President Donald Trump on Wednesday weighed in on videos showing a bloodied United Airlines passenger being dragged off an airplane, saying what the airline did to passenger David Dao was “horrible.”
Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that airlines should offer travelers on overbooked flights more money to willingly give up their seats, rather than forcibly eject those who refuse. Video taken by passengers on a United flight from Chicago shows Dao, a 69-year-old doctor, being forcibly and violently removed from his seat on the packed plane to make room for a United employee. Dao was dragged off the plane by airport security officers after refusing airline offers to leave willingly.
“You know, there’s a point at which I’m getting off the plane ― seriously,” Trump told the Journal, suggesting that airlines offer better inducements. “They should have gone up higher. But to just randomly say, ‘You’re getting off that plane,’ that was terrible.”
United CEO Oscar Munoz initially defended airline employees and called Dao “belligerent.” On Tuesday, facing growing outrage and calls for a boycott, Munoz apologized and promised a policy review.