The United Scandal

By Asa Brown

Recently, Dr. David Dao was kicked off a United Airlines flight after the plane was overbooked. Dao will probably sue, according to his lawyer.

When I first saw the video of Dao getting dragged off a plane, my immediate reaction was similar to that of many other people, a gut-wrenching, sickening feeling.

To top it off, United handled the thing terribly, turning nearly everyone against them. In general, the backlash against United united both liberals and conservatives this week, so I guess the corporation is living up to its name. Was there a better way to handle it? Yes. Do they deserve all the lost business and money ($700 million) for this? Probably. Dragging screaming passengers off a plane is not a good look.

But could Dao have prevented this with a grumble and saunter off the plane, like his co-passengers? I say yes. Hundreds of people get kicked off planes because of overbooking every day. And because this guy was a jerk, he is the one receiving support? It doesn’t seem right. Obviously, most of the support is for the injuries, and not the getting pulled off, but the whole thing seems skewed. I mean, if the police are telling you to get off a plane, you get off the plane. Everyone should know that, especially a medical professional.

Scientists believe the an average adult makes about 35,000 decisions in a day. Most of these are small, meaningless decisions, but some matter. Within reason, you control your life. And both United and the police handled it poorly, making bad decisions. But Dao didn’t do everything correctly either. And yes, nobody should have to be dragged off a plane missing teeth and bleeding from the nose. However, at least a little bit, Dao brought it upon himself.