Another day, another airplane incident. The beginning of 2017 has been filled with several shocking incidents on airplanes that have gone viral thanks to videos and social media. From an altercation over a stroller to a passenger being forcibly dragged from the aircraft, here are six situations that will make you wince:
1. United Airlines’ Leggings Fiasco
In late March, the airline faced backlash after a witness claimed she saw a United gate agent ban two young girls from boarding their flight from Denver to Minneapolis for wearing leggings. The onlooker said that after they changed clothes, they were allowed to board. After the alleged incident, the airline issued a statement to Us Weekly saying the girls were asked to change since they were traveling on a special pass for employees and their guests. “The passengers this morning were United pass riders who were not in compliance with our dress code for company benefit travel,” the statement said. The dress code for pass riders says they should not wear “form-fitting lycra/spandex tops, pants and dresses,” among other items.
2. Dr. David Dao’s Forcible Removal From a United Airlines Flight
In one of the most talked-about incidents of the year, United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao was brutally dragged off a flight in April. He was already seated on a plane bound for Louisville when staffers announced that it was overbooked and they needed to make room for four additional crew members on the flight. When no one volunteered to accept compensation and take a later flight instead, Dao and other passengers were selected via an automated system and asked to leave. When Dao refused, Chicago Aviation Department officers dragged him off the plane, knocking out his teeth and injuring his mouth. United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz at first blamed Dao for being “disruptive and belligerent” before later issuing a more apologetic statement and revising the airline’s procedures.
3. Simon the Rabbit Dies After United Flight
The hits just keep on coming for United Airlines. A prized three-foot-long giant rabbit named Simon died after traveling in the cargo hold on a flight from London to Chicago in April. Simon, who was expected to grow into the world’s largest rabbit, was being flown from the breeder to his new owner and had a vet checkup just hours before takeoff. Munoz again apologized, saying that he was “deeply sorry for the loss of anything from your luggage to, of course, a loved pet.” United Airlines told Us Weekly in a statement, “The rabbit arrived at Chicago O’Hare airport in apparent good condition at 10:25 a.m. He was seen by a representative of a kennel facility moving about within his crate about 11:00 a.m. Shortly thereafter, a kennel representative noticed that the rabbit was motionless and determined that he passed away.”
4. American Airlines’ Stroller Incident
American Airlines suspended a flight attendant after he was seen arguing with a female passenger in a now-viral video. In the clip, the passenger, who was holding a baby, wipes away tears while begging the crew members to “just give me back my stroller.” A witness wrote on social media that the flight attendant “violently” grabbed the stroller, “hitting her and just missing the baby.” Later in the video, a male passenger tries to intervene, saying, “Hey, bud, you do that to me, and I’ll knock you flat.” The flight attendant then taunts the man, saying, “Hit me. Hit me. C’mon, bring it on.”
5. Delta Passenger Removed From Flight for Using Bathroom Before Takeoff
A Wisconsin man, Kima Hamilton, claims he was removed from a Delta Air Lines plane after using the bathroom while waiting on the tarmac during a 30-minute delay on his flight from Atlanta to Milwaukee. Although crew members told him to return to his seat, he couldn’t wait and quickly ducked into the bathroom. The pilot then announced that the plane had to go back to the gate to remove a passenger. After an argument with crew members, Hamilton complied.
6. Delta’s Car Seat Argument
In April, a California couple was kicked off a Los Angeles-bound flight after a flight attendant insisted that their 2-year-old son could not sit in his own seat. In video of the incident, the parents argue that they already paid for the additional seat and want their toddler to sit fastened in his car seat. The employees claimed that Delta and Federal Aviation Administration rules state that 2-year-olds must stay seated on an adult’s lap. However, Delta’s website says that children 2 years old and under can fly in their own seat while secured in an approved car seat. When the couple refused to exit the plane, a Delta employee threatened that the couple “will be in jail.” The family was later forced to pay for a new flight home the following day.
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