GOOD

In the heyday of American air travel, passengers dressed in their Sunday best to board flights and enjoyed white-glove customer service while flying the friendly skies. These days, people wear sweats, endure aggravating airport security lines and are nickeled-and-dimed for baggage, meals, and drinks. Sunday night, United Airlines took the airline industry to a new low when a passenger was knocked out and then dragged off an overbooked flight.


Flight 3411 from Chicago O’Hare Airport for Louisville, Kentucky, was overbooked because United needed to transport four employees to Louisville. Airline representatives asked for four volunteers to exit the plane in exchange for a free hotel stay and $400 to take the next day’s 3 p.m. flight. When no one took United up on the offer, they upped the cash reward to $800, but there were still no takers. So a United manager said they would randomly select people via computer.

The first people selected, were a couple who politely exited the plane. The next man chosen refused, claiming he was a doctor that needed to see patients the next morning. According to passengers, the man became very upset, and said he was calling his lawyer. After two security officers asked the man to leave, he still refused. A third security officer pulled the man out of his seat, bashing his head on an armrest, allegedly knocking him unconscious. His limp body was then dragged down the aisle and off the plane.

Horrified passengers gasped, screaming “This is wrong!” and “Look at what you’re doing!” while multiple people recorded the altercation on smart phones. “Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Audra Bridges, passenger on the flight told the Courier-Journal. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.” After being removed from the plane, the injured man ran back onto the plane, appearing disoriented with a bloody face. The entire plane was evacuated so the man could receive medical attention. Monday morning, United Airlines released a statement about the incident via Twitter: