The scandal is breaking as United Airlines demonstrates behavior that is hardly admissible. Remarkably, it is the second time in less than a month that UnitedĀ Airlines was criticized for its treatment of passengers.
This time, a passenger was physically dragged off a plane the airline had overbooked. The incident took place on United Flight 3411 before it departed from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday. As far as the incident is being investigated, one of the security officers involved in the incident is placed on leave.
Videos posted online by other passengers showed a man, who appeared to be Asian, screaming, body limp, bleeding from the mouth, glasses askew and shirt pulled up above his navel as officers yanked him from his seat. No wonder that the videos caused outrage on social media.
— Ų£ŲŁ ŲÆ Ų§ŁŲ±ŁŁŁ ŁŲ (@A__K__R) April 11, 2017
— Michael Paul Padilla (@Patriotic911) April 11, 2017
Despite all the criticism hailed on the United Airlines, United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz does not apologize for the way the passenger was handled in the letter circulated to employees, saying that the passenger had “defied” security officers. He “emphatically” stands behind his employees though the company certainly needs to learn from this situation.
“We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation),” Munoz wrote. “When we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.”
According to the Chicago Department of Aviation, one of the officers involved in the incident did not follow protocol and was placed on leave pending a review for actions not condoned by the department.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is now checking whether United followed the overbook rules that require airlines to set guidelines on how passengers are denied boarding if they do not volunteer to give up their seats.
“While it is legal for airlines to involuntarily bump passengers from an oversold flight when there are not enough volunteers, it is the airline’s responsibility to determine its own fair boarding priorities,” a spokesperson from the Department of Transportation said in a statement.
The incident was one of the much-debated topics on Twitter as users needed to express their anger toward the airline.
— killaB'sDad (@danoconklin) April 11, 2017
— Jorge (@YorchCalgarian) April 11, 2017
After discussing the incident itself, many social media users focused on way United Airlines handled the situation.
— Siraj Datoo (@dats) April 10, 2017
Reportedly, the man is a doctor and had to return home to his patients.