Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

It was the flight that launched a thousand diatribes.

A passenger was dragged, his face bloodied off a United Airlines flight because he refused to be bumped for an airline employee.

Fortunately for Dr. David Dao there was passenger video of the inhuman treatment doled out to him at the request of airline staff.

Less fortunate was the initial reaction of the airline, whose CEO Oscar Munoz sought to belittle and blame Dao.

He said Dao had merely been "re-accommodated."

Soon, it was Munoz's view that was re-accommodated.

After a short time, his airline was paying Dao a (rumored) large amount of money in settlement. I'm guessing somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million.

Two years since the incident, Dao finally gave an interview to ABC News

I'm not really sure why. 

He admitted that, after the incident, his instinct was to hide and stay hidden.  

He still struggles with sleep, balance and concentration, he said.

He doesn't remember all of the incident.

On camera, he was clearly uncomfortable, wrapping his arms around his body as if in self-protection.

Yet he also managed to offer a certain perspective beyond himself: 

The accident turned out the positive way.

I'm not sure that if I'd been assaulted by airport securty on behalf of an airline that I'd be quite so magnanimous.

I wouldn't have called it an accident and I'm not sure there's anything positive about having problems with sleep, balance and concentration.

Even if you did pay me $15 million to endure them.

Dao is right, however, that what happened to him caused airlines -- and especially United -- to reconsider their behavior.

Why, the airline now uses technology -- and the occasional bout of humanity -- to try and eliminate bumping.

It even once offered a passenger $10,000 to be bumped. Oddly, the passenger accepted.

Sometimes, when one's life is severely affected by a traumatic event, it's hard to see any picture bigger than one's own.

It's understandable. We only have one life and it doesn't last long at all.

Some will say Dao's reaction is surely mollified by his settlement. 

Still, he managed neither to blame the overly physical security heavies nor United.

Instead he can see that so many others may have benefited from his experience.

It's just a pity he had to go through it.

Published on: Apr 10, 2019
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