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United Continental ignited the wrath of social media on Monday after a dramatic video surfaced of enforcement officials physically removing a passenger from an overbooked flight.

In a video that began circulating late on Sunday, security guards can be seen dragging a passenger down the aisle of a packed flight departing from Chicago’s O’Hare international airport.

“United airlines overbooked the flight. They randomly selected people to kick off so their standby crew could have a seat,” said Audra Bridges in a Facebook post that accompanied the video.

The airline said on Twitter that “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave”.

The word “United” was trending on Twitter at 10am in New York.

Shares in United appeared unfazed by the controversy, which comes just weeks after the airline drew criticism for barring two girls who were flying on company passes from boarding because of their leggings.

The stock is trading 0.7 per cent higher at $71.37 in early trade.

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