Unfortunately, air transportation was hit with yet another blow this weekend, when horrifying footage of a man being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight went viral.
Several videos were posted Sunday of a man being dragged off of a United Airlines plane after the flight was said to be overbooked.
These disturbing videos posted on both Facebook and Twitter reveal three security officers forcibly yanking a passenger from his seat to the floor of the airplane. The incident is reported to have occurred on Flight 3411 which was waiting to take off at Chicago O’Hare Airport for Louisville.
A horrified passenger on the plane, Audra Bridges, posted the footage to Facebook.
Bridges told the Courier-Journal that the flight was overbooked by four people. She said passengers were allowed to board the flight but were later told four people would need to give up their seats for four United employees who were needed in Louisville on Monday.
“Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was looking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville at 3 p.m. Monday. Passengers were allowed to board the flight,” Bridges said. “And once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered.”
First of all, why did they allow everyone to board before accounting for their crew? Come on, United.
Since no one volunteered to give up their seat, passengers were selected at random and asked to leave.
“A manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane, before the man in the video was confronted,” Bridges said.
When the man featured in the video was asked to leave, he became “very upset” and said he was a doctor who had patients to see the next day, Bridges said.
The doctor was told that if he refused to leave, security would be called. Then, the officers came aboard the plane and removed him from his seat as passengers yelled in protest.
As security is removing him, the man appears to have hit his head and is knocked out cold before dragged off of the plane.
Another passenger, Jayse D. Anspach shared a series of tweets about the incident.
Was that really necessary? Also, was no one willing to give up their seat for a doctor?
The doctor was reportedly allowed back on the plane and appeared to have a “bloody face.”
According to Bridges, the man was able to get back on the plane after initially being taken off – his face was bloody and he seemed disoriented, she said, and he ran to the back of the plane. Passengers asked to get off the plane as a medical crew came on to deal with the passenger, she said, and passengers were then told to go back to the gate so that officials could “tidy up” the plane before taking off.
No update has since been given about the condition of the passenger involved.
When United Airlines was asked about the incident, they released the following statement:
Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. 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.