United Airlines forcibly removed a man from an overbooked flight yesterday when he refused to give up his seat voluntarily.
One or more cell phone camera recordings of the disturbing encounter were posted to Facebook and then on to other social media platforms.
The hashtag #United is currently trending on Twitter as a result of this incident, with many users expressing outrage over what happened to the passenger.
See clips embedded below.
United Airlines gate agents had offered passengers on the overbooked Chicago to Louisville flight $400 (which was upped to $800 when there were no takes initially) and a hotel voucher to make way for a flight crew who needed to get to Louisville for another flight.
When no one volunteered, United said that a computer would randomly pick four passengers to be bumped to a Monday departure. One couple complied.
A witness explained to the Louisville Courier-Journal what happened next after a man was apparently unwilling to give up his seat.
"[She] said the man became 'very upset' and said that he was a doctor who needed to see patients at a hospital in the morning. The manager told him that security would be called if he did not leave willingly...and the man said he was calling his lawyer. One security official came and spoke with him, and then another security officer came when he still refused. Then, she said, a third security official came on the plane and threw the passenger against the armrest before dragging him out of the plane."