On a flight from Chicago to Louisville on Monday, a United Airlines flight found itself overbooked when a group of their staff needed to board the plane. Struggling for space, the airline offered monetary compensation for anybody willing to give up their seat on the flight, but when nobody volunteered, the company invoked their “involuntary denial of boarding” process.
Four passengers were picked at random, but when airline security approached one man, described by an eyewitness as a “Chinese American doctor”, he refused to leave the plane. Undeterred, staff on the plane pressed the man to vacate his seat, but as he steadfastly stayed seated, United Airlines called Chicago Aviation Security to remove the man from the flight.
All in all, the flight was delayed by around three hours as the 69-year-old man was forcibly removed from the United Airlines flight. A video taken of the incident has gone viral, racking up 15 million views, with nearly 200,000 shares.
Following hot on the heels of their leggings fiasco in Denver on 26 March, United Airlines has attempted to cite company policies as a form of damage limitation. The United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, has even praised his staff for adhering to protocol. But online, United is coming in for heavy criticism.
Some people have bombarded the United Airlines page with angry tweets over treatment of a passenger clearly in distress. But others have gone for a wittier response, preferring to mock the airline for their part in the incident. The United Airlines motto is “Fly the Friendly Skies”, but in light of this passenger’s experience at O’Hare International Airport, Twitter has been brainstorming some new slogans that they think might be a better fit.
1. The Flying Dead
2. Let’s hope the TSA don’t resort to violence as well
3. “I am Jack’s Involuntary Denial of Boarding”
4. “Seriously! I will turn this plane right around!”
5. The wrong kind of blood bond
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