David Dao, the United Airlines passenger who was forcibly yanked from his seat and dragged off an overbooked flight from Chicago to Kentucky in April 2017, is finally speaking out following the “horrible” ordeal.
Dr. Dao, from Kentucky, appeared in an interview that aired on “Good Morning America” to discuss the aftermath of the flight, as well as his reaction to the now-viral footage of the incident.
“I don’t know, I just cried,” he told ABC News’ Amy Roback of seeing the video clips taken by fellow passengers.
Dao added that he remembered nothing between the time he initially went unconscious and later woke up in a hospital where he received treatment for his injuries, despite returning to the plane following his involuntary removal and repeating, “I want to go home,” with his face still bloodied.
He suffered a broken nose, lacerations to his face, missing teeth and a concussion, according to reports.
Following the incident, Dao said he became overwhelmed by the media attention and scrutiny, and didn’t leave his house for “months.” Dao, who told “Good Morning America” he was actually planning to open a veterans’ medical facility following the fateful April 2017 flight, added that he found his solace in charity work.
In late April, Dao had settled with United for an undisclosed amount.
"We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do,” a United spokesperson said at the time.
Despite this, Dao said he wasn’t upset with the Chicago Department of Aviation officers who removed him from the plane, saying they only had “a job to do.” And furthermore, Dao claimed he was actually happy with how the events turned out, as it forced airlines to “change polic[ies]” for the better.
“Well, the most important thing is, the accident turned out the positive way,” Dao said.
In the wake of the incident, United CEO Oscar Munoz announced several policy changes, including a $10,000 incentive for voluntarily bumped passengers on overbooked flights, new time restrictions for when crew members must arrive in order to bump passengers, and a promise to reduce the amount of overbooking on flights.
In a statement shared with Fox News on Tuesday, United Airlines said the incident was a “defining moment” that the company uses as a learning experience.
“Flight 3411 was a defining moment for United Airlines and it is our responsibility to make sure we as a company and all of our 90,000 employees continue to learn from that experience.
“The changes we have implemented since that incident better serve our customers and further empower our employees. This year, we are focused more than ever on our commitment to our customers, looking at every aspect of our business to ensure that we keep their best interests at the center of everything that we do.
“As our CEO Oscar Munoz has said, we at United never want anyone in the United family to forget the experience of Flight 3411. It makes us a better airline, a more caring company and a stronger team.”