After overbooking a flight from Chicago to Louisville, United Airlines reportedly called airport security to remove one of its passengers from Flight 3411 on Sunday night, apparently to make room for the airline’s employees. According to eyewitnesses, the man claimed he was a doctor and needed to get home that evening. Then security used force and dragged him down the aisle.
[Louisville resident Audra Bridges] said the man became “very upset” and said that he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave willingly, Bridges said, and the man said he was calling his lawyer. One security official came and spoke with him, and then another security officer came when he still refused. Then, she said, a third security official came on the plane and threw the passenger against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane.
In a statement, a United spokesperson told the newspaper that “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked… 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.”
More details will emerge, but the clips and provided statement from United seem to reveal plenty. Would this have happened to a white man, let alone a doctor? What does it say about us when it happens in a hub like Chicago?
Before he was removed, United allegedly offered volunteers a $400 voucher and a hotel for the night.