Violent Passenger Removal Happens on United Airlines Plane Before Takeoff

On April 9, 2017, an elderly doctor was removed by three security guards from his flight on United Airlines; this incident left him with numerous injuries and worldwide attention.

Unfortunately, Dr. David Dao, a 69 year old man, suffered a severe concussion, broken nose, and damaged sinuses. He also lost two front teeth when he was dragged off a flight on Sunday to give room for United Airlines personnel. Thereafter, he received treatment for his bloodied face and gruesome bruises at a Chicago hospital after he was dismissed from the United Express Flight 3411 travelling from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky.

Jessica Fernandez, sophomore, says, “I was so disappointed and saddened that this is happening in our country since this exemplifies how our human rights can easily be stripped away.”

Later on, United Airlines explained that all of seats on the Louisville-bound flight were filled when four passengers were told they had to abandon their seats to accommodate crew members needed in Louisville the next day. Three passengers exited quietly, but Dao, a father of five who was flying with his wife, refused to leave, and as a result, Chicago aviation authorities were called and a wild scramble ensued as passengers recorded the occurrence.

A barrage of Internet outrage rained down on the Chicago-based airline after videos emerged of Sunday night’s violent confrontation, collecting hundreds of millions of views around the world and producing an infuriated public response. Amplified by social media, consumers have threatened to boycott the airline, lawmakers demanded an investigation into the episode, and social media users in China and elsewhere accused the company of racism for its violent treatment of an Asian customer.

Kaylee Nguyen, freshman, explains, “They could have asked him more than once politely to exit the airplane because what they did to him was just immoral and unethical.”

Suffering a one-day stock drop of $250 million, the three Chicago Aviation police officers have been placed on leave and the airline offered a string of awkward apologies while additionally issuing a refund for everyone that was aboard the flight. Furthermore, United’s apology promised immediate action by no longer asking law enforcement officers to remove passengers from ongoing flights unless it is a matter of safety and reviewing policies on training and crew movement.

The matter has deeply damaged United’s public image and seemed to crystallize many people’s negative feelings toward the airline industry, which has tried to maximize profits by shrinking seats and legroom and charging passengers for many services. In summary, the incident has obtained a massive amount of attention and has alarmed United Airlines of their reckless ​actions towards their clients. This, in turn, has made it a requirement that crews to be onboard at least sixty minutes before departure. United Airlines hopes to avoid repeating this awful incident by making necessary policy changes to better ensure the safety of their costumes, workers, and image.