THE doctor filmed being dragged from a United Airlines flight has spoken publicly for the first time two years on from the ordeal that stunned the world.
Dr David Dao has revealed he wept when he first saw harrowing viral footage of him being pulled down the aisle of the packed plane with blood pouring down his face.
Speaking out for the first time about his harrowing ordeal, Dr Dao revealed he wept when he first saw the viral footage[/caption]
He was booted off the jet – bound for Louisville, Kentucky on April 9 2017 – as it sat Chicago O’Hare International Airport after being told the flight had been oversold.
After bravely refusing to give up his seat due to the airline’s own blunder, heavy-handed cops forcibly ejected him – with stunned fellow passengers filming the traumatic event.
Now speaking out for the first time, the Kentucky doctor said that while the nightmare caused distress for him and his family – he does not regret his actions.
He says his stand has forced United and other airlines to rethink how they sell seats to passengers.
‘I JUST CRIED’
Recalling the hellish ordeal to ABC News, Dr Dao says he was so traumatised that he doesn’t even remember being taken off the plane.
Instead, he can only remember waking up in hospital with no idea what happened.
Dr Dao suffered a concussion and cuts to his mouth and nose – as well as losing several teeth in the melee.
When shown the brutal video of his expulsion from United Airlines Flight 3411, Vietnamese-born Dr Dao said: “I just cried.”
Telling how quickly the situation escalated, he said: “I think (it was) very fast. I think, very quick.
And Dr Dao, who had been heading to Kentucky to open a clinic for Veterans, added that he “did not at all” expect it to turn violent.
He added: “The most important thing is the accident turn out the positive way.
“Airline business (is) willing to change policy.”
Asked if he forgave the airline – which reached an undisclosed settlement with Dr Dao – he said “yes”.
And he is “not angry” with the officers who were later sacked over the incident.
Retired Dr Dao said: “They have a job to do. They had to do it.
“If they don’t do it, they must lose their job.
“So I’m not angry with them or anything like this. That’s their job.”
Flight 3411 was a defining moment for United Airlines and it is our responsibility to make sure we as a company and all of our 90,000 employees continue to learn from that experience
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz faced calls to resign over the storm after he branded Dr Dao “belligerent” in a leaked email to staff.
Munoz later issued a grovelling apology, and vowed: “This will never happen again.”
United Airlines said in a statement: “Flight 3411 was a defining moment for United Airlines and it is our responsibility to make sure we as a company and all of our 90,000 employees continue to learn from that experience.
“The changes we have implemented since that incident better serve our customers and further empower our employees.”
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The statement added: “This year, we are focused more than ever on our commitment to our customers, looking at every aspect of our business to ensure that we keep their best interests at the center of everything that we do.
“As our CEO Oscar Munoz has said, we at United never want anyone in the United family to forget the experience of Flight 3411.
“It makes us a better airline, a more caring company and a stronger team.”
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