There are plenty of legitimate reasons to hate flying. There’s all the tedium of the security checks, the boredom of waiting in the departure lounge for a delayed flight, the agony of missing luggage and the nausea that comes with a sudden bout of turbulence. But even if you hate flying with a passion, nobody ever expects to be physically restrained, assaulted and then thrown off a flight not moments after boarding and sitting down.
Yet that’s exactly what happened to the unfortunate Dr David Dao when he boarded United Airlines flight 3411, and irate airport security personnel knocked him unconscious when removing him from the flight. United Airlines had intended to remove four random passenger from the overbooked flight 3411 to make room for staff that were being transferred from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky on short notice.
But when nobody accepted a free hotel room and $800 compensation to reschedule their flight, a United Airlines manager boarded the flight and forced four people at random to leave. When Dao refused to comply, he was dragged out by security after a brief yet bloody struggle, which was filmed by another passenger. The alarming clip quickly went viral on social media, and outraged viewers who were struck by the 69-year-old’s plight.
Since the consequent hurricane of negative media publicity caused United’s stock to drop by £100 million over the course of the following day, United Airlines have been desperately back-pedalling in an attempt to make up for their shabby treatment of Dao, but unfortunately for them, that hasn’t stopped rival airlines from taking advantage of the situation and kicking their competitor while they’re down.
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