'Just kill me': The moment bloodied United passenger mumbled about suicide after he was body-slammed by cops and dragged off overbooked flight to make room for airline STAFFDaily Mail
April 10, 2017
New video has emerged of a bloodied United passenger mumbling about suicide after he was body-slammed by cops and dragged off an overbooked flight to make room for airline staff.
The airline's CEO apologized for the incident today amid mounting outrage over the original video which showed the man being forced to give up his seat by three cops who slammed his head against an arm rest - then dragged him off the flight by the arms as he bled from the mouth.
One Chicago Aviation Department security officer was put on leave over the video today - and the department said it 'obviously' did not condone the officer's behavior.
The scandal grew this afternoon as a new video emerged of the man chanting 'just kill me' in the aftermath of the incident at Chicago O'Hare on Sunday night. In the clip, the victim is bleeding badly from the mouth and looking dazed inside the aircraft.
After he was dragged off by cops, the man somehow broke free and ran back onto the plane chanting 'I need to go home, I need to go home.' The latest video appears to take place after he was subdued a second time.
United CEO Oscar Munoz said: 'This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. 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. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.'
The aviation department released a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, which read: 'The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department.
'That officer has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation.'
The man - who claimed to be a doctor and said he needed to see patients the next morning - was one of four passengers selected by United to leave the 5.40pm flight from O'Hare to Louisville, Kentucky.
One passenger also told the Washington Post the man claimed as he was being dragged off the plane he was chosen because he was Chinese.
'He said, more or less, 'I'm being selected because I'm Chinese",' the passenger told the Post.
The same passenger went on to tell the newspaper a United official walked onto the plane during the incident and said the plane would not be taking off until four passengers disembarked so the employees could fit on.
He said the official announced: 'We have United employees that need to fly to Louisville tonight. … This flight's not leaving until four people get off.'
'That rubbed some people the wrong way,' Tyler Bridges said, recounting the comment.
United had unsuccessfully appealed for volunteers who were willing to give up their seats for $800, stay in a hotel and fly the next day. The passengers were removed so airline staff could get to Louisville to man a flight the following day.
When the appeal failed, United staff selected four passengers by computer. A manager told passengers that the unlucky four were chosen at random - although many airlines automatically choose passengers with the lowest fares and who were last to check-in to offload.
One couple and another passenger left the plane peacefully, but the Asian man refused.
That's when airport law enforcement was called to remove him man by force.
Passengers screamed 'my god what are you doing' and 'this is wrong' as the man was yanked from his seat. He appeared to go limp after being slammed against a headrest and one passenger said he was 'knocked out'.
Audra Bridges, one passenger who filmed the man's removal, described what happened on the flight to the Courier-Journal.
She said that passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and staff appealed for one volunteer to accept $400 and a hotel stay to take a flight at 3pm the next day.
All the remaining passengers were then allowed to board the flight - only to be told that another four people would have to give up their seats.
United said four stand-by staff needed to be in Louisville for a flight the next day and the plane would not take off until they had seats.
Even when the offer was increased to $800, no one volunteered. Louisville is a four-and-a-half hour, 300 mile drive from Chicago.
At this point, Bridges said a manager came onboard the flight and said four 'volunteers' would be randomly selected by computer.
After a couple was picked and left the plane peacefully, then man was selected and refused to leave the flight.
Staff told him security would be called if he refused to leave, and the distressed man then claimed he was a doctor who needed to be in Louisville the next morning and he threatened to call his lawyer.
Three men Chicago police boarded the flight to remove the man - who still refused to budge.
At this point the officers yanked him out his seat as he screamed wildly - the episode seen in the video.
As the man, his glasses falling off his face and his clothes in disarray, is dragged out other passengers cried out in disgust: 'Come on!' '
But this was not the end of the drama. After being removed, the man apparently broke free from the officers grasp and managed to run back on the flight. He was filmed running down the aisle chanting 'I need to go home, I need to go home.'
Bridges said he reappeared on the plane with a bloody face and seemed 'disorientated'. Passengers were then taken off the flight as a medical crew boarded.
It took off later on Sunday night and landed two hours late.
Other footage of the incident was uploaded onto Twitter by Jayse Anspach, from Kentucky, who later deleted it and several tweets criticizing the airline.
It is the second PR disaster for the airline in as many months. In March, the airline faced outrage after a teenage girl was banned from flying for wearing leggings. Although it eventually transpired that the teen was with a airline staff member flying for free and was subject to a dress code.
Earlier the airline had stood by their actions.
An earlier statement said: '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. We apologize for the overbook situation.'
Airline spokesman Charlie Hobart added: 'We followed the right procedures. That plane had to depart.
'We wanted to get our customers to their destinations, and when one gentleman refused to get off the aircraft, we had to call the Chicago Police Department.'
The airline's contract of carriage states that passengers to be forcibly taken off a flight in the event of overbooking will be 'determined based on a passenger's fare class, itinerary, status of frequent flyer program membership, and the time in which the passenger presents him/herself for check-in without advanced seat assignment.'
Overbooking is not illegal and every airline does it to maximize their revenue.
According to the the Department of Transportation: 'DOT rules require airlines to seek out people who are willing to give up their seats for compensation before bumping anyone involuntarily.
'Airlines set their own "boarding priorities" - the order in which they will bump different categories of passengers in an oversale situation.
'When a flight is oversold and there are not enough volunteers, some airlines bump passengers with the lowest fares first.
'Others bump the last passengers to check in. Once you have purchased your ticket, the most effective way to reduce the risk of being bumped is to get to the airport early.
'For passengers in the same fare class the last passengers to check in are usually the first to be bumped, even if they have met the check-in deadline. '
United's contract of carriage states that passengers to be forcibly taken off a flight in the event of overbooking will be 'determined based on a passenger's fare class, itinerary, status of frequent flyer program membership, and the time in which the passenger presents him/herself for check-in without advanced seat assignment.'
Any passengers who is forced to get another flight is entitled to compensation.
The DOT states: 'Travelers who don't get to fly are frequently entitled to denied boarding compensation in the form of a check or cash. The amount depends on the price of their ticket and the length of the delay. '