Airline Travel

Wait, UNITED What?!

Watching the video once, twice or three times wasn’t enough.. I still couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. And I still don’t.

Yesterday, a United Airlines passenger was forcibly and violently removed from his seat causing him to injure his head, then dragged across the aisle in front of all the passengers watching in disbelief. Bleeding, injured and humiliated, you can clearly see the trauma and disbelief in this guys face. And yes, all this happened in the United States of America.

So what exactly was the reason for this traumatic event? You may even be asking yourself, what did the passenger do to get removed in such terrible way? Well apparently, United Airlines wanted to board 4 of its own employees in this Chicago to Louisville flight because they had to work another flight. As the flight was fully booked, they followed standard procedure and asked for volunteers and offered airline credit/vouchers. Since vouchers were offered up to $800 and no one volunteered, a manager randomly selected four volunteers to be removed from the flight so they could board their own employes. All the issue started once 2 of the passengers , a doctor and his wife, refused to get of the flight. It is still unclear for how long this went for but airport security was called and thats when all hell broke loose and blood was spilled.


United, in case you might have forgotten, this passenger is an actual human being. Passengers are more than just seat numbers, we breathe, we feel, we LIVE. Passengers which by the way have paid and have all the right to be in our seats. This doctor was a paying customer, who didn’t break any laws, was allowed to board and all he wanted was to go home and attend his patients. Why does he have to pay for an internal airline problem or what it seems to be a logistics problem?

The worst part is that I believe this situation could have been easily avoided and handled in a more appropriate matter. There are always other options, and violence towards a customer is never one of them. The award/voucher for volunteers could have been raised until a volunteer is found, the staff could have boarded another flight with United or a different airline or a different staff could have been arranged for that flight in Louisville.

Though I believe United is to blame for this event, I also believe the security guards abused their power and used excessive force. Though at the end I think the real concern here is the business mentality in America of putting profits before people.

As a traveler, mom of a young child and human being, it truly is scary and worrying to watch events like this unfold before our eyes. In a so called civilized world, there is no room for events like this. I am glad to see people uniting, boycotting and showing that we as a society will not tolerate events like this.

Disclaimer: The images on this post are not my own.

Claudia Zeeba Life

  • Victoria


    Omg yes I feel the same! The video is so scary and I can only imagine what it would have been like to witness it. This is unacceptable and I'm glad they lost $800 million today!

  • Stephanie Hedger


    Totally disturbing. Honestly could not believe the situation myself either, no could I believe the controversy that ensued. I have been reading a lot of stuff where people are victim blaming saying that this guy's past history wasn't great, as if that has anything to do with what happened. Pretty disgusting stuff from United all around. Recently, they also refused to let three young girls board their plane who were wearing yoga pants. They have lost a ton of money and business from these instances, so hopefully THAT changes their tune and they start treating people with more respect.

  • Samantha Elisabeth


    Yep, I was absolutely horrified when I saw the footage! I mean the whole leggings incident was eye roll inducing, but this was just incredibly inhumane! The fact that this man was bloodied so badly for refusing to leave his seat?! What disgusts me most too is the people who don't care and instead make jokes about taking advantage of United's poor PR so they get cheaper flights... really?

  • Suze


    I was so shocked by this whole situation, and I wonder why they didn't resolve it at the gate rather than when people were already on the plane. The CEO's initial response was very poor too, let's hope they learn lessons from this

  • Caitlin


    I was so shocked watching the video was will. It just seem unreal that they are allowed to do this to a paying customer. I don't think there is any other industry where they can get away with treating the customer like a criminal. I definitely think airlines need to change the way they do business.

  • Danik


    I couldnt believe this happened! It was totally bang out of order and I lost all respect for United Airlines. The customer service on this airline (and other companies I believe in the USA) needs a good sorting out. I have never seen this anywhere else in the world. :( Still digusted with this event even its been over three months :O

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Hi! I am Claudia Padgett from Zeebalife, a successful luxury travel and lifestyle influencer with a focus on digital marketing, advertising for luxury brands and content creation. During the past four years, I have been blessed to be able to not only make my dreams of traveling the world a reality, but also managed to become a voice of authority in the travel industry and throughout social media. LEARN MORE


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