Following shortly on the heels of Leggingsgate, United Airlines is under fire again for the disturbingly rough handling of a passenger on flight 3411, from O’Hare International Airport to Louisville on Sunday.
The flight was reportedly overbooked, and United wished to board four employees. After attempting to bribe people into giving up their seats, they had a computer randomly select people to be deboarded. While two agreed, one man who was selected along with his wife refused to give up his seat. The footage above, taken by Jayse D. Anspach, shows the man being dragged screaming from his seat by police. After falling forward, he appears to hit his face on an arm rest and looks stunned. The officers drag him down the aisle.
NJ.com spoke with another passenger who caught the incident and posted it to Facebook, Audra D. Bridges. Bridges told them the airline initially offered $400 and a free night in a hotel to take a flight on Monday, then raised it to $800, but no one wanted to give up their seat. The man in the video was chosen at random, but refused to leave because he is a doctor who had patients he needed to see that Monday. Bridges wrote on Facebook, “We are all shaky and so disgusted.”
United emailed Jezebel the following statement:
Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was 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 Courier-Journal reports that the bleeding man was eventually allowed to leave on the flight, though all passengers were asked to deboard briefly as medical crew attended to his wounds and personnel were left to “tidy-up” the aircraft. Bridges also spoke with the Courier-Journal, explaining that the removal came after several negotiations between United and the passenger:
Bridges said the man became “very upset” and said that he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave willingly, Bridges said, and the man said he was calling his lawyer. One security official came and spoke with him, and then another security officer came when he still refused. Then, she said, a third security official came on the plane and threw the passenger against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane.
The flight was reportedly delayed two hours, and the condition of the injured passenger is presently unknown. Jezebel has contacted representatives for O’Hare Airport for comment and will update if they reply.