With the entire free world slamming United Airlines for its treatment of a passenger who refused to give up his seat on Sunday night, the company's CEO has come out, issued a statement...
... and made the situation even worse.
First, it's worth revisiting the disturbing incident that has caused United to go negatively viral for the second time in just a few weeks:
Not long after United denied flight entry to a 10-year old girl in leggings, the airline overbooked a flight yesterday from Chicago to Louisville.
For some reason, it allowed all ticketed passengers to board, prior to offering $800 to anyone willing to change his or her plans and take a later flight.
After receiving no volunteers, United randomly chose four individuals... but one man still refused.
He said he was a doctor and he had patients scheduled for Monday morning and he simply could not reschedule these appointments.
But the airline wasn't having it.
Employees actually contacted members of the Chicago Police Department, who arrived on the scene and violently dragged the man off board.
Because this is 2017, the incident was captured on camera and the footage uploaded to Facebook, where it has been viewed close to one million times.
United spokesman Charlie Hobart told People Magazine soon afterward that the flight was overbooked and officials asked for volunteers to give up their seats.
Which we've been over already, of course.
This is (somehow) standard operating procedure for an airline.
But instead of increasing the amount of money offered to passengers until they had four actual, willful volunteers, United bloodied and bruised a man who had paid for his seat as cops dragged him off a plane to which he had every legal right.
“When we didn’t get the number of volunteers we needed then we had to follow Department of Transportation procedures and ask that customers, four of them, exit the aircraft,” Hobart said, adding:
"One customer refused to do that after we had explained the situation and apologized and let that customer know what we were gonna do on his behalf to get that customer to where he needed to be.
"He still refused, at which point we had to involve the Chicago Police Department."
United CEO Oscar Munoz has since issued a statement of his own via Twitter, one that makes the airline look even more insensitive.
“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United,” Munoz wrote.
“I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers."
"Our team is moving with the sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.
"We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve the situation.”
You want to address and resolve the situation, Mr. Munoz? We don't think talking will accomplish this goal.
Look for a lawsuit to be filed any day now and for the passenger to settle with United for a cool eight figures. At minimum.
In response to this unfortunate situation, a number of celebrities have jumped online to express their shock and consternation.
Among the most memorable Tweets so far:
Billy Eichner: Jet Blue’s new slogan – extra leg room and we won’t physically drag you down the aisle screaming in pain.
Joss Whedon: Getting on a United flight this morning. Excited to, I don’t know… stay on? For the comfort and safety of the other passengers, please remember we will be resorting to cannibalism BY GROUP NUMBER.
Chrissy Teigen: Cannot wait to use ‘i will re-accommodate your ass’ in my next fight.
Mark Cuban: This is appalling. Sickening to treat people in such a way. Definitely time to boycott #unitedAIRLINES.