- Two years ago, Dr. David Dao made headlines when he was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago, suffering a concussion and other injuries in the process.
- In his first interview since the incident, Dao says he’s not angry at the officers or the airline: "They had a job to do," he told ABC’s Good Morning America.
- "The most important thing is that accident turned out in a positive way," he said.
It’s been two years since Dr. David Dao, a pulmonologist from Vietnam, was the subject of an internationally infamous viral video.
United Airlines eventually settled with Dr. Dao for an undisclosed sum after the incident sparked outcry from consumers around the world and even reached as high as the federal government, where current FAA acting administrator Daniel Elwell poked fun at the settlement.
On Tuesday, the second anniversary of being forcibly removed from United flight 3411 by City of Chicago air safety officers, Dr. Dao gave his first interview about what happened that spring day with ABC’s Good Morning America.
He doesn’t remember much of the incident, he told the morning show, after hitting his head on the plane’s bulkhead and suffering a concussion. But after watching the video of the incident, "I just cry," he said.
"I had to hide," Dr. Dao explained of his unwanted fame. "I stayed for months and months in the house."
The two officers who dragged Dao by his limbs down the plane’s aisle as terrified passengers looked on were eventually fired from Chicago’s department of aviation, but Dao said he isn’t angry with them.
"They have a job to do," Dao said. "If they don’t do it they might lose their job, so I’m not angry with them."
No United Airlines employees were fired because of the incident, though the company did eventually change its policies for crew booking and compensated all passengers on the flight.
In a statement to ABC, the airline said "Flight 3411 was a defining moment for United Airlines and it is our responsibility to make sure we as a company … continue to learn from that experience."
Dao, for his part, is glad the situation eventually affected change at United.
"The most important thing is that accident turned out in a positive way," he said.
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