It happened again, but thankfully nowhere near as violent as the last one.
Air marshalls booted two passengers off a plane who were, according to the airline, a “hazard.” The couple got on the plane heading to their wedding, and when they got to their seats, they found another passenger sleeping. Rather than waking that passenger, they just sat in another row. The airline asked them to move back to their assigned seats, since they sat in an “upgrade” row that costs more than what they paid for. The couple says they moved back, and then were kicked off a few minutes later by an air marshall. They were booked onto a later flight to Costa Rica, and made their wedding in time. That’s their story.
The airline’s story is that the couple refused to move back to the seats they paid for, repeatedly sitting in upgraded seats. They were removed from the flight for not following direction, and re-booked on a flight for the next day. Details are sketchy still, but maybe we’ll see some cell phone video come to light soon and figure out what exactly happened.
Oh, and speaking of United Airlines, ANOTHER man was booted from his seat to make room for someone “more important.” According to CBS LA, Geoff Fearns says he was already seated, buckled and sipping orange juice in his first class seat when a flight attendant came up to him and asked him to leave the plane, because they needed his seat for someone “higher on the priority list” than him, and then threatened to have security come escort him off the plane. Despite the employee saying the flight was overbooked, he was placed in an empty middle seat in economy, and was able to get home while someone of “more importance” was in his first class seat.
We think a full review of seating rules coming out of the United Airlines camp pretty soon, and it seems, at least according to a frequent United-flier in that last article, that “they get really nasty about this stuff” (seating/re-seating).