— Tyler Bridges (@Tyler_Bridges) April 9, 2017
A video of a United Airlines passenger being dragged off a flight has gone viral and become a publicity nightmare for the airline carrier. This past Sunday a flight from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, descended into chaos because of overbooking. The flight was already delayed when passengers were notified that a United Airlines flight crew of four needed to travel on the crowded flight. Volunteers were asked to give up their seats and be compensated but no one wanted to budge. The airline attendant then allegedly stated that four people would be chosen randomly and would have to leave the flight.
Names were called and one couple begrudgingly moved, as did another passenger, but when it came to one unidentified man, there was a problem. He stated that he was a doctor and had patients to see and he would not leave the plane. In response, a United Airlines employee summoned airport security and Chicago police. The man protested that he was being treated unfairly because he was Chinese and soon fellow passengers pulled out their cellphones and began recording. Airport security violently assaulted the passenger and pulled him from the seat, splitting his lip in the process. As other passengers screamed in outrage, the semi-conscious man was then dragged down the aisle and off the plane.
He returned a short time later acting erratic and repeating “I have to go home” while jogging down the aisle. Medical personnel tried to assist the man as he suddenly collapses at the front of the plane:
— Tyler Bridges (@Tyler_Bridges) April 10, 2017
A United Airlines spokesperson identified as Charlie Hobart was quoted as stating to the New York Times, “We had asked several times, politely, for the man to give up his seat before force was used. We had a customer who refused to leave the aircraft. We have a number of customers on board that aircraft and they want to get to their destination on time and safely, and we want to work to get them there. Since that customer refused to leave the aircraft, we had to call the police, and they came on board.”
Airport officials have stated that this is not normal procedure and the security officer involved has been placed on leave pending an investigation. The name of the security officer involved has not been released, nor has the name of the Chinese passenger.