The last time my wife and I flew, we flew United. That was the last time we'll fly United.

Last Fall my wife and I booked United Airlines to and from Las Vegas. It seemed to be a few bucks cheaper than our favorite, Southwest Airlines. We decided then we would never use United again.  The seats were extremely cramped, the service was not so friendly and the airline nickels and dimes you to death.

Seems "the friendly skies" airline has gotten even less friendly since.  Just ask the 69 year old medical doctor who was physically dragged from a United flight at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Sunday for refusing the give up the seat he paid for.

According to multiple witnesses who spoke with various media outlets, an airline supervisor entered the plane and offered passengers travel vouchers up to 800 dollars to give up their seats voluntarily.  Four United employees needed to ride that flight to Louisville. The official reportedly stated that the plane would not depart until four people got off.  The flight had been overbooked.  Another common problem with air travel these days.

Passengers say when no one volunteered to go, the official kicked a young couple off  the plane and then told the doctor that he would have to leave.  They say the man objected, insisting that he had patients to see in Louisville and had to get there.  Security goons were summoned and the man was brutally dragged from the plane after being bloodied in the process.   At least one eyewitness reported that the man appeared to be unconscious as he was dragged down the aisle by the wrists.  Reports indicate that one of the goons was suspended.

The airline released the following statement regarding the matter:

"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United.  I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.  Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened.  We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation."

Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines

I can't imagine ever wanting to do business with a company that treats it's customer base this way.  I hope you won't either.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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