- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

United Airlines, rightly so, is facing a public relations nightmare after video surfaced of three uniformed security goons dragging a passenger — a doctor reportedly flying to a patient — from his seat, down the aisle and, a la communist policing style, to God Knows Where, at least in the eyes of the shocked remaining passengers.

Social media’s alive with critics, some who’ve gone the humorous route.

“Normal flights have cabin crews,” tweeted one, in reference to United’s apparent benefits to passengers. “We have bouncers.”

Another: “We put the hospital into hospitality.”

And this: “Board as a doctor, leave as a patient.”

Or this: “#NewUnitedAirlinesMottos Would you like a neck pillow? Or a neck brace?”

Here’s a crowd favorite: “#NewUnitedAirlinesMottos We have an offer you can’t refuse. No really.”

Another: “If we can’t seat you, we will beat you #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos.”

And one more: “You carry on, we carry off #NewUnitedAirlinesMottos.”

United hasn’t exactly helped its cause.

In a statement to the press post-physician removal, a company spokesperson said: “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overlooked. After out team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come t the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities.”

Umm, sorry United. But physically ejecting a man from his seat, dragging him down a crowded airplane aisle with his shirt pulled so that his bare chest is revealed, is not, as you put it, an “overbook situation.”

It’s an assault.

And then there was this, from Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United: “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.”

Hey, Munoz — watch the video. That’ll give all the detailed view enough of what happened. And here’s a clue, moving forward: Quit calling the physical ousting of a paying airplane passenger a re-accommodation.

That’s not going to win any brownie points with those who are simply looking to fly some friendly skies, and not be yanked from their seats and carted like a criminal down the aisle — all because of an annoying airline overbooking error.

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