Photo courtesy of Unilad
As conflicts heat up in Syria and North Korea all the mainstream newspapers can seem to talk about is the recent United Airlines fiasco. A passenger, David Dao was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines’ plane right before departure. Social media has reacted by again turning into a feeding frenzy. Every day there seems to be a new angle shot on a dodgy camera phone and new details coming out about Dao’s past. Just today, the Washington Post grabbed at straws when they reported someone’s desperate story that they encountered a scorpion on a United Airlines’ flight on the same day as Dao’s incident. Worldwide boycotts of United Airlines have occurred, which lasted for a few days before their stocks returned to normal. As I look deeper into this story, the more I realise that there are no heroes involved. This is a disaster in every sense of the word and no matter how you look at it, its ugliness it there for all to see.
For people not tuned in to the story it is easy to get riled up about United Airlines. Everyone has been screwed over by an airline at least once in their lives and Dao’s story lets people create that plane shaped punching bag in their minds. A narrative pushing Dao’s innocence has been making the rounds so much that even Donald Trump made a statement on the matter. Apparently Dao, a hardworking doctor, was innocently sitting there waiting for his flight. Enter United Airlines… After a corrupt deal benefitting United Airlines’ staff was done, numerous security guards set upon Dao. They proceeded to bash him brutally right in the middle of the aisle, just as over-priced drinks were being served too. He was then dragged by the feet, blood rushing down his face, right off of the plane into the closest open bin. It does not take a genius to realise that this story is complete myth.
So what did happen, in fact? It is extremely common for airlines to ‘overbook’ flights, as more often than not, numerous people do not show up. I lucked out on my last flight when my whole row decided that their family Christmas wasn’t worth it after all. Unfortunately for this flight, everyone did show up. This would have been fine if it was not for a scheduling mistake, which saw the necessary boarding of four United Airlines staff. Now, security didn’t just pounce on Dao as the news keeps reporting. United Airlines staff calmly, and regrettably notified the passengers of the situation, offering $400 compensation to place volunteers on the next available flight. This soon was upped to $1000, but still no takers raised their hands. I personally would have taken it, but these people had just gotten comfy in their rock hard plane seats, I guess. Eventually, United Airlines was forced to select four people at random to take the compensation and be placed on the next flight. This is an important bit, which changes the story completely. Three separate people calmly took the money and calmly exited the plane. Three people! How unlucky for United Airlines that they accidently chose the most unhinged customer on the plane for the fourth…
People do not end up bloodied and being dragged out by security for no reason. If you are a sensible person, these things do not happen. In fact, if you kept calm in this exact situation you would have received $1000 and be inconvenienced for a few hours until you got on the next plane, like the first three people. Dao did not do this however. Dao instead turned hysterical. In fact, the United Airlines President himself called Dao’s behaviour ‘disruptive and belligerent’. Dao is seen to say that he would ‘rather go to jail than miss my flight’ and that if they wanted to get him off the plane that they would have to ‘drag me’. Does this sound like a rational person? The confused policemen asks Dao to clarify by stating, ‘So you would rather go to jail than leave the plane calmly?’ The clips cut out, but this behaviour obviously escalated. Policemen can be heard to say, ‘Look, I am going to have to drag you out. You know how this is going to end up, right?’ This is when Dao completely loses the plot as he can be heard to be kicking and screaming like an animal. The cuts and bruises on Dao’s face are most likely caused by his own erratic movements as security guards attempted to control him.
Photo courtesy of Next Shark
This is when things get really strange. Dao makes a break for it, running up and down the plane hysterically muttering ‘I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home’ over and over, as he dodges around seats. He can even be heard to repeat the line, ‘just kill me’. I know that we all have gotten a bit tired on plane journeys, but this is just bizarre behaviour. For all the passengers that are screaming out, ‘Oh my god! Look at what you have done!’ you were obviously not that concerned because the flight took off without Dao only a short while later with everyone on board.
I am not defending United Airlines here. They made countless stupid mistakes, all of which could have been handled in different ways to avoid this situation. I personally believe that they should not be allowed to boot simply anyone off the plane that has rightfully bought a ticket. They are legally allowed to however, as they are to forcibly escort people off of planes. People have suggested they create cheap ‘ferry-like’ transport planes for staff instead of putting them on with the public. This is logistically unrealistic though, come on. What I take issue with is exactly the same thing that happens continually with police officers. People whip out their phones after the event is nearly over, making the police’s force seem over the top. Just like the investigation into the NT jails, footage was not recorded of the prisoner spitting their Hep B infested sputum into staff faces, but only when a spit hood was forcibly put on him and he was restrained. United Airlines was useless and irresponsible and Dao was hysterical and ridiculous. There are no winners, but I am sure several court cases will say otherwise.
See above our recent sketch on the United Airlines fiasco. The Principal of Earth recently found out about it and we are all in store for a good drubbing!