United Airlines Boycott By: Laura Kong

What Caused the Boycott?

On April 9th, 2017, United Airlines Flight 3411 reportedly overbooked their flight from Chicago, Illinois to Louisville, Kentucky. With that problem, they needed four passengers to give up their spots for four United Airline workers. The airline offered vouchers but no one volunteered to accept the offer. The manager decided to choose passengers to leave and chose a passenger, David Dao, who was a doctor that needed to see patients the next day. Dao was forcefully removed by refusing to give up his seat and got a concussion and was bloody from getting dragged off the plane by security guards. Due to how the airlines solved the situation, caused an outrage worldwide who witnessed the video of the victim getting dragged off. People are starting to protest and boycott that airline for justice of the victim.

Why & How are people people protesting?

Angered flyer, Phyllis E. Brown, cutting his United Mileage Plus Explorer Card

With that incident, many travelers are angered. People are protesting by cutting up the United Airlines Mileage Cards and stating for others to do the same. They are also demanding that people stop using United Airlines to travel as they will do the same. Some people with bad experiences with the flight found the video too extreme that they finally have the reason to stop traveling with that airline in hopes it will bring justice to the victim on Flight 4311.


Some flyers who ride United Airlines often have taken action in boycotting United Airlines as well. Just like Phyllis E. Brown, people are cutting their United Cards (shown above). People are also protesting outside airports to gain justice and recognition for Dao. Asian-Americans who have not been treated as unfairly as African-Americans have started to protest (shown above). US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky has also spoken out at the protest in the video above to not mistreat people.


Although many people would greatly appreciate boycotting United Airlines, United Airlines is a monopoly to different routes around the United States. It is impossible to travel by flight to certain states without purchasing a ticket with United. United Airline tickets are also cheaper than other airlines, such as American Airlines. It is hard to boycott an airline when most people want to spend less money to get from point A to point B.

Outcomes and Impacts

After the incident on April 9, United Continental Holding stocks slowly decreased for a couple of days but not enough to make the boycott efficient

As much as people try to boycott, United Airlines will not lose any flight sales but just their reputation. People will be more sensitive to the treatments from their flight attendants and some would be overdramatic. Some people are willing to pay the extra money it costs to travel a different route to the same destination with a different airline, but there are some people who cannot afford to spend a few more dollars on a plane ticket. Overall, there is not a way to boycott this airline completely to destroy the company, but the reputation of the company will be destroyed for some time before people start to forget about the incident.

Modern Inequality

People are boycotting to gain human rights. We should not treat other people poorly. It was inhumane to drag someone off with them bleeding and giving the victim a concussion. During the Civil Rights Movement, people peacefully protesting were boycotting bus companies to prove the importance of African American customers to the bus company. They fought for equality while withstanding physical and verbal abuse. With this situation, people are boycotting for justice for Dao's mistreatment. It does not help the situation that he was also an Asian-American that got chosen to leave the flight and got mistreated. Equality is still being fought even if it's just basic human rights or racial issues.

Works Cited

Garfield, L. (2017). The United Airlines boycott is not backing down — here's how it could affect sales. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/united-airlines-scandal-boycott-sales-2017-4?scrlybrkr=cda03760

United Continental Holdings Inc. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://quotes.wsj.com/UAL

Zdanowicz, C. (2017). Travelers are so angry they're cutting up their United cards. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/11/travel/united-customer-outrage-trnd/?scrlybrkr=7a4f492f

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