A bride and groom traveling to Costa Rica for their wedding on Saturday were escorted off a United Airlines flight, almost one week after videos surfaced in which another passenger was forcibly removed from a United plane.
The engaged couple told KHOU.com that they were the last to board the plane when they noticed a man was spread across their row, row 24, napping. Not wanting to wake the man, they said they decided to take seats three rows up.
“We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat,” said Michael Hohl. “We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
That row was “Economy Plus” — an upgrade from their regular seats. When a flight attendant approached and asked if they were in their seats, the couple explained that they weren’t and asked for an upgrade, at which point they were told the return to their seats. Hohl said they complied, however a U.S. Marshal came to remove them from the flight.
The couple got off the plane without incident, but claim to not understand why.
“They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers,” said Hohl.
In a statement to TheWrap, a United spokesperson said, “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. They were asked to leave the plane by our staff and complied. We offered them a discounted hotel rate for last evening and rebooked them on a flight this morning.”
The statement continued, “no air marshal or authorities were involved. The passengers followed our crews’ instruction to leave the plane. The passengers were ticketed in Economy and attempted to move up to Economy Plus. They were offered the opportunity to pay the difference in fare, they declined, and would not follow crew member instructions to return to their assigned seats.”
This incident comes just six days after a man, identified as Dr. David Dao, was forcibly removed from a flight, leaving him bloody and disoriented. Videos of the event have gone viral, sparking outcry in the country.
United took “full responsibility” for the incident and promised to “make it right.”