On April 9th, a United Airlines’ flight was scheduled to depart the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and land in Louisville, Kentucky just before 6:00 P.M. according to the New York Times. However, an unexpected turn of events shifted this orthodox event into something that has drastically impacted the airline industry.
United Airlines asked four passengers on this flight to graciously forgo their current seats in return for monetary compensation and alternative flight arrangements. United requested this of their guests so they could make space on the sold-out flight for four United employees so that they would land in time to catch their next connecting flight in Kentucky. As the money offer went up, still no passenger offered to give up their paid seat for the employees.
In an attempt to find a reasonable solution, administration decided to choose four seats at random to be displaced from the flight. While the one couple agreed without much confrontation, another man found himself in a less favorable situation. Dragged out of his seat by United Airline security, an anonymous, elderly man was forcefully removed from his position. Attendants pulled the man by his limbs down the aisle in an unethical attempt to create fairness.
While the man cried for help, the remaining guests gawked in awe. Many had their phones out, recording the event. Others were speaking out on the abrasive maneuvers that the employees took.
In attempts to backtrack their actions and makeup for what they did, United Airlines apologized for the brash behaviors of their company. However, their competitors took advantage of the downfall on this popular airline. Slogans like “We beat our competitors. Not you.” and memes revolving around Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club have emerged on the internet.
The days to come will show how drastically sales for United Airlines will be affected and how much the airline company in general will suffer from their current situation.