United refunds passengers from nightmare flight

In the wake of United Airlines' shock incident last weekend, when a passenger was dragged, bloodied and screaming, from a flight, the company has scrambled to keep up with what quickly turned into a PR disaster.

Now the airline has announced it will refund some of the passengers who were on board Flight 3411 on Sunday.

David Dao being dragged off the plane. Source: Twitter

Fellow passenger Joya Griffin Cummings was sitting behind David as events unfolded and has since posted a lengthy note on Facebook about what she saw.

"Thank you to all of the friends and friends of friends who shared my video of Dr. Dao before he was forcibly removed from our flight. For getting the word out that this passenger was no more 'irate or belligerent' than any weary passenger after a long day of travel would be.' Joya wrote.

Witness Joya Griffin Cummings has written a lengthy piece about what she saw. Source: Facebook

"He just wanted to go home, had to work the next day and did not feel it was right to have to give up his seat, a seat he was already sitting in upon the plane. The airline was not able to get him home until after 2 pm Monday afternoon. He was irritated as any passenger would be, questioning why he was chosen and explaining that he was a doctor and had patients to see in the morning. I was not concerned for my safety, nor that of my toddler's or for my pregnancy until the police were called aboard our plane to remove him. I was worried about what a physical altercation would entail with us sitting directly behind him and if the officers were armed in a tiny, confined space."

Joya, a veterinary dermatologist, vigorously defended Dr Dao.

Dao was left bleeding from the face. Source: Twitter

"The media is now performing a character assassination in attempts to excuse the airline's treatment of this individual, a human being and child of God," she wrote. "It is disappointing and disgusting to me that our society is so depraved that big business and organizations have no care for individual rights and treat people this way. My heart breaks for this man and his family who have now been literally drug (sic) off a plane, and are now being drug through the mud. All of this for sticking to principal (sic) and wanting to sleep in one's own bed as the remaining non-volunteering passengers on the flight had wanted."

And she said United Airlines had offered to refund the cost of her ticket as well as those of her family who were travelling with her.

"Last night while putting our son to bed, a United Airlines representative called to offer apologies and a full refund of our tickets. This is a small gesture for the horror that everyone experienced on that plane and what the world is experiencing now at this injustice. I hope and pray for policy change, for better rights as a consumer, for lack of fear of racial profiling and discrimination by authorities, for no more instances of police brutality or brutality against the police, for an end to terrorism stateside and abroad, for a safer more compassionate world for my children. The more the videos of the flight play, the more my heart breaks for Dr. Dao and our community as a whole. Things must change. America, we can and must do better. #unitedflight3411 #louisville #changestartswithone"

A transcript of United Airlines' offer to Joya Griffin Cummings. Source: Facebook

David Dao, a 69-year-old doctor, resisted being removed from the plane after cabin crew told passengers that four would have to disembark to make way for airline staff.

Video showed David subsequently being hauled off the aircraft, screaming, as horrified passengers expressed extreme concern for his welfare.

United Airlines' CEO Oscar Munoz initially told all staff that he was fully in support of the way the situation was handled.

In the days since the incident, United Airlines shares lost at least AUD$1 million.

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