United Airlines CEO Oscar Muñoz must be forced to resign without his golden parachute (wishful thinking for the latter on my part) and those three thugs who O’Hare and the city of Chicago all “airport cops” need to be fired and brought up on criminal assault charges, besides also being sued in civil court for their violating Dao’s civil rights, their violent behavior and the physical damage they wreaked on Dr. David Dao.
Unfortunately, the worst that might happen to Muñoz is he might lose his $500,000 bonus. Oh well, if the Board of Directors and stockholders allow him to keep his job, he’ll still be more-than-well compensated. To those guys 500 large is chump change. Guys like him more than make up for losses of income like that with dividends from other investments and other forms of corporate compensation.
An attorney for a law firm thinks that UA is on “solid ground legally”. Really? They wanted Dr. Dao’s and the three other seats so staff from a partner airline could take those seats for a connecting flight. Really? United and the airport police gave not one whit that Dao was on his way to Kentucky to treat patients who were waiting expectantly for him. He was intent on performing needed medical services. He was doing something for sick people. And the people who United wanted to give seats to? Employees of a sister airline who just wanted to get someplace as quickly as possible no matter who they inconvenienced. The feeling of corporate entitlement must have been flowing down from the top of the corporate ladder down to them.
But–you don’t take seats away from paying passengers who are already sitting in them. You don’t treat passengers like their illegal aliens that ICE agents are forcibly arresting and removing from the plane (which ICE should be legally barred from doing anyway). And why were only the unclothed and unshorn common rabble chosen to de-seat? Not one frequent flyer sitting in first class was even approached. The big money passengers are always immune from it all, based on their big money and how they or their corporations spend it on United flights and how often. It’s open season on his poor folk, folks.
Dr. Dao will sue United Airlines and collect a very nice settlement unless he is intent on having his day in court. But this is the exactly the kind of incident where the injured and humiliated passenger might either sue the airline, O’Hare, and Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago, or come back to the airport with a gun and take revenge that way.
This is things gone too far as the ultimate result of unfettering the airlines from close federal oversight with the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. It’s fostered a Wild West attitude has turned the skies and the airports unfriendly for passengers and most profitable for the airlines. Thanks, Jimmy Carter! This is a stark example of how Corporate America feels its been empowered by the federal government it owns to treat customers how ever the how it wants because the laws are written to allow CEOS to legally get away with instituting these aggressive anti-customer actions. Some stories are calling Dr. Dao case the beginning of the movement to hold corporations legally accountable for their actions and to reverse this feeling of entitlement which makes corporations think they can do whatever they want.
Unfortunately, if Dr. Dao and other passengers who most certainly will file lawsuits against United, the airport, those three cops, and the city will agree to a settlement where the terms are sealed and all parties are forbidden to ever discuss the settlement details. Without United, the airport, and Emanuel’s Chicago being found guilty in a court of law, none of this behavior will change. But isn’t it fortunate for United Airlines that in this post-deregulation era, people will still be forced to fly that airline because there aren’t very many other choices left. For some flight destinations, UA may be the only choice. So interesting the way Congress, the White House, the FAA, and the DOJ has set this up.