United Airlines has become the butt of social media and email jokes in the wake of its disgraceful treatment of a 69-year-old doctor, who was hauled out of his seat and down the aisle before take-off for not voluntarily departing an overbooked flight. We present a selection below.
The airline has now said it will refund the ticket costs of all passengers on the flight.
United’s chief executive Oscar Munoz has vowed to “fix what’s broken so this never happens again”.
The doctor at the centre of the fuss, David Dao, was forcibly evicted to make way for four United employees who showed up at the last minute and demanded seats to position themselves in Louisville, Kentucky to operate a flight next day. Another three passengers relinquished their seats and left the flight quietly, though not through their own choice.
When Dao, a Vietnamese American, refused to leave the seat he had paid for, he was forced to endure an ordeal “more horrifying” than his experiences in the Vietnam War, his lawyer says.
He lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose and “significant” concussion in the incident, lawyers for Dao say. The BBC reports Dao’s lawyers are preparing to sue.
As for United, from now on, the airline will insist that any of its employees seeking a seat on a flight must book it at least an hour before departure. Such a policy might have prevented the shocking treatment of Dao.
Video of the incident has been watched by millions of people online.
And now, here come the jokes at United’s expense.
Written by Peter Needham