HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP/CBS NEWS) – A couple flying to Costa Rica for their wedding were kicked off their United Airlines flight in Texas for not following crew instructions.
The latest incident happened Saturday at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on United Airlines Flight 1737. The couple, along with friends, were flying from Salt Lake City and had a layover in Houston.
According to passenger Michael Hohl he and his fiancé, Amber Maxwell, moved to empty seats because another passenger was spread across a row napping — in their ticketed seats. Not wanting to wake the man, Hohl said, they decided to sit three rows up and didn’t think it would matter because the flight was half full and had multiple empty rows.
When asked by a flight attendant if they were in their ticketed seats the couple said no and according to Hohl explained the situation and asked if they could get an upgrade. Their request was denied and the couple was told to return to their assigned seats. Both Hohl and Maxwell insist they complied, but a federal air marshal came aboard the flight and asked them to get off.
United has a different version of what happened. The carrier issued a statement Saturday saying —
“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.”
The airline also reportedly denied that a marshal or any other authorities were involved, saying, “They were asked to leave the plane by our staff and complied.”
The bride and groom were rebooked for another flight on Sunday, but Hohl said they won’t be flying United again and described the whole situation as “quite strange.”
Despite their flight delay, Hohl and Maxwell still plan to wed on Thursday.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)