When Dr David Dao was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight earlier this week, it fired up a global storm of condemnation that quickly escalated into a PR nightmare and reportedly wiped $1.3 billion in market value from the airline.
But while the world is still angrily shaking its fist over the way the passenger – who was removed to make room for crew on standby – was treated, others say Dr Dao was actually the one in the wrong.
According to blogger The Pilot Wife Life, getting bumped off a flight is all covered in the fine print of purchasing a plane ticket, and the incident escalated because of the way the passenger acted.
“If a federal law enforcement officer asks me to exit a plane, no matter how royally p**ed off I am, I’m going to do it and then seek other means of legal reimbursement. True story,” she wrote.
“Knowing what I know about airport security, I’m certainly not going to run back into a secured, federally restricted area at an airport flailing my arms and screaming like a banshee…because, you know, that just happens to be breaking a major federal Homeland Security law.”
The blogger, who has been married to a pilot for 15 years, also writes that United flight crew weren’t to blame for the physical altercation that followed, and were just following protocol.
“Once law enforcement became involved… United stepped out of the decision-making process. They had nothing to do with the rest,” she wrote.
“The passenger was forcibly removed by federal aviation security… after [Dr Dao ran] back into the secured area after being escorted out once, [law enforcement] were under full discretion of the law to apply necessary force to remove the threat.
“I’m not saying it’s pretty, but the only one who actually broke a law was the passenger. There’s a reason for these laws–it’s called 9/11. We can’t have it both ways.”
She also sticks up for the airline, saying the standby crew in question had to fly so they could man another flight and avoid a cancelation, which could have a disastrous domino effect.
And all the outrage over Dr Dao’s race?
“They did not play spin the bottle or walk down the aisle looking for the Asian guy,” writes the blogger.
“Use your heads, people! There is a computerised algorithm that takes into account price of ticket, how long ago it was purchased, whether or not they can get the passenger to their destination in a timely manner, etc. It wasn’t an ‘Asian thing.’ Stop, people. Just stop.”