United Passenger is Identified and Promptly Trashed by the Internet [VIDEO]

United Passenger is Identified and Promptly Trashed by the Internet [VIDEO]

United Passenger is Identified and Promptly Trashed by the Internet [VIDEO]

The man who was dragged off the United Airlines flight on Sunday claimed that he was a doctor.

Well, guess what? He is a doctor.

His name is Dr. David Dao, and he is a 69-year-old internist who lives in Louisville, KY. Oh, and his wife Teresa, also 69, is a doctor, too. She’s a pediatrician who practices in nearby Elizabethtown. They’re both Vietnamese-Americans.

What’s more, the Dao family medical legacy doesn’t end with David and Teresa Dao. Of their five children — Tim, Ben, Angela, and twins Christine and Crystal — four have entered medicine.

But someone always has to play the turd in the punchbowl. Here comes this story from the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Dao’s hometown newspaper.

Ooh, a “troubled past.” Let’s see what the busybodies writers at the Courier-Journal uncovered, shall we?

Dao, an Elizabethtown doctor, is familiar to many Kentuckians who recall his convictions on drug-related offenses in 2004.

The newspaper also helpfully published a picture of the doctor’s office. You know, just in case there are local readers out there who want to drive by and gawk. Is this an invasion of privacy? I sure think so. Later the paper reconsidered that poor decision and pulled the photo.

And thanks to the internet, other sources gleefully shared the doctor’s sordid information. Because the internet loves nothing more than to drag people through the mud.

More importantly, however, why do we need to know this? Does it somehow justify what happened to Dr. Dao on that airplane?

In fact, this is little more than trash tabloid news passed off as “journalism.” Does anyone wonder why Americans hate the press?

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

16 Comments
  • parker says:

    I think he was treated poorly, but he should not have made a big deal over this and instead asked for $2000 and a free ride on the next flight to Louisville. However, UL should not be forcefully ejecting passengers because UL can’t figure out how to move crew members to their next job without alienating paying customers.

    • Kim Quade says:

      As I understand, the max compensation for domestic flights is $1300. Even then, would $1300 have compensated for the loss he may have had by canceling his patients?

      It’s also been reported that one of the officers has been placed on leave.

      • GWB says:

        The $1,300 limit is for cash. Vouchers are whatever the airline wants to give you.

        Also, unless this was absolutely the last plane out of the airport that night, nothing really says he has to cancel patients. (There’s no crew rest requirement that I know of for practicing medicine.)

        • Kim Quade says:

          According to one of the witnesses who appeared on Tucker Carlson last night, it was the last plane for that route until about 2:00 the next day.

          I don’t know how the medical office where he practices works, but in my rehab office if I don’t show up for a patient, or if the patient is rescheduled with someone else, I do lose money.

          • GWB says:

            BTW, I also consider that all the people who pulled out their phones to record this “terrible event” were jerks, too. Any one of them could have volunteered to take Dao’s place. At least a couple of them probably had more flexibility in their schedule than he claimed to.

          • GWB says:

            Also, if this was the last flight of the day, that increases the complaint I have about moving crews. The crew was on the last flight out? That seems like poor decision making.

      • J Walter says:

        Unfortunately, they don’t have to pay for his real loss. Let’s say it was a business deal worth 10 million that fell through, should the airline have liability for that? What if he didn’t get home on time for a mechanical failure instead of being removed.

        Being removed was fair, how he was removed was wrong.

  • parker says:

    Plus, imagine the reaction if a black female had refused to give up her seat. She would automatically be declared a martyr.

  • GWB says:

    The newspaper didn’t explain what those decade-old “drug-related offenses” were.

    You might want to read further down in the article:

    The licensure board documents allege that he was involved in fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances and was sexually involved with a patient who used to work for his practice and assisted police in building a case against him.
    Dao was convicted of multiple felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit in November 2004 and was placed on five years of supervised probation in January 2005, according to the documents. He surrendered his medical license the next month.

    Yeah, he done wrong, according to that.

    Also, the picture I saw with the article when I read it earlier was of a practice, NOT of his house. That picture appears to be gone now.

    And, no, it isn’t merely “trash tabloid” news. If it impeaches his character, then it certainly has relevance to the context of the viral video. His character is at issue, because – despite the apparent stupidity with which United handled this – he started the entire incident by refusing a request that – no matter how much you might think it’s not fair – is very legal by the contract you accept when you buy the ticket.
    (He wanted to call his lawyer. Oy. Hopefully his lawyer would have told him “shut up and go with the gentlemen, so I can keep you out of jail, and just get on the next danged flight.”)

    The problem United has if it lets him retain his seat after being chosen by the booking program to be bumped, is that NO ONE will give up their seats, despite the legal requirement to do so. If there’s no way to enforce the airline’s legal rights, then who will ever acknowledge them?

    The problems are at either end of this event (not counting the tone-deaf response by the CEO). United shouldn’t be bumping paying passengers for aircrew to ride, except in an emergency. If you announce it’s an emergency…

    “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had several aircrews in Louisville go out of crew rest because of storms in the region. We really need to get 4 people there as soon as possible to ensure hundreds of passengers can get where they’re going. We’re asking for 4 of you to volunteer for a little inconvenience (and some cash or vouchers) so a whole lot of people don’t end up inconvenienced.”

    enough folks will probably volunteer.
    But United seemed to be doing this as a regular scheduling move. (Airlines do this WAY too much.) You shouldn’t bump paying passengers to move your crews around because you (or they) are too lazy to get there in advance. This isn’t a WalMart stock truck.

    Then, of course, there is the security encounter. If you’re going to send folks onto an airplane to remove someone, they should be trained to do it as nicely as possible. They should be trained in “take along” (or “come along”) maneuvers and shouldn’t have to resort to dragging anyone through the aisle.
    Though, if he threw punches, all bets are off. Thump him and drag him if need be.

    • GWB says:

      Oh, and here’s some good advice, linked by PJMedia’s HotMic.

      • Kim Quade says:

        Legal, yes. But an absolute PR nightmare when it comes to United, which results in the biggest loser being United. Customer service ultimately wins the day — I know a lot of folks bash Nordstrom because of the Ivanka kerfuffle, but that store reigns in the customer service department. United should take some advice from them.

        And I still maintain that information that old is tabloid trash. If the KY medical board saw fit to reinstate him after 10 years, then the point should be moot. We’ll just have to agree to disagree here.

        Finally, that information about his offenses was not in the article when I first posted. It has since been updated.

        • GWB says:

          But an absolute PR nightmare when it comes to United, which results in the biggest loser being United.

          Absolutely correct. Facepalmingly correct.

          I read that article a few hours ago, and the info was in there then. It *is* below a set of links that I almost took as the end of the article, until I scrolled a little more.

          Sure, we can disagree. Just needed to put the argument out there.

  • Kevin says:

    United Airlines is horrible and I write that based on many personal experiences.
    When this story very first broke I told my wife the overbooked meant that they had 4 employees they needed to move/ride.
    I had just witnessed a week prior the same nomenclature when flying from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles.
    MSM of course looks for dirt/trouble on everyone but the so called suffering minorities. The fact he and *gasps* most of his family are doctors removes them from that protected group.
    I hope he sues United Airlines and that the FAA investigates and fines them exorbitantly and then sets regulations that protect all travelers who PURCHASE tickets from these practices by all of those in the airline industry.
    I’m also interested to learn the TRUTH behind the decision making process as to how they identified the four passengers to revoke their PURCHASED tickets for the AIRLINES OWN BENEFIT.

    • GWB says:

      Well, I certainly hope the federal gov’t does … nothing.

      Or, as a favorite pundit of mine once declared as the cri de couer of conservatism: “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

      The right to bump you is in the legal contract when you buy the ticket. That most people don’t know that is their fault, not the airlines’.

      There were mistakes all around in this. But United’s main one was one of stupid PR. Bad customer relations should not be the purview of the federal gov’t.

      (BTW, it would seem to be a much better idea to reserve seats for crew movements. Then, if you don’t need them, you let standby/overbooked passengers have them. Once you’ve given them away, only a real emergency should bump folks once they’re on the plane.)

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