On April 9, United Airlines announced that their flight to Louisville was overbooked and began asking people to give up their seats in exchange for $400 vouchers.
After the passengers boarded the plane at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, an airline employee came on board and said that four people needed to get off to reportedly make room for other United Airlines employees and increased the voucher offer to $800. When nobody volunteered to leave the flight, four passengers were told they needed to get off. Three left without a fight, but the fourth, an unidentified man, refused to give up his seat, explaining, “I’m not getting off the plane. I’m a doctor; I have to see patients in the morning.” That’s when they forcibly removed him.
After being taken off the plane, the man somehow got back on board and ran toward the back.
— Tyler Bridges (@Tyler_Bridges) April 10, 2017
When he refused to leave a second time, a security officer dragged him out of his seat and down the aisle by his arms.
— Tyler Bridges (@Tyler_Bridges) April 9, 2017
Passengers were understandably shocked by this brutal treatment, especially considering that like everyone else, the man had paid for his seat and it wasn’t his fault the flight was overbooked.
— Jayse D. Anspach (@JayseDavid) April 10, 2017
Shortly after being pulled out of his seat, he was bleeding from the mouth and obviously distressed. Check out the heartbreaking footage below.
In a statement on April 10, United CEO Oscar Munoz said, “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.”
“Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”
The Chicago Department of Aviation added, “The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department. That officer has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation.”