Smartphone video posted online showed three Chicago Department of Aviation police officers struggling with a seated middle-aged man.

After the flight boarded, staff announced that they needed four people to volunteer to give up seats so that United employees who needed to be in Louisville Monday could take them.

Bridges, the Louisville resident who posted the video, told The Courier-Journal that United asked if a passenger would give up their seat and get rebooked on a flight to Louisville Monday afternoon - sweetening the deal by offering $400 and a hotel stay. United then offered $800 to volunteers, but no one accepted, and a manager picked four people at random, according to Bridges.

The flight was overbooked, according to United Airlines, so the airline asked for volunteers to leave the aircraft. The man in the video had said he was a doctor, with patients to see, and therefore could not be delayed. One man refused, and three security officers then dragged him out through the aisle.

Another video shows him, still disheveled from the altercation, returning to the cabin, running to the back of the plane and repeating: "I have to go home".

If the passenger will be delayed more than two hours — or four hours for worldwide flights — the airline must pay him four times the one-way fare, up to $1,350. 'There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset'. "We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly with him to address and resolve this situation". "After being removed, the man apparently broke free from the officers grasp and managed to run back on the flight". United was also recently embroiled in a (frankly stupid) public relations problem for enforcing its employee dress code on girls who were flying on employee passes.

The incident occurred after United asked passengers to give up their seats voluntarily for compensation.

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One man who was selected refused to leave, prompting airport security guards to forcibly remove him from the plane.

Other passengers can be heard on the video yelling at the security workers things like, "You guys, this is not right!"

A statement from United CEO, Oscar Munoz, says the team will be working with the authorities and conducting a review of what happened.

One recent case, however, went altogether differently - and a video capturing the moment has the Internet erupting in shock and outrage. We hope United will respond with apologies and procedural changes.

Now that United is the number one trending term on Twitter, the airline will need to do much more than offer perfunctory apologies. "Passengers were then taken off the flight as a medical crew boarded".

The forcible removal of a man on a United Airlines flight highlights the fact that passengers are largely at the mercy of airlines when flights get overbooked. Condemnation of United across social media was swift, with some calling for a boycott of the airline.

A United Airlines airplane sits at a gate at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, June 18, 2011.


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