Monday, April 17, 2017
Usually the internet is a place where a diverse marketplace of ideas comes together creating a robust, thoughtful, intellectual discourse. Just kidding, of course, but I was surprised at how overwhelming the reaction was in favor of United Airlines passenger David Dao. Yes, I agree that United's policies are foolish and unfair. Yes, I agree the airline, if it really needed the seats for its own employees, should have offered a far more generous "bump" incentive than $800. And yes I sympathize with anyone who buys a ticket, boards a plane and is then kicked off the flight against his or he will. I think we're all in agreement up until now. But once the airline makes it clear the Dr. Dao has to leave the plane, that the flight will not take off with on it, that he will be "re-accomodated," Dr. Dao has to behave like a human being and walk off the flight. All the terrible things that happened to him after that, the smashing of the nose on the armrest, the two embarrassing videos (one with shirt pulled up, one with incoherent ramblings and a bloody nose), the crush of media attention, the disclosure of his previous arrest and the embarrassing personal details all come back to his decision to force security to drag him off the plane. Because he could have avoided these unfortunate circumstances just by behaving like an adult, I think a lot of the blame falls on him.