A United Airlines passenger who thought he’d be flying from Chicago to Louisville Sunday night was in for a pretty nasty surprise.
Overbooking United Express Flight 3411, United employees desperately sought volunteers who would give up their seats in return for reimbursements of $400 and $800. There were no takers. United then took desperate measures.
After boarding flight passengers, three security officers approached a seated man and asked him to give up his seat. He refused. The guards then yanked the unnamed man from his seat. While screaming in resistance, the officers dragged the passenger by his arms to the front of the plane. Frightening and shocking other passengers, the man goes silent, with his abdomen showing and his glasses disheveled, while they continue to drag him towards the front.
Married passengers Aubra and Tyler Bridges documented the traumatizing event, posting a 30-second clip to social media, which has since gone viral. According to Aubra, United used its computer system to randomly select four passengers to deboard the overbooked flight, the unidentified man being one of them.
— Tyler Bridges (@Tyler_Bridges) April 9, 2017
Eventually, the passenger, who said he was a doctor and needed to see his patients in the morning, was able to get back on the plane — returning disoriented and with a bloody face.
Responding to the incident, United Airlines issued a public statement on Twitter, apologizing for the event, calling it “upsetting” and claiming it would investigate it further.
United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411. pic.twitter.com/rF5gNIvVd0
— United (@united) April 10, 2017
It didn’t take long before the social media world had its heyday over the incident.
Me: I may not make it home.
Mom: Flight delay?
Me: United selected me for trial by battle in its dispute resolution with another passenger.
— Pal (@HerNameIsMom) April 10, 2017
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) April 10, 2017
United Airlines is pleased to announce new seating on all domestic flights- in addition to United First and Economy Plus we introduce…. pic.twitter.com/KQjPClU2d2
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) April 10, 2017
Right now, I suspect that if @United had offered four passengers $10,000 each to get off the plane it would’ve saved them money.
— Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) April 10, 2017
Delta corporate headquarters right now pic.twitter.com/ETdD4amnKp
— Tananarive Due (@TananariveDue) April 10, 2017
Question @united: can I pay $400 to have a passenger of my choice forcibly dragged from one of your flights? Because I would spring for that
— Popehat on Tapp (@Popehat) April 10, 2017