Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel took aim at United Airlines on April 10 over a passenger who was roughly removed from an overbooked flight on April 9 because he refused to give up his seat (video below).
Kimmel showed a viral video of airport police at Chicago's O'Hare Airport dragging the man off of the plane. Kimmel then read a statement United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz issued via Twitter: "This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers..."
"Just like when we re-accomodated El Chapo out of Mexico," Kimmel quipped. "That is such sanitized, say nothing, take no responsibility, corporate BS speak. I don't know how the guy who sent that tweet didn't vomit when he typed it out, but it's crazy."
Kimmel imagined how disastrous it would be for a Applebee's restaurant to throw people out, but noted that the airlines are able to get away with it:
The next time we book a flight, it doesn’t matter if it’s United or Delta or American. If one of those flights is a dollar less than the other one, that’s the one we’ll pick. They know this.
That’s why we’re stuck with them. Our only other choice is the bus. United didn't even admit they did anything wrong, and in fact, if anything, they seem to be doubling down on this.
Kimmel then aired a parody United Airlines commercial with a flight attendant laying down the law:
We’re United Airlines. You do what we say when we say, and there won’t be a problem. Capiche? If we say you fly, you fly. If not, tough s***.
Give us a problem, and we’ll drag your a** off the plane. And if you do this, we’ll beat you so badly you’ll be using your own face as a flotation device. United Airlines: F*** you.
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres joked about United Airlines on April 11, notes Mediaite (video below):
It’s crazy. They charged [the passenger] a $50 removal fee. That’s not true, that’s not true. Your first forcible removal is free. Everyone on the flight was very upset by this, and top it all the in-flight movie was "Manchester By The Sea" So it was very depressing. The whole flight, can you imagine?
There was a video posted that went viral. Everybody was angry at United for the way they handled it. Now, there's a reason I'm telling you this, and I'm sorry to say, but one of you has to leave ... I would not do that.
There were a lot of issues here, but the biggest problem was the way that United handled it. They had a computer pick a random person and just took them off the plane. That seems like a bad policy. Here’s a better policy: Don’t overbook your flight.