An elderly passenger wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was kicked off a United Airlines flight on Sunday after allegedly taking seats that other people had paid for and refusing to move. The purported Donald Trump supporter’s antics led to the international flight being delayed for several hours, and all the passengers had to deplane.
Photos and videos taken by other United Airlines passengers on the Shanghai to Newark, New Jersey flight show the man causing a commotion and jeering at his fellow passengers. A man whose father was on the flight with the disruptive senior told NBC Bay Area that the man began acting up after he asked to be bumped to first class but was denied.
He then reportedly walked to the rear of the plane and blocked other passengers from getting into the other seats in his row. According to WESH, the United Airlines passenger refused to move or comply with instructions from the crew for the next two hours.
In a statement to Fox News, a United Airlines spokesperson confirmed the incident, which took place aboard United Flight 87 at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
“While boarding United flight 87, from Shanghai to Newark, a customer refused to comply with crew member instructions and became increasingly disruptive when asked to deplane the aircraft.”
“For safety and security reasons, local law enforcement was called to assist and the customer eventually left the aircraft on his own accord,” the representative added.
Man Being Removed From a United Airlines Flight Reportedly Dared Security to ‘Drag Him Off the Plane’ https://t.co/p5P7gDjD0e
— People Magazine (@people) May 22, 2017
But before the man made his way off the United Airlines flight, he berated and threw insults at his fellow agitated passengers. Clark Gredoña, who was also a passenger on United flight 87, reported that the belligerent man yelled “Hillary” and “lesbian” at one passenger before he exited the plane.
Gredoña wrote an account of the United Airlines flight 87 incident on Facebook.
“He insists that, because he couldn’t get an upgrade, he’s entitled to all three seats next to him even though they’re assigned to somebody else.”
One video from the flight shows the passenger actually yelling “I am entitled to that seat” before he insults another passenger for not being able to speak English.
This guy has been delaying my wife's Shanghai to EWR United flt this a.m.. He wants to be dragged off so he can get his 25 million. MAGA hat pic.twitter.com/xWRSmpinpM
— Daniel O'Connell (@DanOfromNYC) May 21, 2017
Gredoña wrote that the flight captain, various crew members, and airport staff approached the man, but he threatened that they would have to drag him off the plane. After a while, the other passengers reportedly began standing up and urging the man to leave. According to Gredoña, when the police finally came to confront the passenger, the rest of the flight applauded.
“Crowd is really giving it to him. In English and in Chinese. Some people are really funny.”
Unfortunately, everyone on board was asked to deplane along with the man with the MAGA hat.
“Haven’t reboa[r]ded, but he is finally escorted off the plane. Crowd is pissed and chanting ‘Lock him up.'”
“Lock her up” was a popular chant during Donald Trump campaign rallies in 2016. It was targeted at then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was Trump’s chief rival for the presidency.
— Clark Gredona (@clark_gredona) May 21, 2017
The delay caused by the troublesome senior forced the pilot of United Airlines flight 87 to make an unscheduled stop in San Francisco so that the crew from Shanghai could be relieved by a new one. The weary travelers aboard the United Airlines flight reportedly arrived in New Jersey past 2 a.m. on Monday, an additional 8 hours tacked onto their travel time.
“Unclear if the guy was eventually arrested, but gossip amongst the passengers is that Chinese police did not want to create an international incident on the plane, so rather than arrest him on the plane, they waited the man to deplane as they had jurisdiction inside of the airport.”
“Props to the United 87 crew for handling it professionally,” Gredoña wrote.
— Daniel O'Connell (@DanOfromNYC) May 21, 2017
United Airlines appears to have managed this incident much better than the infamous one in April, in which a 69-year-old doctor was violently removed from an overbooked flight. As the Inquisitr reported at the time, David Dao, who was traveling with his wife, refused to give up his seat after he was randomly selected to get bumped off United Airlines flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. Dao was ripped off his seat and dragged off the plane. He suffered a concussion, broke his nose, and lost his two front teeth in the process.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]