- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 11 April 2017, 12:13PM
WARNING: The following contains graphic content, which may disturb some viewers.
United Airlines is facing growing anger after they selected a 69-year-old man - who claimed to be a doctor - to be bumped from an overbooked flight to Louisville, to make room for its staff.
According to witnesses, the man was pulled screaming from his seat by security, knocked against an arm rest and dragged down the aisle and back to the terminal at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
The airline's CEO apologised today as new videos emerged of the man, who had refused to leave the flight, bleeding heavily from the mouth in the aftermath of his brutal treatment.
Tyler Bridges recalled the incident to the Washington Post.
An airline supervisor walked onto the plane and brusquely announced: "We have United employees that need to fly to Louisville tonight.
... This flight's not leaving until four people get off."
"That rubbed some people the wrong way," Bridges said.
Passengers were offered vouchers to rebook, he said, but no one volunteered.
So the airline chose for them.
A young couple was told to leave first, Bridges recalled. "They begrudgingly got up and left."
Then an older man, who refused.
"He says, 'Nope. I'm not getting off the flight. I'm a doctor and have to see patients tomorrow morning,'" Bridges said.
The man became angry as the manager persisted, Bridges said, eventually yelling.
"He said, more or less, 'I'm being selected because I'm Chinese.'"
Police officers boarded the flight, snatched the man and pulled him into the aisle.
Bridges then began recording, as did another passenger.
He goes limp after hitting the floor.
"It looked like it knocked him out," Bridges said. "His nose was bloody."
And with that, Bridges said, four United employees boarded and took the empty seats.
The man later ran back onto the plane, frantically repeating: "I have to go home. I have to go home."
"He was kind of dazed and confused," Bridges said. He recalled a group of high school students leaving the plane in disgust at that point, their adult escort explaining to other passengers: "They don't need to see this anymore."
The airline eventually cleared everyone from the plane, Bridges said, and did not let them back on until the man was removed a second time - in a stretcher.
The Chicago Department of Aviation said it 'obviously' did not condone the behaviour of its police officers involved and that one of the men has been placed on leave.