United refused to answer questions about the incident


Videos showing a man being violently removed from a United Airlines flight have provoked a public outcry on social media.

The footage taken from inside the airliner shows a man being violently pulled out of his seat and dragged down the aisle as passengers prepared to take off from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday evening.

Well there must be a reason. It may be a bad or mistaken reason but there must be a reason – they think he harassed the person next to him, or someone thought he was A Terrorist, or something.

But no.

The airline in question – United – has acknowledged that the man’s only apparent crime was that the flight was overbooked and he refused to leave voluntarily.

Erm…that’s not a crime.

And, in fact, isn’t it a crime to refuse to deliver a paid-for service and then assault the paid-up customer? That sounds criminalish to me.

Jayse D Anspach, who posted the footage, tweeted: “#United overbooked and wanted four of us to volunteer to give up our seats for personnel that needed to be at work the next day.”

“No one volunteered, so United decided to choose for us. They chose an Asian doctor and his wife.”

“The doctor needed to work at the hospital the next day, so he refused to volunteer,” Mr Anspach added.

“Ten minutes later, the doctor runs back into the plane with a bloody face, clings to a post in the back, chanting, “I need to go home.”


Another passenger Audra D. Bridges, who posted a video of the incident on Facebook, that has been viewed over 400,000 times, wrote: “Please share this video. We are on this flight. United airlines overbooked the flight.”

“They randomly selected people to kick off so their standby crew could have a seat.

“This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning,” she added.

“He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted.”

The Washington Post has more details, which only make it sound even worse:

United Airlines says a man wouldn’t give up his spot on an overbooked flight Sunday.

So, according to witnesses and videos of the incident, he was pulled screaming from his seat by security, knocked against an arm rest and dragged down the aisle and back to the terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

United refused to answer questions about the incident, which horrified other passengers on the Louisville-bound flight. An airline spokesman only apologized for the overbooked flight, and said police were called after a passenger “refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily.”

But why do they get to call police on passengers who “refuse to leave the aircraft voluntarily” when it’s the airline that’s at fault? Surely what they should be doing in that situation is offering bribes until they get the necessary number of volunteers? Genuine volunteers, not “volunteers” dragged screaming from their seats.

Tyler Bridges recalled trouble starting almost as soon as he and his wife boarded.

An airline supervisor walked onto the plane and brusquely announced: “We have United employees that need to fly to Louisville tonight. … This flight’s not leaving until four people get off.”

“That rubbed some people the wrong way,” Bridges said.

I should think it would. What happened to that whole “thank you for flying with us today” thing? Not to mention that the respectable way to try to get people to do you a favor you need because you fucked up is to ask them very nicely – not to start with a threat. “Hey, I made a mistake, so we’re not going anywhere until you fix it for me.” <— No.

Then there’s the video, which I just watched. It’s unbelievable. It’s horrifying.

What is wrong with us? Is this some kind of Trumpvirus spreading to everywhere?

In another video, the man runs back onto the plane, his clothes still mussed from his forcible ejection, frantically repeating: “I have to go home. I have to go home.”

“He was kind of dazed and confused,” Bridges said. He recalled a group of high school students leaving the plane in disgust at that point, their adult escort explaining to other passengers: “They don’t need to see this anymore.”

The airline eventually cleared everyone from the plane, Bridges said, and did not let them back on until the man was removed a second time — in a stretcher.

This whole “human beings” thing has been a mistake.

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