Looks like United Airlines is trying to take the crown for the most bad press in 2017. On the heels of #leggingsgate just a few weeks ago, the carrier is back at it again, this time for a viral video that shows a passenger being forcibly removed from one of its flights.
According to the Courier-Journal, the video shows a doctor being removed from a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday night shortly before takeoff at O’Hare International Airport. The man was dragged off the aircraft by authorities, and at least one officer involved has been placed on leave, the Chicago Aviation Department said Monday.
Fellow passenger Audra D. Bridges documented the event via Facebook, sharing her disgust at the staff’s handling of the event.
“United Airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their standby crew could have a seat,” Bridges said. “This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted.”
According to Bridges, passengers were told at the gate that the flight in question had been overbooked. Vouchers and a hotel stay were offered, “but no one volunteered.” Passengers were then selected by “a computer,” according to Bridges.
Another passenger, Jayse D. Ansbach, also captured the drama and shared with followers and the airline via Twitter.
— Jayse D. Anspach (@JayseDavid) April 10, 2017
According to Bridges the man shown in the video was the only person who was forcibly removed.
“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges said. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”
In a statement released by United, a spokesperson confirmed that a passenger had been taken off a flight in Chicago.
“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the spokesperson said. “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.”
United also tweeted a message from their CEO Oscar Munoz who called the event “upsetting” and said that United was reaching out to the passenger to try and resolve the situation.
United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411. pic.twitter.com/rF5gNIvVd0
— United (@united) April 10, 2017
As of now, there has been no update on the doctor and whether or not he reached his ultimate destination.