In another instance of passenger mistreatment, a United Airlines worker allegedly shoved a 71-year-old passenger to the floor for seeking a reprinted boarding pass.
The traveler, grandfather Ronald Tigner, has filed a $1 million negligence lawsuit against United and two employees, including the man who allegedly pushed him, in the incident that occurred at Houston’s George Bush International Airport on July 21, 2015, but has only surfaced in the media today.
Tigner, 71, merely wanted to obtain a replacement boarding pass for one that TSA rejected because it was illegible when he got into an argument with a male United Airlines employee who allegedly shoved him.
“Two United employees…allegedly refused to help Tigner, laughing and cursing at him, the lawsuit states,” the Washington Post explained.
See the surveillance footage embedded below.
Tigner hit his head on the ground and was rendered unconscious, according to his lawyer. None of the United Airlines employees came to his assistance and just stood around. “They literally left him there like a piece of garbage,” Attorney William Hoke told KPRC TV Houston.
Another passenger, a nurse, ran over to help and asked United employees to call 911. The United Airlines worker failed to inform the dispatcher that Tigner was pushed to the floor and had passed out, KPRC added.
The customer service rep in question “was later charged with the felony crime of injury to an elderly individual, ordered to pay a fine, write a letter of apology, and attend anger-management classes,” KPRC noted
In a statement about the incident, United Airlines had this to say.
“We have seen the video from 2015 that shows completely unacceptable behavior by a United employee. This employee is no longer with our company. The conduct shown here does not reflect our values or our commitment to treat all of our customers with respect and dignity. We are taking a thorough look into what happened here and reaching out to our customer to profusely apologize for what occurred and to make this right.”
This is just the latest customer service, or disservice, issue for United Airlines. For example, a wheelchair-bound woman is suing the air carrier after a worker allegedly dropped her while helping her into her seat in the first-class section of the plane. According to Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA, the woman tore several muscles in her shoulder that now require a metal pin, and the wheelchair itself was damaged and is no longer usable. Medical bills totaled about $200,000. The incident also occurred at Bush Airport in Houston.
In another recent incident at the Houston hub, a classical violinist claims that a United gate agent got into a tug of war over a case containing a 17th-century violin that the musician was unwilling to check. She is contemplating a lawsuit against the airline.
In an April incident that went very, very viral, a doctor on an overbooked flight in Chicago was dragged off the plane as cell phone cameras recorded the whole thing. United subsequently apologized, changed its overbooking procedures, and entered into a confidential settlement with the doctor.
Watch a KPRC report about the elderly man allegedly shoved to the ground by the United Airlines employee.
[Featured Image by Julio Cortez/AP Images]