Debatables

United faces scrutiny after dragging a passenger off plane

By J.A. HaglApril 10, 2017

04/10/17

1. United Airlines is in some hot water after dragging a paying customer off a flight. Flight 3411, from Chicago to Louisville, was completely filled but four United crewmembers need a flight. The airline asked four customers to volunteer to give up their seat. No one volunteered. The company then selected four to be removed from the flight. Three left but the fourth, a doctor scheduled to see patients in a hospital, refused. The manager then had airport security forcibly remove and drag the 69-year-old man off the plane. He’s face began bleeding as fellow passengers recorded the incident.

2. United’s CEO released an explanation of the issue and a promise to further investigate the situation. One of the officers in the video has been put on leave until further notice.  Legally, an airline is allowed to remove you from a flight at any time. Even if a customer isn’t disruptive or uncooperative, an airline can overbook than kick travelers off the flight. And it’s perfectly legal. Generally, airliners offer a monetary incentive for travelers who volunteer to swap flights. But in this case, a customer was removed for a nonpaying crewmember and excessive force was used.

3. So, should overbooking be made illegal? And should paying customers have to give up seats for crewmembers?

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