United, airport officials questioned over passenger forced off plane

World Today

It’s the incident that went viral and sparked international outrage: a passenger who was literally dragged off a United Airlines flight.

His attorney said his client, 69-year-old David Dao, will likely sue the airline.

Meanwhile, officials from United Airlines and Chicago Aviation Department are being questioned.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.

United, airport officials questioned over passenger forced off plane

It’s the incident that went viral and sparked international outrage: a passenger who was literally dragged off a United Airlines flight. His attorney said his client, 69-year-old David Dao, will likely sue the airline. Meanwhile, officials from United Airlines and Chicago Aviation Department are being questioned. CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports.

It is a shocking video seen around the world. Chicago city officials opened a hearing, calling the incident a “nightmare.”

United Airlines said due to pending legal action they can’t say much about the brutal fashion Dr. Dao was pulled off one of their flights – but they did apologize a lot.

“We have all seen the shocking and disturbing videos, which capture the unacceptable mistreatment of our customer Dr. Dao. We are deeply sorry this occurred to Dr. Dao,” Margaret Houlihan Smith, the Director of Government Affairs at United Airlines said.

Earlier, Dao’s attorney and daughter blasted the actions of what they said are “trained” security officers.

“What happened to my dad should never happen to any human being, regardless of the circumstance. We were horrified and shocked and sickened to learn what happened and to see what happened,” the daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper said.

Chicago’s City Council Aviation committee called the meeting, because it employs the three security guards who wrestled and dragged Dao off the United flight. In January, the officers were told to remove the word “police” from their jackets.

They did not. The security officers are all on leave and face disciplinary action, which include being fired.

Time and again, United said this is a rare, one-time event, a preventable lapse in judgement. The airline says it’s taking steps to make it sure it never happens again.

Then the council played a different video, that showed police pulling a woman off a United flight last year, because the crew felt intimidated by her comfort dog. At the hearing, United called it a different set of circumstances.

But what is clear is that United has no written guidelines on physically removing passengers.

During the beating, Dao also lost teeth. But United Airlines lost a lot more: customers, stock value, and international credibility.