Shares drop after passenger dragging video :United Airlines

A man’s refusal to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight led to a disturbing scene Sunday that has travelers up in arms over airline policies.

The Department of Transportation said it will review the incident, in which a passenger was forcibly removed from the Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight 3411 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
The incident has prompted one security officer’s suspension and created a publicity nightmare for United.
Several passengers recorded the incident on their phones and posted video on social media showing three Chicago Department of Aviation security officers dragging the man, who has not been identified, down the aisle by the arms and legs while other passengers shout in protest. He continued to resist after he was removed and ran back onto the airplane, face bloodied from the encounter.

In an email to employees, Oscar Munoz said the passenger had been “disruptive and belligerent” and refused to voluntarily leave the plane, with staff “left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight”.

He told staff in the private email that he was “upset to see and hear about what happened” but defended United employees.

“Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this,” the Associated Press quoted the email as saying.

An ‘involuntary de-boarding situation’

The incident sparked criticism of a system that allows airlines to involuntarily boot passengers from flights. United was acting within their rights and following policy. Then, the situation turned physical.

So what went wrong here?

It appears to have been a series of errors. A group of flight crew needed to be in Louisville, properly rested, in order to operate the next morning’s plane. Had they not been able to get there, then many more passengers would have had their plans messed up. The big mistake the airline made was allowing all the fare-paying passengers on board, and then trying to entice enough people off.

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