The United Airlines incident has created a PR nightmare for the airline with article after article being written how one of the leading carriers was at fault. Markets too rode the sentiment resulting in $1.3 billion being wiped off of the airlines market cap. Though the majority of the people feel that the airlines was at fault, an equally compelling argument can be made in favor of United.

Not Racist, Nor Randomly Chosen
It seems fashionable to play the racism card in today’s hyper-connected world. The moment it was known the Dr. Tao was of Asian origin, the racism angle was bought into picture. The truth, however, is different. Just in case the airline has to make a decision to disembark someone from the flight, a specific algorithm is followed which is as follows:

  • Ticket Price: The person who has paid the least price for the ticket is most likely to be bumped off the flight. Of course compensation is given (not exceeding $1,350) for the loss of seat.
  • When the Ticket was Purchased?: If the ticket was purchased just before the onboarding is closed, you are likely to be asked to vacate the seat. Why? Other passengers have taken time to plan their journey and invested in it. You might have some urgency, but precedence will be given to someone who has booked the ticket well in advance.
  • Boarding Time: If none of the above conditions are feasible, the last one to board the plane is the obvious choice. Show up on time! Makes sense right?

Airlines are highly sensitive commercial organizations and will never do something that can be racially motivated or morally questionable. We do not like paying extra for small bags of luggage either. The real issue with flying is with the TSA. Why do we still have to:


  • Take our shoes off when going through that germ filled line
  • Tolerate their rude behavior
  • Take our laptops out our bags (annoying!!!)
  • Separate everything
  • Take our hats and belts off

It is 2017! We have technology right? But this is another topic.
Well Within Rights
Many people argue that the crew could have taken an alternate flight. However, imagine if the crew was late for the connecting flight, the entire flight would have delayed leading to further losses. Dr. Dao was offered $800 to disembark and take an alternate flight, which he could have taken as he was chosen by an algorithm.
He supposedly had patients to get back to. Well, if his patients were that important to him, why did he wait until the last minute to board a flight?
However, Dr. Tao despite understanding the gravity of the situation decided to throw tantrums and had to be dragged off the flight. Remember, even if you have paid for the ticket, are seated, the airline is well within its rights to ask you to involuntarily give up the seat.
How obtuse can one person be?
Security, not any United Employees, Dragged the Errant Passenger Off the Plane
For those of you who are not aware, it was The Chicago Department of Aviation officers who were forced to drag the errant passenger off the plane after the cabin crew reported it to them. The cabin crew is incapable of carrying out such maneuvers. Moreover, they are trained to provide hospitality services to fliers, not force someone off a plane who apparently has no common sense.
Once security personnel take matter into their hands, getting the job done is their only goal. Dr. Tao, after seeing the Police Department personnel, should have quietly walked away with them. Instead he chose to fight them which led to an ugly altercation.
Take the money and run!
Holier Than Thou?
Dr. David Tao who is in the eye of the storm is not a pious soul at all. Described as someone with critical interpersonal problems, Dr. Tao’s practice license was under suspension for 10 years for illegally trading prescription drugs in exchange of sexual favors. Police personnel are highly effective in spotting someone with troublesome behavior which might have compelled them to take the high-handed step.
Dr. David Tao’s family is upset but they should also be embarrassed that their father does not know how to act and perhaps needs to see a doctor himself!
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