10 April 2017

United passenger dragged off overbooked flight

From Esquire, an article by Jack Homes about some bad PR for United:

A United Airlines flight from Chicago, Illinois to Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday was overbooked, so airline personnel responded by instructing authorities to forcibly remove a man from his seat. Apparently, as has become all too common, the crew asked passengers for volunteers who would take another flight, in this case, to make room for United employees who had connections to make. When staffers couldn't find enough volunteers, though, they called security to the gate and onto the plane. Somehow, one man in particular was chosen to give up his seat, despite the fact he had not volunteered, and this was the result:

The man, who claimed to be a doctor with patients he had to attend to in Louisville, Kentucky, refused to get up, so two professionals engaged him physically, then dragged him, bloodied, off the plane. Other passengers were horrified and attempted to capture the incident on their phones. One in particular told WCNC News that "kids were crying and people are disturbed."
Following the incident, United issued a fairly delusional statement:
"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."
You might remember United as the same airline which recently took heat for leggings issues.
"One customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily" belongs in the Corporatese Textbook, as does the company's apology for overbooking the flight, rather than what they did to the passenger. According to reports, he was "eventually let back on the flight, though he was reportedly bloody and disoriented from the encounter." The flight left two hours late.
United's CEO Oscar Munoz released a statement in response to the incident. He apologized for the airline having to "re-accomodate these customers." That's one way of putting it.
The Chicago Police Department has also issued a statement on the incident, which claims the 69-year-old man "fell".

Rico says that's ugly... (And why did they re-board him only to leave two hours late?)

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