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photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 12 April 2017

Passenger Forcibly Removed from Overbooked Flight

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • go viral: to be viewed online by many people
  • disembark: to get off a vehicle such as a plane or train
  • aviation: the industry of air travel
  • aisle: the hallway between sets of seating
  • boycott: to avoid a product or company due to its decisions or behaviour

Passenger Forcibly Removed from Overbooked Flight

Video footage of a United Airlines passenger being forcibly removed from a plane has gone viral. On April 9, four were randomly selected to disembark from a United plane in to make room for crew members from a partner airline. One of the passengers, a doctor who said he had patients to get to, refused to leave the plane. Chicago aviation officers boarded the plane, pulled the passenger out of his seat, and him down the aisle of the plane on his back. After viewing the video footage and seeing the bloodied face of the passenger, many travellers said they would boycott the airline.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why did four people have to give up their seats?
  2. Who refused to leave the plane?
  3. What did security officers do?

Discussion Questions: Airlines routinely sell more tickets than they have seats. They hope that some travellers will not show up for their flight. Should airlines be legally allowed to do this? Why or why not?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

3 Comments on Passenger Forcibly Removed from Overbooked Flight

  1. Donald Duck says:

    I am very angry at United Airlines because they removed a paying customer with a ticket from the plane. They should have removed partner company’s crew to another flight, instead of the passengers. This behaviour is shameful to this company and I’m not surprised if passengers didn’t choose this company anymore. The doctor should get compensations from the Airline and also the company should apologise for what happened. They should also make sure that this kind of incident would not happen again.
    If I was a passenger on that plane, I would have been afraid of violence. I would not use that Airline again. I hope also that the other 3 removed passengers got compensation for the ticket price.

  2. José Luis Luna says:

    Airlines in general,have been changing their rules and regulations for some time now, and have been doing so slowly and quietly. It seems today is all about money. I remember when airlines were a lot more responsible to their passengers. Let me explain; what happened when a flight was delayed for a long time? They would feed the passengers, whether was breakfast, lunch or dinner. They would even put them in hotels, if such a delay, forced them overnight. I myself received that treatment once, when flying México- Madrid vía Miami. Aeromexico’s flight had some mechanical failure in Miami and we were asked to wait in the boarding lounge, it was about midday, and after some hours went by they offered us box lunches, at about 8 o’clock at night we boarded the plane although, after a couple of hours we returned to Miami, so they sent us to hotels including dinner and breakfast next day. Quite a difference to today when specially United charges you for carrying your baggage. Do they seriously expect you to travel without baggage?

  3. Bijan says:

    Dear Tara,

    It is very strange for me that United Airline wants to remove a passenger who has a ticket.
    Why should United Airline sell more tickets than they have seat?

    I am sorry for the bloodied face of the passenger.

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