After United Airlines sparked worldwide outrage Monday due to the forcible removal of a passenger, the company revealed that the flight was not actually overbooked.
A United spokesperson told USA Today Tuesday that while all 70 seats on the plane were indeed filled, the decision to remove four passengers was made to accommodate crew members who were “needed” in Louisville, Ky. the following day.
Three of the passengers agreed to leave the plane, but one refused, prompting United to call aviation officials to assist with his removal. The officials forcibly dragged him down the plane’s aisle while he screamed in protest. He suffered injuries as a result of the confrontation, which sparked widespread backlash on social media.
“I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight, and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement on Tuesday — his second following a statement on Monday that many observers felt was tone-deaf.