Oversold, understated and authoritarian: debullshitifying the reporting on United's "removal" of Dr David Dao

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/12/concussed-and-blamed.html


Wait, wait wait: next you’ll be telling me that consumers…have rights!


United offers Red Eye Flights & Black Eye Flights!

Yah for me!


Munoz: “The first rule of fight club…”


I thought those bastards had the aura of rent-a-cops!

I mean, the airport has it’s own private security. It seemed incongruous that United would call in CPD just to free up a seat.

I alone flew over 40,000 miles last year, and it was a light travel year for me. When possible, I and my wife have usually flown United. I’ll be actively avoiding booking with United Airlines until and unless Oscar Munoz issues a real apology both for the practices that led to this and explicitly for his own victim-blaming non-apology, takes steps to make sure it can’t happen again, and pays damages to Dr. Dao including medical bills.


It’s been interesting seeing the smear campaign against Dr. Dao, painting him as a drug fiend secretly living a gay lifestyle. All signs point to (a) United spreading rumors and (b) a completely separate person, also named David Dao, who they’re doxxing for info.


The first major competing carrier to launch a ‘we’re eliminating overselling, because you’re more than cattle’ marketing pivot plan is going to be eating United’s lunch pretty damn fast.


Humanity is ready for the extinction-level asteroid.


O’hare does have a relationship with the CPD, and they are always there for something or other. I was interviewed once by the CPD because of something I forgot in my bag.

The parking enforcers (privately contracted by the CPD) also police the lots to write tickets for hapless travelers.

  • This was not an oversold plane. The plane was full, but it only became overfull when United decided that some of its crew needed to board, despite there being another flight an hour later they could have traveled on.

Right there is where United fucked up. They forgot the cardinal rule of business - the customer is #1. I mean really. The customer is #1. I understand the pragmatism of overbooking, but removing people because your crew needs a ride is just completely losing the fucking plot.

  • Dao’s bloody nose is the least alarming thing about his injuries. The guy was beaten unconscious. That carries a high risk of concussion and worse.

Was he actually beaten unconscious? Words have meaning. In the video I saw they grabbed him and he fell and was knocked unconscious. They didn’t actually hit him. This is no way defends their actions of using force for removal, but “beaten unconscious” and “knocked unconscious while been forced from his seat” are two different things. The big difference is intent.

Yep. Probably why they lacked the skills to remove someone from a seat with out hurting them. Maybe.

OH sweet Jesus. You must have like that 1000 yard stare. The things you’ve seen… Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion… C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

Didn’t see anything on a gay lifestyle, but I did see an article posted about losing his license due to drug charges (possibly writing pill prescriptions). I was like, “So what? You do a crime and you lose all your rights? Shit. I’ve been nailed for speeding, no proof of insurance, and expired tags. I guess that makes it ok for SWAT to bust in now, right?”


The drug part is somewhat correct but not entirely. He was found guilty of writing bogus prescriptions and smuggling prescribed drugs. There was also an event where someone he knew exchanged an sexual act for a reduction on a debt they owed to the doctor. Don’t know the gender but i don’t see how that’s relevant.

Either way none of those events have any bearing on what happened and how he was treated.


There are few things on or above this Earth that I hate more than airlines, but sadly my job, which I love, requires it.


Hearted for the Roy Batty


Apparently the people spreading these rumors think being gay or a drug user qualifies someone for a beating.


The ‘gay’ stuff is popping up from Daily Mail level tabloids, saying that he’s been caught paying for gay sex and living a secret porno lifestyle, which for a 69 year old guy would be impressive! But as others have said, I don’t care what he may or may not have done, in his past – it has no bearing on his treatment as a passenger. But if I was him, I’d be looking into adding this to the list of things to sue United for.


Have you met 'Murica? We’re three bad days away from our own Holocaust.


There is actually one simple, free-market solution to this problem: If the airlines really desperately need the spots, they should reverse-auction the volunteering.

Who stays here one more day for $1000? Nobody? $1200? $1400? Ok, one sold, three more offers.

That should most effectively match the utility on both sides and find the people most willing to forego the flight.


And he is a poker player.


Yes overselling is bad but that’s not what happened here.

Edit: Which makes it kind of worse. If you oversell a flight someone HAS to leave (not unconscious naturally). In this case there was zero reason for removing anyone.