The disturbing video of a man being dragged off a United Airways flight after being knocked unconscious is going viral. Reactions on social media range from disgust and shock to total outrage, and for good reason.
The video shows a man being ripped from his seat. He is pulled with such force that he hits his head, his glasses break, and he is knocked unconscious.
The incident arose because the United flight leaving Chicago was overbooked. Airline staff were looking for one volunteer to give up their seat and were offering $400 and a hotel stay in exchange for compliance. This all happened before the flight to Louisville Kentucky boarded.
After everyone was done boarding, flight staff came on over the airways announcing that they actually needed four people in total to volunteer, as their standby crew had to be in Kentucky on Monday. The compensation was increased to $800 and passengers were told the plane wouldn’t leave until four people volunteered.
When nobody stepped forward, staff announced a computer would select four people. One couple cooperated and left. The man in the video was also selected.
These details come from an interview with the passenger who took this video. She posted this on her Facebook with the video:
Please share this video. We are on this flight. United airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their standby crew could have a seat. This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted.
In a statement, the airline apologized for the “overbook situation.”
“After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate.”
Later, the company CEO released another statement on Twitter apologizing for having to “re-accommodate these customers.”
Chicago’s Department of Aviation Police “handled” the incident. In a statement, the Department of Aviation Police said, “The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department. Th
Astoundingly, Chicago PD called the man in the video “irate” and said he fell, though a quick glance at the video reveals the absurdity of this claim. He clearly did not fall.
Everyone in our office watched this video and the main discussion that arose was the idea of what ‘just doing my job’ means and at what point one should or would refuse to do a task. I know they claimed the particular officer’s actions were not in line with their department, but I can’t help but wonder what other scenarios and situations he was involved in that made him feel like it was okay to rip someone out of their seat and drag them unconsciously off the plane in front of hundreds of people.
Can we not have appropriate conflict resolution tactics in place for public settings? Violence is never the answer.
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