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Video of United Passenger Forcibly Removed from Flight Goes Viral

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United Airlines had a problem. They had an overbooked flight that was going from Chicago, Illinois to Louisville, Kentucky. First they offered passengers money to get off the plane and take a later flight. The airline offered $800 to volunteers but there were no takers. While this is not an unusual situation, what they did next was.

United Airlines

Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

United starts trending on Twitter and Facebook.

When the airline could not get anyone to voluntarily get off the plane, they picked several passengers to remove from the plane. The problem started when one refused. The airline brought in law enforcement officers to force the man off of the plane. Other passengers took video of the incident, which quickly went viral on social media. United began trending all over the United States and for none of the right reasons, for the airline.

Lena Anani tweeted:

Joy Ann Reid of MSNBC tweeted:

United Airlines responded with a statement.

United Airlines released the following statement:

Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.

When they were responding to the outrage that video of the passenger’s removal caused, the airline also took to Twitter to explain:

“This is an upsetting event to all of us at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is working with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and to 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 solve this situation,” Oscar Munoz, United Airlines.

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