You have no doubt been on a flight that was overbooked.
At some point the reps for the airline will start making offers for people who want to give up their seats - free miles, a hotel for the night, first class upgrades on the next flight out and so forth.
It happens to everyone.
On Sunday, United had a flight from Chicago's O'Hare Airport to Louisville. It was also overbooked.
At some point, United announced that it had to make room for four United employees.
Reportedlly, a rep from United boarded the already filled and waiting to go plane and announced:
“We have United employees that need to fly to Louisville tonight. … This flight’s not leaving until four people get off.”
No one offered to leave, no matter what the incentive. So United chose for them. They selected four people, apparently at random to vacate their seats. Three left willingly, one did not.
“He says, ‘Nope. I’m not getting off the flight. I’m a doctor and have to see patients tomorrow morning,’”
That did not sit well with United, so they called the police, who boarded the plane, manhandled the passenger and physically dragged him down the aisle - possibly breaking his nose.
What makes this interesting to us is that the entire incident was videotaped, apparently by several people, - as everyone now has a camera with them all the time.
Needless to say, this is a PR disaster for United. But it's an interesitng insight into a world in which everone increasingy is a journalist. Shoot the news and report and and broadcast it to the world immediately.
As the old United as used to say, "Is this any way to run an airline?"