No one should desire the negative press United Airlines has been getting lately. From trapped employees to banning leggings, the company’s L’s just keep stacking up. Their latest is brutal, involving a passenger getting dragged off a flight he paid for.
On Sunday evening (April 9), a passenger from a United flight from Chicago to Louisville at the O’Hare International Airport was forcibly removed. Passenger Audra D. Bridges uploaded footage from the incident to Facebook. Speaking to the Courier-Journal, Bridges said before the flight took off, they were told it was overbooked. The cute gift of $400 and a hotel stay would be given to those willing to give up their seat. The offer was then raised to $800, but there were no takers.
After running out of bright ideas, a manager announced that four people would be selected by a computer to be removed from the flight so stand by United employees could board.
The man in the video below was chosen and decided not to leave. Bridges said the man told the employees that he was a doctor and had to treat patients Monday morning. Members of the Chicago Aviation Police removed the man from the flight, with the man hitting his face on an armrest while he was dragged off the flight.
“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges said. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.” Her caption shared the same reaction on Facebook, with over 500,000 people viewing the disturbing video. The man was given medical assistance before he was allowed back on the flight, which took off two hours later.
The company released a statement about the incident, directing attention to authorities for more information. “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the spokesperson said. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.” The man was also reportedly given a full refund for the flight.
The Department of Aviation hasn’t released a statement about the incident and their officers’ practices. Patch reports officers of the Chicago Aviation force are educated and trained by the Chicago Police Training Academy but aren’t allowed to carry weapons.
Reactions to the incident have been swift on social media, with many boycotting the company.
I hope when everyone was walking off that united flight and the attendants were like "have a great night" they were like "FUCK YOU."
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) April 10, 2017
On a related note, remember when United was bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of $390.7 million? pic.twitter.com/GzDSpYMBjl
— Scott Santens (@scottsantens) April 10, 2017
— Jack (@JackHTX) April 10, 2017
.@united should start serving Pepsi
— JUBILEE (@JubileeDJ) April 10, 2017
UPDATE: 4/10 2:22 P.M. EST
United’s CEO Oscar Munoz has released an odd apology to the doctor and other passengers of flight 3411 stating, “I apologize for having to re-accomodate these customers.”
United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411. pic.twitter.com/rF5gNIvVd0
— United (@united) April 10, 2017