Solano Stories

The Risk Of Flying The Friendly Skies

Written By: Rex Solano - Apr• 17•17

We are always reminded of the famous saying that the “customer is always right.” But for Dr. David Dao, a passenger of United Airlines, it was not so. Official statements from United Airlines claimed that Dr. Dao was disruptive and belligerent, the reasons, he was forcibly dragged off from an overbooked flight, to make way for four United employees, despite Dr. Dao telling the three Chicago Department of Aviation security officers that he has to be in Louisville by tomorrow morning to attend to his patient. Some passengers who witnessed the horrific incident voluntarily submitted a statement that Dr. Dao was neither defiant nor even having a fighting attitude but only told the Aviation officers that he will not give up his seat.

What really bothered me about this incident and at times so disturbing was the fact that it was not managed appropriately. It was so disgraceful and at the very worst so humiliating if we are in Dr. David Dao’s own predicament. The actions of the three Aviation Officers were bold and injudicious that it behooves me to wonder why they were so fixated and demanded vigorously that Dr. David Dao had to vacate his seat when in fact by way of prodding to come to some alternative solutions, there are, maybe, other passengers who were probably willing to give in if the United Airlines raised the offer of compensation from $3,000 to $5,000, plus hotel accommodations. The United Airlines could have deal with or managed it differently by asking all passengers before boarding the plane, if anyone is willing to give up their seats. However, in this incident, it was neither done tactfully nor even to have a sense of pride with its commercial slogan “fly the friendly skies?” The United Airlines Customer Service Supervisor was not up to the tasked, but instead asked the Aviation Security Officers to remove Dr. David Dao, by forcibly dragging him off his seat to the outrages of other passengers who were traumatically shocked upon witnessing the physical display of harsh maltreatment and the so called arrogant attitude of saying loudly to the befuddled Dr. Dao, that if you do not give in to give up your seat we will get you off the plane either by hook or by crook.” And this is what the Chicago Aviation security officers did to the 69-year old Vietnamese-American doctor David Dao who was traveling from Chicago to Louisville.

When the United Airlines reasonably claimed that they initially asked for volunteers to give up their seats, whereby three of the passengers voluntarily did so, and when nobody volunteered for the 4th one, they then looked in the computer randomly to select one, which happened to be Dr. David Dao. Upon asking Dr. David Dao to vacate his seat, he refused according to the security officers; I read an article with some inflammatory comments that one reason Dr. David Dao’s name was randomly selected on the passengers manifest lists because he was Asian. Are we to believe that racial profiling played a part on why Dr. David Dao was forcibly dragged off his seat instead of an alternative desperate effort by the United Airlines staff to go down the passenger manifest lists and asked for more volunteers? If no other passengers come forward to volunteer, then the United Airlines should have declared an ultimatum that the plane will not depart unless a passenger is willing to give up his seat. In these instances, the United Airlines did not demonstrate good public relations or even diplomacy to avoid any tensions between the United Airlines and its paying passengers.

Bad publicity and outrageous scandals will always leave a bitter pill for the Corporate Company to take. Repercussions will also give a black eye and bad name to a company likes United Airlines, one of the popular carrier in the world, whose stock price or shares took a tumble, after a footage video went viral for the people to judge the company for the way they had conducted and managed its business.

Well, as one would always tells me, that the success of every company is dependent on its function and ability to render good services to those they are dealing business with. I remember, a parent advised her daughter who just got hired on her first job, that no matter what circumstances may befall her never argue with a customer because the saying or slogan will reminds all of us that “ the customer is always right.”

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