United Airlines video: Officer suspended after man dragged off flight 3411

'The actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned," says a spokesman from the Chicago Department of Aviation 

Harriet Agerholm
Tuesday 11 April 2017 12:49
Comments
United Airlines passenger is dragged off plane because airline overbooked

An airport security officer who was filmed wrestling a screaming man out of his aeroplane seat and dragging him down the aisle, has been suspended from his job, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).

Footage of a 69-year-old being removed from the United Airlines flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport provoked outrage after it was shared online.

The passenger, who said he was a doctor that needed to get home to treat patients the next day, was filmed with blood flowing down his chin.

“I want to go home," he could be heard saying. "I want to go home."

Man brutally dragged off United Airlines flight: "I want to go home"

With the flight overbooked, United Airlines had asked for volunteers to give up their seats, offering passengers $400 (£322) and then $800 (£645) when no one came forward.

When no one agreed to leave the flight, the airline selected four passengers at random. Three got off, but the fourth refused, saying he had patients he needed to treat.

“The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the department," a spokesperson from the CDA told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

“That officer has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation.“

They did not name the officer, clarify the reason for his suspension or say whether he would remain on full pay.

Aviation department security officers are responsible for policing inside the security cordon at the airport.

The Chicago Police, which operates separately, had earlier released a statement which said the passenger had injured his face when he “fell” into the armrest.

“A 69-year-old male Asian airline passenger became irate when he was asked to disembark from a flight that was oversold," it said. “The passenger in question began yelling to voice his displeasure at which point Aviation Police were summoned. Aviation Officers arrived on scene attempted to carry the individual off of the flight when he fell.

“His head subsequently struck an armrest causing injuries to his face.”

The police statement added that the man was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. An investigation into the incident was ongoing, it said.

The video has caused embarrassment for Chicago, which was already grappling with a reputation for police brutality.

The city had previously attracted attention for being unable to curb a crime wave in some neighbourhoods — an issue President Donald Trump has highlighted with critical tweets.

Oscar Munoz, the chief executive of United Airlines' parent company United Continental Holdings, publicly apologised for having to “re-accommodate” passengers on the flight.

But in a separate letter to employees that was subsequently leaked, he defended the actions of his staff aboard the flight.

Describing the passenger as “disruptive and belligerent", he said the travellers had been told to leave the plane to free-up seats for four employees of a partner airline.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in