The Moment A Passenger Was DRAGGED off An Overbooked United Flight

A video posted on Facebook late Sunday evening shows a passenger on a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville being forcibly removed from the plane before takeoff at O’Hare International Airport.

The video, posted by Audra D. Bridges at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, is taken from an aisle seat on a commercial airplane that appears to be preparing to take flight.

31-second clip shows three men wearing radio equipment and security jackets speaking with a man seated on the plane. After a few seconds, one of the men grabs the passenger, who screams, and drags him by his arms toward the front of the plane. The video ends before anything else is shown.

A United spokesperson confirmed in an email Sunday night that a passenger had been taken off a flight in Chicago.

“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” the spokesperson said. “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. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”

The following are tweets from two people on Twitter of the incident:

The flight was overbooked, according to United Airlines, so the airline asked for volunteers to leave the aircraft.

This man said he had to get home and refused to voluntarily give up his seat and that’s when we are told the police were called to remove him.

Bridges, a Louisville resident, gave her account of the flight Sunday night.

Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was looking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville at 3 p.m. Monday.

Passengers were allowed to board the flight, Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered.

Then, she said, 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, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.

Bridges said the man became “very upset” and said that he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave willingly, Bridges said, and the man said he was calling his lawyer. One security official came and spoke with him, and then another security officer came when he still refused. Then, she said, a third security official came on the plane and threw the passenger against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane.

The man was able to get back on the plane after initially being taken off – his face was bloody and he seemed disoriented, Bridges said, and he ran to the back of the plane. Passengers asked to get off the plane as a medical crew came on to deal with the passenger, she said, and passengers were then told to go back to the gate so that officials could “tidy up” the plane before taking off.

Bridges said the man shown in the video was the only person who was forcibly removed.

“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges said. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”

The flight was delayed around two hours before it could fly to Louisville, and it arrived in Kentucky later Sunday night. No update was given to the passengers about the condition of the man forcibly removed, Bridges said.

United Airlines gave us this response:

“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.”

There is no word on the condition of the man removed from the plane.

One passenger said after the incident: “..kids were crying and people are disturbed.”

2 replies
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    A United Airlines passenger didn’t get to “fly the friendly skies” when he was forcibly ejected from his overbooked flight, according to reports.

    The man was dragged off kicking and screaming when he refused to give up his seat — and was recorded by passengers outraged at his treatment.

    The man, who some social media users said is a doctor, was yanked from his seat at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport before the flight to Louisville, Ky.

    A short video posted by Audra Bridges at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows uniformed security personnel pulling the screaming man in front of horrified passengers.

    “Oh my God! What are you doing?” one woman is heard saying.

    “Look at what you did to him,” a man is then heard saying as the man — who suffered an injury to the mouth — is dragged along the aisle with his belly exposed.

    “Good work, way to go,” another passenger says derisively.

    A United spokesman said in a statement that Flight 3411 had been 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. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities,” the spokesman said.

    Bridges said passengers had been told at the gate that United offered $400 and a hotel stay for a volunteer who would agree to take another flight at 3 p.m. Monday, the Courier-Journal of Louisville reported.

    After passengers boarded, the airline then said four people had to give up their seats to stand-by United employees who needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight, Bridges told the paper.

    Passengers were told the flight would not take off until the crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one took up the offer.

    At that point, she said, a manager said a computer would select four passengers to be removed. One couple was selected first and left the airliner, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.

    The man said he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning and became “very upset,” she said. But the manager told him that security would remove him if he didn’t budge.

    After two security guards tried to talk him into leaving his seat, a third arrived and threw the passenger against the armrest before the guards dragged him out of the plane.

    But the man managed to get back on the aircraft and ran to the back of the plane, Bridges said. A medical crew arrived to treat the bloodied man, while other passengers were told to get off so staff could “tidy up” the plane.

    “Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges told the paper. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”

    The flight was delayed about two hours before its flight to Louisville.

  2. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    On Sunday, a United Airlines passenger was pulled from his plane seat and dragged off the aircraft — because the airline had overbooked the flight.

    Several passengers captured the scene and the disturbing footage appears to show that the man was left bleeding from the mouth after his face was smashed against an arm rest during the scuffle.

    Security are seen wrenching the man from his seat and then dragging him down the aisle and off the plane.

    The man, who has not been identified, lets out a bloodcurdling scream during the ordeal, as one passenger yells, “No, this is wrong!”

    The incident occurred on a United Airlines flight that departed Chicago and was bound for Louisville, Ky. on April 9.

    Many passengers filmed the incident on their phones, and one said the man was a doctor who was required to fly home for work.

    Tyler Bridges tweeted, “Not a good way to treat a doctor trying to get to work because they overbooked.”

    “He told the police and the United employees he had to be at the hospital in the morning to see patients,” Bridges further explained.

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