United Airlines employees were seen forcibly removing a passenger from a flight from Chicago to Louisville before takeoff at O’Hare International Airport in a video posted on Facebook late Sunday evening.
UPDATE: Tune in live to David Dao’s press conference on United Airlines incident.
The video, posted by Audra D. Bridges at 7:30 P.M. Sunday, shows three men wearing radio equipment and security jackets speaking to a man, who said he was a doctor, seated on the plane. A few seconds into the 31-second clip, one of the men grabs the passenger, who yells, and drags him toward the front of the plane. The video ends before anything else is shown.
A United spokesperson confirmed in an email Sunday night that a passenger had been removed from a flight in Chicago.
UPDATE: United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz released the following statement:
“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.”
“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.”
Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was asking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville. Once passengers had boarded the plane, United then asked for four volunteers as four airline employees needed to be in Louisville for another flight. The passengers were told the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, according to a fellow passenger, and that the airline increased their offer to $800. After no one volunteered to give up their seats, United staff reportedly chose the man in the video at random. He allegedly begged to be removed as he had patients to see the next morning in Louisville.
The man somehow managed to get back on the plane, where he said repeatedly, “I have to get home.” According to passengers, his face was bloodied from when he was initally removed from the flight.
This incident comes after United Airlines recently came under fire for forcing passengers off a flight for wearing leggings.
People have been taking to Twitter to criticize and mock United Airlines.
United Continental Holdings, Inc., commonly referred to as United, is a major American airline headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The airlines was founded in 1926 and has a fleet of 738 aircraft and a staff of 86,000 employees.