United Airlines fallout from passenger ejection reverberates on campus

Ghila Andemeskel, biology major

By Christian Urrutia and Qing Huang

SF State—Many SF State students say they are upset and confused at United Airlines after a watching a video where a passenger was violently removed from an overbooked flight.

Cassandra Pena, a biology major, said she only heard about a passenger getting hurt by an airline. “I don’t know the reason why the guy refused to give up his seat,” She said. “But whatever, kicking out a passenger was unprofessional and made it serious.”

Ghila Andemeskel, a biology major, said the incident is a “type of class issue,” and the press is missing the point when focused on talking about what David Dao was doing in the past such as gambling.

“Dao is a citizen and showed he has paid the ticket,” Andemeskel said. “That’s the matter, and Dao’s past is no matter.”

Andemeskel said the apology from the CEO of UA was too late. “Before the incident, he said UA was the best airline and criticized others like Southwest whose service was bad,” Andemeskel said. “Now the incident has happened on UA, he needs to focus on the victim, and not talk about other airlines’ service anymore.

Zoology major Jocelyn Jones, 19, agreed with Andemeskel on the minor importance of Dao’s past before the incident.

She mentioned how in the coverage after the event occurred, stories were focusing on irrelevant facts.

“Before the airline issued an apology, there were stories where they were trying to dig up dirt from his past. Which I thought was completely irrelevant to the situation. Nothing to do with him being on a plane,” Jones said.

She added, “The airline seems like they’re trying to cover themselves instead of being sorry for what happened.”

“I don’t know the whole situation,” said Cat Myers, criminal justice major. “But enough to show I don’t like what UA did (in the situation); first, let a passenger book a flight but as a result ends up suffering on the plane.”

Also, she said she doesn’t like how UA sold too many tickets. If overbooked, their employee(s) should have tried to take another flight and avoid kicking out other passengers.

“It is really wrong,” She said. “I think the passenger will sue them.”

Sean DeRubes, a philosophy major, 21, said if someone is refusing to give up their seat after a money offer, maybe offer that seat to someone else. He said granted that wouldn’t be the fairest way, picking someone who is less assertive who would actually submit his or her seat.

“But it just seems kinda of a ‘Goodfellas’ Ray Liotta type-of-style move. It seems like they were bouncers at a club, it’s silly because they’re an airline,” DeRubes said.

“He bought a ticket and that’s how you return his investment, by knocking him out, that’s a little unfair,” DeRubes said.

Sean DeRubes, philosophy major

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