A Maryland couple says their family was booted off a United flight after they complained that an in-flight movie was too violent for their young kids.
A Maryland couple flying with two young boys says their United Airlines flight was diverted and the family was ordered removed from the plane after they complained that an in-flight movie was too violent and inappropriate for kids.
The couple, whose names are not revealed, gave their account in an article in The Atlantic magazine about United Airlines and "disruptive" passengers.
The parents say they were traveling with their two sons, ages 8 and 4, on a flight from Denver to Baltimore on Feb. 2. The in-flight entertainment was "Alex Cross," a PG-13-rated action movie about a young homicide detective/psychologist who meets his match in a serial killer.
"It includes extreme, graphic violence and sexually explicit content. On our plane, an A320, the movie was projected on drop-down screens above the seats, such that we could not shield our young children from this inappropriate content," the parents wrote in a letter to The Atlantic.
The parents said they asked two flight attendants to turn off the monitor in their area of the cabin but were told it was not possible. They then asked for the captain's name.
More than an hour later, the captain announced that the flight was being diverted to Chicago O'Hare International Airport due to "security concerns," the couple told The Atlantic.
Family kicked off plane for complaint about in-flight movie
Upon landing in Chicago, they said a Chicago police officer boarded the aircraft and, to their bewilderment, asked the family to disembark.
"The captain, apparently, felt that our complaint constituted grave danger to the aircraft, crew and the other passengers, and that this danger justified inconveniencing his crew, a few of whom 'timed out during the diversion, and a full plane of your customers, causing dozens of them to miss their connections, wasting time, precious jet fuel, and adding to United's carbon footprint," according to their account in The Atlantic.
The couple said they were interviewed briefly by authorities, cleared and put on the next flight to Baltimore.
"Had this been in a cinema or a restaurant, we would have simply left if the content were too violent, or too sexual, for a preschooler and a 2nd grader. Cruising at 30,000 feet, leaving was not an option," the couple wrote.
In a statement issued to several media outlets Friday, United Airlines said:
"United Flight 638 from Denver to Baltimore was diverted to Chicago O'Hare after the crew reported a disturbance involving a passenger. The flight landed without incident and the passengers were removed from the aircraft. We reaccommodated the customers on the next flight to Baltimore and have since conducted a full review of our inflight entertainment."
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