The Strange Tale of United Airlines Passenger Dr David DaoApril 13, 2017 12:13 pm
On April 9th, bloodied images of Dr. David Dao made all the headlines after the 69 year-old was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight apparently in order to make way for crew members needing to work on flights out of Kentucky the following day.
Following the incident, more details have emerged concerning the Vietnamese-American doctor who refused to give up his seat. It turns out, David Dao is a keen poker player with $266,263 in live tournament winnings, with his biggest score coming in 2009 after finishing runner-up at the $5,000 WSOPC Harrah’s Tunica for $117,744.
In addition to his tournament result, Dao is apparently a regular at the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana, where he plays $1/$2 poker cash games, and has earned a reputation for his “unique, aggressive style”. Nevertheless, Dr. David Dao appears to be generally well-regarded amongst his poker playing peers, and has been described as being “usually very quiet” and a player who “keeps to himself”.
This seems to fly in the face of the comments made by United CEO Oscar Munoz, who tried to defended the actions of his crew by asserting that Dao was a ‘disruptive and belligerent’ passenger. In the end, however, the bizarre incident that took place onboard the United Airlines flight, together with a lack of any regret expressed by Munoz, has cost the airlines dearly, with around $1.4 billion of the airline’s share price having been wiped off over the past few days.
While the company’s share price was at $71.52 the day following the incident, a Twitter-led boycott of United Airlines has subsequently seen its price fall to its current level of $69.90, giving United Airlines a market capitalization of $22.25 billion. It’s only since the company’s share price nose-dived, though, that Munoz has softened his stance, and vowed to “fix what’s broken so this never happens again”. In the meantime, even White House press secretary Sean Spicer took time to comment on video footage of the disturbing incident, stating:
“Clearly watching another human being dragged down an aisle, watching blood come from their face after hitting an armrest or whatever, I don’t think there’s a circumstance that you can’t sit back and say this probably could have been handled a little bit better, when you’re talking about another human being.”