Doctor violently dragged from overbooked United flight and dragged off the plane

Doctor violently dragged from overbooked United flight and dragged off the plane

About The Author

Comment (50)

  1. I really don’t understand why airlines are allowed to overbook. If you paid for a service at a certain time, surely you’re entitled to it.

    Air travel is no longer a novelty, it’s not a new industry that needs special rules to protect it from customer abuse. Especially when late passengers who don’t board are charged full fares to move to different flights – it’s not like an empty seat is lost revenue (or maybe I’m wrong?).

    I’m not sure if overbooking happens in Australia but I’ve never (in decades of flying many times a year) heard them ask for volunteers due to overbooking.

    Edit: Yeah I get it. People are no shows, usually it’s no problem. Etc etc. I understand the arithmetic.

    I’ve caught a few flights in the US, each time they were over booked. I’ve caught upwards of 50 flights in Australia, never heard of anyone on an over booked flight, ever. And yeah, I’m sure somehow we pay for it.

    I guess my biggest issue is that it seems airlines are allowed to stop the bidding and just arbitrarily force someone off a flight.

    If you believe in the airline’s free market ‘right’ to book as many people as they want, then the market should also decide how much the ‘compensation’ should be. Busy time of year, then people are going to want more compensation – you (airline) gambled and lost.

    This seems to be a case of “we’ll compensate you until it’s not worth it, then we’ll use regulations to kick you off on our terms. If you don’t go, we’ll cry ‘safety’ and get some hired goons to turf you out”. They seem to have their cake and be eating it and your cake too.

    But, it makes no difference to me, defend your airlines if you want!

  2. United should keep offering more money until people take the offer. They basically stop at a certain point and say, fuck, we are not going to pay any more money for our own fuck up, we are just going to inconvenience 4 random people.

    Simple, keep offering more money until people take the offer.

  3. THIS is exactly what airlines think of the service they owe to you after you’ve paid your fees. Far be it from them thinking about a way to not oversell tickets. Greedy fuckers.

  4. The proper thing to do is keep offering more money until someone takes it. 4 people might not be willing to leave the plane for $800, but $2k? $4k? What’s a worse hit for the airline $20k or publicity like this?

  5. >Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was looking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville at 3 p.m. Monday. Passengers were allowed to board the flight, Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered.

    >Then, she said, a manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.

    **Don’t fly United.**


    Edit First time getting gold thanks stranger!

  6. So strange. I was on a flight from Moscow to Dubai recently. There was an exceedingly drunk woman that was asked to leave the plane due to her erratic behavior (she even began donkey kicking her friend in the seat next to her). She wouldn’t leave. So security called the Moscow police, who came aboard, calmly talked to the girl for 15 minutes, until she finally figured out she wasn’t going anywhere, at which point she got up on her own accord, and kicked her carry on luggage down the aisle on the way out.

    Why are the Moscow police more accommodating than United security?

  7. **Doctor or construction worker**, this should never happen to anyone.

    Boycott United and vote with your dollar! Let other airliners know that this will not be tolerated.


    Edit: A lot of naysayers on boycotts, however, demand drives markets. So do vote with your dollar and be vocal about why. This is arguably more true with publicly traded companies like United.

  8. The feeling of being subjected to this is terrible. You know something is unfair but you can’t do anything because a couple of brainless idiots were given power they shouldn’t have gotten. Why not just listen to what the man has to say and maybe select other people. No because the plane has to leave NOW, otherwise money will be lost and it will be my problem. And not getting into trouble is more important then human decency. YOU fucking overbooked, it is your fucking problem, don’t assault a man for wanting to go home on a flight he booked.

  9. All that would have happened to United if those employees didn’t get to fly is they would have lost some money having to shuffle resources around other ways (i.e. schedule another flight, send them on another airline, cancel the flight that was hours in the future, etc)

    It’s simply penny pinching via giving customers concussions.

    Not okay.

    Edit: “He could have avoided this situation by obeying the law” is a **sorry excuse for an ideology**, parroted by the worst kind of armchair authoritarian / corporate apologist.

    United choose, among the many, many options they had surrounding this situation, to remove seated passengers at random, and then dug their heels in when one of the involuntary corporate tributees resisted.

    While that may have been within their rights, there is no worthy excuse for a wildly disproportionate response to defending them.

    After all the mistakes United made leading up to the incident, in the end the human being that ended up as the target of corporate efficiency policies got as hurt as he did because of incompetent technique.

    It’s not too much of a leap to guess that in the heat of the moment he believed he was defending his own rights, and suffering cognitively​ from an intense fight or flight response to being physically assaulted.

    I’m none too plussed by the utter lack of sympathy in this regard shown by the “buh he broke da lawr” crowd.

    Edit 2: What kind of a world would we be living in if the air marshals told that United manager to fuck off and solve their poor planning problem some other way?

  10. Never flying United after seeing this.

    Could paid a few thousand more but no, we are going to assault our passengers to make room for our own employees that need to catch a flight but didn’t reserve a spot for them.

  11. Not surprised to see that it’s United Airlines.

    These guys spontaneously froze my frequent flyer account with them so that they didn’t have to honor the 40,000+ miles I accrued with them. I contacted them about it and they’ve just kept on ignoring me about the issue. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough Twitter followers to warrant their attention.

  12. All so that they could return their employees to another location so that they can work the next day/be home. This should have been handled by inconveniencing the *employees* not the customers. That poor guy was running around in shock because the air marshalls can’t do their jobs correctly. I hope that dude is a neurosurgeon with deep pockets that has no interest in the settlement they are going to guaranteeably offer him.

  13. Is it just me or is one of the lenses of his glasses broken? The airline goons hit him so hard they broke his glasses. This is a multimillion dollar lawsuit waiting to happen. Not just from him but also from the patients was he was mot probably set to see today and who may or may not suffer injuries or adverse results due to not being seen by their doctor.

  14. [According to this]( his rights may have been violated. Was he presented the written documentation with his rights printed on them after being informed he was being involuntarily bumped? Did they offer him some kind of alternative booking? How long would his delay have been? Be aware that if you’re being involuntarily bumped in the USA, the DOT says that you are entitled to a lot of money – possibly more than United was offering.

    Basically, United seems to have been playing fast and loose with the laws and regulations governing overbooking, and should probably pay through the nose for it. They won’t, but they should. If he had been arriving in Louisville more than 2 hours later, he would have been eligible for 400% of what he had paid.

    Edit: I understand that slamming his head into the armrest of the chair across the aisle as they were pulling him off the plane was a definite violation of his rights, but I meant *before that*.

  15. Wow fuck united. Just tweeted this to some of the biggest travel bloggers out there – absolutely disgusting the way they treated him (regardless of if he was being rude). I really want to see the doctor get a HUGE settlement.

  16. If you’re bumped off (not volunteered) a flight

    – If the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to arrive at your destination between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours on international flights), the airline must pay you an amount equal to 200% of your one-way fare to your final destination that day, with a $675 maximum.
    – If the substitute transportation is scheduled to get you to your destination more than two hours later (four hours internationally), or if the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, the compensation doubles (400% of your one-way fare, $1350 maximum).


  17. This will get buried, but I have a story for anyone who will read it. Whenever I hear United, it reminds me of a time when I flew on a 15 hour United flight from Newark to Mumbai. None of the lights in the cabin worked – NONE of them. Neither did any of the seat back entertainment screens. We were told that since it was an overnight flight, we needed to keep our window shades down because it was “United’s policy” for overnight flights. They didn’t waive this policy in our case, so I flew a 15 hour turbulent flight across the globe in pitch black darkness. They didn’t even serve any food or drinks because it was too dangerous for the flight attendants, so if you wanted something, you had to get out of your seat and walk back to the back of the plane and ask. Normally I would really just grin and bear it, but this was a fifteen fucking hour flight across the goddamned globe. Besides the fact that our flight was several hours delayed AFTER we had already boarded because they were spending time trying to get that shit working. They spent so much time on it, they had to have the crew deplane and wait for a back-up crew to board the plane because they would have exceeded their allowable time on the clock by the time we arrived in Mumbai.

    I had even paid an extra $300 per seat for the little tiny extra bit of legroom. Was I compensated for any part of my flight? Oh yeah. They offered me a $100 credit toward my next United flight anywhere in the continental US.

    After I argued with the lady and her supervisor for a little while, I told them that what they were offering me was a slap in the face because I was never going to fly United again. Then they sent someone to my house to try to talk to me. SENT SOMEONE TO MY HOUSE! Fortunately for them I wasn’t home, but they stuck some sticker thing to my door trying to beg me for my business back. It’s a good thing I never saw them try that shit again, because no amount of me not flying United is worth what I would have said to one of their employees harassing me in my own home.

    Don’t fly United.

    Oh yeah, and as an aside … that extra leg room I paid so much for? Yeah, sharing a tuk tuk with four other people and had more legroom than United’s even with the “upgrade.”

  18. > United Airlines gave us this response:

    > “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. 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.”

    *(emphasis mine)*

    #LOL, get fucked United.

  19. A few folks should lose their jobs at United.

    1. Overbooking should be resolved before letting people board. Once your butt is in the seat, it’s yours.

    2. Forcibly removing a paying customer *for an employee*? Fuck you United. You’ll never see my money.

    3. Send the employees on another flight, even if it’s another airline, before you call the cops on a paying and otherwise reasonable customer.

    4. As others have mentioned – keep raising the payment until someone accepts. Cash, free airline tickets, hotel room, etc. But even if no one accepts, you don’t call the cops on a paying customer.

    Edit: thank you kindly for the gold!

  20. I just cancelled a flight I had with United at the end of this month. I’d rather pay more money and fly with another company than risk having to deal with that.

  21. This literally just happened to me on a Spirit flight. An officer got on the plane and said he needed to speak with my family and I and that we had to come with him. We complied. Once we were back at the gate he let a family of four on the plane and let it take off. We were FURIOUS. They gave us a check for 4x the one-way ticket price, but it was on us to get to our destination on time. I’m never flying Spirit again.

  22. Fuck United. We’ve had a contract with them for our company up until a couple of minutes ago. They asked why we’re changing provider. I told them why. The man sounded like he understood why I wanted to change.

    We’re not the biggest company, but I still want to make it a point to not support asshole behavior like this.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *