United Airlines: Thousands sign ChineseLivesMatter petition as people cut up airline cards in mass boycott

Francesca Gillett

People around the world are cutting up their United Airlines loyalty cards in a mass boycott after a shocking video clip emerged showing a passenger being dragged down the aisle.

More than 50,000 people have so far signed a petition entitled Chinese Lives Matter calling for a US federal investigation into the airline following accusations of racism.

The passenger, who is thought to be a doctor, was pulled from his seat and hauled down the aisle by security staff after a flight from Chicago to Louisville had been overbooked.

An onlooker caught the whole incident on camera and the video has since gone viral with tens of thousands of people slamming the airline.

Passengers are boycotting the airline (David McNew/Getty Images)

The footage especially caused outcry among Chinese people, who called the airline staff racist after a witness reported the man was targeted because he was Chinese.

More than 50,000 people have since signed a petition which reads: “The passenger was shouting that he was chosen to leave the flight only because he is Chinese, according to the news report by the New York Times.

"We are calling the federal government to launch an investigation into this incident."

Racism accusations: A petition has been launched calling for an investigation into the United Airlines incident. (petitions.whitehouse.gov)

The hashtag #ChineseLivesMatter started being shared on Twitter and thousands more people in China expressed their outrage via social media site Weibo.

Some people shared photographs of their United Airlines card which they had cut into pieces.

Steven Reichert, who lives in Washington, said: “Cutting up my United frequent flyer card, and will NEVER EVER fly them again.”

Alexis Roos said on Twitter: “Dear #UnitedAirlines I just ‘re-accommodated’ my credit card.”

One Twitter user, who is based in Myanmar in south east Asia, said: “Just cancelled my credit card with United. Peace out.”

Another user CocoFu said on the social media site: “#BoycottUnitedAirlines Injured, blood on his face, this is what you called ‘re-accommodate’ hah?”

Someone else added: “I see you don’t want Asian passengers thank you so much for letting me know you are full of racists.”

In a letter to his employees leaked on Tuesday, the airline boss defended his staff’s action.

Boss Oscar Munoz blamed the passenger for becoming “more and more disruptive and belligerent”.

He said: “Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight.

“He repeatedly declined to leave.”

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes