PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – United Airlines says it needed more seats to fly four crew members to Louisville and that is why they removed a passenger from their flight.
The cell phone videos of officers forcibly dragging a passenger from his seat have caused a social media uproar. So, did they make the right call?
Aviation attorney Arthur Wolk says he read all 45 pages of United’s Contract of Carriage and he believes the airline violated its own contract.
“I want to assure United Airlines they had absolutely no right to remove that man from the airplane. Absolutely no right to forcibly remove him from an airplane. They’re in trouble.”
Wolk says the United incident reflects a general attitude some airlines have about their customers.
Because of consolidation and less competition, he says airlines have no incentives to treat customers fairly.
He says a lawsuit by the United passenger dragged from the plane may be a start.
“My advice would be make a change in the way passengers are treated, file your lawsuit. Financial recovery is secondary.”
According to Wolk, airlines can deny you a seat, but once you’re on board that’s a different story.
But, could that passenger be considered unruly?
“That would be a stretch. I would tell you that,” he said. “If they tried that case in front of a jury, they would lose 100 percent of the time.”