Have somewhere to be? Well, pray that you’re not on a United flight that’s overbooked.
A man was physically removed from a United Airlines flight at O’Hare Airport in Chicago after the airline itself made multiple mistakes and overbooked the flight. And, because we live in the 21st Century, of course there was cell phone video of the altercation.
Audra D. Bridges, a passenger on the flight, posted video of the man being forcibly removed from the aircraft on Facebook Sunday evening.
“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked," a spokesperson for United said through an email. "After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.”
While that is true, it’s what United left out of their statement that should be raising eyebrows.
Essentially, United needed four employees, who were on stand-by, to be on the flight in order to be in Louisville for another flight Monday morning. United first asked for four people to voluntarily leave the flight, offering $400 and hotel accomodations for their trouble. When no one volunteered, United raised the offer to $800. Still, no takers.
According to the Courier-Journal:
Then, she said, a manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.
The Journal also reported that Bridges said the man was “very upset” about being selected to leave the plane and told United staff that he was doctor that needed to get to patients Monday morning. That’s when security was called to the plane to “assist” the man off of the aircraft. After security spoke to the man, who was still refusing to leave the plane, Bridges said that the man was physically dragged off the plane after being thrown against the armrest.
The kicker of this whole story is that the man was eventually allowed back on the plane and sat in the back. Passengers were told to go back to the gate after asking to leave the flight while the man was attended to by a medical crew.
Reportedly, the man’s face was “bloody” and he seemed “disoriented.”
The flight eventually did take off a couple hours later and arrived in Louisville late Sunday night.
For Bridges’ video of the incident, watch below: