Editors' Choice

United Airlines vs. Dr. David Dao: Who Has It Worse?

Arin Spits / April 11, 2017

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for some of the world’s largest brands. First Pepsi launched an ad campaign that was completely off the mark, now United Airlines has a PR nightmare on their hands.


On Sunday night, a man (who is a doctor by the way), was man handled and dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago with a destination to Louisville – with everything being captured on camera.



But let’s see where things went so wrong shall we? Well, the flight was overbooked and UA asked for volunteers to give up their seats for four employees who needed to be on the flight to be able to work the following day. The plane wouldn’t take off until these employees got their seats. Okay. Let’s start the bidding at $400. No takers. How about $800? Still no takers. At this point, the airline was basically like, ‘F*ck it, we’ll randomly select four passengers to kick off.’


It might have worked, that is until they met resistance from the man now identified as David Dao, a 69-year old doctor who said he needed to see his patients in the morning. That’s when things got physical and what you saw in the video above.


Somehow, Dao made it back on the plane and was visibly distraught.



United just made things worse with the release of this statement.


United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411.

Posted by United on Monday, April 10, 2017


After the incident and subsequent backlash from the Internet, United’s stock price took a deep tumble. The stock price was sitting at $71.53 at the end of close yesterday, and today, it reached a low of $68.36.


Source: marketwatch


This story is still developing and more information is coming to light on Dao which may or may not affect your views on the situation.


Edit April 12, 2017: Some very readers have found some discrepancies in the reports for Dr. Dao. In fact, the passenger, David Thanh Duc Dao may have been confused with David Ahn Duy Dao, the doctor with the criminal past. Heavy shows documents referring to David A. Dao – but it’s not the same one from the plane.


David Ahn Duy Dao:


  • In November 2004, Dao was convicted of multiple felony accounts of obtaining drugs by deceit or fraud and placed on five years of supervised probation in January 2005.
  • Dao gave up his medical license in February 2005
  • In 2015, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure allowed Dao to resume his medical practice within certain conditions


David Thanh Duc Dao:


  • No criminal history
  • Dao played in the World Series of Poker circuit and wasn’t too shabby – he earned a total of $234,664 in career winnings


This story has taken on a life of its own and only getting more complicated by the day. Bottom line is, the person’s past has no bearing on what happened on that flight. This situation is becoming quite the PR nightmare for United. What do you think?


Featured image via twitter (@Tyler_Bridges)