A man and his fiancée’ who were traveling to Costa Rica from Texas were kicked off a United Airlines flight for supposedly ‘not following instructions to return to their designated seats’ on Saturday, April 14.
The couple, Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell, said they boarded United Airlines Flight 1737 following a brief layover at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. They have just departed from Salt Lake City with friends and were heading for Liberia in Costa Rica.
However, they saw another passenger slumped across their assigned seats. So as not to disturb the sleeping passenger, they decided to move to another seats in the same class.
“We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat,” Hohl narrated. “We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seats.”
When an attendant approached them and asked if they were in their assigned seats, they said no, and they requested an upgrade which was promptly denied.
They were then ordered to return to their assigned seats.
However, minutes later, US Marshalls agents boarded the plane and escorted them off the flight. But Hohl insisted he does not understand if there was any problem since they followed the instructions.
Nevertheless, he said, they calmly obeyed agents and got off the aircraft without incident.
“They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers,” Hohl added.
Not following instructions
But in a statement released by the United Airlines, it said the couple refused to follow the crew’s instructions.
“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,” said the statement. “We’ve been in touch with them and have rebooked them on flights tomorrow.”
Regardless of what happened, the couple said their wedding will push through in Costa Rica on Thursday, as scheduled.
The recent incident follows the controversy involving an Asian doctor who was forcibly dragged out of another United Airlines flight in Chicago last week. The episode was captured on video and has gone viral in social media; resulting into a massive backlash against the airline.