A video of a man being dragged off an United Airlines plane due to overbooking made its rounds online Monday morning, and the ensuing outcry over his treatment was hard to miss. The passenger, reportedly a doctor who had patients to see Monday, was chosen at random to leave the Sunday evening flight he had booked because United had oversold the flight. United's CEO Oscar Munoz responded to the video of the passenger Monday afternoon, stating that he was sorry for "having to re-accommodate these customers":
United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411. pic.twitter.com/rF5gNIvVd0— United (@united) April 10, 2017
United apparently oversold a flight from Chicago to Louisville and offered vouchers in return for passengers giving up their seats. When no one volunteered, United chose four passengers at random — after the plane had already been boarded — to leave the flight. While three of the passengers left, one man refused, stating that he had to get home. The airline reportedly called the police, and a plainclothes Chicago Police Department officer forcibly pulled the man from his seat and dragged him down the aisle by his arms.
United spokesperson Charlie Hobart told The New York Times that "we had asked several times, politely" for the man to give up his seat before forcing him off the plane.
The Chicago Police Department confirmed in a statement that officers were called to respond to the situation and forcibly removed a passenger:
Indeed, video of the passenger bloodied and distressed were also posted on Twitter, as he repeated over and over again that he had to go home.
Many people responded to United with outrage — pointing out that the airline shouldn't have oversold in the first place, trolling its Twitter, and calling for a boycott. The response from the CEO, however, didn't assuage many concerns. "Uhh "re-accommodation" was not the main problem here," writer Camille Beredjick wrote.