“United” Joins “Spirit” at the Top of Humanity’s Worst Air Carriers List…

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United Arlines (UNITED) has brought the amazing “Windy City” more bad PR than it would need to get right now, particularly considering that there was a major shooting incident that happen recently in Chicago’s South shore region, not to mention to shooting of a Chicago judge recently, which halted the decent break from shootings that the Windy City had experienced for a short while.

I recently wrote an article about my personal experience with SPIRIT (i.e., Spirit Airlines), and trust me, it wasn’t good . Thus, having to read about what this doctor named, Dr. David Dao, experienced on a UNITED carrier simply shocked my conscience. Thus, here I am writing about a lousy air carrier again, except this time it’s about United instead of Spirit.

Let me stat that, over the past 25 years, I have watched the Airlines business descent from quality, and amazing customer service, to bare quality and mediocre customer service at best. I realize that it’s all about saving money, but they didn’t have to do it so egregiously. The OUTRAGE has been pretty much about everything: from United's booking policies, to the excessive force used by security officers, to accusations of racial profiling etc.

But, Back to Dr. Dao’s Situation… Who the Heck is He? What the Heck Happened?

The problem with Dr. Dao’s case is two-fold.

  1. He was savagely removed from an airplane by a reckless carrier (i.e., United)

  2. But, this act has revealed his rather unsavory or checkered past.

Undoubtedly, excessive force was used in Dr. Dao’s case, no matter how belligerent he was assumed to have been; and I understand, because anyone who might have been having a bad day or felt rather targeted, and fails to collaborate in a timely manner might have ended up in Dr. Dao’s position. Although he posed no “immediate threat of force to anyone”, he was treated in a worst manner than most terrorists would have been treated. I am pleased for the fact that he was neither Black nor White. The latter allows one to tap into the real issue, the lack of performance (or the inefficient or sub-par service) that airlines like UNITED and SPIRIT have been perpetuating lately. There is rather a great similarity between my experience at SPIRIT, except that I had decided to “swallow the bitter pill” and get from point A to point B without making any kind of news whatsoever, except the article that I wrote about SPIRIT quite appropriately.

Dr. Dao’s past should not be issue here; and neither should his race, or social status. However, we all knew that flew right out of the window the minute people found out that a doctor was savagely removed from a recent UNITED flight. But at least, he brought much needed attention to the level of mediocrity that Airlines like UNITE and SPIRIT have been perpetuating lately.

So, What is so Checkered/Troubling about Dr. Dao’s Past?

According to TMZ.com, the following pertinent and unsavory and potentially legally relevant pieces of information can be found in Dr. Dao’s past:

Dr. David Dao was charged in 2005 with 98 felony drug counts for illegally prescribing and trafficking painkillers. Prosecutors claimed Dao fraudulently filled prescriptions for hydrocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet.

Dr. Dao was also convicted on 6 felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit and in 2005 was given 5 years probation.

Dao was also convicted for writing prescriptions and checks to a patient in exchange for sex.

In medical board documents ... Dao denied paying for sex, but indicated he accepted sexual favors from an associate in exchange for reducing a debt that associate owed him.

In February, 2005, Dr. Dao surrendered his license to practice medicine in Kentucky. In 2015 the medical board lifted the suspension and allowed him to practice medicine with some restrictions. Last year, the medical board imposed even more restrictions -- now he can only practice internal medicine in an outpatient facility one day a week.

Interestingly, and relevant to the United incident, one doctor assessing Dao's case said he had interpersonal problems, noting "... he would unilaterally choose to do his own thing."

Undoubtedly, Dr. Dao does not seem to be an ideal physician. HOWEVER, his conduct as a physician has nothing to do with the nightmare that he experienced on that UNITED carrier. Of course, UNITED and other entities have the right to dig into his past. But, none of what will have been revealed will come close to vindicating UNITED for the vicarious liability that it will have incurred once a preponderance of the evidence has been fully presented.

I wish Dr. Dao, UNITED, and the public at large all the best. I hope that SPIRIT is taking notes, but should it fail to do so, I assure you that more egregious Airlines stories await it as well. Last, but certainly not least. UNITED got a “D-” from the LorinsPOST.com Business Excellent Quotient (BEQ), namely based on BEQ Metric#1 (i.e., the customer satisfaction level) of the LorinsPOST.com 5 BEQ-metric-level.

Nevertheless, I must give Dr. Dao a D+ as well for the following reasons that were stated by UNITED CEO, Mr. Munos:

“In recounting the sequence of events, Munoz told employees that the passenger “refused” to deplane and “became more and more disruptive and belligerent” and faulted him for “running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.”

Mr. Munos is correct; Dr. Dao should have done what I did, which is to comply and demand justice later. However, on second thought, had Dr. Dao’s goal been to become famous via this very means, then I guess the troubled doctor did succeed in that department. Accordingly, Dr. Dao received a "DD" or (D+) as in David Dao (DD) from LorinsPOST.com, but with extra credit for taking the abuse for the team, his grade was upgraded to an "C-".

Dr. Pete Lorins is the Chief Editor of LorinsPOST.com. This article was sponsored by LORINS.biz

LORINS.biz is a multi-industry consulting firm that provides the following types of services… Management of Law Firms, Medical Clinics, Businesses...Project Management, Sales, Marketing, & Leads Generation...Research & Engineering... It can be reached via www.LORINS.biz

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