Horrifying United Airlines Assault


By Arianna Chen, Junior Editor

There has been recent public outrage over an incident that occurred on United Airlines flight 4311 departing from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to Kentucky.

The situation was initiated when United Airlines informed the customers (already seated on the plane) that four of them would need to leave in order to provide seats for four employees on the plane. When no one accepted their incentive of $800 to leave, they randomly generated four names and asked those people to leave. However, one name who has been identified as Dr. Dao refused to leave, claiming that he had “to see patients in the morning” in Kentucky.

Viral videos posted online document airport police dragging the doctor who refused to give up his seat and slamming his head against a nearby arm of a seat. The police proceeded to drag his unconscious, bloody body down the aisle and off the plane while other horrified passengers spoke out against the brute actions of the police.

Another video showcases the man stumbling back into the plane with a bloodied mouth muttering, “I have to go home” and later “kill me, just kill me.”

Although many were shocked to see the inhumane treatment exhibited towards Dr. Dao, many were not surprised because “airlines routinely sell tickets to more people than the plane can seat, counting on several people not to arrive.” However, overbooking situations are usually dealt with prior to passengers being seated on the plane, which was certainly no the case in this situation.

The treatment of Dr. Dao has sparked major controversy and questioning over the standard operation of airport corporations and whether these standards are just.

United Airlines managed to make the situation worse for themselves by issuing a seemingly unapologetic and evasive “apology” that apologized for the overbooking situation instead of the poor treatment shown to the concussed Dr. Dao.

Both the Chicago Police and Department of Aviation stated that the actions taken by the police were not “in accordance with [the] standard operating procedure and actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department.

Personally, I feel that the huge $1 billion hit that United Airlines has taken to their stock is completely justified. Although the actions exhibited on this flight do not represent the actions and intentions of every United Airlines employee, the fact that the CEO of United Airlines condoned these actions, telling his employees that he “empathetically stand[s] behind all of [them]” and that “our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.” The extreme lengths that the Chicago Aviation Security Officers took to remove Dr. Dao from the United Airlines flight are outrageously immoral and should not be tolerated by the CEO of United Airlines.

The CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz, later issued a real apology after he realized that he caused his company a PR catastrophe, but the words that he truly meant will forever remain on the internet and continue to enrage former and present United Airlines customers.