Those of us who fly a lot (or maybe even a little) have witnessed the pleas from airlines reps to give up your seat in exchange for compensation. The announcement is something like “We are in an over-sold situation and are offering $400, a hotel room, and booking on the first available flight tomorrow morning.” The announcement usually succeeds. If not, the airline ups the ante. But this is a first, I think. United Airlines wanted the seats from four passengers already boarded so four UA employees could fly in their stead. They got airport security to board the plane and brutally drag a passenger off.
Here is the short version from FiveThirtyEight’s morning newsletter “Significant Digits.”
United Express Flight 3411
A man was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight Sunday, and the brutal affair was caught on video. United had overbooked the flight and did not sort that out before boarding. When a doctor was told he had to leave the flight, he said he did not want to, which ended with him getting bloodied up and dragged off the airplane like an animal. It’s an ongoing story. [The Associated Press]
The NY Times has a longer version with video clips: United Airlines Passenger Is Dragged From an Overbooked Flight.
Apparently the friendly skies are not so friendly. Here’s the latest commercial offered to United from funnyordie.com.