CHICAGO — A man traveling on United Airlines flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was forcibly removed when the flight was oversold Sunday night, CBS DFW reports.
According to reports, the Chicago to Louisville flight was oversold and several passengers were chosen at random to be bumped from the flight, including the man and his wife.
Passenger Jayse Anspach, who tweeted video of the incident, said that security pulled the man, who says he’s a doctor, from his chair after he refused to leave the aircraft.
“The doctor needed to work at the hospital the next day, so he refused to ‘volunteer,’ United decided to use force on doctor,” said Anspach.
As security pulled the man from his seat, Anspach said, “the doctor’s face was slammed against an arm rest, causing serious bleeding from his mouth.” The security detail then dragged the man off the aircraft.
A United Airlines spokesman says airline employees were “following the right procedures” when they called police who then dragged the man off the plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Charles Hobart says the employees were justified in calling law enforcement because the flight was overbooked and couldn’t leave for Louisville with too many passengers on board.
Hobart said in an email that United employees had asked for volunteers and when none were forthcoming, four were selected to leave.
“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate,” United said earlier in a statement.
“We apologize for the overbook situation,” it said. “Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”
Hobart said Chicago police removed the man, but the police department says its officers were not involved. Officer Jose Estrada says the incident was handled by the city’s aviation department police force.
Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, said it was “an upsetting event to all of us here at United.”
“I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers,” he said. “Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”