Dr. Dao Was Acting Like A Spoiled Child On United

Dr. Dao Was Acting Like A Spoiled Child On United

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.

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Tags: Dr. Dao, United


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  • I suppose (according to Chuck Gowdie and others) that he should have disclosed his problems with his medical license, before having the temerity to board any airplane.

    How would one be guilty of trespassing when he had a ticket and a boarding pass?

    Since when does United have a right to treat a paying passenger like excrement, and commit assault and battery on him?

    You are just envious that Corboy & Demetrio will get a good contingency out of a pretty much assured $10 million settlement.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    You can be guilty of trespassing when you don't leave. Same if you are kicked out of a baseball stadium. United acted very dumb no doubt, but they do have a right to treat a paying customer like crap at their own risk. They don't have a right to beat him (which THEY didn't do) and I'm always envious of any settlement that I don't get to be a part of.

  • In reply to Michael Helfand:

    I wonder if you should be given the benefit of "at their own risk" their legal risk.Aside from the unjustified assault and battery, I'm sure there's a 1983 violation (since city employees were involved). And if they didn't personally beat him, they directed the city employees to do so, which is at least proximate cause. I don't think I have to do further legal research for Demetrio on additional causes of action.

    Also, even if there is a revocable license, there was no indication that Dao was drunk and disorderly, and gave United any cause to eject him until United directed illegal action against him.

    I also suppose that in your calculus, Officer Van Dyke acted "at [his] own risk" when pumping 16 bullets into someone. Odds were in his favor, so long as he believed that the city would cover it up.

  • If you watch that video again, you'll see that Dao didn't lie down, he was yanked from his seat and possibly knocked unconscious.

    Your post begs the question: what would YOU do if you were asked to get up out of your assigned seat (perhaps on a family vacation with your kids) and exit the airplane, not knowing when you will arrive at your destination or if your bags will be there?

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    This article is rather disturbing. You are saying that an elderly man acted like a spoilt child ? Imagine you went to Mcdonalds bought your meal sat down and someone demanded through no fault of your own that you not only give up your seat but your meal to one of the members of staff ? I am sure you wrote this article to provoke a response of anger.
    The man was physically abused, he is now undoubtedly mentally scared. Is the USA a police state ? Or do you still hold up to the freedoms which once made America great ? Decency, democracy, Human rights ? Anyway regardless to my opinion Dr dao will most likely have a big enough settlement that if he did ever choose to fly again he can have his own plane, united has lost faith of thousands all for the sake to save a few bucks.

  • In reply to Linzi KB:

    I think you need to re-read what I wrote. I think United was in the wrong. That doesn't mean that people should ignore police orders on a plane no matter what rights you think paying for a ticket gives you. United being wrong and the police being very wrong doesn't mean Dr. Dao was right. He as I said did not deserve what happened to him physically and I hope he gets paid, but it does not change the fact that he also should have gone off the plane when asked.

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    This is not a good take. United forced the situation by handling it in the worst possible fashion at every single turn, the reaction of an exhausted, frustrated traveler is not even of note. And considering the force at which his reaction was met with, his reaction is not even worthy of conversation. The only good thing that came from reading this was that I always wondered who the people who watch Girls are, now I know.

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