And now, the elderly passenger – who was left bloodied and bruised after the brutal assault by officials – has been named as 69-year-old Dr David Dao, a Vietnamese-American doctor specialising in internal medicine, a father of five and a grandfather.
Dr Dao was heard in videos captured of his shocking eviction saying he needed to get home to Louisville so he could see patients.
United CEO Oscar Munoz has been heavily criticised for his ‘tone deaf’ and ‘condescending’ statement, released on Monday, defending the actions of his airline crew after he described Dr Dao as 'disruptive and belligerent'.
Munoz issued a public apology saying he 'apologized for having to re-accommodate these customers.'
But in a private email to employees, the CEO defended the crew's actions, calling the passenger 'disruptive and belligerent' and praising his staff for going 'above and beyond'.
The CEO described how flight crews had offered up to $1,000 in compensation for anyone willing to catch the next flight before approaching the passenger to 'explain apologetically' that he was being denied boarding.
He had then 'raised his voice and refused to comply' with the crew's requests to leave the aircraft, and became increasingly 'disruptive and belligerent,' he said.
'Our agents were left with no choice, but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight, he repeatedly decline to leave.'
Munoz added that the passenger refused to comply with the officers who then 'physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist – running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both out crew and security officials.'
Our agents were left with no choice.Oscar Munoz
It has also been revealed that Dr Dao had previously been given a suspended jail sentence for illegally obtaining and trafficking controlled substances by fraud and deceit.
He was also found to have in engaged in sex with a male patient and then supplied him with drugs, including Oxycontin, in exchange for sexual favours, before having his license was suspended in 2003, and then partially re-instated in 2015.
Dr Dao is currently still in hospital and, in a sign that he is planning to sue the airline has issued a statement through two prominent firms of Chicago attorneys - one specialising in personal injury, the other which deals in corporate governance.
'The family of Dr. Dao wants the world to know that they are very appreciative of the outpouring of prayers, concern and support they have received,’ read the statement.
'Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Dao’s medical care and treatment.'
The statement said he was still 'undergoing treatment in a Chicago hospital for his injuries'
This article first appeared on New Idea.