Passengers were allowed to board the flight, Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. United then offered $800 to volunteers, but no one accepted, and a manager picked four people at random, according to Bridges.
A number of videos which captured the encounter appeared on social media, where four passengers had been asked to voluntarily leave the aircraft because the flight had been overbooked.
Video circulating on Twitter shows the moment a man was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight Sunday night.
Bridges said on Facebook that the booted passenger didn't want to get off because he is a doctor who had to be at a hospital in the morning. After the man refused, United called security, who made a decision to get the man off the plane the hard way. Officers violently pulled him from his window seat and then down the aisle as passengers yelled at them to stop.
Another video shows him, still disheveled from the altercation, returning to the cabin, running to the back of the plane and repeating: "I have to go home".
Last month, the airline was accused of sexism after barring two teenage girls from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings.
"Everyone was shocked and appalled", Bridges told The Louisville Courier-Journal.
On Sunday, law enforcement officials forcibly removed a passenger from a United Airlines flight in Chicago. He said the airline was conducting a review and reaching out to the passenger to "further address and resolve this situation".
The airline eventually cleared everyone from the plane, Bridges said, and did not let them back on until the man was removed a second time - in a stretcher.
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The flight was operated for United under contract by Republic Airways Holdings Inc.
Overbooking flights then rebooking passengers to free up space is legal-the Department of Transportation has general guidelines about overbooked flights and how to compensate barred passengers.
Before yesterday's incident escalated, United reportedly asked for volunteers to give up their seats on the flight. Customers who are "involuntarily denied boarding" of an aircraft on domestic flights (even if they're already on the plane) are entitled to 200% of their one-way fare in compensation (no more than $675) in cash if their delay is more than one hour but less than two, according to a federal regulation. The men dragged him down the aisle, while someone screaming could be heard in the background.
On Monday, United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz apologized for "having to re-accommodate these customers".
'Good work, way to go, ' another passenger says derisively.
"Airline contracts of carriage state that seats are not guaranteed, and are written for the airline's convenience not the passengers", George Hobica, founder and president of Airfarewatchdog.com, said of US guidelines.
This article has been uddated to include a statement from the Chicago Police Department.
If you are voluntarily bumped, the DOT requires that the airline give them a "written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets on an oversold flight and who doesn't".
"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United".