A United Airlines passenger was pulled out of his seat and dragged along the aisle floor after the airline overbooked a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky.
Sunday’s incident was shared online by fellow passengers who said the airline randomly selected customers to give up their seats and get off the plane so its own personnel could make it to work the next day.
Footage from the scene shows a man being forcibly removed from his seat by three police officers and dragged off the flight. The man refused to leave as he was a doctor and needed to be work at a hospital the next morning, according to passengers who uploaded videos.
United Airlines confirmed to WHAS11 that the flight was overbooked and law enforcement was asked to assist after a customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily.
“We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities,” a spokesperson from the airline said in a statement to the Courier-Journal.
Passenger Audra D. Bridges told the Courier-Journal that the airline asked for one volunteer to give up their seat at the gate. However, after boarding, airline staff then asked for four more people to hand over their seats to United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight.
The company reportedly offered $800 compensation and a hotel stay but, after no-one took up the offer, they used a computer to randomly select passengers to remove.
Bridges claimed that the man booted off the flight came back on the plane with a bloody face and received medical assistance on board while fellow passengers were sent back to the gate so officials could “tidy up” before take off. The flight was delayed two hours as a result.
No update was given to passengers about the condition of the man forced from the plane, Bridges said.
Last month United Airlines found itself at the center of a Twitter storm after it stopped two teenage girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings.
This latest incident again sparked outrage among social media users prompting reuse of the hashtag #DontFlyUnited.
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