Passenger Dragged off Overbooked Airplane


By Kody Fairfield

Video shows three security officials dragging a male passenger from a United Airlines flight that the airline said was overbooked as it waited to depart from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, reports 6ABC.

Audra D. Bridges, who was a passenger on the United Airlines flight, was one of two people to post the incident to Facebook after the incident Sunday evening. It shows the guards grabbing the screaming man from a window seat and pulling him across the armrest before dragging him down the airplane aisle by his arms. The man claimed to be a doctor, reports 6ABC.


In the video, you can hear other passengers saying, “Please, my God. What are you doing? No. This is wrong. Oh my God. Look at what you did to him” and “Busted his lip.”

According to Bridges, who told her story to The (Louisville) Courier-Journal, passengers had boarded the flight to Louisville, Kentucky, they were told that four volunteers were needed to give up their seats for stand-by United employees who needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. She said they were told the flight wouldn’t depart until the employees were seated, reported 6ABC.

6ABC reports that United spokesman Charlie Hobart said airline employees named four customers who had to leave the plane and that three of them did so. He said law enforcement was called when the fourth person refused to get off the plane.

“We followed the right procedures,” Hobart told the Associated Press in a phone interview, said 6ABC. “That plane had to depart. We wanted to get our customers to their destinations, and when one gentleman refused to get off the aircraft, we had to call the Chicago Police Department.”

United CEO Oscar Munoz released a statement on Monday:

“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”

Another passenger, Jayce Anspach, took to Twitter to say the man told the staff he was a doctor:

Anspach captured video of the incident from this angle, reports 6AB:

6ABC explained that this is how Anspach described the ordeal:

Bridges told 6ABC that passengers were told a computer selected four people to leave the flight. One couple was selected and left the plane before the man was confronted.

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

Hobart said he didn’t know how the airline compensated the passengers who were forced to deplane. Bridges said the airline offered $800 and a hotel stay, according to 6ABC.

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