It’s bad enough that airline passengers have to deal with middle seats, cramped overhead bins and stale pretzels. Now they might be subjected to an ass whooping too.
On Sunday, several videos were posted to social media which showed a man being violently dragged off a United Airlines plane out of Chicago after the company said they needed his seat for its crew. The clips show the man screaming as security personnel pry him out of his chair, causing his head to bash against an armrest. He’s then dragged down the aisle on his back as horrified witnesses film on their phones and scream out in disgust.
After the flight boarded, staff announced that they needed four people to volunteer to give up seats so that United employees who needed to be in Louisville Monday could take them. The amount was increased to $800, she said, and passengers were told the plane wouldn’t leave until four people volunteered.When nobody offered, staff announced a computer would select four people. One couple cooperated and left. The man in the video was also selected.
In a statement, the airline apologized for what they initially claimed was an “overbook situation.” But then on Tuesday United reported that they were not actually overbooked, but needed the seats for crew members. The company CEO, Oscar Munoz released a statement on Twitter apologizing for having to “re-accommodate these customers.” Then he released a staff memo which blamed the victim: Munoz called the passenger “disruptive and belligerent” after they “politely” asked him to “deplane.” Ultimately, the crew was “left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight.”
Well at least we know they are loyal to their employees!
United wiped about $255 million off its market capitalization. In language we can all understand, that means rich investors such as Warren Buffett lost millions.
Oh and celebrities dragged the airline
Then came the competition
And the internets….
And FINALLY a proper apology
It may be too late though. To add insult to injury (*smiles*) the incident also comes just two weeks after the company found itself in hot water for refusing to allow three girls to board a flight because they were wearing leggings.