— Jayse D. Anspach (@JayseDavid) April 10, 2017
A frightening incident took place Sunday night aboard a plane that was set to take off from Chicago to Louisville. Video taken by a passenger shows security grabbing a passenger and dragging him out of his seat, with the man screaming at the top of his lungs. So what was the reason? Was this man a potential terrorist or criminal who authorities needed to get off the plane? Nope, the United Airlines just overbooked the flight and needed to clear out space, according to reports.
Passenger Audra Bridges posted a video from a different angle to Facebook, commenting that United had overbooked and randomly selected people to remove in order to make room for members of their standby crew. Bridges told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the airline first looked for volunteers, offering $800 and a hotel stay for anyone who agreed to be bumped from the flight. When no one jumped at that, they announced that they were going to randomly select four people to remove from the flight.
One couple was reportedly chosen first and exited without incident, but then the man in the video was picked, Bridges said. The passenger told the airline staff that he’s a doctor and needed to see patients at a hospital the next morning. Staff said they would call security if he didn’t leave, and the man said he was contacting his attorney. Three security guards then showed up, and as seen in the video, one grabbed him, dragged him over an arm rest, and then up the aisle. The man appeared to have a bruised face after the struggle.
But it didn’t end there. After leaving the plane, the man reportedly ran back on, heading to the back of the plane, and the rest of the passengers exited to the gate until the situation was resolved. The flight eventually left later on Sunday after a two hour delay.
A representative from United Airlines confirmed the major details of the story to LawNewz.com, saying, “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. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”