Last week, the nation was swept by a controversial video showing a United Airlines passenger being physically removed from his seat and dragged down the aisle by security personnel, all because the airline said they had overbooked their flight.
In the wake of the incident, United CEO Oscar Munoz and his company got obliterated on social media for not only allowing this to happen but also because he praised his team for going “above and beyond” handling the incident.
With the spotlight being on the company, one would think they would attempt to keep a low profile. However, a Utah couple just said they were kicked off a United flight as they were headed to their wedding.
On Saturday, Michael Hohl and his fiancée, Amber Maxwell, were traveling from Houston to Costa Rica for their Thursday wedding when the couple noticed that a man was snoozing in their assigned seat.
According to the couple, who spoke with KHOU news, since the flight was only half booked, they let the man sleep and decided to find some empty seats.
Hohl told the local news station:
“We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat. We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
That said, the row they did land on was technically considered United's “economy plus” seating.
When the flight attendant asked the soon-to-be-newlyweds for their ticket to see if they were supposed to be sitting there, Hohl told them that they were not, but asked if they could upgrade their seats.
The flight attendant reportedly told him they could not and told them to go back to their assigned seats. Hohl said they complied, but then a U.S. Marshall was summoned aboard the flight and told the couple they had to get off the plane.
According to Hohl:
“They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers.”
Hohl and his fiancée left the flight after the request and rebooked another flight for the following morning. However, just because Hohl was compliant don't mean he wasn't upset with how they handled the situation:
“I think customer service and the airlines has gone real downhill. The way United Airlines handled this was really absurd.”
He added that the whole ordeal was “quite strange”:
In response to the situation, United provided a statement:
We’re disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that doesn’t measure up to their expectations. These passengers repeatedly attempted to sit in upgraded seating which they did not purchase and they would not follow crew instructions to return to their assigned seats. We’ve been in touch with them and have rebooked them on flights tomorrow.
While there are usually multiple sides to every story, according to Hohl, this will be the last time he flies United.