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Cops drag United Airlines passenger off overbooked plane

By
Andrew V. Pestano

April 10 (UPI) -- United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz on Monday said an incident captured on videos in which police officers forcibly drag a passenger out of his seat and off a plane was an "upsetting event."

The incident occurred on the overbooked United Express Flight 3411 flying from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to Louisville, Ky., on Sunday. United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart told The New York Times the airline sought to exit the flight for compensation, but none stepped forward.

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United then chose four passengers to be bumped and all but one left without issue.

Hobart said "we had asked several times, politely" for the man in the video to relinquish his seat before force was used. Hobart said since the man refused to leave, United Airlines called the Chicago Police Department and officers came on board.

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In a 52-second video, police officers in plain clothes are seen talking to a man sitting in the window seat of the plane. Before long, an officer wrestles the man out from the seat and he is dragged on the floor.

"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation," Munoz said in a statement.

The man who was dragged out of his seat -- other passengers described him as a doctor -- later returned to the plane, saying "I have to go home."

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