SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 2017
(All times reported in CST)
3:40 p.m.: Travelers scheduled for United Express Flight 3411 begin trickling through security at O'Hare International Airport for a 5:40 p.m. flight to Kentucky.
During the boarding process: United announces Flight 3411 has been overbooked. Flight attendants seek volunteers to give up their seats to accommodate United employees who planned on flying on to Louisville. The company offers the following to would-be volunteers:
- A $400 voucher
- An overnight hotel stay in Chicago
- And later to entice passengers to volunteer, an $800 voucher
When no one volunteers, the United manager boards the plane and announces passengers would be chosen at random to vacate their seats.
5:21 p.m.: Passenger Tyler Bridges, husband of Audra D. Bridges, posts a video on Twitter showing a removed passenger who somehow managed to get back on the plane. He is seen with blood on his face, running up the center aisle of the plane.
The unnamed passenger was removed again by police after expressing fears he might be harmed further, according to passengers on the plane.
6:30 p.m.: Passenger Audra D. Bridges posts video on Facebook, adding further context to her husband's video. Her video shows an attempt by an officer to forcibly remove passengers from the plane.
7:01 p.m.: Now an hour and a half past the scheduled time of departure, passenger Jayse D. Anspach, of Louisville, posts a video on Twitter showing the unknown passenger in Tyler Bridges' video being dragged off the plane by a Chicago Department of Aviation officer.
The unidentified passenger's face is bloodied in the incident, and other passengers can be heard protesting his violent removal from the plane.
7:21 p.m.: United Airlines Flight 3411 leaves O'Hare, 2 hours and 2 minutes later than scheduled.
9:01 p.m.: United Airlines Flight 3411 arrives at Louisville International Airport two hours later than scheduled.
Late Sunday evening: United Airlines issues the following statement to the media explaining what happened on Flight 3411:
"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. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities."
MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017
5:03 a.m.: A United Airlines employee begins directing complaints and inquiries for details about what happened to "authorities" via the company Twitter account, but is unclear about who media and customers should contact.
@btcdefender We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities. ^RD— United (@united) April 10, 2017
5:36 a.m.: Re-citing an official United Airlines statement provided to the media, employees who manage the company Twitter account begin to tell its customers that the incident only escalated after a customer refused to leave the flight.
@USAnonymous Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave ^MD— United (@united) April 10, 2017
11:27 a.m.: United CEO Oscar Munoz issues the following response to the media about what happened on United Express Flight 3411. It is also posted on Twitter, prompting an uproar from some social media users:
United CEO response to United Express Flight 3411. pic.twitter.com/rF5gNIvVd0— United (@united) April 10, 2017
Later Monday: The Chicago Department of Aviation issues its own statement regarding the security officer involved in removing passengers from United Express Flight 3411:
"The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department. That officer has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation."
Editor's Note: United Airlines Flight 3411 was not overbooked. Our early reporting on the incident involving Dr. Dao makes reference to the flight being oversold because that was initially believed to be the cause for the removal of passengers. It has since been learned that passengers, including Dr. Dao, were removed to make room for four crew members.