WARNING to all future United Airlines passengers:
Expect all upcoming luggage fees to increase by approximately 750%.
The company is about to be in need of vast sums of money...
At a press conference this afternoon, lawyer Tom Demetrio spoke on behalf of Dr. David Dao, the 69-year old passenger who was violently dragged off a United flight on Sunday night.
As most of the free world has likely read all about by now, Dao refused to give up the seat he paid for while traveling from Chicago to Louisville.
Because United had overbooked this flight, and no one had accepted the $800 offered to change their travel plans, the airline chose four individuals at random to leave the plane and take a later flight instead.
Dao was one of the people selected and asked to get off the plane.
He said he had patients to see early Monday morning, however, and remained in his seat.
Until, that is, Chicago police officers were called in... tried to talk to Dao reasonably... and then said they were forced to do THIS:
Because fellow passengers captured the incident on their cellphones, the above footage quickly went viral.
As did the associated outrage.
It didn't help his company's cause when the United CEO offered up one of the lamest apologies of all-time, saying his airline has to "re-accommodate" customers from time to time.
That may be the case, Demetrio told the press today, but not in the manner as happened with Dao.
"If you're going to eject a passenger, under no circumstances can it be done with unreasonable force or violence. That's the law," he said.
"For a long time, airlines - United, in particular - have bullied us. ... We want respect and we want dignity. That's it. Not a big deal."
Dao was taken to a hospital as a result of his one-sided confrontation with the police.
Demetrio explained today that his client suffered a "significant concussion, a broken nose and sinus injuries."
He also said Dao, who was released from the hospital last night, lost two front teeth and will be undergoing "reconstructive surgery."
So, naturally, Dao plans on suing United, right?
The assumption is that the company will be forced to pay millions of dollars in some kind of settlement.
"We're not ready to sue. We're doing our due diligence,” Demetrio said, although he was quick to add that a lawsuit basically is coming and ‘will be filed in Cook County.”
The attorney further said that Dao had conveyed to him that he was on a boat out of Vietnam after the 1975 fall of Saigon, and "being dragged down the aisle was more horrifying and harrowing than what he experienced in Vietnam."
That's fantastic. We love it. We're in awe.
We're not trying to downplay the trauma of what Dao went through on board that plane, but come on.
That's just a tailor made quote to tell the public as a way to pressure United into forking over a whole lot of cash.
Dao "has no interest in ever seeing an airplane again" and will likely take a car home to Kentucky, the lawyer said, adding that his client has "absolutely zippo" memory of the incident.
The doctor himself previously spoke briefly to a news outlet in Louisville, saying "everything" was hurting.
After issuing one tone deaf statement after another, United CEO Oscar Munoz finally came out on Tuesday and made a full-fledged mea culpa.
"The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and above all: my deepest apologies for what happened," Munoz said, adding:
"Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard.
"No one should ever be mistreated this way."
One of Dao's five children, Crystal, also talked to reporters today.
She said the entire family was "horrified and shocked and sickened" by the footage of her dad getting dragged off the flight.
Dao's attorneys, meanwhile, have already filed documents in Chicago, demanding United preserve all evidence and personnel records related to his incident.
It sucks Dao had to go through this.
But he is about to be a VERY rich man.