Did United Airlines strike again, or is it possible the latest bit of bad PR about a couple flying to their wedding wasn’t true?
“Here comes the bride” was not the tune playing for a Utah couple who were on a United Airlines flight headed to their wedding in Costa Rica when they were removed from the plane on Saturday.
The couple told KHOU-TV – a media outlet in Houston, Texas – they were boarding a United Airlines flight to from Houston to Liberia, Costa Rica, for their wedding when they were removed from the plane.
Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell – the couple who boarded a United Airlines flight with the plan of heading to their wedding – claims to have discovered a man lying across their assigned seats. The man was taking a nap. According to the couple, they didn’t want to wake the man, so they found seats a few rows up to sit in. Since Amber and her soon-to-be husband, Michael, were one of the last individuals to board the plane and there were tons of empty seats, they didn’t think switching seats would be a very big deal.
The couple flying to their wedding, however, didn’t realize they had moved up to Economy Plus seating, which was considered an upgrade. According to Michael Hohl, they were approached by a flight attendant shortly after they sat down and asked if they were sitting in their assigned seats. The couple explained to the United Airlines flight attendant that they were not and would be happy to upgrade. The flight attendant, however, asked the couple to return to their assigned seats. The couple claims to have returned to their seat, only to be approached by a U.S. Marshal, who removed them from the flight.
United Airlines, however, told the Huffington Post a slightly different version of what had happened in an official statement. Is it possible the couple flying to their wedding via United Airlines lied about what happened, or did the company really strike again? United Airlines claims the couple made several attempts to sit in upgraded seats and were not willing to pay for the upgrade upon request.
The official statement from United Airlines can be read below.
“The passengers were ticketed in Economy and attempted to move up to Economy Plus. They were offered the opportunity to pay the difference in fare, they declined, and would not follow crew member instructions to return to their assigned seats.”
The couple flying to their wedding claimed they didn’t know they were sitting in upgraded seating and offered to pay the difference. The airline, however, claims the couple made several attempts to sit in upgraded seating, refused to listen to flight crew members, and refused to pay for the upgraded seats. Did United Airlines strike again? Is it possible the company is lying to protect itself, or is it possible the couple flying to their wedding actually lied about what happened?
— Air Transport News (@AirTransportNew) April 17, 2017
While United Airlines claims the couple complied when they were removed from the plane, it was not a U.S. Marshall who removed them. It was just a member of the crew who asked them to get off the plane. United Airlines also revealed that they also offered the couple a discounted hotel rate in Houston and the option to re-book a new flight to Costa Rica on Monday morning.
Michael, the husband-to-be, claims the airlines has sugarcoated what happened and weren’t nearly as accommodating as they claimed to have been in the official statements they released to media outlets.
“[They] sugarcoated the whole thing, and didn’t really do anything for us. [They] gave us a post-it note on our ticket and said that we could come back tomorrow morning for another flight.”
This story follows a week of bad press for United Airlines after Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from one of their flights. Is it possible the couple lied about what happened, or is the company just trying to protect itself? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by David McNew/Getty Images]