Chicago Aviation Security Overhaul after Man Dragged off United Flight
Chicago is overhauling their aviation security protocols after the viral incident involving an overbooked United flight.
Chicago is working to overhaul its security protocols after United Airlines asked to have a man removed from a flight. In the viral videos that followed, a man could be seen being forcefully removed from his seat and dragged down the aisle of the plane while passengers were visibly upset by the actions of O’Hara International Airports security team.
The airline realized, only after the plane had been fully boarded, that they needed to remove four passengers to make room for staff members that needed to arrive at the plane’s destination. When there were no volunteer passengers, United took it upon themselves to choose which passengers would need to get up from their seat.
Passenger David Dao was asked to give up his seat, but refused. That’s when United called in O’Hara International Airport security. It was the moments that followed that were captured on video and made viral all over the world.
Due to Dao’s refusal to get out of his seat, the security team decided to forcefully remove him from the chair and drag him off the flight. In doing so, they bloodied and wounded the man. It was determined at a later date that Dao had sustained injuries to his head, including a concussion, broken nose and loss of two front teeth.
Thee officers and a supervision involved in the incident were suspended after the city’s aviation department determined that they broke apart from standard procedures and failed to provide the respect that travelers deserve.
While the city continues to investigate the incident, the aviation department has outlined the steps it has taken to prevent a similar confrontation in the future:
- Neither Chicago police nor aviation security officers will be called to an aircraft for customer-service matters such as overbooking.
- Aviation security officers won’t board an aircraft unless there is an immediate medical emergency or physical threat. Chicago police will take the lead on disturbances aboard an aircraft.
- The department is hiring an international aviation security expert to conduct a comprehensive review of the security program currently in place at O’Hara International Airport to ensure best practices.