by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News
A doctor dragged off a United Airlines plane in Chicago is not the first time the big airline company is making negative rounds online.
A month ago, it was a Filipino family at the center of another controversy.
Earlier this year, 94-year-old Paz Orquiza was removed from the business class of her Australia-bound flight, after family members said the flight attendants refused to accommodate a few of their requests.
The Orquiza family said they just asked if Paz’s daughter, who was traveling in economy, could help her disabled mother with her meals and using the restroom.
At the time, United explained to ABS-CBN News, the family made requests that the crew could not perform, and that the daughter was not allowed to go back and forth between the two classes.
The latest incident which Paz’s Los Angeles-based granddaughter reposted on Facebook brought back bad memories.
“It just brought back the pain again of what they did to my grandmother, and how they spun it into a story that they asked to be fed,” said Maryanne Santos Aguilar. “So it didn’t look like they were doing anything illegal, that it justified them moving my grandmother out of business class.”
United did tell the family that they would refund them the difference between the two tickets — which Aguilar says, has not yet been given.
After being advised by multiple lawyers that United Airlines is protected by a variety of laws, they have yet to take legal action.
But they believe in taking another move.
“It’s ridiculous and unacceptable that this big corporation conducts business and continues to mistreat their passengers and they’re still in business… The only thing I can really tell people how to help the situation is spread the word and boycott them. I got rid of my miles,” said Aguilar. “I’m never going to fly United. We cancelled our credit cards. I think the more we support their business, we’re really tolerating this behavior and they’re not going to change.”
While Aguilar’s complaint with United is considered closed, as they await reimbursements, the airline… as well as federal officials are investigating this deplaning incident.
Aguilars’ advice for the doctor at the center of the now-viral incident.
“Don’t give up there people like us who will support him, but I think it’s a long road ahead.”
As Ms. Aguilar’s and the doctor’s plight have become two of the most recent viral issues, the hashtag #BoycottUnitedAirlines is also trending.