69, is a pediatrician. She was trained at Ho Chi Minh University in Saigon and practices in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Their youngest daughter Angela, 27, is a University of Kentucky medical graduate; Christine, their eldest daughter, is a doctor in Durham, NC; Ben, their second son, 31, is also a medical graduate; and Tim, the eldest son, 34, practices medicine in Texas.
After Dr. Dao’s identity was revealed, the airline consequently dealt with a stock price crash.
United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized for the incident that occurred, but justified the crew’s actions to remove the elderly man, claiming that Dr. Dao was “disruptive and belligerent”. The issued apology by the CEO stated that he “apologized for having to re-accommodate these customers”, praised his staff for going “above and beyond” and that his airline crew was simply following “established procedures” ; However, after giving this public apology, social media described Munoz and United as “tone deaf” and “condescending”. A man being violently dragged out of a flight was considered, in the eyes of Munoz and United, following procedures.
Twitter comments have been made, with one user stating “beating and bloodying a 69 year-old doctor is ‘protocol’ @United ?” (twitter, jerZboyUSA)
United staff offered a compensation of up to $1,000 for anyone to volunteer to take the flight the next day, ultimately giving up their spot for airline staff due to overbooking. The staff resorted to selecting volunteers through computer, where a couple and another passenger left peacefully. Dr. Dao was also selected but refused to leave. Munoz claimed that Dr. Dao “raised his voice and refused to comply” and he became “disruptive and belligerent”.
“Our agents were left with no choice, but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight, he repeatedly decline to leave”. The passenger was then physically removed from his seat, but “[runs] back onto the aircraft in defiance of both out crew and security officials”.
The incident took place when the flight was overbooked and United staff refused to fly to Louisville until four people give up their seats. This statement ultimately gave the wrong impression to people.
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