Speed Reads

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Jimmy Kimmel points out the absurdity of United's passenger-dragging fiasco with a brutal fake ad

On Monday, United Airlines got a lot of (unwanted) free publicity for having Chicago aviation police forcibly drag a bloodied passenger off a flight to Louisville on Sunday because the airline had overbooked and needed four seats for United flight attendants. Jimmy Kimmel said he doesn't even understand overbooking. "I've been to like 100 games and stadiums with 50,000 seats — they never sell the same seat two times to one person," he said on Monday's Kimmel Live, "but for some reason, airlines cannot figure this out."

The whole episode, from the overbooking to the odd return of the bloody and disoriented passenger to the booing of the flight crew, was "terrible," Kimmel said, but maybe "the worst part of all of it" was the response from CEO Oscar Munoz, who apologized for "having to re-accommodate these customers." Re-accommodate? he asked. "Just like we re-accommodated El Chapo out of Mexico? That is such sanitized, say-nothing, take-no-responsibility corporate B.S. speak, I don't know how the guy who sent that tweet didn't vomit when he typed it out."

The whole debacle was easily preventable, too. "They almost certainly could have gotten volunteers by offering more money or travel vouchers," maybe $1,000 instead of $800, Kimmel said. "Or $100,000 — who cares? It's not the passenger's fault if you sold too many tickets on your plane; they bought tickets. Can you imagine this happening in any other industry? I mean, imagine if this happened at Applebees." He sketched out how that might go. "United didn't even admit they did anything wrong," Kimmel said. "In fact, if anything, they seem to be doubling down on this." That was the introduction for a hard-knuckled fake new United ad. Watch below. Peter Weber