United Passenger Forcibly Removed

A man is dragged off a United flight

Wikimedia Commons

After United Airlines in Chicago “overbooked” flight 3411 on Sunday, the plane would not take off until four people volunteered to leave. When there were not enough volunteers, the airline had to choose passengers to leave the flight. United chose Tyler Bridges who refused to leave the flight and airport security was called. Now, viral videos are circulating around showing the forceful ejection of Bridges. United has been met with international criticism by appalled viewers.

According to Business Outsider, airlines are allowed to select passengers to be denied boarding based on factors such as frequent flyer status, itinerary, fare class and when the passenger boarded. This is due to an airline’s contract of carriage signed when customers agree to protect the airline’s interests.

Despite the popular misconception, the United airline was not actually overbooked passenger-wise, but space was needed for four United employees who reportedly received dirty looks the entire flight after Bridges was removed. Currently, the police officer involved in the incident has been placed on hold, and United has released a statement saying: “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.”