Calls for boycott after passenger dragged off overbooked United flight

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Calls for boycott of United Airlines after man forcibly removed
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United Airlines is facing calls for a boycott after the violent removal of a passenger from a flight.

CHICAGO (KGO) -- There are calls for a boycott of United Airlines after a passenger was violently dragged off a flight.

RELATED: United passenger dragged off flight has criminal history

The 69-year-old man was forcibly removed from the Chicago to Louisville flight Sunday night. United said he was one of four people randomly selected to give up their seat, to make room for four crew members who had to get to Louisville for another flight. One of the Chicago aviation security officers involved is now on leave.

VIDEO: United passenger dragged off overbooked flight at O'Hare; officer placed on leave

Travelers tell ABC7 News they are disgusted by what they saw, but they are still flying United, saying they have to make their trips, there's not much they can do.

Passengers do feel nervous after seeing the man dragged down the aisle of the plane by security. He said he needed to make the flight because he is a doctor and needed to get home to see patients. United said the flight was overbooked and four off duty employees needed seats. Passengers said they don't feel good about climbing on board.

RELATED: Attorney questions whether United Airlines had right to remove passenger

"Uneasy, concerned -- I'm just going to pray that we get on board and get seated and get to our destination safely," said Deidre Clayton, San Leandro resident.

"That's who we have all our miles with so it's hard to boycott them but you know, it's hard to respect them as well," said Sarah Yee, Mill Valley resident.

United's CEO is standing by his employees, thanking them for going above and beyond, but he believes some lessons can be learned from this experience.

The Department of Transportation is investigating whether united followed consumer protection regulations.

There is a movement online to boycott the airline, the topic is trending, some are coming up with fake slogans for the airline, it doesn't appear this is going away for the airline anytime soon.