Just days after United Airlines’ forcible removal of Dr. David Dao from a flight, a Utah couple stepped out and cried foul after the controversial airlines unfairly kicked them off their flight on the way to their wedding venue, reports say.
On Saturday afternoon, soon-to-be-wed Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell boarded United Airlines Flight 1737 headed from Houston to Costa Rica. The couple, who was ecstatic about the trip, was on their way to their wedding venue. Apparently, Hohl and Maxwell, along with their friends, were traveling from Salt Lake City and had a layover at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
According to reports, the couple was the last to board the United Airlines plane. On their way to their assigned seats 24 B and C, Hohl and Maxwell noticed a male passenger spread across their seats, napping. Not wanting to disturb the sleeping man, the couple decided to move three rows up, seats 21 B and C. Hohl assumed that it’s no big deal, especially since the flight was half full and has multiple empty rows, reports say.
“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.”
However, it was revealed that in a Boeing 737-800 plane, United Airlines considers row 21 as an “economy plus,” which technically means an upgrade. Unaware of such rule, the Utah couple sat on the upgraded seats, only to be approached by a flight attendant.
According to Hohl, a United Airlines flight attendant questioned them if they were in their ticketed seats. The couple pointed out their reasons for taking unassigned seats and requested to get an upgrade to avoid any conflict. However, their request was denied and was asked to return to their original seats instead.
Hohl and Maxwell reportedly complied to the flight attendant’s demand but a U.S. Marshall came shortly, asking them to get off the plane. According to sources, the couple cooperated with the officials and deboarded the United Airlines plane without any incident. However, the couple remains puzzled as to why exactly they were booted out.
“They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers,” Hohl revealed.
“I think customer service and the airlines has gone real downhill. The way United Airlines handled this was really absurd.”
Addressing the said incident, United Airlines released a statement claiming that the passengers persistently tried to occupy upgraded seats despite orders from the airline staff.
“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. They were asked to leave the plane by our staff and complied. We offered them a discounted hotel rate for last evening and rebooked them on a flight this morning.”
To compensate for the inconvenience, United Airlines reportedly rebooked the couple on a different flight the next day. However, the groom claimed that the company made “inconsistent promises about hotels and transportation to hotels,” reports reveal.
Fortunately, despite the unexpected delay, Hohl and Maxwell’s wedding will still go as planned on Thursday.
Recently, United Airlines faced a backlash from passengers and the public following the controversial incident with Dr. David Dao. It can be recalled that the Vietnamese physician was violently dragged from his seat to give space for the airline’s crew members. The 69-year-old doctor reportedly incurred a “significant” concussion, a broken nose, sinus injury and lost two front teeth. It was also reported that Dao will most likely sue United Airlines.
[Featured Image by Tim Boyle/Getty Images]