Video Shows Officials Forcibly Removing Man on Overbooked United Airlines Flight

Flying the friendly skies.

United Airlines is under fire after footage emerged on social media Monday showing officials forcibly removing a man from an airplane bound for Louisville, Kentucky, by violently picking him up and dragging him down the aisle. The incident, which occurred at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, reportedly followed the airline’s routine attempt to solicit “volunteers” willing to give up their seats on an overbooked flight.

It’s unclear at this time who the officials worked for and whether they were employees of the airline or TSA.

Another passenger, Audra D. Bridges, shared a video of the hostile confrontation with the additional information that the passenger who was dragged down the aisle was a doctor who needed to get to a hospital in Louisville:

United Airlines confirmed the incident to NBC Charlotte with the following 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.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.