As any frequent flyer may know, traveling via airport can be stressful, inconvenient, and boring — though it is a necessary evil compared to the even more dreadful alternative travel routes. Just when we thought this experience couldn’t get ant worse, it did. According to CNN.com, on April 10, “a man’s refusal to give up his seat on an overbooked United Airlines flight led to a disturbing scene that has travelers up in arms over airline policies.”
United Airlines Causes Controversy Once More
A passenger was removed from the Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight 3411 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. “Several passengers recorded the incident on their phones and posted videos on social media showing three Chicago Department of Aviation security officers dragging the man down the aisle by the arms and legs while other passengers shout in protest. He continued to resist after he was removed and ran back onto the airplane,” CNN said.
When no one volunteered, the airline was forced into an “involuntary de-boarding situation.” United weighs a number of factors to determine which passengers would leave the flight, such as connecting flights and how long the delay will leave the customer at an airport. United Airlines employees explained the situation to the man several times. When he refused they followed Department of Transportation protocol and called local law enforcement to forcibly remove him from the plane.
The man was Dr. Dao, a doctor who pleaded that he had to be at his destination the next day. Two officers tried to calmly talk the man out of his seat before a third approached him in an aggressive manner. The officer told him he had to get off the plane, and when he resisted, the officer grabbed him out of his seat and carried him out with the other officers. The man hit his head on an armrest, blood streamed out of his mouth.
If you’re worried that being bumped off a flight may happen to you in the future, the good news is that according to airhelp.com, federal law dictates that “the airline will pay those denied boarding 200% of their one-way fare, with a cap of $650. This is if the next flight they book you on has you at your destination more than one hour later than the first flight, but less than two hours later. If your next flight has you at your destination more than two hours later than your original flight would have, then the airline owes you 400% of your one-way fare, with a cap of $1,300.00.”