A United Airlines passenger didn’t get to “fly the friendly skies” when he was forcibly ejected from his overbooked flight, according to reports.
The man was dragged off kicking and screaming when he refused to give up his seat — and was recorded by passengers outraged at his treatment.
The man, who some social media users said is a doctor, was yanked from his seat at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport before the flight to Louisville, Ky.
A short video posted by Audra Bridges at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows uniformed security personnel pulling the screaming man in front of horrified passengers.
“Oh my God! What are you doing?” one woman is heard saying.
“Look at what you did to him,” a man is then heard saying as the man — who suffered an injury to the mouth — is dragged along the aisle with his belly exposed.
“Good work, way to go,” another passenger says derisively.
A United spokesman said in a statement that Flight 3411 had been 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,” the spokesman said.
Bridges said passengers had been told at the gate that United offered $400 and a hotel stay for a volunteer who would agree to take another flight at 3 p.m. Monday, the Courier-Journal of Louisville reported.
After passengers boarded, the airline then said four people had to give up their seats to stand-by United employees who needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight, Bridges told the paper.
Passengers were told the flight would not take off until the crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one took up the offer.
At that point, she said, a manager said a computer would select four passengers to be removed. One couple was selected first and left the airliner, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.
The man said he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning and became “very upset,” she said. But the manager told him that security would remove him if he didn’t budge.
After two security guards tried to talk him into leaving his seat, a third arrived and threw the passenger against the armrest before the guards dragged him out of the plane.
But the man managed to get back on the aircraft and ran to the back of the plane, Bridges said. A medical crew arrived to treat the bloodied man, while other passengers were told to get off so staff could “tidy up” the plane.
“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges told the paper. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”
The flight was delayed about two hours before its flight to Louisville.
That’s just too much. Ridiculous! I have airlines!