The American man who forced crew members of an intercontinental United Airlines flight to prematurely land a plane will not be criminally charged for his actions.
The New Zealand Herald explains that the matter purportedly began on Sunday via Flight UA870 from Sydney from San Francisco when the passenger, a 42-year-old male, first complained about having to sit between two relatives of either Indian or Pakistani descent.
“He was sitting between two other gentlemen who were super friendly,” fellow United Airlines passenger Neil Kay conveyed to the publication. “And I think they were just saying [in their native language], ‘hey, can you pass me a pen’ to sign some of the arrival documents.”
That is when, according to Kay, the individual became suddenly incensed.
“He just got up and kind of started verbally accosting both of those fellow passengers,” Mr. Kay continued, “threatening them [by saying] if they said one word or looked at each other, there’d be something that could come from that.”
Two United Airlines employees then supposedly confronted the passenger to calm him down, but Mr. Kay says that only caused the rage-filled rider’s vitriol to be targeted toward them.
“He called them terrible homophobic slurs and they kind of left the situation,” he stated. “And the captain of the flight crew then stepped in, and just like the other individuals, tried to handle it very professionally and de-escalate the situation.”
Kay managed to capture part of the confrontation on his cellular device, and ultimately shared clips of it on his Twitter profile. He additionally relays that most of what he was able to film was a lot calmer than the supposed initial outburst, but as seen in the two videos that Kay posted, the tense nature was still quite evident.
Please be advised, Inquisitr readers, that the following videos contain strong language. Proceed with caution before playing them.
In the first clip, the alleged angry passenger is seen accosting a United Airlines stewardess.
“If you guys treat people right on these things,” he vents, “you [would] see two last names [that are] the same. Don’t put someone else in the middle of them.”
After presumably being told to lower his voice by the airline employee, the flyer fires back:
“I’m calm as can be. I’m not yelling at you. Do you want to hear me f***ing yell?”
Following a subsequent warning of having the plane landed to have law enforcement step in and handle the situation, the United Airlines passenger hurts more insults at the stewardess’ back as she walks away.
“Do you know how cool it would be to have the airplane turned around because of me,” he spews as the employee departs.
“You are going to do that? You do that! I’m being so impolite aren’t I, fat a**?”
In the next video, we see the verbal assailant being led away by police after the air vehicle lands in Auckland (the plane was said to initially have been near Tonka, another section of Australia, when the matter first occurred).
To help with the unplanned layover, United Airlines covered the costs of a one-night hotel stay for the remaining 252 passengers onboard the flight. They took once more early Monday morning.
As for the peeved-off passenger, he was denied proper entry into New Zealand due to his actions, and held in police custody until he was able to continue to his destination sometime after the second United Airlines fly-out. Spokespersons for New Zealand law officials did not definitively state their reasons for not charging him. Aviation expert Irene King told 1news in Australia that the disruption more than likely cost United Airlines around $150,000 to properly rectify.
[Featured Image by vandervliet93/iStock]