The turbulence continues for United Airlines.
A bride and groom from Utah headed to their wedding in Costa Rica were kicked off their flight out of Houston on Saturday, KHOU reported.
Michael Hohl and his fianceé, Amber Maxwell, arrived from Salt Lake City for a layover at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, where they boarded Flight 1737 bound for the city of Liberia.
The couple noticed a man spread across their row snoozing when they approached their seats, Hohl told the station.
Not wanting to wake him, Hohl said they decided to sit three rows up — thinking it would not matter because the flight was half-full with several empty rows.
“We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat,” Hohl said. “We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
But in a Boeing 737-800 like the one the couple was on, the airline considers Row 21 “economy plus,” an upgrade.
A flight attendant asked the couple if they were in their ticketed seats. The couple said they weren’t and asked if they could get an upgrade, but instead they were told to return to their assigned seats, Hohl said.
He said that after complying with the flight attendant’s instruction, a sky marshal asked them to get off the plane.
He told KUTV-TV that they cooperated because of the recent video that made headlines around the world of Dr. David Dao being dragged violently off a United Express plane.
“They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers,” Hohl said.
United claims they actually tried to sit in an upgraded seat “repeatedly” and they “wouldn’t follow crew instructions.”
“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,” United said in a statement.
The bride and groom were rebooked on another flight the next morning, but Hohl said they won’t be flying United again.
“I think customer service and the airlines has gone real downhill,” he said. “The way United Airlines handled this was really absurd.”