By Alex Oliveira
Footage has emerged of a business class passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight harassing attendants because he didn’t receive his preferred choice of an in-flight meal — and then berating airport staff after his outburst forced the flight to land in Chicago.
The videos appeared to show the unnamed passenger on United Flight 20 going on a rant that included saying “F— you,” calling flight attendants “Douches,” and filming a customer service manager while threatening that he would wind up on Fox News over the incident.
United Airlines previously confirmed the nearly 10-hour flight from Houston to Amsterdam on July 9 had been diverted to O’Hare and “landed safely following a passenger disturbance.”
The man was reportedly upset that even though he’d paid $1,000 for his ticket, attendants wouldn’t serve him the first course of his meal while the plane was still on the runway, according to a person who filmed the altercation in the terminal and then posted it to Reddit.
His anger apparently lasted well past lift-off, as the plane made it about two-and-a-half hours into the journey before the pilots were forced to land in Chicago and remove him.
Because the plane was carrying enough fuel to make it from Houston to Amsterdam, the flight was too heavy to safely land and forced to circle O’Hare until it burned off enough fuel, according to data from FlightRadar24.
Witnesses said the passenger was in seat 11G, and that he appeared to have been intoxicated, aviation insider JonNYC reported on Twitter.
“I want your information and I want his information for the record, because I’ve been a United flyer for a long time, and I’m really, really disappointed,” the man could be heard saying in the footage from onboard the flight.
He could then be heard saying how it was important to stand up for one’s rights, and mockingly saying, “Oh, I just want to comply with everything,” before cursing people out and accusing them of “virtue signaling” as he stood in the aisle.
Once the plane was landed, the man could be heard arguing with United ground staff, while surrounded by waiting police officers.
“I am a regular traveler like everybody else, but I decided because I have injuries that I’m going to take a nine-and-a-half hour flight to Amsterdam, and I’m going to pay the extra $1,000,” he said. “And all I wanted to do was get a meal like everyone else.”
“You can take me wherever you want. Am I under arrest? What are you going to do? Who are you anyway?”
“You’re an assistant manager of customer service at United? I would love for you to be on Fox News,” he said as he filmed the people around him with his phone.
“Maybe they’d would be interested to find out what it’s like to pay $1,000 extra per flight from the continental U.S. to the Netherlands, for $1,000, except treated like s-t and then booted off the plane,” the man could be heard retorting as staff urged him to continue their conversation in a private room.
“Guy wants a meal? Boom! off the plane,” he finally said as staff led him away.
United said in a statement that the flight continued to Amsterdam after the man was removed.