A man was forcibly removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight Sunday, sparking widespread horror after a video of the incident was posted online:
According to the passenger who filmed the video, United initially asked if four volunteers on the flight from Chicago to Louisville would be willing to give up their seat for $400, a free night in the hotel, and a flight at 3 p.m. Monday. The plane required the seats for flight crew members, who were needed in Louisville in order to arrive in time for their next flights. When no passenger accepted the trade, the airline doubled the offer to $800. When still no one accepted, United reportedly used a computer to randomly choose passengers who had already boarded the flight to be required to give up their seats.
After two people willingly left the plane, the man in the video reportedly said he was unwilling to surrender his seat because he was a doctor and had patients to see in the Louisville area Monday morning. He was then aggressively dragged from the plane, his face bloodied by officers forcing him out of his seat. Passengers filmed the incident, and the man can be heard screaming in captured footage. The man was eventually allowed to re-board the plane, which left with a two-hour delay.
"Everyone was shocked and appalled," said Audra D. Bridges, who recorded the video and gave her account of the events to The Courier-Journal. "There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset."
A spokesperson for United said: "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."