Society

Additional United Airlines Allegations Surface

| by David Bonner

The negative publicity surrounding United Airlines continues following the outrage over a passenger being forcibly removed from an overbooked flight on April 9.

Police dragged the man down the aisle while other passengers protested in disbelief, reports the Daily Mail.

In video footage, passengers could be heard screaming, "My god what are you doing," and, "This is wrong," as the man is being dragged past their seats. One passenger said he was "knocked out" after hitting his head on an armrest during the confrontation with police.

It has become a big story in China where it is the most popular topic on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. On that platform, it has received more than 150 million views and more than 100,000 comments, reports The New York Times.

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The man dragged from his seat is allegedly Chinese, causing many social media users in China to accuse United Airlines of racism.

The story was also prominently featured on Chinese news media. The state-run news channel CCTV showed photos of the man's bloodied face above the caption: "Savage!" People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, said it was “gravely disappointing” that the airline had “mentioned nothing of the violence against the Asian passenger.”

United’s chief executive, Oscar Munoz, merely apologized for "having to re-accommodate" the man. A United spokesperson also offered an email 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.

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Now, other United Airlines horror stories are beginning to surface on social media in the U.S.

One alleged incident involving a blind girl was reported by the website Consumerist. On a United Airlines flight in March, Jessica Cabot was reportedly told by the flight attendants to remain seated until everyone else was off the plane, and then someone would help her off. Instead, she said she heard the other passengers leave and then the unmistakable sound of the aircraft door being sealed shut.

"And then, just complete silence," she recalled. "And I started calling out with no response." After about 10 minutes, she was found by a maintenance crew that happened to enter the aircraft. As compensation for the mistake, United offered her a $250 travel voucher.

In another alleged case, a disabled vet accused United employees of abusing his service dog and calling him a "retard," reports the website LiveLeak.

Sources: Daily Mail, The New York Times, Consumerist, LiveLeak / Photo credit: Makaristos/Wikimedia Commons

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