(Newswire.net — April 13, 2017) —The United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday was overbooked and the staff of the company were required to find seats for four crew members. They needed to get on that flight, in order to work on another one in Louisville, or else the flight would have been canceled, airline spokeswoman Maddie King said.
Therefore, some of the passengers had to be “relocated”.
The company initially asked some of the passengers to give up their seats voluntarily, offering $400 and hotel accommodation as compensation. But, there were no volunteers.
Then, the flight attendant asked four people to leave the aircraft, and give up their seats to the United Airlines employees. The volunteers were then offered $800 and hotel accommodation, but still there was no answer as it was and the next flight was not due until the following afternoon.
So, the flight attendants decided to randomly select passengers who were to leave the plane. Three people agreed peacefully, but the fourth, a doctor refused.
Three Chicago Department of Aviation security officers arrived and dragged the man down the aisle of the plane by his arms and legs, while other passengers shouted in protest.
The man who has not yet been identified continued to resist.
Shocked passengers recorded the incident by mobile phones and immediately posted footages on social networks.
After being dragged away from the scene, he returned to the cabin, with a bloody face, excitedly saying: “This is going to kill me! This is going to kill me! I have to go home, I have to go home!”
He yelled that he was a doctor, and that he was profiled for being Chinese.
After the incident, all the passengers had to get out of the plane and go inside the airport terminal, because the flight attendants had to clean up the mess before takeoff.
The flight was delayed for two hours.
The incident caused outrage on social networks, and some Twitter users with the hashtag #DontFlyUnited announced that they will never fly with United Airlines.
The Department of Transportation said it will review the incident in which a passenger was forcibly removed from the Louisville, Kentucky-bound at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Also, the incident has prompted one security officer’s suspension and created a publicity nightmare for United Airlines, reports the CNN.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fly-Rights, overbooking is not illegal. If no one volunteers, the airline can select passengers for removal based on criteria such as check-in time or the cost of a ticket.
In addition, passengers can be ejected from the plane because of the odor, the inability to fit in the seat due to obesity, or for being drunk or drugged.
Many airlines reserve the right to deny boarding to passengers for wearing inappropriate clothing, but no one has the right to beat or harass them.