The union that represents United Airlines’ 12,500 pilots has weighed in on the forced removal of a passenger in Chicago, saying its members are “infuriated” at what happened and criticizing the actions of the aviation police.
“This violent incident should never have happened and was a result of gross excessive force by Chicago Department of Aviation personnel,” the union said.
On Sunday Dr. David Dao, 69, was forcibly dragged from a flight bound for Louisville after he refused to relinquish his seat to accommodate a crew member. He suffered a concussion, broken nose and lost two teeth, according to his lawyer.
The video of the encounter went viral and sparked outrage and has prompted some area police agencies to issue new hands-off policies when it comes to removing passengers from airlines.
The company’s CEO Oscar Munoz apologized twice for the encounter.
Yeah, after he doubled down on the stupidity:
Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines’ parent company, apologized first in a written statement and then in a letter to employees Monday evening.Munoz said he was “upset to see and hear about what happened” at O’Hare. He added, however, that the man dragged off the plane had ignored requests by crew members to leave and became “disruptive and belligerent,” making it necessary to call airport police.
Disruptive and belligerent= Taking the option to refuse when asked to give up your seat, then objecting when you’re assaulted by airline security.
The union statement went on to say that no United employees were involved in the altercation. Republic Airlines was contracted to operated the Express Flight for United and made a last-minute decision to have four crew members “deadhead” or fly as passengers to get to another assignment the next day.
Three paying passengers left the flight voluntarily after they were supposedly selected at random. After Dao refused to give up his seat, the gate agent requested the help of law enforcement, the statement said.
“For reasons unknown to us, instead of trained Chicago Police Department officers being dispatched to the scene, Chicago Department of Aviation personnel responded,” the union said. “At this point, without direction and outside the control of United Airlines or the Republic crew, the Chicago Department of Aviation forcibly removed the passenger.”
United personnel need to learn the difference between reasonable and unreasonable.
They have no common sense. Where in the “ticket agreement” does it state that the airlines can use any method up to and including assault and battery to remove a heretofore calm individual, who only refused to give up his seat, for what turned out to be a flight that wasn’t ‘overbooked’ anyway. How in the hell does that constitute ‘reasonable’ in their minds? What’s next? Airline reeducation camps?
Why not just come on board, drag off four passengers against their will and be done with it?
If he were a rabid muzzie shouting ‘Allah U Akbar’ and threatening to kill all the infidels on the plane, fine. Drag him out and beat his ass. In this case, the force was excessive, and the behavior on the part of security was unreasonable.
Since the flight was not actually overbooked, but instead only fully booked, with the exact number of passengers as seats available, United Airlines had no legal right to force any passengers to give up their seats to prioritize others. What United did was give preference to their employees over people who had reserved confirmed seats, in violation of 14 CFR 250.2a.
Since Dr. Dao was already seated, it was clear that his seat had already been “reserved” and “confirmed” to accommodate him specifically.
A United Airlines spokesperson said that since Dr. Dao refused to give up his seat and leave the plane voluntarily, airline employees “had to” call upon airport security to force him to comply. However, since the flight was not overbooked, United Airlines had no legal right to give his seat to another passenger. In United Airline’s Contract of Service, they list the reasons that a passenger may be refused service, many of which are reasonable, such as “failure to pay” or lacking “proof of identity.”
Taking the option to refuse when asked to give up your reserved seat does not justify being assaulted by airline security. The man did not initiate any disruption. The idiot pilots, flight crew, and security did. He’s got one hell of a lawsuit.