Investors ‘Re-accommodate’ United’s Stock, Wiping $830 Million In Value After Dragging Passenger Off Plane

Shares in United Continental Holdings Inc. fell nearly 3.7% in morning trading on Tuesday, wiping about $830 million off its market capitalization after a disturbing video showing a bloodied United passenger who was dragged off a flight made headlines around the world on Monday.

In a note to employees on Monday, United’s CEO Oscar Munoz stood by the decision to ‘re-accommodate’ the passenger who refused to give up his seat on the overbooked flight so that a United employee could fly to the next destination. He wrote, “as you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.”

Passenger Audra Bridges, who uploaded a video of the incident to Facebook, told The Courier-Journal:

Passengers were told at the gate that the flight was overbooked and United, offering $400 and a hotel stay, was looking for one volunteer to take another flight to Louisville at 3 p.m. Monday. Passengers were allowed to board the flight, Bridges said, and once the flight was filled those on the plane were told that four people needed to give up their seats to stand-by United employees that needed to be in Louisville on Monday for a flight. Passengers were told that the flight would not take off until the United crew had seats, Bridges said, and the offer was increased to $800, but no one volunteered.

Then, she said, a manager came aboard the plane and said a computer would select four people to be taken off the flight. One couple was selected first and left the airplane, she said, before the man in the video was confronted.

In the video, the man can be seen nonviolently insisting that he needs to stay on the plane to go to work before being forcibly dragged out and bloodied.