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Posted: April 10, 2017

Man forcibly removed from flight after not voluntarily giving up seat on flight

Scott Olson/Getty Images
A United Airlines jet taxis at O'Hare International Airport on September 19, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

CHICAGO —

Another black eye for the airline industry after a flight crew had police remove a man who refused to voluntarily give up his seat on a flight.

United Airlines had overbooked the flight and had asked for four volunteers to give up their seats so other people could fly from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday, WHAS reported.

According to passengers, the seats were needed for airline personnel who needed to travel to be at work the next day.

The man refused, claiming he was a doctor and had to get home to see patients, The Telegraph reported.  

Flight crews called aviation police, who dragged him from his seat and down the aisle of the plane.

Additional video has come to light of the man bloodied after being removed from his seat.

Chicago police told NBC News that the man “became irate” after being chosen to give up his seat on overbooked flight and that police were called when he began raising his voice. 

Police said the man fell after they tried to carry him off of the flight. He apparently hit his face on an armrest, NBC News reported.

He was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries.

One of the officers involved in escorting the man from the flight has been reportedly placed on leave.

United Airlines gave WHAS this response to the incident:

“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.”

United Airlines has since posted a response on its Twitter page saying that they are reaching out to the passenger in question “address and resolve this situation.”

Passengers, before they boarded the flight Sunday, were offered $400 and a hotel room to willingly relinquish their seat to take a later flight scheduled for Monday, The Courier-Journal reported. When they boarded, they were told that four people would have to disembark and the offer was increased to $800. When no one volunteered, a computer randomly picked four passengers. A couple agreed to leave the flight, but the man in the video refused, , The Courier-Journal reported.  There is no word who the fourth person was or if he or she left the flight.

Last month, teens who boarded a flight wearing leggings were removed by United Airlines. Three girls were traveling on an employee pass and the airline said that it has a no-leggings policy for employees when using the pass. Two of the girls left the flight. A third, who was also wearing leggings, put a dress on over the tight-fitting pants and was allowed on the flight.

The headline of this story has been changed to reflect that the flight was not overbooked, according to United spokesman Jonathan Guerin.


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United Airlines kicks two girls off flight for wearing leggings

United Airlines agents forbade two teenage girls from boarding a flight to Minneapolis because they were wearing leggings, according to witnesses and The Washington Post.

A third girl would have been kept off the plane as well, but she put a dress on over her leggings and was then allowed to board.

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The three teens were traveling on a United Airlines employee pass. The airline said it has a no-leggings policy for employees using their benefits to fly. A spokesman for United Airlines contacted by The Washington Post told the paper that the girls in question were “not in compliance with our dress code policy for company benefit travel.”

The spokesman says leggings are prohibited clothing for those flyers using the employee travel benefit, but did not clarify further.

Another passenger aboard the flight tweeted United about the incident.

The post has gone viral, with many on social media critical of the policy, saying its wrong to police the teen’s attire and that leggings are comfortable travel wear.

Blind woman says she and service dog were booted from American Airlines flight

A blind woman claims she and her guide dog were asked to leave an American Airlines plane after an employee called her "a danger to the flight."

According to the Portland Press-Herald and WLBZ, Sue Martin, 61, of Franklin, Maine, was traveling to San Diego earlier this month when she tried to take a connecting flight with her husband and service dog from Washington, D.C., to Dallas.

After requesting a different seat, Sue Martin, who is blind, and her service dog were kicked off of an American https://t.co/ppgrmOzstc pic.twitter.com/kPJLvJra26— 9NEWS Denver (@9NEWS) March 15, 2017

Martin told the Press-Herald that the trouble began when she realized there was no room for her dog, a German shepherd named Quan, near her seat. She then asked a flight attendant and ticketing agent about switching seats or upgrading to first-class but was denied, the Press-Herald reported

>> Read more trending news

Martin thought the problem had been solved when a first-class passenger gave her his seat, but then an employee asked her to leave, she said.

"The man said, 'You have to leave the plane,'" Martin told WLBZ. "I asked him why and he said the crew had decided I was a danger to the flight. I've never had anything  happen like this before."

American Airlines said it is "thoroughly investigating these allegations" and takes "all disability complaints very seriously," WLBZ reported.

Read more here or here.

Woman allegedly kicked off flight because of revealing top

A Florida woman was kicked off a Spirit Airlines flight headed from New Orleans to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport on Sunday because "her bosom was too exposed," according to a witness.

 >> Read more trending stories  

In a phone interview with WPLG, the woman, who declined to identify herself, said she wasn't going public because of the money wasted on airfare, but rather because she was really embarrassed by what took place.

"It's not even about money. I was really embarrassed," she said.

A picture of the top the woman was wearing at the time was later shared.

Two people who said they were passengers on the flight sided with the woman and claimed Spirit Airlines was out of line.

Cathy Supp, a passenger on the flight, wrote about her perspective on the incident on Facebook.

"Spirit Airlines wrongfully ejected me from the plane after offering a tissue to a quietly sobbing young lady, who had been first accused of being drunk," Supp wrote. "After assuring all three flight attendants that although she and her companion had been finishing a beer before boarding but was not drunk and would be fine, they left her alone for a few minutes, then came back and said her bosom was too exposed."

Supp wrote that the airline said they had received complaints about the woman. 

"She tried to pull her top up further to cover more, each time another flight attendant came with the same issue, telling her in loud and rude tones that she'll have leave the plane if she can't get (her bosom) covered," Supp wrote. 

According to Supp, she was removed from the plane after standing up for the woman, who was also removed from the plane.  Supp said an off-duty Spirit Airlines crew member was put on the flight in one of the seats that became available, as the flight was previously full.

Another person who said he was on the flight next to the woman said that one flight attendant seemed to be looking for a confrontation. 

Bob Kowaleski commented on Supp's post, saying a "male steward seemed anxious to show his air muscle." He also accused the plane staff of treating the woman like a "street walker" and suggested the staff "brush up on sensitivity training."

Spirit Airlines Spokesman Paul Berry disputed that the woman was removed "because of cleavage." 

"Nobody was taken off a plane because of cleavage," Berry said. "People are taken off of planes because of their behavior."

He said the woman was intoxicated and while addressing that, the flight attendant said, "By the way, you might want to cover up."

"The flight attendant made that decision, and as she was leaving, she said, 'By the way, you might want to cover up.' It was more of a personal statement to her," Berry said.

Read more at WPLG.

I'm flying to Fort Lauderdale by way of Huston today8:30am - 5:00pm Because Spirit Airlines wrongfully ejected me from...Posted by Cathy Supp on Monday, January 30, 2017

 

'Goodbye racists': Pair kicked off plane after asking Pakistani couple if they had a bomb

A man and his companion were escorted off a United Airlines plane over the weekend after he made racist remarks to a Pakistani couple, according to multiple reports.

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The passengers, who were not identified, were traveling Saturday from Chicago to Houston when the man in question spotted a Pakistani man and woman dressed in traditional garb, KHOU reported. As the Pakistani pair put their bags into the bin above their seats, the man asked whether they had a bomb.

It appeared the pair didn't hear him, so he repeated the question.

"That's not a bomb in your bag, is it?" he asked, according to a woman on the flight who spoke to KHOU.

>> Related: Muslim family kicked off United Airlines flight for 'safety of flight'

The comment made at least three passengers uncomfortable enough to complain to flight attendants. Among them was the unidentified woman who spoke to KHOU and her boyfriend, who is Indian-American.

After they lodged their complaints, the man in question confronted them.

"(He) asked where my boyfriend was from (and) my boyfriend said, 'It's none of your business,'" the woman told KHOU. "At that point, he said all illegals and all foreigners need to leave the country."

In cellphone footage captured before the man and his companion were escorted from the flight, the man can be heard saying that all "illegals" need to "get out."

Seconds later, a flight attendant asks him to gather his belongings and get off the plane. His companion joins him, smiling sarcastically and occasionally waving a middle finger at the person recording the incident.

>> Related: Delta: Passengers kicked off plane for 'provocative behavior,' not for speaking Arabic

"Happy flight home," the man tells the person recording as he grabs a bag from an overhead bin. "I hope you stay there."

"Get out of here," a woman responds. "Racists aren't welcome in America. This is not Trump's America."

As the man waves, passengers can be heard cheering.

>> Related: Woman escorted off plane after berating Trump supporter

"Goodbye, racists," a woman says.

"Hey, I'll come back, but you'll be gone," the man responds.

United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin told The Washington Post the man and woman who were escorted off the plane were able to get on a later flight to Houston.

>> Related: Veteran claims she was kicked off flight because of her pit bull mix support dog

"We removed two passengers for making others feel uncomfortable on the flight and for saying some inappropriate things to customers on the flight," Guerin told the Post. "Most customers appreciate a place where they feel safe and where they're not going to be attacked, and we want to provide that."

 
 

 

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