Dr. Dao Appears In First Ever TV Interview

Filed Under: United, Videos

On April 9, 2017, Dr. Dao was dragged off a United Express flight from Chicago O’Hare. At first this video seemed like it may be no different than most other viral airline videos, though this incident was unlike anything we’ve seen before in commercial aviation.

It made headlines for weeks on end, and it caused airlines to actually change their policies.

This became such a big issue that within weeks of the incident United reached an undisclosed settlement with Dr. Dao in hopes of getting out of the spotlight. It’s widely believed this settlement was in the millions, if not for over ten million dollars.

Well, yesterday, on the second anniversary of the incident, Dr. Dao appeared on Good Morning America for his first ever interview on camera. The timing of this is interesting, and suggests there may have been an NDA of some sort that expired yesterday.

Here’s the interview:

While he doesn’t say all that much, it’s still interesting to see how he feels about the incident at this point.

As you can see, at this point he holds no ill-will towards anyone, and wouldn’t even change what happened if he could. He suggests that’s because it caused change in the industry, though I suspect the settlement he received doesn’t hurt either. 😉

In all honesty, this incident changed a lot, and I’m happy to see that he seems to be doing quite well. I’m a bit surprised he even wanted the attention of doing the interview at this point, rather than just letting it fade away.

I’m happy we get to hear his perspective…

(Tip of the hat to Live and Let’s Fly)

  1. Thank you Dr Dao. You are a true American hero! Myself and millions of others will forever be grateful for the stand that you took.

  2. Flight attendant…”Mr.Dao we need you to please get off the plane” Mr. Dao, “OK “. No incident, that simple… IMO

  3. Yeah I agree there probably was an NDA. As for interviews, I’d imagine GMA probably paid him a nice sum too to get this first interview. It took a lot of courage to do what he did and he is right that it caused a change in the industry.
    In addition, I’m glad it was also videotaped and posted online. If there was no video at all, I can see UA simply disregarding his claims.

  4. Going home to open a free clinic for veterans? Suuuure. Was it going to be open one day a week because he has his license revoked and after a period of time was then allowed to see patients only one day a week on a probationary basis. This guy has done prison time, trafficked narcotics (6 felony convictions for doing so) and had sexual relationships with his patients (some speculation that the relationship was in exchange for prescriptions). This guy has been involved in scams his whole life. What’s the chance he saw having to be forcibly removed as another opportunity?

  5. @Charlie, it is an issue of illegal discrimination that he stood up against.
    He had assigned seat, people boarded and settled down. United realized that there is a person at gate with no seat assignment but no seat left. United decided that that person is more “important” than the person already seated. It is illegal move at this point. If you have multiple people with “standby” or “No seat assignment” , United had the choice prior to boarding to make an announcement of oversold flight. United had the choice to offer incentives to reduce the number of people waiting for seat assignments by people volunteering their removal form passenger list. If they can’t find enough people to be removed, United has the right to cancel flight (federal law) and follow legal processes of what to do about the people who are now stranded.
    So there is an illegal way (thought of being simpler way) of handling this and a legal (but surly painful) way.
    Mr.Dao, being highly educated, recognized the discrimination aspect of the situation and stood by his ground. He paid greatly emotionally and physically.

  6. @andre

    Don’t be an idiot. This isn’t an issue of discrimination. Also don’t forget that Dao lost his medical licence for selling medically prescribed narcotics for cash and gay sex.

    Educated, maybe previously. Lucky that he got a payout that would never have happened in a country other than the litigious US of A. Definitely.

    Personally, I think he’s a bit of a c**t

  7. @Dbo, nit saying you’re wrong because I have no idea, but if you’re going to spout all that, you need yo cite (credible) sources.

  8. @Dbo, not saying you’re wrong because I have no idea, but if you’re going to spout all that, you need to cite (credible) sources.
    Corrected mobile typos…

  9. If you fight/disobey the police, whether you are 100% in the right or not, you lose.

    There is almost always a way to handle these things that doesn’t end in violence.

    If I were on a jury I wouldn’t have given him $1.

    Now…if he had gotten off the plane like a rational person and sued UA then I would have probably given him what he was asking for and maybe something extra.

  10. @Dbo and @Joe oh please. And what exactly does his past have to do with the incident at United? People nowadays love to act as if they’ve lived an immaculate saint-like life. Anyone put under the microscope would have some baggage. The fact that United tried using it as a weapon to discredit Dr. Dao shows more of what type of company they are.

  11. @Endre – you’re wrong. They needed to make room for deadheading crew, not simply standbys without seat assignments.

    ” If they can’t find enough people to be removed, United has the right to cancel flight (federal law) and follow legal processes of what to do about the people who are now stranded.”

    UA should have never let the guy board and surely there may have been alternative solutions available, but invol bumping him is within their right.

  12. Same opportunity arose for me a few months back, and I left the plane like a civilized person. I was hilariously denied compensation as well. After a few back and forths with customer service I got $200 and 15k miles. Maybe I should’ve Dao’ed. Oh well. He’s still a POS, albeit a rich one.

  13. @Jeff There is now a lawsuit between the officers and the City of Chicago (shocker!) but here is what I was able to find in reference to their status:

    “Since 1993, the Chicago Aviation Police have been recognized by the state as law enforcement officers. Though they didn’t carry firearms, the officers were required to graduate from the Chicago Police Academy or the Cook County Sheriff’s Training Academy. They were sworn in as law enforcement officers by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and they wore uniforms marked “police.”

    In theory they were police even if they were unarmed.

  14. @Alex – I don’t watch videos. I want the info presented in the text here.

    @Harold Kelly – sure, I have a last name. What’s your point big fella?

  15. i thought he initially VDBed and then decided the amount was too low and ran back into the plane. i guess he made himself a nice chunk IDB the way he did.

  16. Damn. OMAAT comments are approaching YouTube comments levels of discourse.

    No, pretty sure he wouldn’t have won anything if he’d accepted the IDB and then sued United later. United had the right to request that he give up his seat and he would have complied. His case wouldn’t have had legs to stand on. At best he would have ended up like David S above, with some now devalued MileagePlus miles for having complained.

    What United does NOT have written into their CoC’s is that you will be beaten unconscious if you decline to leave.

    Nobody boards a flight with the knowledge they will be beaten unconscious if they don’t relinquish the seat they paid for, in order for United to place one of their employees there.

    Also, fact is, if he’d quietly gotten up and then sued them later (which as I previously stated wouldn’t have resulted in much for him), nothing would have changed. As it is the public reaction around him being dragged off the plane unconscious due to United pressing the issue forced consumer-friendly change around IDB across all airlines, and he got a settlement out of it regardless.

    Reading some of these comments, I think some people just want to be contrarian at all costs and can’t resist the urge, even when the result is them coming across as a total maroon.

  17. AS – I’m afraid it’s you who comes across as the moron.

    Of course United don’t have such a clause in their CoC, United also didn’t do that – making your point stupid at best.

    It’s also possible to be happy that there are improved passenger regulations while still viewing Dao as the disruptive passenger he was, who only suffered because he refused to comply with legal orders from United and then from “police” – and then physically resisted while being forcibly removed. He was never beaten, he hit his head while struggling – accidents happen when you provoke fights.

  18. @Jason I slipped up there I must admit.

    Let’s get real for a moment though people. Most of us (myself included) would have gotten up and followed orders like we were told. And then you make your way to United Customer service in Chicago where an eyerolling gate agent has to radio ten people just to validate you were kicked off the flight only to receive a 10 dollar voucher and motel six voucher. Compensation? Sure! $100 and 5K miles. Now the problem here is that Dr. Dao was never violent but rather resistant and the officers responded with force when it certainly wasn’t necessary. Sure, United would’ve had the right to cancel the flight under federal law but as Mr. Munoz stated himself, Dr. Dao was a PAYING passenger who stood his ground and was hurt because of it. Insult to injury when news outlets started talking about his past. As far as I’m concerned, he paid his dues and moved in. That was clearly a tactic to discredit Dr. Dao’s valid injury claim. The first thing that came to mind were older folks who have a reputation for being assertive. And to think that could’ve happened to my grandmother who certainly would have not given up her seat. We at this forum are all flyers and love travel, and the end result of this incident is that airlines think twice before escalating simple situations. Anyone who flew between (2014-2017) knew that any “disagreement” could result in either being kicked off or arrested. Some people deserve it but not for every situation. In summary, this incident, while unfortunate, improved passenger’s rights.

  19. The people who have changed the world for the better have never been the ones who blindly follow “the law”, even when it’s wrong.

    I think all the negative comments are just being made by people who are a) ignorant and b) jealous.

  20. It’s crazy there are people out there who truly believe you should follow ALL orders by authority, even if they’re unreasonable, or downright illegal.

    Dao paid for his seat, United had no grounds to remove him for the seat he paid for. United didn’t beat Dao themselves, but the rent-a-cops did and United paid for it, so they are accessories.

    You’re absolutely insane if you think United is within their rights to hire some thugs to beat his ass and drag him off the plane.

  21. Oooooooof so many United loyalists and apologists! No wonder they can f*** their program like no one in their way!

  22. It is strange that folks here who say Dr. Dao should have simply given up his seat are likely the same ones who get very bothered and whine about the butter, or the entree, or the wine on-board not being fit for a king. Is this not hypocrisy?

  23. The amount of hate toward this innocent man is…telling. I guess Lucky has a lot of deplorable readers.

  24. @Robert I agree. A lot of deplorable readers. I may venture to guess they are the type who feel that Asian men should be submissive “like they’re supposed to be” rather than stand up for what is right.

    They probably have the same stance towards Rosa parks.

    This is why Trump is our POTUS right now.


  25. “Also don’t forget that Dao lost his medical licence for selling medically prescribed narcotics for cash and gay sex.”
    DUMBEST COMMENT OF THE DAY!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!

  26. @Al – I totally agree

    To rephrase what @Charlie posted earlier:
    “Bus Driver…”Ms. Parks we need you to please go to the back of the bus” Ms. Parks, “OK “. No incident, that simple… IMO”

    I’m kinda horrified by some of the comments and it’s because of that type of thinking that everyone should just fall in line that positive change takes so long to happen. Just because the law allows something doesn’t make it okay. What’s legally okay and what’s morally okay are often mutually exclusive.

  27. Dao is Vietnamese. This is a nation which beat US and sent it running and running so hard the military was throwing helicopters off carriers with just AK 47s and stubbornness. If the security guards who tried to intimidate him had just asked their daddies they would have known Vietnamese DONT GET INTIMIDATED.
    It was a clear case of racism. And if you think black folks are not racist to other minorities you have never been to Chicago.

  28. Some people point out that Mr. Dao is highly educated, as though somehow some certificates make a person good. Mr. Dao has a checkered past that should have everyone thinking thrice over believing anything he has to say.

    I hope he’s changed but in the past he’s shown he’ll do some pretty vile things for his own personal pleasure. In the past he’s shown a blatant disregard for the law, professional ethics and morality. I hope he’s changed from it and become a better person.

    Either way, all that education and supposed smarts didn’t prevent him from committing crimes and crapping on the ethics of his chosen profession. He’s willingly lied to the world in the past. We need more than a mountain of salt for anything he has to say these days.

    BTW – If Mr. Dao was so concerned about this supposed clinic opening, a rational person would’ve realized at the point the cops were pointing out that legally his behavior was going to land him in jail…. at that point if his priority was to be at the clinic, he would’ve ackowledged the immediate situation wasn’t going to change, gathered the info he needed to follow-up on it i the future and went and RENTED A CAR. It’s a 4 1/2 hr drive.

    Maybe, just maybe, there wasn’t a clinic opening. Maybe, just maybe he wasn’t thinking clearly. Maybe, just maybe, someone with a history of drug abuse wasn’t making a sober decision.

    Et al., Et al., Et al.

  29. What does the guy’s past have to do with him not giving up his seat and getting beat up? So if it were someone with an impeccable past, it would’ve been valid?

    Looks like United hired trolls to manage its online reputation—especially this may overshadow their underwhelming livery launch.

    You’re not any better if you’re taking money doing the dirty work of an unscrupulous company.

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