The video — posted on Facebook Sunday by Audra D. Bridges — shows security pulling a man from his seat and dragging him by his arms through the aisle. The man screamed as the security officials removed him from the aircraft.
A United spokesperson confirmed the incident in a statement. “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.”
Bridges, the woman who posted the video, said the man is a doctor who needed to be at the hospital Monday morning.
She told the Courier-Journal that United announced the flight was overbooked before take-off and was offering $400 and a free hotel stay for a volunteer willing to take a 3 p.m. Monday flight to Louisville. No one volunteered, even after the airlines upped the offer to $800.
After passengers boarded the plane, United officials said four people needed to be removed from the aircraft to make room for United employees who needed to return to Louisville for a flight, Bridges told the Courier-Journal. She said the manager eventually came on board and had a computer randomly select which passengers would need to be taken off. That’s when the doctor was confronted, and he refused to leave his seat.
“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges told the Courier-Journal. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”