Contract of Carriage Document | United Airlines. The Internet is ablaze with opinions about the viral video showing a passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight due to over booking. Everyone seems to think that the airline, while insane for treating a paid passenger badly, was within its strict legal rights to force the passenger to give up his seat. However, is that right? The Contract of Carriage for United, in Rule 25, provides remedies for "Denied Boarding". A plain reading of the Rule seems to say that a passenger can be "denied boarding involuntarily"; but, nowhere does it say that, once boarded, the passenger can be forcibly removed against his will. Unless the passenger has violated the terms of the contract of carriage, I would argue that, once boarded, he cannot be legally removed. The airline will argue that "boarding" doesn't occur until the plane takes off, and that it has the right to remove any passenger. However, the case law seems sparse on the issue. This is perhaps because these incidents are often settled before litigation. The lawyer in me thinks that the language of the contract is pretty plain. Of course, this is the stuff of which litigation is made. I suppose we shall see. In the meantime, United Airlines has some 'splaining to do.