By now, you probably know what happened on Flight 3411, but just in case you need a “previously, on Arrested Development” reminder: on Sunday night, 69-year-old doctor David Dao was forcibly removed from his flight by the Chicago Aviation Police Department after United Airlines overbooked passengers. After videos of Dao’s ejection, which resulted in his face being bashed into an armrest, went viral, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz initially praised his employees for following “established procedures for dealing with situations like this” before he got roasted by the entire internet (and Emirates); he eventually apologized (twice!) for the “truly horrific event.”
Now, thanks to a new video shot by a passenger on the flight, we can see what happened before Dao was forced to “re-accommodate” himself. The footage shows the doctor telling a police officer and flight attendant, “I won’t go. I’m a physician I have to work tomorrow, eight o’clock.” He then says he’ll “make a lawsuit against United Airlines” before repeating “I am not going.” Later, when the cop interjects, “I’m just telling you, it’s going to be a lot harder for you,” Dao replies, “Yes, I know that, I’d rather go to jail.”
The women who filmed the encounter, Joya Griffin Cummings, wrote on Facebook, “Thank you to all of the friends and friends of friends who shared my video of Dr. Dao before he was forcibly removed from our flight. For getting the word out that this passenger was no more ‘irate or belligerent’ than any weary passenger after a long day of travel would be.”
He just wanted to go home, had to work the next day and did not feel it was right to have to give up his seat, a seat he was already sitting in upon the plane. The airline was not able to get him home until after 2 pm Monday afternoon. He was irritated as any passenger would be, questioning why he was chosen and explaining that he was a doctor and had patients to see in the morning. I was not concerned for my safety, nor that of my toddler’s or for my pregnancy until the police were called aboard our plane to remove him. I was worried about what a physical altercation would entail with us sitting directly behind him and if the officers were armed in a tiny, confined space.
Here’s the full note.