United Airlines removes engaged couple over seating dispute

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Texas [United States], April 17 (ANI): United Airlines, which faced intense backlash for violently dragging off a passenger due to flight being overbooked, is yet again in news for removing an engaged couple enroute to Costa Rica over a seating dispute. Michael Hohl and his fiancee Amber Maxwell alleged that a federal marshal escorted them from the plane before take-off in Houston, Texas. However, the airlines has denied the allegations made by the couple and said that neither a marshal nor any other authorities were involved in it. "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." local U.S. media quoted the airlines saying in a statement. The couple said that they moved to empty seats after seeing another passenger asleep and sprawled across their seats. The couple picked the seats in the economy cabin a few row up as they were the last to board the flight. Asserting that they were not trying to jump up into a first-class seat, Hohl said that they had just moved in an economy row a few rows above their economy seat. He claimed that they had offered to pay for the upgraded seating after finding out that these seats were classified as economy plus but the airlines refused and told them to move back to their original seats. Later, a spokeswoman of the airlines said that they had offered the couple a discounted hotel rate for the night, and rebooked them on another flight. Describing the situation as quite strange, Hohl said they will not be flying in the United Airlines again. This comes after the United Airlines had earlier announced to compensate all passengers on the flight in which 69-year-old Dr David Daowas was forcibly removed from his seat after refusing to give up his seat in an overbooked flight. According to CNN, Dr Daowas plans to file a lawsuit against the company. United Airlines spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said the passengers could take the compensation in cash, travel credits or miles. Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, in an interview to a local news channel, had said that he felt ashamed of the incident and promised to review the airline's passenger-removal policy. The passenger was forcibly removed from the Louisville, Kentucky-bound United flight 3411 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, CNN reported. The incident has created a major publicity nightmare for United Airlines and the internet is showing no mercy as well. Several passengers recorded the incident on their phones and posted videos on social media showing three Chicago Department of Aviation security officers dragging the man down the aisle by the arms and legs while other passengers shout in protest. The massive backlash to the airlines prompted CEO Oscar Munoz to call the incident "upsetting" and apologise "for having to re-accommodate" customers. (ANI)