Image shows United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao being forcibly removed
If the latest public relations snafu wasn’t enough, United Airlines is already back at it again. This time threatening another passenger with forcible removal from its plane, and he was actually a first class passenger.
The company is in hot water after a video of police and airline staff physically dragging a doctor off an overbooked flight a few days ago went insanely viral, and the company has lost over $1 billion in stock value so far.
In this new incident, a first class passenger named Geoff Fearns paid over $1000 for his ticket from Hawaii to California and was seated and awaiting the long journey.
That’s when he received the shock of a lifetime when United Airlines personnel informed him that he needs to get off the plane for a higher status member. According to LA Times:
Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.
Understandably he refused to get up, that’s when they threatened him with handcuffs and forcible removal.
That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute. They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.
After further resisting, he wasn’t kicked off the flight, but they did forced him to move into economy class, a middle seat no less.
I understand you might bump people because a flight is full, But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.
Fearns wrote a letter to United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz requesting a refund and a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choosing. They denied his requests and gave him a $500 credit to use on another United flight, and gave back the difference in price between his first class ticket and the economy seat.
Customer Service replied:
Despite the negative experience, we hope to have your continued support,” a” corporate customer care specialist Your business is especially important to us and we’ll do our utmost to make your future contacts with United satisfactory in every respect.
Fearns said he will never fly United again and is contemplating suing them for such blatant mistreatment.