United Airlines reportedly removed a passenger from a flight for taking pictures. A travel blogger has shared his story, claiming that airline staff wrongfully removed him from the plane for taking pictures.
The passenger, Matthew, was scheduled on a United Airlines flight from Newark to Istanbul. Part of his job as a travel blogger is to document airline amenities. Matthew took a picture of a seat in an attempt to document recent structural changes in the plane.
As discussed in his blog, a flight attendant approached Matthew and asked him to refrain from taking pictures per United regulations. The flight attendant referred to an excerpt in the airline’s Hemispheres magazine, discussing prohibited photography. The excerpt in the magazine was taken from United Air Lines, Inc.’s Contract of Carriage:
“Unauthorized photography or audio or video recording of any airline personnel, aircraft equipment or procedures is always prohibited.”
Matthew reportedly stopped taking pictures immediately. Disturbed by the incident, he felt compelled to explain his position to the flight attendant:
“I want you to understand why I was taking pictures. I hope you didn’t think I was a terrorist. Here is my business card [offering her one]. I write about United Airlines on an almost-daily basis and the folks at United in Chicago are even aware of my blog.”
The flight attendant appeared to accept his explanation, but moments later Matthew was approached by a Global Services representative and was asked to leave the plane.
The representative explained that the pilot was uncomfortable with Matthew remaining on the flight. Confused, Matthew asked to speak with the captain. The captain confirmed that Matthew was being asked to leave for refusal to follow instructions. The flight attendant reportedly told the captain that Matthew continued taking pictures when asked to stop. United Airlines apparently removed him from the plane for taking pictures.
Matthew denies the allegations and states that he was not only inconvenienced when removed from the flight, he was humiliated as well. He blames the flight attendant for “lying” and creating a scene over a picture of an empty seat.
United Airlines has not issued a public statement related to removing the passenger for taking pictures, but Matthew has forwarded them a copy of his complaint.