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Ellen DeGeneres to United: ‘Don’t Overbook Your Flight’

The comedian takes company to task following latest controversy

Ellen DeGeneres took United Airlines to task during her monologue on Tuesday’s episode of her daytime talk show.

The comedian targeted the company for its scandal surrounding the violent removal of a passenger from one of its flights on Sunday. Video posted on social media showed security officers dragging a bloodied man off the plane by his arms.

“It’s crazy, they charged him a $50 removal fee,” DeGeneres joked. “That’s not true, that’s not true. No, your first forcible removal is free.”

“Everyone on the flight was very upset by this,” she continued. “And, on top of it all, the in-flight movie was ‘Manchester by the Sea.’ So it was very depressing, the whole flight. Can you imagine?”

The passener, David Dao, was randomly selected to be removed from the flight after the airline could not find volunteers to give up their seat. In an internal memo, United CEO Oscar Munoz said Dao was “disruptive and belligerent” in refusing to comply with orders to get off the plane.

“That seems like a bad policy. Here’s a better policy: Don’t overbook your flight,” she said.

Though United’s initial statements said the flight was overbooked, the company later clarified that it had to remove some passengers because four of its own crew members needed seats.

DeGeneres also mentioned United’s last public relations disaster, when two teenage girls were banned from boarding their flight because they were wearing leggings. “I think United didn’t want people to wear yoga pants because there’s nothing to grab on to,” she said.

When the joke seemed to offend audience members, DeGeneres doubled-down: “I took it too far. I told the truth”

Watch the video.

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