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Flight 3411 fiasco: If you paid less, are you worth less?

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(Peter_Horvath/Getty Images)

The Internet is abuzz with footage of a passenger being forcibly removed from United Airlines flight 3411. The disturbing and shocking video, posted on "USA Today" shows a screaming man being dragged down the airplane aisle.

United was also recently embroiled in controversy for removing teens wearing leggings from a flight, stemming from their requirement that passengers related to airline staff to adhere to their dress code.

According to other passengers, the airline needed to free up four seats on the flight in order to ferry some of their flight crew to Louisville to work on a flight ot of the that airport the next day. However, no passengers volunteered to be removed from the plane, despite United offering $800 and a free night's stay in a local hotel in exchange for moving to a later flight.

Four passengers were then randomly selected by a computer to be removed. The man in the video was selected and would not comply, claiming he was a doctor who needed to go home to see patients, so he was dragged off by three officers.

On "Pure Opelka" Monday, Mike reported on his investigation into the company's handbook; on page 35 of the terms of service, Mike found that passengers can be "denied boarding involuntarily...in accordance with United Airlines' boarding priority." Boarding priority is given to those who "paid more," have a connecting flight, or obtain frequent flier status.

Mike stated "Overbooking should not be a permission to forcibly drag a passenger off the plane." Mike also noted that he has had "terrific" flights with United, but those who pay lower fares may face forced removal: "The low budget seat you got, apparently you can be bumped."

Mike went on to criticize the airline's mercenary approach to the situation, saying, "If you paid less, you're not worth as much to the airline."

A caller who claimed to have worked a decade ago in airline booking weighed in to say that overbooking isn't solely related to available seat. Depending on the conditions of that particular flight,  the caller said, "You can be 'overbooked' and there's 10 empty seats on that plane." Mike conceded this might be a valid safety concern if it applies to this scenario.

Later in the show, Mike went over the airline bump rules with trial lawyer Wendy Patrick. His conclusion? "You can be removed if you are related to either Adam or Eve."

To see more from Mike, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “Pure Opelka” weekdays 12-3 p.m. ET, 7–10 p.m. ET & Saturdays 6–9 a.m. ET, only on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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