United Airlines has been taking a beating on social media, after video surfaced of a passenger being dragged off of an overbooked flight.
After the airline stated that passengers are sometimes asked to volunteer to give up their seats when there is an overbooking, the dictionary took to Twitter to question their use of the word “volunteer.”
Dictionary Merriam-Webster posted the definition of “volunteer” on its Twitter account to throw some shade at United Airlines, for an incident that was most assuredly not voluntary.
“Volunteer’ means “someone who does something without being forced to do it.”
📈'Volunteer' means “someone who does something without being forced to do it.” https://t.co/qNAcMyplhZ
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 11, 2017
The United Airlines staff repeatedly asked passengers to volunteer to leave the overbooked flight. When no one took them up on their offer, the airline choose to volunteer the passenger for removal, and deplaned him with enough force to leave him bloodied and scared.
After Merriam-Webster tweeted the definition of the word “volunteer,” the rest of the internet mercilessly piled on the airline.
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) April 11, 2017
— Lana Berry (@Lana) April 11, 2017
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) April 11, 2017
— John Treanor (@NewsTreanor) April 11, 2017
— Prasanto K Roy (@prasanto) April 11, 2017
@MerriamWebster 'Bout to start following a damn dictionary on Twitter.
— Ermahnerd on YouTube (@ErmahnerdStudio) April 11, 2017
— We Smokin Em All (@crazyhomebodygl) April 11, 2017
— Ron L Pitts™ (@RonLPitts) April 11, 2017
In a statement released on Twitter, United CEO Oscar Munoz called the event “upsetting” to the $18 billion company.
“I apologize for having to reaccomodate 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.”