United shares drop after passenger dragged off flight

Greg Nash

Shares of United Airlines’ parent company on Tuesday dropped by more than 3 percent after a video surfaced of a passenger being violently dragged off an overbooked flight.

CNBC reported the United Continental Holdings shares were the worst performer in the S&P 500. The drop Tuesday came after the stock rose nearly 1 percent Monday.

United came under public scrutiny on Monday after a video surfaced of a passenger being dragged of a plane by security officers. 

{mosads}“Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate,” a United spokesman said in a statement.

“We apologize for the overbook situation.”

Passengers had already boarded the flight when United asked for volunteers to take a flight the next day to make room for United staff members who needed to board the flight.

The airline first offered $400 in compensation and then $800. When none of the passengers volunteered, the airline randomly selected four passengers to leave.

The man seen in videos reportedly refused to leave because he is a doctor who needed to reach his destination to treat patients.

The head of United Airlines said in an email to employees Monday that the security guards who dragged the passenger from his seat were following “established procedures for dealing with situations like this.”

“As you will read, the situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact the Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this,” wrote Oscar Munoz, United’s CEO.

Munoz said the details of the incident are still being looked into, “especially with respect to why the customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did.”

The officer who dragged the passenger out of his seat has reportedly been placed on leave. 

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