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Dublin: 16°C Wednesday 25 May 2022

Passengers shocked as man is dragged screaming from overbooked flight

Other passengers said the man, a doctor, later ran back up the aisle repeating “I have to get home”.

PASSENGERS ON A flight bound for Louisville, Kentucky from Chicago were left shocked after police forcibly removed a man from the plane before take-off yesterday.

The United Airlines flight had been overbooked.

Footage posted to Twitter by two passengers showed the man shrieking as he was dragged down the aisle by a plain-clothes official, who was armed.

Two uniformed men then followed the man and the passenger towards the exit.

Passenger Jayse D Anspach, from Louisville, gave the following account of what happened on Twitter:

#United overbooked and wanted 4 of us to volunteer to give up our seats for personnel that needed to be at work the next day.
No one volunteered, so @United decided to choose for us. They chose an Asian doctor and his wife.
The doctor needed to work at the hospital the next day, so he refused to “volunteer.” @United decided to use force on doctor.
A couple air port security men forcefully pulled the doctor out of his chair and to the floor of the aisle.
In so doing, the doctor’s face was slammed against an arm rest, causing serious bleeding from his mouth.
It looked like he was knocked out, because he went limp and quiet and they dragged him out of the plane like a rag doll.
10mins later, the doctor runs back into the plane with a bloody face, clings to a post in the back, chanting, “I need to go home.”

Another passenger, Tyler Bridges, posted footage of the man who had been removed attempting to return to his seat “still bloody from being removed”.

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He said on Twitter:

Kids were crying people are disturbed. Also after being removed the bloodied man somehow ran back on the plane repeating-I have to get home

Bridges said that the passenger had told police and United staff that he had to be at hospital in the morning to see patients.

United Airlines said in a statement to Louisville TV station WHAS-TV:

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 apologise for the overbook situation.

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Daragh Brophy

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