THE TREATMENT OF DR. DAVID DAO BY THE STAFF OF UNITED AIRLINES was so horrific that it is utterly incomprehensible to me that any airline personnel could have engaged in such behavior. The usual strategy when a flight is overbooked is to seek a volunteer to leave the plane and the incentive in that regard is the amount of compensation that is offered, with the amount offered increasing in the face of complete resistance on the part of passengers. When I am at Hancock Airport in Syracuse (NY), a mere $100 is often more than enough of an incentive for me to get off the plane and fly out at another time—even a different day. By contrast, when I am flying out of Paris (France), a much higher offer is needed before I or anyone will consider getting off the plane.
Thus, the horrific treatment of Dr. David Dao is absolutely incomprehensible to me. The behavior of the agents in their treatment of Dao could not have been much worse if they had all been on crack or utterly drunk. And the point just made holds all the more so given that David Dao is 69 years old and was flying with his wife. There is a modicum of respect which surely any 69-year-old person is owed. To be sure, there are 69 year-old folks who have lots of latitude. Just so, a measure of graciousness and respect is owed to a person of that age. Or so it is in the absence of evidence that makes it clear that the 69-year old individual is rather lacking in terms of having self-respect and exhibiting basic moral decency.
There is not a shred of evidence that suggests that Dr. David Dao, who is 67-years of age, was lacking either in terms of having self-respect or exhibiting basic moral decency. Nothing whatsoever. And that reality makes the horrific way in which he was treated by the flight attendants even more reprehensible and incomprehensible. Quite honestly, I have wondered over and over again whether or not the flight attendants were inebriated—a point that holds all the more so given that Dao is clearly a senior citizen. A modicum of basic respect towards a senior citizen is so clearly appropriate that the horrific attitude on the part of the flight attendants is utterly incomprehensible. More precisely, the horrific treatment of David Dao by the flight attendants reveals a horrific level of moral callousness on their part.
My view is that the behavior of the flight attendants with regard to David Dao was is so callous and indefensible that the flight attendants deserve to be dismissed. For there are times when an immediate 2nd-chance is entirely out of the question. For example, if a male friend of mine raped a female, my friendship with that male would come to an immediate halt. Perhaps some years later, we could be friends again.
Of course, the flight attendants did not commit rape. Just so, their behavior nonetheless revealed such a horrific measure of moral callousness that in my mind they are no longer worthy of employment by United Airlines. At their very least, they deserve to be suspended without pay for at least 2 or 3 months. For they did not just make a mistake—which all of us do from time to time. Quite the contrary, the flight attendants exhibited a substantial measure of utterly callous and, therefore, inexcusable behavior.
© 2017 Laurence Thomas