United Airlines was blasted on social media Monday (April 10th) over video causing an uproar that show shows police officers dragging a passenger off an overbooked flight at Chicago's O'Hare Airport the night before. United was trying to find seats on the flight to Louisville, Kentucky, for four employees of partner Republic Airline so they could staff other flights in Kentucky, but no passengers volunteered to give up theirs when $400 and then $800 vouchers and a hotel stay were offered. After that, a United manager came on the plane and said passengers would be chosen at random who'd have to give up their seats. Three of the four passengers left, but a fourth man, reportedly a 69-year-old doctor who said he had to see patients in the morning, refused to go. United called police, and when the man still refused, police grabbed him, screaming, from his seat and dragged him down the aisle by his arms. Not long after, the dazed-looking man came back on the plane with blood on his mouth, chin and cheek, saying he had to get home and what sounded like, "They kill me" or "Just kill me." Officers followed him on, and then another man with a group of high school students said they were getting off, and about half of the passengers followed, before United told everyone to de-plane so they could "tidy up" the aircraft. The flight finally took off three hours later, without the man on board. United defended its actions, with spokesman Charlie Hobart telling the Associated Press, "We followed the right procedures. That plane had to depart. We wanted to get our customers to their destinations." However, he couldn't explain why passengers were allowed to board before they were asked to give up their seats or were bumped. United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized for, quote, "having to re-accommodate these customers," and said the airline was conducting a review and reaching out to the passenger. That lukewarm statement was followed by a memo to United employees that was even more tone-deaf, saying the passenger had acted, quote, "disruptive and belligerent" after staff "politely" asked him to get off the plane. He said the crew was, quote, "left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight." For its part, the Chicago Aviation Department said one of the officers has been placed on leave.
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