The hits just keep on coming for United Airlines. Last week the internet was aghast the video of Dr. David Dao being dragged off a United flight for failing to give up his seat to a crew member.
Now, in a month that has been riddled with multiple PR nightmares, another botched attempt at customer service has been reported.
A bride and groom were headed to Costa Rica for their wedding when they were kicked off of their United flight out of Houston on Saturday afternoon.
The incident began when groom Michael Hohl and bride Amber Maxwell noticed a man sleeping in the row where their seats were. The couple moved a few rows up, believing it wouldn’t be an issue because the flight was fairly empty.
But the couple had unwittingly chosen seats in Economy Plus.
From KHOU 11:
After sitting, Hohl said a flight attendant approached and asked if they were in their ticketed seats. The couple explained they weren’t and asked if they could get an upgrade, but instead they were told they needed to return to their assigned seats.
Hohl said after complying with the flight attendant’s demand, a U.S. Marshall came onto the plane and asked them to get off.
The couple cooperated and got off the plane without incident, but they still don’t understand why.
For its part, United Airlines issued this statement contradicting the couple’s claims:
“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. We’ve been in touch with them and have rebooked them on flights tomorrow.”
Regardless of which side is telling the truth, calling in a U.S. Marshall to remove the couple from the flight seems like a disproportionate response. From the facts both sides have presented, it appears that this particular event could have been defused fairly easily had United not gone to such drastic measures.
This situation bears similarities to the treatment of Dr. Dao by United earlier in the week. Both of these situations got out of hand due to United’s dramatic response to these incidents.
If United would like to begin repairing its relationship with customers, it could start by putting them first rather than calling in the police any time someone disagrees with an entitled flight attendant.
What do you think? Did United respond the right way this time? Which side of the story do you believe? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: KHOU 11