A United Airlines passenger was physically dragged by officers off a plane when the flight was overbooked two years ago. Dr David Dao has finally spoken up about the ordeal after remaining silent about the trauma. The incident took place at Chicago O’Hare Airport, USA in 2017 when the United Airlines flight was overbooked. Crew asked passengers to give up their seat so United staff could be shuttled to Louisville.
When Dao refused – saying he was a Doctor who had patients to see – officers resorted to forcibly dragging him along the floor.
The ordeal left the Doctor with a concussion, a broken nose and two missing teeth.
Witnesses claimed that Dao was neither belligerent or disruptive before he was removed.
However, Dao has now said on American television that he is “not angry” with the officers responsible.
He told ABC’s Good Morning America that when he first saw video footage of the incident “I just cried.”
Dao said he forgave the airline and security agents. “I’m not angry with them,” he said.
“They have a job to do. They had to do it. If they don’t do it, they must lose their job. So, I’m not angry with them or anything like this.”
The Doctor decided to finally speak out in order to thank those who supported him and share his relief that airlines will now change their policy.
United has said it will no longer involuntarily remove passengers unless it is a safety or security issue.
Two Chicago aviation officers were sacked following the incident and Dao compensated with an undisclosed financial settlement.
A United spokesman told Express.co.uk: “Flight 3411 was a defining moment for United Airlines and it is our responsibility to make sure we as a company and all of our 90,000 employees continue to learn from that experience.
“The changes we have implemented since that incident better serve our customers and further empower our employees.
“This year, we are focused more than ever on our commitment to our customers, looking at every aspect of our business to ensure that we keep their best interests at the centre of everything that we do.
“As our CEO Oscar Munoz has said, we at United never want anyone in the United family to forget the experience of Flight 3411. It makes us a better airline, a more caring company and a stronger team.”
Other airlines have made changes as well, in light of Dao’s treatment. Southwest said it would stop overbooking flights while Delta and United pledged to offer volunteers up to $10,000 to give up their seats if needed.
Last week a United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after screens went blank.