April 19, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL The union representing United Airlines’ 12,500 pilots says it is “infuriated” by passenger Dr. David Dao being violently dragged off a United Express flight Apr. 9, an incident that provoked public outrage after a video of it went viral.
“The safety and well-being of our passengers is the highest priority for United pilots, and this should not have escalated into a violent encounter,” United Master Executive Council, an Association of Flight Attendants affiliate, said in a statement Apr. 13. However, the union noted, “no United employees were involved in the physical altercation,” as it took place on an Express flight operated by subcontractor Republic Airline, where the flight crew and cabin crew were Republic employees. “Social media ire should properly be directed at the Chicago Aviation Department,” the union said, as it was department personnel who dragged Dr. Dao off the plane after he refused to get off so a Republic employee could take his spot on the flight, giving him a concussion and knocking out two teeth in the process. Read more