In a bizzarre incident occurring on a United flight from O’hare Airport to Louisville, a man was dragged out of the plane against his will after an overbooking situation caused United agents to ask 4 passengers to leave the flight. Per the Tribunes‘ Ally Marotti and Lauren Zumbach and multiple videos circulating Social media chronicling the event, passengers were shocked at the agents treatment of a man who initially refused to get off the plane apparently due to him being a doctor and having patients he needed to see the next day. “In videos of the incident aboard a flight bound for Louisville, Ky., a man screams as security officers pull him from his seat. He then falls silent as they drag him by the hands, with his glasses askew and his shirt pulled up over his abdomen, down the aisle. Several passengers yell at the officers. “Oh my God, look at what you did to him,” one woman yells.’
Here are some more details about the incident from the Tribune, stemming from testimony by passengers Tyler and Audra Bridges. Bridges told the Courier-Journal that passengers were then told a computer would select four random passengers. A couple was selected and left, but when the man who was removed was selected, he contested, saying he was a doctor who needed to see patients Monday morning. Bridges posted a video of the incident on Facebook, which has been shared more than 12,000 times and viewed 1 million times.The man was warned that security would be called if he didn’t leave, Bridges said. After security personnel came and spoke with him, he still refused.”
According to witnesses and video evidence the man was bleeding while being dragged out, maybe after knocking his head against the seat. I have watched multiple videos of the event on Social media which you should be able to easily find with a simple google search and can safely say it is a very disturbing incident for which United Airlines has no excuse The image of a limp man being dragged off a flight that he paid for will surely stick in peoples memories when they think of United for hopefully a while. Because after this incident the Airline just looks comically inept and inconsiderate. In the Washington Posts report, Tyler Bridges talked about the details proceeding the incident. Tyler Bridges recalled trouble starting almost as soon as he and his wife boarded. “An airline supervisor walked onto the plane and brusquely announced: ‘We have United employees that need to fly to Louisville tonight. … This flight’s not leaving until four people get off.’ That rubbed some people the wrong way,” Bridges said.’ Clearly from Bridges testimony the issue stems from a problem caused by United themselves and not any of the passengers. 4 people were punished because United Airlines gave precedent to their employees over paying customers.
The worst part is that they pathetically had to use violence to achieve get this done. The United CEO has apologized for the incident and claims that they’re reviewing it in the Tribune’s report. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate,” United spokesman Charlie Hobart said in the statement. “We apologize for the overbook situation.” But many like travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt are questioning the policies of United and whether they could’ve been involved in causing this incident. “Everybody has their price. If they had allowed the agent to offer a higher incentive, we may never have heard about this,” said Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group. I think United is going to have to take a look at how it handles involuntarily denied boarding when passengers are already on the plane.”
Hopefully United faces some sort of punishment other than being completely embarrassed over social media.