United Airlines is having a bad month.
Just two weeks after they refused to let a group of girls board a flight because they were wearing leggings, United Airlines is once again facing a public relations nightmare – this time because they dragged an elderly male passenger off an overbooked flight.
Here’s what happened: on Sunday evening, United Airlines was looking for volunteers to give up their seats on an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville. United offered passengers an $800 voucher to take a later flight, saying they needed four seats for United employees. When no one took the offer, United officials announced that they’d randomly chosen four people to be removed from the flight.
One of those people, a 69 year-old doctor, refused to disembark, saying he needed to get back to Louisville to see patients the next day; the flight was the last one of the day, and there wasn’t another one until the next afternoon. Law enforcement officers then proceeded to forcibly remove him from the plane, as he screamed and protested. In the fracas, he apparently fell and hit his face, so that when they finally dragged him off the plane, there was blood streaming down his face.
A fellow passenger captured the whole thing on his phone and posted it to Twitter, where it quickly went viral.
— jenny slate (@jennyslate) April 10, 2017
The CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz, issued an apology, saying “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United.” He said the company was sorry the customers had to be “re-accommodated,” and was “moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.”
But people on the Internet have been quick to express their disgust and outrage over the incident, calling for a boycott of United Airlines and ridiculing the beleaguered company.
Wonder how #United will feel once we start “re-accomodating” our money to other airlines.
— Terrance Turner (@prophetloss92) April 11, 2017
Don’t worry #United Airlines, you won’t be overbooked again.
— FishyE (@FishyEdalene) April 11, 2017
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) April 11, 2017
The man has not yet been officially identified, and the investigation into what exactly went wrong to cause this ugly scene is ongoing.
Comment: Will you still fly United Airlines after the events of the last few weeks?