No doubt that United Airlines created a PR disaster of their own doing when they decided to remove some passengers at O'Hare in favor of four crew members who needed a ride to Louisville. They probably didn't expect the now famous Dr. Dao to get beaten to a bloody pulp, but if they were smart they would have either not chosen their crew over their customers or offered enough money that someone else would have agreed to get off the plane.
Dr. Dao didn't deserve the complete beating he got which resulted in knocked out teeth, a broken nose and a bloody face. But lost in all of the talk about how dumb United was and how much the good doctor is going to win in a lawsuit is one simple point:
Dr. Dao was acting like a spoiled, whiny child when he refused to leave the flight.
I get why he didn't want to give up his seat. I get why he argued. I wouldn't blame him if he threw a few F bombs in there. The moment the aviation police came on though is when things changed. He went limp and lied down on the ground, refusing to move. His move is straight out of the tantrum playbook that kids use when they don't get their way. If you watched the finale of Girls, you saw a troubled teen running half naked through the streets and assumed she'd been molested. You later learned that she was upset because her mom wanted her to do homework which wasn't due the next day. She was Dr. Dao personified.
I can't imagine ignoring a police or crew order on an airplane. If he hadn't been beaten to a pulp Dao would surely have been arrested for trespassing. I've never in my adult life thought to pout on the floor because I wasn't getting my way, even when I was getting completely screwed over.
He'll get his millions and he probably deserves them. But if the aviation police had done a better job the talk would be that United is awful to kick off passengers for crew members and some doctor acted like a big baby when things didn't go his way.