On Sunday, one of the United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville, a passenger who refused to give up his seat on the overbooked flight got into some problems.
The man from Asian decent was on his way to a surgery when he was forced to leave the plane because it was “too full”. Of course the man refused and wanted to stay on and make it to the appointment on time. But the United crew didn’t accept it and dragged the man out of the plane. Some passengers filmed the incident and posted it on social media, it went viral within hours and caused quite some commotion. On the video you can see the man being dragged through the aisle screaming. Later some photo’s appeared of the man being wounded on his face.
Dragging a man off a plane, which he paid $500 for, is nonsense. The way the United Crew reacted to this is just off the rails. The job of those people is to make the flight as comfortable as possible, not the opposite.
The victim has already sued United for this incident and will probably win. In the procedure his lawyers demanded the use of security footage of both the plane and airport against the case which will be held at the court of Illinois.
United apologized Wednesday and said that all passengers will get a refund. This followed the public excuse of chief Oscar Munoz: ‘I want to make up for it’.
The incident sparked criticism of a system that allows airlines to involuntarily boot passengers from flights. United was acting within their rights and following policy. Then, the situation turned physical. United asked passengers to give up their seats voluntarily for compensation. Four crew members needed to get on the flight in order to work another one in Louisville or else that flight would be cancelled. When no one volunteered, the airline was forced into an “involuntary de-boarding situation”. Passenger Tyler Bridges said the request for volunteers came after everyone had boarded. It was easy to understand why no one responded: it was Sunday night and the next flight was not until Monday afternoon he said.
Two officers tried to calmly talk the man out of his seat before a third approached him in an aggressive manner. The officer told him he had to get off the plane, and when he resisted, the officer grabbed him out of his seat and carried him out with the other officers.
The man hit his head on an armrest. He yelled that he was a doctor and that he was being profiled for being Chinese. The scene left everyone unsettled, including children who started crying.