United Airlines CEO Sends Out Memo To Staff And It's Ridiculous
The footage of a doctor being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight shocked the world yesterday.
Passengers managed to capture the moment the man was dragged from his seat. His mouth hits an arm rest in the struggle and his mouth pours with blood.
His crime? The airline had overbooked the flight and randomly selected passengers to get off so that they could put four members of their crew on in their place.
The thing is, this bloke is reportedly a doctor and needed to be in work.
Audra Bridges, who witnessed the incident, wrote on Facebook: "Please share this video. We are on this flight. United airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their standby crew could have a seat.
"This man is a doctor and has to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off. We are all shaky and so disgusted. #unitedairways"
Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United Airlines, sent out a memo to staff to explain what happened.
You might be thinking: 'Great! They'll have sent out a grovelling apology and offer to pay him thousands of pounds or something'. Well... no.
He writes: "Dear Team, Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I've included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.
"As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this.
"While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right. I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident.
"Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.
He then proceeded to include preliminary reports...
Summary of Flight 3411
• On Sunday, April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United's gate agents were approached by crew members that were told they needed to board the flight.
• We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.
• He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent.
• Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.
• Chicago Aviation Security Officers were unable to gain his cooperation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist - running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.
So pretty much completely avoiding blame.
Another video captured the moment the bloodied man held onto a curtain repeatedly saying "Kill me, kill me, I have to go home".
He's visibly shaken and distressed. And probably in shock, to be fair. If I'd been dragged off a flight for nothing, I'd be kicking off.
A Reddit user by the name of eman00619 explained that passengers were told at the gate the flight was overbooked and United Airlines were on the hunt for someone to to take another flight to Louisville on Monday.
The offer included $400 and a hotel stay.
"Passengers were allowed to board the flight, Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight," the user revealed.
"Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered."
A manager reportedly then came aboard the plane and used a computer to select four people to be taken off the flight. A couple were selected first and quickly left. The doctor in the video was then confronted.
United Airlines said in a statement: "After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate."
The identity of the man is still unknown. Hopefully he's okay.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@Tyler_Bridges