Asian Doctor Violently Pulled Off US Plane by Security Guards

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While he was allowed back on the flight, the man’s face was bleeding from the force the guards exerted.

A viral video has yet again stirred controversy around United Airlines after footage showed security personnel dragging a screaming man off a plane Sunday evening.

The flight, from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, had been overbooked. During boarding, flight attendants offered passengers travel vouchers and hotel stays if they would give up their seats to accommodate four United staff people.

When no one volunteered, the crowd was told a computer would randomly choose four people to give up their seats. The man in the video was the only one chosen who refused to leave, and he became visibly upset after explaining that he was a doctor and needed to be in Louisville for his morning appointments.

Soon, three security guards arrived to pull him off his seat and off the plane.

"Everyone was shocked and appalled," Audra Bridges, a passenger who witnessed the entire scene told the Courier-Journal. "There were several children on the flight as well that were very upset."

Bridges told the outlet the man eventually made it back onto the flight, but that his face was bleeding from the force of the guards.

The airline has since issued a statement, saying, "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. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities."


Related video added by Juan Cole:

The Young Turks: “Airline Passenger Brutalized And Dragged Off Plane (VIDEO)”

25 Responses

  1. 1) Is the race of the victim important?
    2) If you answer “yes” to question #1, then why not mention the race of the three officers who assaulted the Asian doctor?

    • OK, Three Not-Asion men pulled an Asian man from the flight.

      He was “selected at random” by non-Asian United airlines employees.

      Race is ALWAYS a factor in the United States.

  2. In the category of Manipulating Language:
    Let us all note that this is NOT “at random” but based on a grading system for expendibility of passengers. (quote from The Guardian) “United Airlines said on Monday that after nobody agreed to voluntarily give up their seats, airline representatives chose four passengers to leave the plane at random based on ticket class, frequent flier status and check-in time. “)
    Also, note, the term “overbooked” does not apply. United actually wanted to kick off 4 passengers to get a flight crew to Louisville… Interesting use of words to attempt to obfuscate their culpability…
    (Oh, and they totatlly ignore their lack of treating the doctor’s bloody medical trauma before he managed to return to the plane, where many passengers noted that he was acting dazed…)

    • Exactly. They booted a passenger to shuttle a flight crew to another airport, in all likelyhood to make up for an overly aggressive scheduling policy that caused the other airport to be short a flight crew. This is something that will happen to you probably about 20% of the time in US air travel … being delayed while they “find another plane” or “wait for your crew to arrive”.

      Operations just isn’t a strong point for these companies, unfortunately. That is ok. Beating a passenger up to make up for it is not.

      • Dr. Dao’s face was damaged, two front teeth knocked out, fracture to the zygomatic arch with sinus damage and a broken nose. Paramedics, SO WHAT?

        That’ll teach him? RIGHT?

  3. Seems to me that the non-extraordinary business choices faced by UAL were:
    1. Keep upping the offer to relinquish a seat, or

    2. Cancel the flight for which the UAL employees were scheduled to operate.

    Either of the above would do much less damage to UAL. Not rocket science.

      • You make an INVALID assumption that there was another flight.

        Note that LOTS of people commenting on this are making a LOT of very invalid assumptions.

  4. Luciano Gee

    @cenkuygur On the bright side for United, Cenk, after this they’ll never have to worry about a flight being overbooked again.

    • pat tracy – why was he beaten up ? because he chose not to walk off ? Would you accept that type of treatment at a baseball or hockey game ?

  5. “After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate”

    He didn’t refuse to leave volunarily. He decline to volunteer. Everyone has a right to ‘not’ volunteer. If someone is ordered to do something without the option of declining, they are not, by definition, a volunteer.

    • Nope you are wrong.

      Once no one “volunteered,” the passenger management system randomly chose which tickets to void.

      At that point there were no volunteers, just people that were involuntarily being denied flight. The people that were denied flight had their ticket refunded and received additional compensation per both USA and International law.

      Once the volunteer option was completed, then all the others that left the aircraft were “denied boarding.”

      Note that the legal term “denied boarding” applies no matter where the person physically is, whether they are in the waiting area or already on the aircraft. Once a person is in “denied boarding” status, they no longer have any right to fly and must, by law, accept compensation as defined by law. They have no right to be on the aircraft and must vacate the aircraft. If they feel they are owed more compensation than the law requires they can sue after the fact, but they can not hold an aircraft and the other passengers hostage.

      If you are denied boarding and are on the aircraft, get off and argue with the ground management, but do not hold the aircraft hostage as that can legally be considered air piracy.

      • The “deny boarding” rule should be applied at the gate, not after passengers have boarded. This man was already sitting in his assigned seat when the crew realized they had to accommodate essential staff. And the “deny boarding” is about oversales, as in overbooked. The flight was not overbooked, only fully booked. And, there’s nothing in the fine print that says the airline can beat you up if you refuse to give up your seat. United has already said that their procedures were not followed, so that’s an easy win for his lawyer.

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