THE OTHER SIDE OF THE UNITED STORY
1. DR. David Dao was randomly selected to deplane UAL flight # 3411 to make room for four United crew members needed to complete a flight in Louisville, Kentucky.
2. Dr. Dao was escorted to a holding area after being told on at least three occasions by the flight attendant, the first officer and the Federal police that he was going to have to make a different connection which United would provide and pay him $800 for his trouble …along with a hotel room for the night.
3. The Doctor ran through the secured area and back on the plane refusing to leave his seat. Once he did that law enforcement was called to apply the necessary force to remove the doctor. Passengers who don’t obey Federal law enforcement are considered a threat, potential or real.
4. He was forcibly removed by federal aviation security. The amount of force applied by the police must be superior to the resistance offered by the suspect.
THE CASE FOR UNITED:
1. TRAMPLING ON PASSENGER’S RIGHTS: United did not break any law as we all agree to the possibility of involuntary bump in a “must ride” when purchasing a ticket. It’s in the fine print of every aviation ticket. It is DOT required. It is called the contract of Carriage…section 21.
2. OVERBOOKING: 3411 overbooked, all airlines do, The “must fly” situation occurs when a crew must be flown to an airport to man a flight in order to avoid cancellation due to crew unavailability. This is a federal DOT regulation to avoid disruption of air traffic. One cancelled flight has a serious domino affect in the complicated world of connections and aviation law. 46,000 passengers deplaned due to overbooking in 2015.
3. POOR PLANNING: United is not at fault for poor planning. Weather, maintenance, connecting flight delays, FAA timeout regulations can and do cause crew shortages.
4. ASSAULT: United never touched the passenger. The flight crew remained calm and pleasant throughout the entire event, never laying hands on the passenger. The Federal protocol is once law enforcement became involved United stepped out of the decision-making process. Blame 9/11 for that.
1. Dr. Dao created the problem himself. Had he simply agreed to leave and catch the next flight, none of this would have happened. His hysterical rants, shouts, screams and struggle to keep his seat resulted in a forcible eviction; one that used excessive force to accomplish what Federal law required.
2. Social media frenzy will make it easy for plaintiffs’ lawyers to twist the truth to get a jury verdict if United cannot reach a settlement. Sad, but that’s the way the ball bounces.
Special thanks to Maya Cisco & Angelia Griffin (pilot wife)