Video shows three security officials dragging a passenger from a United Airlines flight at a Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
VIDEO: Passenger dragged off overbooked United planeVideo shows three security officials dragging a passenger from a United Airlines flight at a Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
A United representative confirmed Sunday night that a person was removed from Flight 3411 to Louisville, Kentucky, saying it was “overbooked.”
Passenger Audra D. Bridges posted the video on Facebook. It shows the guards grabbing then dragging the passenger down the aisle. Screaming is heard and other passengers say “Oh my God” and “Look at what you did to him.”
Bridges commented on her Facebook: 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. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted. #unitedairways
United said airline representatives chose four passengers at random when no volunteers agreed to leave the overbooked flight. They requested law enforcement assistance when one of them refused to leave.
Three men, identified later as city aviation department security officers, got on the plane. Two officers tried to reason with the man before a third came aboard and pointed at the man “basically saying, ‘Sir, you have to get off the plane,'” said Tyler Bridges, a passenger whose wife, Audra D. Bridges, posted a video on Facebook.
One of the security officers could be seen grabbing the screaming man from his window seat, across the armrest and dragging him down the aisle by his arms.
A man says the passenger who was dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight protested to airline employees that he was a doctor who needed to see patients in the morning.
Bridges says that’s apparently why the man didn’t want to give up his seat on the Sunday evening flight. Bridges says United asked for four passengers to relinquish their seats for airline employees on stand-by.
Bridges said the flight took off without the man after a three-hour delay. Bridges said when the flight did depart a United employee apologized to passengers.
United Airlines’ parent company CEO Oscar Munoz late Monday issued a letter defending his employees, saying the passenger was being “disruptive and belligerent.”
While Munoz said he was “upset” to see and hear what happened, “our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.”
Chicago’s aviation department said the security officer who grabbed the passenger had been placed on leave.
“The incidence on United Flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department,’ the department said in a statement.
Munoz says the airline is conducting its own investigation.
United Continental Holdings Inc. CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement posted on Twitter Monday that the incident late Sunday, which was caught on video, is “upsetting to all of us here at United.”
Munoz says he is reaching out to the man to “talk directly” to him. He apologized for having to “re-accommodate these customers” without elaborating.
The man dragged is a Kentucky physician who was convicted more than a decade ago of felony charges involving his prescribing of drugs.
But David Dao’s unflattering history quickly became the focus of attention, even though there’s no indication that his past influenced how he was treated or that the airline or airport police were aware of his background.
Dao, who is 69 and lives in Elizabethtown, did not return messages from The Associated Press, which has confirmed that he is the man who can be seen on the cellphone videos taken by other passengers Sunday night at O’Hare Airport.
Story compiled with information from The Associated Press.