United CEO Oscar Munoz Never Apologized to Doctor Dragged Off Flight and Bloodied

Dr. David Dao, the passenger dragged off of a United Express flight from Chicago to Louisville in April by Chicago airport police and bloodied — setting off a worldwide media storm and leading to changes in how US airlines handle overbooked flightsgave his first interview since settling a lawsuit against United Airlines.

Dr. Dao says that he “still cannot sleep properly, has little co-ordination and is unable to concentrate.” He can’t run marathons or play poker “and can only walk slowly after he was concussed by being dragged of the flight.”

‘I am a marathon runner, I’ve done 31 marathons – Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas – but I cannot run, I just walk slowly. I can only cook and use a computer very slowly.’

His neurologist can’t say whether his problems are permanent or not. He doesn’t remember the specific events of the flights, and doubts he’ll ever be able to work as a doctor again. He stays mostly at home because of what he still looks like from his injuries, and needs plastic surgery.

United CEO Oscar Munoz originally issued a statement apologizing that passengers were inconvenienced and claiming that Dr. Dao had been belligerent. He since backtracked on that claim and publicly apologized. But he has never called Dr. Dao.

Dr. Dao actually says that he “would fly with United again” because of the changes to overbooking policies that airlines have made since his incident. He says “I would be happy to fly tomorrow if I was well enough” but notes that United hasn’t offered him a free flight to welcome him back onboard.

Going forward he plans to write a book on his escape from Vietnam and his journey to the U.S. as well as the incident with United. He can’t write it out though, tries to record it on tape, but his emotions get in the way.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Good for Oscar. #ethics. He should apogloze why? Because some a hole hole thought was above the law? America is not china, that behavior is unacceptable.

  2. I’m pretty sure the comment that he would fly United again was part of the undisclosed settlement he received. United must have paid a lot for him to say that.

  3. Typical trump deplorable empathy gap comment.

    Then it happens to you or to someone in your immediate family and it becomes a big issue.

    If you think like this, you’re most likely not rich and flying your private jet (or even an executive frequent flyer), but just ignorant and being played by trump and friends, so it might very well happen to you.

    Just like you’ll lose you health insurance like trump said you would.

  4. Exactly. I saw this when I fled the redneck south, then heard them coming over my AM talk radio. They infected the entire country, permanently destroyed the US reputation in the world with Bush and now the most hated slimey conman in world history. This is what rednecks do, as they teach in the schools of Australia, the UK, Spain and Japan, they are destroyers of civilization. Why they waddle in here to squat and squeeze out their Trumpanzee prejudice I don’t know. But they are getting called out every time: fat, loathsome, hick, ignorant authoritarian bootlickers.

  5. Now Greg . . . . . please don’t minimize our impact.

    We’re not just in Australia, the UK, Spain and Japan . . . . We’re in Brazil, Aruba, Canada, France, Finland, Sweden, Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Taiwan, Chile, Belgium, China and India, too.


  6. An important lesson in following the directives of law enforcement. He hit the litigation lotto, now go away.

  7. The law? Yeah if corporate contracts are law then we are all in trouble! Who says stuff like that? Someone who cannot handle any issues themselves and resorts to calling the cops everything they get triggered by any imaginary threat to their superiority.

  8. Is this posturing for the settlement negotiation? I would have thought a settlement had a gag order

  9. Oh, give it up. I’m with Oscar on this one. And is fine, upstanding “doc” Dao going to write a chapter in his book about how he was charged in 2005 with 98 felony counts, convicted of trading drugs for sex with a patient and lost his license?

  10. Yeah, I’m waiting on Dao to apologize to everyone else on the flight that he delayed. I still don’t get what United is supposed to apologize for. For bumping him to prevent another entire flight from being cancelled? And United didn’t bloody him. He did that to himself by struggling with a law enforcement officer after refusing to obey a lawful order from same. Resisting law enforcement is never a good idea, and that’s the moral of this story.

  11. Why would Oscar call Dr. Dao?

    Does Oscar need some drugs, for which he lacks an authorized prescription?

    Does Oscar need a poker buddy?

    And to you, Dr. Dao. You want a free flight? Get stuffed. You and your daughter.

  12. Wow….who’d have guessed that View from the Wing would become required reading for the Alt-

  13. Based on the settlement, I think Dr Dao has been made whole.

    I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on tv but my guess is that Oscar didn’t make such a call because the legal team advised against it. If they thought it were a good idea, I’m sure he would have done it.

    He wants a free flight?. See comment regarding the settlement.

    It’s time for Munoz to focus on fixing the problems that caused The situation in the first place.

  14. Gary, your blog headlines and tags are just getting ridiculous. Get over it. They settled, and Dr. Dao doesn’t need an apology from Oscar – or a free flipping flight. He was at fault in the incident too, and it’s been settled. Now you’re just back to shilling crap on a cracker for a click.

  15. Since there are ALWAYS two sides to every story I want to share another side to this. I wondered how this doctor was chosen out of all of the people on the airplane, why him? Then, I heard a retired United employee call in to a radio show I listen to and she said that he had received an $800 voucher to give up his seat for that flight. He accepted and later found that there were no other flights going to his destination that day so he snuck back on board the airplane he had just given his seat up on. Once back in his seat the gate agent asked him to exit the aircraft nicely, he refused. The airport police show up to ask him to leave nicely and he again refused. That resulted in him being physically removed from the aircraft.

    Why did this man refuse to oblige? Why did he not comply with the agent or the officers request to exit the airplane. Instead he made a scene. Now the entire airline industry is in turmoil. Does unjust stuff happen? Yes, but life also happens. Get over it and move on! Enough with the United bashing!

  16. As if the fat authoritarian bootlickers are Not enough, their inbred cousin Denise shows up with a fake news account she “heard” on the internet that Dao had already been paid and snuck back onboard, which she repeats as fact. The only time he got paid was fill-in-the-blank millions.

    This is how imbeciles elected a failed circus clown President. Over a million believed Hillary ran a child prostitution ring out of a DC pizza parlor, and one redneck shot it up! There are no stupider people on earth.

  17. Is Gary now posting comments as “Greg” to flamebait commenters and drive up traffic and help his weak arguments? I notice that the well educated, superfit and healthy, completely sane “Greg” seems to be doing all the name calling. Resort to name calling when no one listens to your argument.

  18. Czee…You misunderstood what I wrote. June 21st was well after the infamous incident. The reason I know is that I am a United Flight Attendant and was in training that day, and the ORD base manager came in and told the class that information that day.

  19. He probably got a lifetime free First Class pass in addition to several million dollars.

    Obviously drives the Trumpanzees crazy since they’re about to lose their health care, got fired for sexual harassment and kicked out of their homeowners Assn for burning a cross on the new neighbor’s lawn.

  20. I hope his autobiography will include a chapter about his conviction for prescription drug dealing, his losing his license to practice medicine for years before the incident because of the conviction, and the fact that at the time of the night and wants incident he was not practicing medicine but rather working as a supervised very part time probationary doctor in a public clinic because he did not have a license to practice medicine anywhere on his own.

    At the end of the day, David Dao spent more time running to lawyers’ offices than running in any marathons.

  21. pretty sure the “apology” was a Prime Number with a bunch of zeros after it. What more does he want red carpet and free champagne ??? oh, wait – that’s what Leff wants to finally start writing favorable stories about UA

  22. were flights to Ho Chi Minh City (It’s time to that all Vietnamese-Americans need to be politically correct) out ORD to NRT operated by Continental or United back in the day? Sorry if it’s a stupid question but I’m just curious.

  23. @Nam – I’m not sure I understand the question? Legacy United flew Hong Kong – Ho Chi Minh City, I took the flight on a Boeing 747 in 2009 if I recall correctly

  24. The whole civilized world is angry and depressed that ignorant hicks played by internet Trolls hijacked the US. Patriotic Americans want the Russian collusion investigated. Fat Trump redneck bullies want to protect the KGB, to get your race war going. All that’s modern and good stands against you, worldwide.

  25. Sorry for not providing context – I was going through my father’s belongings and I found a Continental plane ticket from IAH-NRT in 2007 and I vaguely remember him explaining how all the energy people switched to United going onward to SIN or if he also switched to United Airlines as well except he went onward to SGN. I just don’t know if UA provided the second leg or NH (which would be the logical bet). I’m looking at this plane ticket and I’m disappointed I didn’t listen when I was 17 =\.

    Thanks for attempting to answer my first question, and hopefully again if you now you have a little more context.

    I’m learning for my own historical purposes but it also helps me to understand loyalty programs and their sentiments past and present.

    Sorry, I fall within the cross-section of millennials that would like to experience the Upper-Deck of 747 on Oct. 29th for all it’s emotional and historical experience but had to diversify from going all-in on 1K United to having the of routing myself to Asia Zone 1 with last minute AA Platinum status if skies happen to part for me.

  26. Disclaimer: I am a UA employee and my opinions are my own, not that of my employer.

    I am not directly involved in the legal resolution of the UA3411 incident. However, having worked for two different airlines (total of 20 years) and occasionally involved in pre-legal or legal settlements, I can say with confidence that the moment a passenger brings in legal representation, goodwill gestures like free tickets etc. go out the window. Usually by that time the carrier has already offered those, and the passenger has rejected them. Once lawyers are involved, it passes from Customer Relations to a more specialized legal team. Do you really think the CEO goes to arbitration? And once it turns legal, nobody without that special legal training is involved directly with the passenger, including the CEO.

    Furthermore, once I had a concussion from a skull fracture. It took 12 to 18 months before it stopped affecting my memory and my coordination. It’s literally been less than three months. And no neurologist can ever tell whether the symptoms will be permanent.

    I really feel that this is another in your latest disappointing trend of sensationalistic outrage pieces and is not at all fair in its vilification of what us actually pretty standard legal practice in this industry.

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