Racism in US? Asian passenger dragged and thrown out from United airlines flight
New York, April 10
United Airlines sparked outrage on Monday for the treatment of a passenger who was physically dragged off a plane the airline had overbooked, and one of the security officers involved in the incident was placed on leave pending an investigation.
Videos posted online by other passengers showed a man screaming as officers yanked him from his seat on United Flight 3411 before it departed from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday.
The Asian man was seen being dragged down the aisle on his back by his hands, body limp, bleeding from the mouth, glasses askew and shirt pulled up above his navel. The videos sparked outrage on social media, the second time in less than a month that United was criticized for its treatment of passengers.
In a letter circulated to employees and seen by Reuters, United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz refused to apologise for the way the passenger was handled and, instead, blamed the victim for having “defied” security officers.
In a show of criminal brazenness, Munoz said that he “emphatically” stands behind his goon employees.
The Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement that one of the officers did not follow protocol and added that he had been placed on leave pending a review for actions not condoned by the department.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) said it was reviewing whether United complied with overbook rules that require airlines to set guidelines on how passengers are denied boarding if they do not volunteer to give up their seats.
Video of the incident posted to Twitter account @Tyler_Bridges shows three security officers huddling over the seated passenger before dragging him to the floor.
Bridges said the man told United staff that he was a doctor and had to return home to his patients.
The airline said it had asked for volunteers to leave because additional flight crew needed to get to Louisville.