United Airlines has responded to allegations from an engaged couple who said they were kicked off a fight on the way to their own wedding on April 15. The couple and the company’s stories are conflicting, with United stating that some of their claims aren’t true. Read the statement here!
Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell, the bride and groom heading to their wedding in Costa Rica from Houston, told local KHOU that the flight crew removed them from the plane after they attempted to sit in upgraded seats, despite the fact that they allegedly asked to pay for the upgrade.
As Michael told the news station, he and his fiancée were the last to board the plane, and discovered a man spread out over their entire row napping. Not wanting to wake them, they decided to try moving to another row, as the plane was reportedly half empty. “We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat,” said Michael. “We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
But, according to Michael, a flight attendant approached them and asked if they were in their ticketed seats. When they asked if they could upgrade, she allegedly denied them, and told them to move back. Michael said that they did go back to their seats, but a U.S. Marshall still came onto the plane and removed them. What “They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers,” Michael told KHOU.
United responded with a statement, saying that the incident did happen, but just a little differently than the couple described, most notably that neither a marshal nor other authorities were involved in removing Amber and Michael from the plane:
“We’re disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that doesn’t measure up to their expectations,” United said in a statement. “These passengers repeatedly attempted to sit in upgraded seating which they did not purchase and they would not follow crew instructions to return to their assigned seats. They were asked to leave the plane by our staff and complied. We offered them a discounted hotel rate for last evening and rebooked them on a flight this morning.”
United’s statement that authorities weren’t involved in the couple’s situation is especially important after CEO Oscar Munoz promised that the airline would no longer use outside force to remove customers from their planes. This rule came, of course, after Dr. David Dao was dragged injured and bleeding off an overbooked flight in Chicago a week prior because he wouldn’t give up his seat. The act of brutality left him with a concussion, a broken nose, and broken teeth.
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked that United removed the couple from their flight? Tell us in the comments.