United Airlines: Chinese and Vietnamese anger at passenger removal

Outrage has erupted on Chinese and Vietnamese social media over the removal of a passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight.

Videos posted online showed security officers dragging the man, who appears to be Asian, from the flight.

The man has not yet been identified. One eyewitness said he was a “Chinese American doctor”, while another said he was originally from Vietnam.

United Airlines apologised for “having to re-accommodate” the passengers.

A video taken by Audra Bridges, who was on board the flight from Chicago to Louisville, shows the visibly distressed man being hauled out of his seat. The video has been shared millions of times and photos of his bloodied face also spread quickly.

Reports said the flight was overbooked and so passengers were randomly selected by United Airlines and asked to leave the plane.

According to the New York Times, passenger Tyler Bridges said that the man had shouted: “I’m being selected because I’m Chinese”.

However a passenger who sat next to him told BBC Radio 5 Live that he said he was originally from Vietnam and had been living in Louisville, Kentucky, for about 20 years.

Ms Bridges in her post said: “This man is a doctor and [said he had] to be at the hospital in the morning. He did not want to get off.” She added that everyone on board was “shaky and so disgusted”.

Outraged passengers witnessing the unfolding events could also be heard in the background yelling and voicing their disgust.

Outrage over the controversial incident soon spread to the Chinese internet, where thousands of shocked and angry netizens took to China’s top micro-blogging site Sina Weibo to express their anger with the US airline.

The story tagged “United Airlines forcibly removes passenger from airplane” also shot to the top of the site’s trending charts, and was read more than 95.5m times.

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