United Airlines is dealing with another public relations headache after a passenger was shown on camera being dragged off a flight in Chicago that was apparently that company officials first tried to say was “overbooked.” But more on that in a minute. The incident happened at O'Hare Airport Sunday on a plane that was headed to Louisville, Kentucky.
United management reportedly informed passengers of the “overbooking” of seats and asked for volunteers to come off the flight. When that didn’t happen – they then selected passengers at random. Horrified passengers looked on – and filmed – as the still unidentified 69-year-old man was forcibly removed and bloodied up by several security officers. Come to find out that the “overbooking,” was the company wanting to fly a crew to another destination.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. The CEO of United Airlines is calling the passenger that was forcibly removed from a plane in Chicago yesterday "disruptive and belligerent." That comment flies in face of what witnesses reported – that the man simply refused to give up his seat, saying he paid for it – that he was a doctor and had patients to see the next morning.
In a letter obtained by CNBC Monday, CEO Oscar Munoz claimed that the employees "followed established procedures." Munoz told employees that the man "refused to comply" and that the officers were "left with no choice." The CEO says although employees can use this as a learning opportunity, he "stands behind all of you." Who no one's standing by is the O'Hare Police. The main officer involved has been put on leave - and it's being reported that no one from the airline blessed that kind of force to be used.
- In an earlier statement to the public, Munoz said it's an upsetting event to everyone at the airline. He said, quote, "I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers." He added that the company is reaching out to the passenger to resolve the situation.
PLEASE NOTE: There are two videos - be aware that they're pretty graphic.
Source: ABC News