United Airlines

United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane by Airport Employees

Brute force was used to drag a paying passenger off one of its planes on Sunday night.
United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane by Airport Employees
Image credit: Scott Olson | Getty Images
3 min read

A United Airlines passenger who thought he’d be flying from Chicago to Louisville Sunday night was in for a pretty nasty surprise.

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Overbooking United Express Flight 3411, United employees desperately sought volunteers who would give up their seats in return for reimbursements of $400 and $800. There were no takers. United then took desperate measures.

After boarding flight passengers, three security officers approached a seated man and asked him to give up his seat. He refused. The guards then yanked the unnamed man from his seat. While screaming in resistance, the officers dragged the passenger by his arms to the front of the plane. Frightening and shocking other passengers, the man goes silent, with his abdomen showing and his glasses disheveled, while they continue to drag him towards the front.

Related: The Mistakes That Make a PR Crisis Even Worse

Married passengers Aubra and Tyler Bridges documented the traumatizing event, posting a 30-second clip to social media, which has since gone viral. According to Aubra, United used its computer system to randomly select four passengers to deboard the overbooked flight, the unidentified man being one of them.

Eventually, the passenger, who said he was a doctor and needed to see his patients in the morning, was able to get back on the plane -- returning disoriented and with a bloody face.

Responding to the incident, United Airlines issued a public statement on Twitter, apologizing for the event, calling it “upsetting” and claiming it would investigate it further.

It didn’t take long before the social media world had its heyday over the incident.

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