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United CEO says upset by man dragged off plane

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CHICAGO (AP) - The CEO of United Airlines' parent company says the airline is conducting its own investigation after police dragged a passenger from an overbooked United plane after he refused to give up his seat.

United Continental Holdings Inc. CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement Monday that the incident late Sunday, which was caught on video, is "upsetting to all of us here at United."

United has said that the plane was overbooked and after fruitlessly asking for volunteers to leave the plane, employees selected four passengers at random to deplane. The airline requested law enforcement assistance when one man refused to leave.

Munoz says he is reaching out to that man to "talk directly" to him.

He apologized for having to "re-accommodate these customers" without elaborating.

The video shows the officers dragging the passenger down the aisle, as screaming can be heard.

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A man says a fellow passenger who was dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight protested to airline employees that he was a doctor who needed to see patients in the morning.

Passenger Tyler Bridges of Kentucky says that's apparently why the man didn't want to give up his seat on the Sunday evening flight from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. United asked for volunteers then chose passengers when none came forward. United said it called police when the man wouldn't deplane. A video taken by Bridges' wife shows three security officials grabbing the man from his seat and dragging him down the aisle.

Bridges said the flight took off without the man after a three-hour delay. Bridges said when the flight did depart a United employee apologized to passengers.

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A United Airlines spokesman says airline employees were "following the right procedures" when they called police who then dragged a man off a plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Charles Hobart says the employees were justified in calling law enforcement Sunday night to remove the man because the flight was overbooked and couldn't leave for Louisville, Kentucky, with too many passengers on board.

He said in an email that United employees had asked for volunteers and when none were forthcoming, four were selected to leave.

A video shot by another passenger shows the man being pulled across a seat and armrest and physically dragged from the plane.

Hobart says the man was removed by Chicago police but the police department says its officers were not involved. Officer Jose Estrada says the incident was handled by the city's aviation department police force.

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Video shows three security officials dragging a passenger from a United Airlines flight at a Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

The (Louisville) Courier-Journal reports (http://cjky.it/2oQtLIA ) a United representative confirmed Sunday night that a person was removed from Flight 3411 to Louisville, Kentucky, saying it was "overbooked."

Passenger Audra D. Bridges posted the video on Facebook. It shows the guards grabbing then dragging the passenger down the aisle. Screaming is heard and other passengers say "Oh my God" and "Look at what you did to him."

United said airline representatives chose four passengers at random when no volunteers agreed to leave the overbooked flight. They requested law enforcement assistance when one of them refused to leave.

Bridges says United asked for four passengers to relinquish their seats for airline employees on stand-by.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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