In a horrifying story that’s taken over Twitter this morning, United Airlines last night had the Chicago police violently remove a passenger from a flight because United wanted his seat for some United employees.
And tonight, United CEO Oscar Munoz repeatedly blamed the passenger and praised his staff’s behavior. (See below.)
The man, reportedly a doctor returning to a hospital where he had to see a patient the next day, had paid for his ticket and was sitting in the right seat. United simply decided at the last minute that they wanted the man’s seat instead.
Understandably, the man was ticked. So United called the Chicago police, who violently dragged the man out of the plane. At one point, the cops dropped him, he hit his head on an arm rest, and what happened next shocked everyone. The cops dragged the man’s limp body from the airplane.
But it gets worse. The man, with blood streaming down his face, got back on the plane and seemed incoherent and in shock. There are videos galore.
UPDATE: United CEO Oscar Munoz is now blaming the passenger for the assault. In a letter to employees, Munoz praised his employees’ behavior and repeatedly blamed the passenger.
— Ryan Ruggiero (@RyanRuggiero) April 10, 2017
As a bit more background, United wanted four seats for its crew who needed to be at the destination city. The airline offered $400 per person for volunteers to give up their seats. Then $800. No one bit. So United had the computer pick four passengers at random, this man was one of them. When he said “no,” the police arrived and violently dragged the man off the flight.
The cops now claim the man “fell” while they were forcibly removing him. You can hear the cop after the man fell — he thought the guy was faking being unconscious, didn’t even bother checking.
— Jayse D. Anspach (@JayseDavid) April 10, 2017
Here’s the video of the man, bloody, and clearly in shock:
— Kaylyn Davis (@kaylyn_davis) April 10, 2017
Here’s the Chicago police statement, it’s pretty awful:
United’s statement is just as bad:
“I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement Monday. Munoz said the airline is trying to reach the passenger to “further address and resolve this situation.”
Adding to their PR problem, United is refusing to comment on the incident, and referring questions to the Chicago police, as if this were a police matter. It’s really not. It’s about United Airlines assaulting one of their customers without cause.