Who is doing their PR? Can you say worst ever?
God help us.
Look, in all honesty there is plenty of blame to go around, and the doc’s past has nothing to do with all this.
First, the issue should have been handled BEFORE anyone boarded that plane. Sorry Charlie, once everyone is settled in and half asleep, (or drunk), is NOT the time to tell them they’re not going.
Did United have the RIGHT to remove him from the plane? Sure, it’s their plane. The Doc was just renting the seat for a ride. Was it wise for United to yank him off the way they did? I think we all know the answer.
Make your deals before the first person walks the plank. Once people walk past the gate agent they are going on the ride. Bye, bye.
Please forgive this rather simple analogy –
You plan a special dinner with your spouse at your favorite restaurant. You guys talk about it for days. You make plans for a sitter and reservations with the restaurant.
You’re excited about your special night. You and your spouse even begin a countdown.
3 – 2 – 1
Finally the big day arrives and you show up at the time you reserved.
“Yes sir, we have your table all ready to go,” says the host.
As you settle into your favorite private booth, you begin to relax as you look over the drink menu.
Just as you are ready to order your cocktail the host returns to your table, and says, “We’re sorry, sir, but you must leave this table immediately and return to the waiting area, and make reservations for tomorrow night’s seating.”
“But I made reservations,” you reply.
“Sir, we have hungry employees who need this booth. We need to feed them so they can get back to work,” says the host.
“Get up or we are going to call police.”
What the blankity blank?
Now, Dr Dao could have handled the situation differently too.
Instead of screaming like a 3 year-old, and running back on the plane after he had been removed, he could have realized the airline staff were following the orders of someone up the chain.
He might have said, “Hey, let’s reason this out. Can you give me a sec to explain to the other passengers that I’m a doctor who must get back tonight to see some sick folks in the morning?”
“Maybe there is another passenger who would understand and would be willing to give up their seat if they just knew about my situation.”
Instead, he decided he had a right to that seat, and no one was going to take it from him.
So, I can sum up in one simple phrase how all this could have been avoided. I can’t take credit for the wisdom because it is thousands of years old. However, right now during Holy Week is a great time to be reminded of the Golden Rule,
“Treat others how you want them to treat you,” – Jesus
Simple, yet profound and effective.
“Relax, it’s not all about you.”