That didn't last long: couple says federal marshal kicks them off the plane

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by mre5765, Apr 17, 2017.  |  Print Topic

  1. mre5765

    mre5765 Silver Member

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    http://www.khou.com/news/local/bride-and-groom-booted-off-united-flight-in-houston/431644313

    The customers' side: a man was sleeping in their seats length wise, so they sat down in empty seats, which happened to be in E+ (exit row). FA told them to move. They did. Minutes later a FAM comes on board to kick them off.

    United's side: the customers continued to try to sit in E+ despite having an E- BP.

    No video means United wins the argument.

    If I had to judge from the report and my experience with CO, I'd say the truth was closer to customers' story. Regardless, Oscar promised no more police would drag customers out of a plane, and it didn't last. His literal words were not what he meant.
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    So the article actually does not say that. It includes this line:

    "Hohl said after complying with the flight attendant's demand, a U.S. Marshall came onto the plane and asked them to get off. "

    A Federal Air Marshal - FAM - is not the same as US. Marshall (sic).

    https://www.usmarshals.gov/

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Air_Marshal_Service

    I don't think either would be involved in removing passengers accused of stealing product from the airline from an airplane on the ground before departure.

    No video perhaps means no fellow passenger found the situation interesting enough to shoot a video. Perhaps because it didn't happen as described by the passengers taken off the flight?

    How often have you personally observed CO asking US Marshalls (sic) removing passengers of a plane after/during boarding?
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    When was the last time you got on a plane and someone was fully prostrate across 3 seats before the boarding door was closed?

    I also wonder if the FAs specifically told the pax those were paid seats and offered to take a CC from them for the up-charge.
     
    bmg42000 likes this.
  4. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Perhaps.. just perhaps the reason for no video was that airlines personnel handled it relatively quietly and efficiently and more importantly the couple in question did not kick up a stink bringing it to the attention of others around.
    What percentage of regular/infrequent flyers are aware that if C+ seats are still available on the plane that they cannot pay for it on the spot.

    What difference does it make whether it was a Federal Marshall,
    Marshall Fields or Brandon Marshall???... somebody with authority escorted them off, that's all that's relevant here.:rolleyes:
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Sure you can, at least on UA for E+. I've watched it happen to the seats next to me, losing lie-flat Y after boarding was complete.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It seems United says someone from United escorted them off the plane.

    If the passengers then claim it was a US Marshal, I have to wonder why they make it sound more dramatic than it apparently was. And if they make up one part of the story, I am less likely to believe any other part of the same story.
     
  7. mre5765

    mre5765 Silver Member

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    There are lots of news stories now about this saying lots of both intersecting and contradicting Reuters for example says the couple claims they asked to pay for an upgrade to E+ and were denied.

    The couple says the flight had lots of empty seats as did the flight the next day. I can believe a pax boarded earlier, determined the flight short on space was empty, asked an FA if he could take 3 seats, and got an OK from the FA.

    That UA let them fly the next day does suggest that whatever issue occurred on the ground was between pax and crew. IME, when an FA goes nuclear on a pax, ground operations will never overrule the FA and rarely take sides Instead, it will re-book the pax on the next available flight.
     
  8. The Lev
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    The Lev Silver Member

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    That is exactly what I do on a long haul flight if I'm lucky enough to have a row of empty Y seats when boarding is almost complete. That allows me to lay claim to "my" territory before somebody else decides that they want to move in to my row.

    Of course if pax board at the last minute with those seats reserved, I just sit up and resume my normal position. The benefit is that if nobody does have tohse seats reserved, people who float around looking for an enmpty seat beside them will go elsewhere rather than have the temerity to tell me to sit up so they can join me.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Right, but not mid-boarding. And it is much harder to do on a single-aisle.

    I generally leave a bag on the seat or stand in the aisle seat area rather than sprawl.
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I don't believe any FA would tell a passenger before boarding is complete that taking any random 3 seats is okay.

    IME FAs don't go nuclear on a pax. It has literally never happened in 1.5M miles. So if you think your experience is in any way scientifically and statistically representative, I just don't believe that.
     
  11. mre5765

    mre5765 Silver Member

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    OK.

    It happens far more often in my experience, and altercations are frequently reported on web sites like this and bloggers. One incident that sticks in my mind was several years ago, YEG/DEN. I remember it because a few hours before boarding the flight, I said good bye to my dad before he died. I just wanted to drink myself into oblivion, and a FA was bound and determined to make it a miserable experience. A pax in 1A was in the process of getting some magazines out of his carry on before putting it in the overhead. It was obvious this wasn't his first rodeo; he did get upgraded after all. A FA came by and told him to put his carry on in the overhead. He politely told her he was in the process of doing so. Things then escalated from there, and she threatened to have him tossed off the plane.

    Another incident I knew of from the aftermath, was in the DEN UC, and a pax was on her mobile phone discussing how an FA kicked her off the plane because she accidentally left a mobile device on (iPod or iPad) and it started playing music. UA rebooked her on the next flight.

    In ORD, I had a tiny roller board that had been easily stowed in CRJ50s dozens of times, and the GA insisted on putting a green tag on. I told him no need, and he decided I need to be screamed at.

    I pretty much expect these incidents when I travel on UA, and do my best to avoid them by traveling as light as possible, boarding as early as possible, and paying for upgrades as often as possible.
     

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