United Airlines doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to handling passengers. It’s impossible to forget the controversy surrounding the doctor who was forcibly removed from a United flight back in 2017. Following this, it seemed as though the airline had decided it no longer wanted to receive negative PR, however, a similar incident has happened again. United removed a passenger with a crying baby from business class and sent her to economy class.
United Express 3411
Although the United Express 3411 incident happened over a year ago, it still seems very fresh in everybody’s minds. The incident saw David Dao forcibly removed from a sold-out flight. Dao was injured while aviation safety officers dragged him from his seat, apparently laughing in the process. The incident prompted the United CEO, Oscar Munoz, to comment “I promise you we will do better.”
Sadly, following this promise to do better, the airline is still struggling. On a 14 hour flight from Sydney to San Francisco, a lady sat down in business class with her 8-month-old baby. Now, as babies have a habit of doing on flights, this one started crying. I’m not a huge fan of being sat near a crying baby on a flight myself, but I would never complain to cabin crew about such a thing. Instead, I’ll pop on my noise cancelling headphones and mind my own business. This, unfortunately, did not happen on this flight. Fellow business class passengers felt the need to complain about the noise to a flight attendant.
“I’m beyond infuriated at the inflight experience I’m having with our head flight attendant as she just told me it’s ‘ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE’ for my baby to cry on the plane,” – Krupa Patel Bala
Following the passenger complaints, the flight attendant appears to have been quite rude in dealing with the incident. Instead of offering the lady a hand in dealing with the baby, the attendant allegedly cited a United rule stating that babies are not allowed to cry for more than 5 minutes. This to me seems even crazier then China Eastern firing an employee for accepting a marriage proposal during a flight.
Young Families Welcome
Following the incident, United issued a statement to clarify its position on the matter. “Young families are welcome on our flights, including in business class. We are continuing to review the incident internally and the flight attendant is being held out of service pending the investigation.”
It appears as though United Airlines has fallen foul of a rogue employee, as the passenger told the San Francisco Chronicle: “Over the last day, we have spoken with numerous representatives from United. Like the captain and rest of the cabin crew, they are all kind, lovely, wonderful humans”. Unfortunately from time to time, these members of staff do appear in the system, however, it appears that United is treating the incident with the seriousness it deserves.
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