By Miriam Raftery
April 12, 2017 (San Diego) – Videos showing a passenger violently beaten, blooded and dragged off a United Airlines flight after he refused to give up his seat when the airline overbooked the flight has sparked outrage, a boycott, and calls for reforms. View video
The passenger, Dr. David Dao of Kentucky, told airline personnel he had to be on the flight to return home and see patients. The airline wanted to put its own United personnel on the flight out of Chicago.
One video shows Dao’s head being banged against the arm of a seat. A second shows Dr. Dao, his face dripping with blood, saying “They kill me” repeatedly while asking to go home.
United’s CEO initially stood by the airline’s actions. The airline also circulated negative information about the doctor’s past in seemingly an effort to discredit him, though other passengers said the doctor did nothing wrong, was not combative or violent, merely stood by his insistence that he had to get home and did not wish to be bumped off the flight for which he had paid.
After the airline’s stock plunged a billion dollars, late night comics ridiculed United and consumers launched a boycott, United’s CEO belated issued an apology and said he was horrified by the videos, also stating that United will temporarily suspend its practice of overbooking.
But some say that’s not enough. Change.org has launched a petition calling for the resignation of United’s CEO. You can sign it here: https://www.change.org/p/10997498/psf/offer/subscription?offer_id=3818&placement=true
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has called on the Trump administration to enact regulations to end the practice of overbooking and protect passengers against such abusive treatment in the future.