A disturbing video went viral online, showing a man being dragged violently off a United Airlines plane boarding in Chicago. The company said, they needed seats for their four crews.
The man in the video was seen frantically screaming as security personnel dragged him out of his chair, resulting to a head bang to his armrest. He was then dragged across the aisle as horrified eyewitness screams out and captures some videos of the incident.
One horrified woman was heard screaming, “My God, what are you doing? No, this is wrong!” “Oh my God look at what you did to him! Oh my God!” According to another witness, the man busted his lips after hitting the armrest.
A certain Audra D. Bridges, posted a video on her social media account regarding the encounter. According to her, a United Airline staff was looking for someone to give up a seat in exchange of hotel accommodation and $400.
Later, they announced that the plane won’t board unless four volunteers offer their seats as their crew members need to be in Louisville the next day. The offered amount was then increased to $800.
Since nobody volunteered, airline staff announced that they will be choose four people randomly. The man caught in the video was also selected but he insisted to stay, one cooperated and gave up a seat.
The airline released a statement regarding the incident. According to them, they were sorry for in encounter. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to gate.” Said in their statement. “We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.” They added.
However, a statement was released by United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz stating that the aircraft was not actually overbooked. Instead, they needed extra seats for their crew members who needs to work the next day.
An email sent by Munoz says that, “While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I’ve included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.”
“I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident,” he added. “Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.” He added.
According to the Huffington Post, The Department of Aviation Police in Chicago handled the case. “The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department. That officer has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation.” Said the Department of Aviation Police.
The passenger was said to be a doctor who refused to get off the aircraft because he needs to go to be in the hospital the next morning.