The passenger who was forcibly removed from his seat on board an overbooked United Airlines flight has spoken from his Chicago hospital bed saying he "was not doing well".
Dr David Dao, 69, who was left bloodied after he was dragged from his seat on board a flight from Chicago to Kentucky, told Kentucky TV station WLKY "everything" was injured.
There has been a public outcry on the treatment of Dr Dao by airline security staff but his lawyer said his family was only focused on "Dr Dao’s medical care and treatment".
“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," the family's lawyer Stephen Goland said.
Meanwhile United Airlines is scrambling to overcome a public relations crisis arising from the incident. The airline's CEO Oscar Munoz has issued multiple statements apologising for “having to re-accommodate” the man.
Munoz released a second statement, following a leaked email labeling the passenger "disruptive and belligerent," saying Dr Dao was mistreated and "I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right."
- North Korea warns of nuclear strike on US as tensions grow
- Hundreds without power in Queensland as Easter long weekend looms
- Queensland Government won't release full report of toddler Mason Lee's death
Twitter users have weighed in with a #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos hashtag.
"Window, aisle or wheelchair?" Michael Sanders tweeted.
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel also took a shot at the airline with a fake ad.
The sketch featured a smiling stewardess wearing knuckle-dusters.
“If we say fly, you fly. If not, tough s***t,” she says.
Dr Dao's dark past revealed
While United has received widespread criticism the passenger’s identity paints a darker picture.
News.com.au reports Dr David Dao, now recovering in a Chicago Hospital, was convicted of multiple charges of obtaining drugs by fraud.
Dr Dao was also placed on five years’ probation.
The father of five was also reportedly involved in a relationship with a male patient where it’s alleged the doctor exchanged narcotics for sexual favours.
Aviation expert Joe Schwieterman, a transportation professor at Chicago’s DePaul University, said Dr Dao didn’t have the right to stay on the plane.
“Airlines have the right to bump people with compensation – the captain’s word goes, you have to respond to that,” Schwieterman told AP.
“And this passenger seemed to feel that somehow he had an uncompromised right to have that seat and of course we know that’s not the case.”
Dr Dao told Kentucky TV station WLKY that he was not doing well but his family thanked the community for their support.
The PR disaster has also affected the company’s shares.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported United Continental Holdings Inc. dropped 1.2 per cent on Tuesday.