Overkill? United Passenger Dragged Off Plane That Was Overbooked

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A man was dragged off a United plane by a security detail – hired cops – after he refused to leave the plane this past week. The flight was overbooked and the man wouldn’t “volunteer” to get off the plane. That’s when United called police to the gate, Fox News reported.

When the man was told to leave his seat by security, he said he was a doctor who had to get to his destination because of appointments in the hospital the next morning. Within minutes, allegedly, when he refused to “volunteer”,  the police pulled him out of his seat and dragged him off.

United wanted to put another person in his place. They needed four seats.

The destination was only five hours away (from Chicago to Louisville). Perhaps it should have been handled differently?

When the police started to reach for him, the man started screaming which you can hear in the clips.

The man got back on the plane somehow and was very distraught.

After that, all the passengers had to get off the plane and the doctor was checked out medically because his lip was cut during the incident.

United said they asked for volunteers to give up their seats, but then had to order people off. The man did not comply.

United issued a statement:

United is in need of a policy or a policy change.

I was a ground hostess with Pan Am a number of years ago when I told a man with a reservation, who was attempting to check in, that he couldn’t get on the plane because it was overbooked. Pan Am used to double-book his particular flight because at least half, usually more, of the passengers didn’t show up.

It was a cheap flight to a poor country.

The disgruntled passenger grabbed my tie, pulled me across the very tall counter, shoved a knife in my face and said, “I’m getting on this flight”. I said, “Yes, you are.” He was pulled off by air marshals. I’m not suggesting that this was the case here. It appears the doctor was selected and non-confrontational, however, I am saying, we don’t know all the details. On the face of this it doesn’t look good for United or the hired cops involved.

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  1. Flight wasn’t overbooked; United wanted four passengers off so that four employees could fly to Louisville, not to mention he was already seated. United and Chicago Aviation Security have a lot to answer for here. BOTH of them mishandled this situation beyond badly. Disgusting behavior on their part.

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