After hearing about a violent assault on Asian doctor David Dao, many are calling for a boycott of United Airlines, which seems to be involved in ongoing controversies. United Airlines faces public scorn yet again after forcibly removing a passenger from a flight that was about to leave a Chicago airport on Sunday, reports the Inquisitr. Random passengers were asked to leave the overbooked flight to make room for extra crew members who were needed at the flight’s destination in Louisville, Kentucky. When David Dao refused to leave, stating that he was a doctor who needed to attend to patients at a hospital in the morning, security personnel threw him against an armrest and proceeded to drag him out of the plane.
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The Inquisitr reports that the brutal assault was caught on camera by Audra Bridges, a passenger sitting just a few seats away. Everyone was shocked and frightened by the violent way that United staff handled Dao, who was bleeding and appeared to be knocked unconscious as a result of the ordeal. Thanks to Bridges’ decision to post the footage to social media, individuals across the country and around the world were able to react, with many deciding that they would boycott United Airlines.
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Although those calling for a boycott are expressing concern over the way the overbooking policy was handled, they are the most shocked about the way David Dao was treated. Gizmodo reports that United Airlines apologized for overbooking the flight but did not apologize for assaulting the doctor.
According to USA Today, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz tweeted what many feel is a lackluster apology.
“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”
USA Today reports that David Dao said he was calling his lawyer after a manager threatened that they would call security if he did not willingly leave the plane. Despite his refusal to leave and his insistence upon the necessity of being on that flight, the manager called three security officials, who each came one by one to speak to Dao and try to convince him to leave. After refusing for the third time, the last security officer decided to remove the doctor by force. United Airlines has thus far not made any comments as to the appropriateness of this official’s behavior or of any disciplinary action.
According to Gizmodo, this is not the first time that United Airlines has mistreated and disrespected passengers. Only a few weeks ago, United prohibited three young female passengers from boarding the plane due to their choice to wear leggings. United Airlines also faced public censure after removing an autistic child from a flight, even as fellow passengers reported that the girl was not being disruptive. Just two weeks after this, United came under fire yet again for refusing to give a Muslim woman an unopened can of Diet Coke, citing safety reasons. Tahera Ahmed felt especially insulted after the flight attendant gave an unopened can of beer to the man sitting next to her after being denied the same request herself
A lesser-known scandal is United Airline’s decision to reopen a route between Columbia, South Carolina, and Newark, New Jersey, in exchange for the Port Authority’s permission to build a hangar. This incident led to United’s then-CEO Jeff Smisek to resign, along with two other executives.
United Airlines’ storied history of mistreating its passengers and engaging in unethical behavior has come to a head in Sunday’s brutal assault of a doctor who was just trying to get to his patients as soon as he possibly could. It is unclear how large this boycott will grow, how long it will last, or whether it will have any effect on United Airlines or on David Dao.
[Featured Image by Rick Kern/Getty Images]