Come on, United Airlines. You have to get your act together.
Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell were preparing for their flight to their destination wedding when disaster hit. The two were flying from Salt Lake City to Costa Rica, but had a layover at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, according to KHOU. Disaster didn’t come in the form of a storm or a flight delay. Instead, they were simply kicked off of the plane for being in the wrong seats.
The problem began when the bride and groom-to-be boarded their United Airlines plane. A man was sleeping over both of their seats, 24B and C respectively. Instead of waking the stranger up, Hohl and Maxwell moved up a few rows and sat in seats 21B and C. The plane was only about half full, so they didn’t think there would be a huge problem in the seating arrangements. They were the last to board the plane, so it wasn’t like anyone really claimed those seats, right?
“We thought, ‘Not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump into a first-class seat,” said Hohl. “We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
According to United Airlines, Row 21 is considered “economy plus,” which is an upgraded version of their original seats.
Shortly after sitting down, a flight attendant asked if they were in their assigned seats, to which the couple explained their situation. When they asked if they could simply get an upgrade, they were told to return to their assigned seats. The couple complied with the airline, but a U.S. Marshall then came on the plane and removed them from the flight.
Despite following orders and cooperating, we’re all having trouble understanding why they had to be kicked off entirely.
“They said we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of other customers,” said Hohl. United Airlines allegedly claims that the couple asked to be upgraded “repeatedly” and they “wouldn’t follow crew instructions.”
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The airline later released an official statement on Saturday:
We’re disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that doesn’t measure up to their expectations. 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
With all the heat on United Airlines lately, I think they need someone new on the PR team and on customer service. Hohl later stated that they wouldn’t be flying with the airline again.
Luckily for the bride and groom, their wedding is still planned for Thursday. I wish them the best of luck!