According to Mirror UK and Daily Mail a passenger was thrown off a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Houston for apparently asking a middle-eastern man if he was carrying a bomb. After the comment was made the passengers behind him recorded a video of what happened next, including the moment when a flight attendant asks the man and his young female companion.
In the video, fellow passengers engage the man in a conversation, and he’s clearly heard talking about ‘illegals…’ that need to be removed from the plane, quickly after which he was escorted out of the plane. I have to say that the manner in which the flight attendant asked the passenger out of the plane was respectful, yet firm. Additional comments of political nature were made by the passengers present. Those being put aside, I definitely applaud the way in which the flight crew handled the situation. It’s safe to say that with United’s Basic Economy rollout yesterday, this didn’t make much news. Still, it highlights what I consistently say (or maybe just hope) about the direction in which United is headed. Whether the improvements are happening quickly enough is yet to be seen. In any case, let’s not retract from the awesome flight crew who made a tough choice to ensure passengers’ comfort and chose to take a stand against racist remarks.
How do airlines decide when to kick someone off a flight
Airline contracts of carriage use vague terms such as “disorderly,” “offensive,” “abusive” and “intimidating,” to describe prohibited passenger behavior, trusting flight crew members’ judgement in making the decision to ask a passenger off a flight. Surely, the crew is not only thinking of what’s happening before the flight departs, but also what can potentially transpire with a problem passenger on-board at 35,000 feet in the air. In this case, this guy’s comments were certainly offensive, and obviously bothered everyone in the cabin, and not just the middle-eastern man he allegedly made the comments to.
In conclusion, we all know what’s acceptable behavior and chatter. Clearly this passenger wasn’t making himself any favors, and was rightfully thrown off the flight. The crew members made the right judgement call. More important that just this one incident, it’s decisions like these that renew customers’ trust in the airline. Hopefully, there is more and more reports of this nature moving forward.