As "entitled" Americans, we tend to think we have the right to fly the friendly skies of commuter airlines and that the money we pay to purchase a seat gives us that right.

But we would be wrong.

Like driving, airline flight is a privilege that can be revoked. Above all, it requires that we play by the rules.

David Dao of Kentucky apparently did not play by the rules when he refused to get off the United Airlines plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to make room for airline employees.

Dao reportedly became "disruptive and belligerent," so airlines security roughed and bloodied him up before they yanked him off the plane.

"I'm not going," Dao said in a video recording of the incident.

"We'll have to drag you," responded a security agent.

The Discovery Channel's Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" made the point that while the scene was ugly at best, Dao is not completely innocent.

A fan, Donna Johnson, wrote on Facebook:

“I assume you’ve seen the United video. Were you as disturbed as I was? How can a company treat their customers like that and remain in business? I know you fly all the time – what would [you] do if you were the CEO?"

Rowe referred to the public apology in which United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz admitted Dao "did nothing wrong."

"Does that mean he deserved a beating? Of course not. But it doesn’t mean he's innocent," Rowe said.

"Well, Oscar certainly didn’t blame the victim," Rowe added. "But in the process of finding him blameless, he suggested that millions of passengers are under no obligation to follow a direct command from United employees. And that’s a hell of a lot more disturbing than a beat-down in the main cabin."

Rowe said it's "easy to forget that we have no right to fly." That gives airlines the discretion to kick people off of flights for any reason. It doesn't matter if we're drunk, if we stink, or if we creep out other passengers, he said.

"We can be removed for whatever reason the airline deems necessary," Rowe said.

It's important to note that Dao and three other passengers were offered $400 and a hotel room if they gave up their seats. When there were no takers, United Airlines upped the amount to $800, according to the Courier-Journal.

There are also a few other things people should know about Dao, 69, a Kentucky doctor who fled his native Vietnam during the fall of Saigon in 1975.

According to, Dao was arrested in 2003 and convicted on six felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit, and in 2005, he was sentenced to five years of probation.

Dao was also convicted of writing prescriptions and checks to a male patient in exchange for "sexual favors," according to People.

We're not trying to say Dao had it coming on the United Airlines flight. But his checkered past does provide insight into his character.

Dao's attorney, Thomas A. Demetrio, says the treatment of his client aboard the plane was "more horrifying and harrowing" than what he experienced in Vietnam.

Maybe. Rowe, however, argues that United Airlines made a "business decision" to use force in order to eject Dao from the plane. That decision may haunt the airline for years to come, he said.

Certainly, the incident could have had a better result. Dao could have, and probably should have, complied with the officers' demands. Instead, he chose to stand his ground -- ground that did not belong to him.

Please share this on Facebook if you think David Dao or United Airlines was in the wrong for the scuffle aboard the airliner.

Source: Wire

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