The skies might have been friendly for United Airlines on Monday, but Twitter was anything but amiable for the airline after video surfaced of a passenger being removed from an overbooked flight.
As the disturbing footage made the rounds, Twitter users reacted with the expected emotions — outrage, sadness and, yes, humor. Amid the calls to boycott United, many let fly with barbed jokes directed at the airline.
“Pepsi – ‘No PR team has had it tougher than us lately.’ United – ‘Hold my beer,'” went one variation on the joke that saw many iterations among the Twitterati.
“Mondays, amiright, @United?” a brief zinger offered.
A number of United’s critics compared the aggressive customer-relations move to the tactics of the Trump Administration.
“How To Lose Customers & Turn People Against You, featuring -Pepsi -United Airlines -The Trump Administration,” tweeted one wag.
“BREAKING: Trump names United the official airline of the Middle East peace process,” a similarly-themed tweet offered.
Numerous tweets suggested new slogans for the airline, such as, “United Airlines: First we ask nicely. Then we beat the sh-t out of you.'” And, “#United Airlines has a new slogan: Fly later, or we’ll smash your face in.”
Yet another critic called out United both for the passenger-dragging video and for its recent decision to refuse a passenger a seat because of her wardrobe.
“So #United have such standards that they won’t let you fly in leggings, but will happily beat a Doctor unconscious,” the critic wrote. “Seems legit.”
A United spokesperson told TheWrap in an email Monday morning that passengers had been taken off the flight because it was overbooked and one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily.
“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,” the statement read. “We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”
Buckle up and read on for more responses.
United’s new seating plan pic.twitter.com/QhbvhdClqW
– SANGHERA (@i_am_sanghera) April 10, 2017
Pepsi – “No PR team has had it tougher than us lately” United – “Hold my beer”
– Jordan (@JardonTV) April 10, 2017
Mondays, amiright, @United?
– MJ⛳️ (@MJGWrites) April 10, 2017
– Andre Walker (@andrejpwalker) April 10, 2017
Heard a passenger complain that security was taking too long, the security guards response “at least you’re not flying with @united “
– Thomas Keegan (@tkeegan45) April 10, 2017
BREAKING: Trump names United the official airline of the Middle East peace process.
– Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) April 10, 2017
United: We’re overbooked. Anyone want to volunteer?
Passenger: Im not leaving. United: Thank you for volunteering.
– Mason Isaacson (@jeansandahoodie) April 10, 2017
– Lily Herman (@lkherman) April 10, 2017
– P Patrick Hogan (@soccernurd) April 10, 2017
On Southwest, “Bags Fly Free.”
On United, “We Drag You and Your Bags Off Your Flight For Free.”*
– Norman Chad (@NormanChad) April 10, 2017
#United Airlines has a new slogan: Fly later, or we’ll smash your face in.
– Carlos Cunha (@Prosateur) April 10, 2017
– Bob Schneider (@Bobndc) April 10, 2017
So #United have such standards that they won’t let you fly in leggings, but will happily beat a Doctor unconscious. Seems legit.
– Dr Gillian McQueef (@TheDivineSalM) April 10, 2017
United is trying out their new slogan today
“United, We Drag.”
– Resist????????Now ☮ (@ItIzBiz) April 10, 2017
United we stand, Divided we at least have a seat.
– Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) April 10, 2017