CHICAGO — A man claiming to be a doctor was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago on Sunday night, and video of the incident was posted to social media.
The video shows the man screaming as he is dragged off the plane by uniformed personnel. The plane was about to take off from Chicago to Louisville, Ky.
Audra Bridges told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the flight was overbooked, and passengers were offered $400 and a free hotel room in exchange for their seat.
No passengers took the offer. After passengers got on the plane, Bridges said United doubled the offer to $800.
United officials said the flight would not take off until four of its employees who needed to be in Louisville on Monday morning to service a flight were seated.
When no one took the increased offer, Bridges said a manager came on board and said a computer would randomly select four passengers to be removed.
Two passengers left without incident before the man in the video was confronted by security.
He claimed he was a doctor who needed to be in Louisville to meet with patients on Monday morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave on his own accord.
He then reportedly called his lawyer before a security officer confronted him.
When he still refused to get off the plane, two more security officers arrived, pulled him out of his seat as he was screaming and dragged him out of the plane.
The Courier-Journal reported the man was able to return to the plane and received medical attention for a bloody face and being seemingly disoriented. The flight was delayed for about two hours.
“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Bridges said. “There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset.”
“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked,” United said in a statement. “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.”
On Monday morning, United CEO Oscar Munoz call the event “upsetting.”
“Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened,” Munoz said in a statement. “We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”