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Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representing the 7th District of New York


Velazquez Demands Answers from United

Velázquez Demands Answers from United
April 12, 2017
Press Release

Calls for Meeting with CEO

New York, NY –Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) today wrote the following letter to the President and CEO of United Airlines.  The letter is also available online here. 

April 12, 2017

Mr. Oscar Muñoz
President and CEO
United Airlines
233 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Mr. Muñoz:

I am writing to express the profound dismay of my constituents regarding the incident on United Express Flight 3411 on April 9.  

As you may know, my district, New York’s 7th, includes Manhattan’s Chinatown and sizeable Asian populations in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park.   Many residents of New York’s 7th Congressional District have suggested to my staff that they believe Dr. Dao was targeted and forcibly removed from the flight because he is of Asian descent.  Some of my constituents have heard from their concerned loved ones in China and across the Pacific Rim who have encouraged them not to travel on United.  

While I understand that United is currently conducting its own review of how this incident unfolded and policies regarding passenger removal, I believe this situation raises important questions that need to be addressed quickly.    

To that end, I would ask whether you would be willing to meet with me and discuss these matters. 

Specifically, I would like to know: 

  1. Does United have in place cultural sensitivity training? If so, when did the crew on Flight 3411 receive this training?
  2. The latest news reports indicate passengers were instructed to deplane to make space for airline personnel.  Were other options explored for transporting staff without having to remove fare paying passengers from the plane? 
  3. As this situation might have been avoided entirely if other passengers had previously volunteered their seats, I would like to know more about incentives United provides customers willing to volunteer their seats when flights are overbooked or additional seats are needed to transport airline personnel. 
  4. Is it normal practice for airline security staff to be contacted when passengers resist deplaning? What were airline security personnel told about the situation before approaching Dr. Dao? What reasons were they given for his forcible removal? 
  5. Was Dr. Dao passive in his resistance to airline personnel or did he actively resist leaving his seat? Video on social media strongly suggest the former.  

No one should be fearful that by boarding a commercial airline flight they are putting themselves in jeopardy at the hands of airline security.  For these reasons, I would ask for a meeting with you in either New York City or Washington, D.C. to discuss these and other questions.   

I look forward to your prompt reply. 


Nydia M. Velázquez




紐約 - 維樂貴絲(D-NY)今天寫信給聯合航空公司總裁兼首席執行官。這封信也可在網上看到:


233 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago,IL 60606












A copy of the letter can be found here


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