A US airline is accused of kicking off passengers who paid the cheapest tickets in an attempt to reduce the weight of the aircraft.
United Airlines removed 20 people from the flight from Burlington to Washington, a passenger said.
The event was reported on Twitter by @brucepoontip who was onboard when the request was made.
“So uncomfortable with United Airlines removing families and older couples who bought cheap tickets. Sad frankly.” Bruce wrote.
“They start calling people up to take a long walk of shame through the crowd. To identify their luggage being taken off.”
Bruce, founder of travel company Gap Adventures in Toronto, said the airline threatened passengers again when no-one volunteered to leave.
“(Gate agent) said if we don’t get two more (volunteers to get off the flight)… I am going to get a list of the last people that checked in! All passengers sitting nervously!” Bruce said.
“Panic set in and no volunteers. She comes back on the mic and starts with names. These people will be asked to leave unless we get volunteers.”
Passengers were said to have eventually cooperated with the airline and the flight took off.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be tossed so normally I wouldn’t even pay attention! But the way they treated people just seemed accepted,” Bruce said.
“It’s funny, there is no anger really. People are embarrassed.”
United Airlines began tweeting shortly after Bruce’s comments and is said to be reviewing the incident.
United Airlines wrote: “This shouldn’t have happened. We are locating the correct station and gate no. and will address the issue today.