On Monday, video went viral of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight departing from Chicago, and people across the country became severely outraged at what they had seen.
However, as always is the case, there’s another side to the story that wasn’t immediately clear over the furor caused by the video. The Washington Examiner reports that Tyler Bridges was the man filming the now-infamous video, and he seems to think that the police were within their rights to remove the man, now identified as 69-year-old David Dao, a Vietnamese-America doctor.
“It’s clearly the man’s fault that security had to drag him off. He was resisting. I don’t blame the security guards at all,” Bridges said earlier Tuesday on Fox Business.
But while Bridges isn’t siding with the doctor, he also believes that United shares the blame.
“I blame United for this situation for getting to the point where the man was arguing with security,” Bridges said.
According to Bridges, United employees boarded the plane and used an “authoritarian” tone to inform passengers that four people were going to have to leave the full flight to make room for other United employees. Nobody volunteered, so the workers drew four names at random, choosing Dao third, and we know how that worked out.
Video of the shocking incident is below:
Please share this video. We are on this flight. United airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their crew could have a seat. This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted. #unitedairways -To use this video in a commercial player or in broadcasts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org-
Posted by Audra D. Bridges on Sunday, April 9, 2017
For its part, United contends that Dao was “disruptive and belligerent, and refused to comply when he was approached and asked to leave. CEO Oscar Munoz praised his employees for following the companies established procedures, and said they were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight.”
Munoz added that Dao “continued to resist — running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.”
Video posted to Twitter by another passenger shows a visibly shaken and bloodied Dao in the moments after he made it back on the plane:
— Kaylyn Davis (@kaylyn_davis) April 10, 2017
Regardless of which side you fall on, there’s plenty of blame to go around here.
United needs to come up with a better policy for these situations, since it’s obviously not the customer’s fault that they overbooked their flight; however, when asked to get off of the flight by police officers, it’s our duty as responsible citizens to comply with their request then take our case to the courts if we feel we’ve been wronged.
But perhaps the best thing that will come of this, beside Dr. Dao getting a multi-million dollar payoff, is that airlines will be forced to make better policies when it comes to situations like this, lest they find themselves in more lawsuits down the road as others see what happened here and try to cash in.