Social media is ablaze after videos showing a man being forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight went viral early Sunday night.
A video posted by Audra D. Bridges shows three men wearing security jackets speaking with a man seated on the plane. After a few seconds, the men grab the passenger who begins to scream before being dragged by his arms toward the front of the plane. Other passengers are visibly shaken from the event.
A United spokesperson told TheWrap in an email Monday morning that the passenger 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.”
Bridges captioned the video, “We are on this flight. United airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their standby crew could have a seat. This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted.”
She told the Courier Journal that the flight was overbooked and United was offering people $400 and a hotel stay but people were allowed to board the flight. Once it was filled, people were told that four people needed to give up their seats to United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday. The offer was increased to $800 buy no one budged.
The manager then allegedly came onto the plane and said a computer would randomly select four people to be taken off this flight. One couple was selected before the man in the video was confronted.
According to Bridges, the man was able to get back on the plane after the incident, but his face was bloody and he seemed disoriented.
Another witness supported these accounts.
No one volunteered, so @United decided to choose for us. They chose an Asian doctor and his wife.
— Jayse D. Anspach (@JayseDavid) April 10, 2017
“I hope the man dragged off a @united plane sues them out of existence. That airline has been a disaster for years, but THIS is unacceptable.” tweeted one user.
“If u purchase a @united airline ticket, u are automatically entered into their raffle to become a victim of police brutality,” tweeted another.
Even Kumail Nanjiani and “Beauty and the Beast” actor Josh Gad weighed in, the latter tweeting, “Having flown #united last week, I feel very blessed to not be tweeting this message from a hospital bed.”
The incident comes two weeks after United Airlines prevented two 10-year-old girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings.
See the videos of the incident and read reactions tweets below.
I hope the man dragged off a @united plane sues them out of existence. That airline has been a disaster for years, but THIS is unacceptable
— Richard (@howrudeareyou) April 10, 2017
.@united what the fuck is wrong with you, for real
— Griffin's Cool 2018 Tweets (@griffinmcelroy) April 10, 2017
Hey United , the last time I was on a overbooked American Airlines flight they gave passengers vouchers to get off not beat them up.
— Jacob Gil #VetsForBiden #RBGLegacy (@jacob4kids) April 10, 2017
Look on the bright side, United Airlines. After this incident, you'll never have to worry about a flight being overbooked again.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) April 10, 2017
Old planes, high fares, bad in-flight service, delays, oversold flights… and now adding CUSTOMER DRAGGING to why I don't/won't fly United. pic.twitter.com/XLMwebiOWR
— Auria P. Moore (@auriapmoore) April 10, 2017
Never using @united again, regardless of cost or hindrance.
(I did this with other questionable businesses and it feels great. No regrets.)
— Chris (@the_invisible_a) April 10, 2017