Couple tries to steal free upgrade from United Airlines in Houston
HOUSTON -- A couple headed to Costa Rica for their wedding Saturday had to be removed from a United flight by a U.S. marshal for not following crew member directives after trying to steal upgraded seats without paying for them.
Michael Hohl and his fiancé, Amber Maxwell, were near last to board United Airlines Flight 1737, headed from Houston to Liberia, Costa Rica. According to Hohl, a man was already in their assigned row napping when they approached their seats. They used this as an excuse to move to higher-fare-seating three rows up, in row 21 "economy plus" seating, without permission and without paying the required fee.
After explaining to the couple that upgrading was not an option at this point in the boarding process, the couple was told to return to their assigned seats. After multiple attempts to sit in the wrong seats, and refusal to follow the crew’s directives and return to their assigned seats, a U.S. Marshall came onto the plane and asked them to get off.
Unlike Dr. Dao, who made headlines last week for refusing to exit an aircraft when asked first by the flight crew, second by the operations agent, and lastly by law enforcement, resulting in his forced removal, the couple finally cooperated and got off the plane without further incident.
Airline customers do not have a right to take better seats than they pay for. Nor do they have the right to make their own rules. Refusal to follow airline policies and aircraft safety procedures will result in removal from the aircraft for the safety of the crew and passengers and will not result in monetary compensation.
Adapted from USA Today: United Airlines boots couple traveling to their wedding on half-empty plane