United Airlines is already dealing with intense public backlash after a doctor was beaten, knocked out, and dragged off one of its plane for refusing to give up a seat he'd paid paid for because United wanted his seat for one of its employees. Now, the LA Times is reporting that another man, who'd purchased a full-fare first class ticket and was sitting is his seat on a United Flight, was threatened with handcuffs if he did't give up his seat for a "higher-priority" traveler.
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[Geoff Fearns] boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.
Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.
“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”
“I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” Fearns said. “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.”