United Airlines is rightfully receiving backlash after a video from a flight on Sunday, April 9th went viral. The footage shows law enforcement forcibly removing a passenger from a plane.
The flight that was from Chicago to Louisville was reportedly overbooked, so airline officials asked people to voluntarily get off the plane. Reportedly passengers were offered $400 dollars and a hotel if they got off the plane. When no one jumped at the offer, it allegedly went up to $800 dollars. When still no one decided to get off the plane, four passengers were randomly selected to exit the plane.
According to the Courier Journal, a manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane before the man in the video was confronted. A video posted by Audra D. Bridges shows the man being removed.
She says that when he and his wife were told they needed to exit the plane, the passenger responded saying he was a doctor and had patients he had to see on Monday. Even with his explanation, the passenger was removed (dragged) from the plane by law enforcement. Watch the video below:
— Tyler Bridges (@Tyler_Bridges) April 9, 2017
According to the USA Today, Federal regulations do not prevent carriers from selling more seats than a flight can accommodate. Typically, airlines will ask for volunteers on oversold flights to exit. If not enough volunteers are found, the airline has the power to decide who gets “bumped” off the flight. Carriers spell this out in the “contract of carriage” that customers are bound to when they buy their tickets.
The CEO of United Airlines released the statement below:
United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411. pic.twitter.com/rF5gNIvVd0
— United Airlines (@united) April 10, 2017
Regardless of any of these rules, there is nothing United Airlines can say to excuse how the passenger was removed. This apology doesn’t justify how a passenger of your plane was dragged off with a bloody face.