Too many people on flights, and the world at large, want to be the tail that
wags the dog. Recently coming back from Maui we were asked to refrain from
eating nuts due to someone with an allergy. This on a plane where one of the
remaining food staples is...nuts, and among fellow passengers, many of
who's last airport purchase is...macadamias. Once when heading back to
Japan I was forced to sit through an incredibly offensive movie. The incredible
hulk. It was awful. Rather than throw a snit, however, I put on some tunes, took
advantage of the then available cost free beverage service, and went about life.
It can be done.
Hutterite, it is most fortunate that you are not allergic to nuts. As they can
be life threatening at 30K feet, I appreciate the great restraint and sacrifice
you made to keep the person next to safe. Very magnanimous of you.
The reaction of United was WRONG on so many levels.Diverting the flight is
nonsense.Did the captain even talk to the parents? Apparently not.This is a case of a badge-heavy employee out to prove himself right. He
inflated the story to make the parents seem to be a threat. It worked.Shame on United. They need to change their entertainment if they are going to
show it on communal monitors.I'd put them on the bottom of my list of
airlines...if they weren't already there.
It is ridiculous that they would show that movie on a flight where you
couldn't opt out of seeing it. What are you going to do, blindfold your
kids? An adult can just turn away or "plug in their tunes", but how can
you protect your child when it's right in front of their eyes? Bad move
Alex Cross is a totally inappropriate movie to show on an airplane.
I smell a settlement brewing, and it will not be pretty for United (and
I appreciate the comments on this site about this story. Having read some
comments on another site, I was shocked at the viciousness aimed at the
passengers involved. I agree that the film was not appropriate for any audience
that included children. I have never been on a plane that was not able to fold
an individual screen back up. I think the pilot was just angry that there were
any complaints at all and took this occasion to make an example out of this
BYR, my point about the nuts, and the movies, is...if going out into the world
is an offensive, or allergic, experience, it may be necessary to either prepare
to deal with it or avoid it, rather than expect the world to meet your needs all
the time. Because if you do, it may be you, not the people around you, who is
making a foolish or selfish decision. If your mere existence in an aircraft or
any other close environment represents a significant and unmanageable health
risk, should you expect everyone else in that environment to take responsibility
to manage that risk when you can't or won't? And just put a jacket
over the tv screen, plug in some music, get a few beer and chill out. And give
your kid a video game console with some first person shooter game on it.
They'll never see the violence on the movie screen.
Re: annmacThe "other site" probably had people commenting
who would not object to one of todays R rated movies on an airplane, which not
long ago would have garnered an X rating. Typical of the "ME
Hutterite, did you read the story? The parents did keep the children occupied
and kept their eyes off of the screen after they had asked for something more
family appropriate. It is not 'nuts' to expect the airlines to cater
to all ages, and a violent, PG-13 movie is not an appropriate movie for that
Just the fact that they tried to show a Tyler Perry move should mean free
airfare for everyone that had to endure that garbage. What passes
for entertainment these days is pitiful.
The world is turned upside down with no regards to the presence of children.
Seems like I always hear cussing from adults around children in public. A few
times the inner sailor comes out of me and I've been firm with offenders. I
see a lawsuit against United.
Hutterite, where on earth are you coming from? Is it so hard to avoid eating
nuts for a couple hours? Do you really think it is appropriate to subject kids
to that kind of 'entertainment?' And if they weren't willing to
put the screen up, how willing do you think they would have been to let you
drape your coat over it? United clearly violated the mores of a significant
portion of society by subjecting its passengers to such a movie. In a public
place where that movie was not the primary service being purchased, I think
customers have every right to expect reasonable accommodations from the airline.
Those unwilling to 'inconvenience' themselves for a couple of hours in
such circumstances are the selfish ones--not the other way around.
I flew United one time and will not ever again. I was stranded overnight because
of stupidity on their part. They would do nothing to help me.
The pilot and flight attendants should be FIRED.
Flying (and the airlines--at least the American companies) stinks. The last
good flight I had was in 1996 on Virgin Airlines. The British know how to do
Hutterite,I'm not allergic to peanuts, nor is anyone in my family,
but you sound like a very selfish and uncaring individual. I assume you've
never needed (and never will need) someone else in the world to make a small
sacrifice for your benefit.
I appreciate the article. Now I'll know to never fly United. I
wouldn't have watched it, let alone let little children watch it.
Considering no voices were raised and no threats were made and most people would
have considered the movie inappropriate for children, diverting the flight,
kicking the people off and having the FBI meet them at the gate were all
overkill. The captain should be fired as well as the person who picked the
movie for in-flight viewing.
Maudine....."Alex Cross is a totally inappropriate movie to show on an
airplane."What!You are trying to sensor what others
can see? Have you no shame? People should be able, should be
allowed, to watch whatever they want on the airplane. Why should my right to
watch what I choose, not matter how bad or in poor taste it is by infringed upon
by anyone else? I have the right to view whatever garbage I want
to see......and of course you have the right to vomit all over my lap. Ipecac for everyone!(In case there is any doubt, what I have
written above is dripping in sarcasm)
Well, i guess i've been flying on the wrong airline because, except for
trips abroad, i haven't flown on a plane in the past few years that offered
movies on domestic flights. But my experience is quality of the overhead movies
is marginal. One has to use ear buds to hear the movie as well. Alex Cross is
rated PG-13. How bad can just the video portion be? I
would've gotten my kids involved in something else, maybe asked to sit in
seats as far away from the screens as possible, if necessary. Most kids that
age would be way more entertained by a handheld game than a movie they
can't hear. But making a big fuss sure would spark the kids interest in
the movie. So the family wanted to deny all the other people traveling on the
flight (mostly adults) from viewing the movie? When the flight attendents
couldn't/wouldn't conform to their request they thought it important
that the pilot intervene? Re:HutteriteSome people are
exquisitely allergic to tree nuts or peanuts. In an enclosed system where the
air is re-circulated it can be life or death.
UteMiguelI see you don't know our friend the Hutterite I have read
many articles on Desnews and the comments as well. I have yet to read a positive
comment from Hutterite just negative ones especially as it relates to religion
You would think with the current economic conditions that United would be smart
enough to realize that the age old adage has never been more true: The customer
is right. Maybe the captain was having a bad day, I guess that makes it okay to
ruin a families trip/plans.United better make some wholesale
changes. I will think twice before flying with them.
Hutterite,Speaking as one with an 18 month old daughter who is severely
allergic to peanuts, I resent your insensitive comment. Generally, people are
kind enough to refrain from eating nuts on a plane because they know that doing
so could prove fatal to an innocent child like my little girl. If people like
you gripe and complain about a mild inconvenience like that, there's
something seriously wrong. Shame on you.
First let me start out by saying that I am the father of three young children.
With that said, am I the one who sees things a bit differently here? I think
the actions of the parents were quite immatuer and downright inappropriate; to
be asking to speak with a pilot, who was busy flying the plane. Who do these
people think they are? I can think of a myriad of more appropriate retioanl
responses to this type of situation: First, find something else to distract your
kids. These days what parent doesn't travel w/o a few books for the
kiddies? How about talking to the kids? It's not like you are at a movie
theator and you have to listen to the movie, no you have to put in headphones.
I've seen many airline movies, they are always edited for a basic TV
audience, it's not like these poor young kids were being exposed some
taudry sex scenes/ltra violence. Hardly. The parents acted as if only they
were the only ones on that plan who's oppions mattered. Even if those
around them agreed wtih them, they acted selfishly and immature.
I'll file this in my "I need the rest of the story" file. This
story doesn't pass the smell test.
Remind me not to lodge any complaints on United airlines.
Movies in the main cabin are edited for content and headphones/earbuds must be
used to hear movies. No normal, competent parents would have made this the big
deal that they did.
Just flew Allegiant, only inconvenience was that the total check in time was
more than the 1 1/2 hr flight itself, as they ask or suggest being there to
check in 2 hrs before take-off time....Henceforth I will drive the distance, and
enjoy the trip more.
If they won't close it YOU reach up and close it!!
Truthseeker - keep seeking the truth, like the fact that the people in the
adjacent seats agreed that the movie was inappropriate for the children. The
screen could have been folded up, but the flight attendants refused. The
parents asked for a reasonable accommodation and were refused. Up to that
point, there is room for disagreement on the proper course of action. Diverting
the plane to Chicago to take them off was simply ridiculous and shows the lack
of common sense which is pervades our society. Unfortunately, this type of
attitude is common on U.S. airlines. That is why I make every effort I can to
fly a foreign carrier when possible. I will take AirFrance, British Airways or
AirAustral any day over any U.S. carrier.
I fly 10-15 times a year and have been amazed at how clueless the airlines can
be in their their choices of movies and TV shows. After one flight in particular
that showed a movie and then a TV show with VERY strong sexual content, I wrote
the airline. I was very glad I was not flying with my kids and felt sorry for
those who were. What is most disturbing is that there are so many people out
there nowadays who just don't understand this issue at all. They think kids
are the same as adults and there is no reason to shield these things from them.
I hope United and other airlines finally get the message. Also, I hope this
pilot is severely reprimanded. This was about the dumbest thing he could have
done. This man clearly lacks the judgement to be in charge of an aircraft. Back
to co-pilot for him.
The captain of the Airplane acted appropriately. His job is not only to fly the
plane, but ensure the safety of the passengers. The employees working the cabin,
reported that an unhappy passenger wanted to speak with him (The captain). The
captain had no way of knowing what the passenger attitude was, nor their mental
state. He followed proper procedures. As for turning the passengers over to
proper authorities, had he not done that and the people got injured or robbed,
assaulted, then he would have been liable.I don't think that
that was the first case in which those children had been exposed to improper
media content. Many parents allow their children to watch movies like, the
Walking Dead, Harry Potter, Twilight, etc, etc, and they probably have cable in
their home. In my opinion, the inconvenience was posed upon the other
passengers, for having the flight diverted to another destination because of
It is amazing to see the negative response whenever someone tries to have
integrity. What is this world coming to?
America is no longer the haven it was to the settlers who came here because of
religious intolerance they were subjected to in the Old World.
Nice article. Sad story. DeseretNews, to their credit, appears to have many
stories with a "moral theme". That would mean that most others do not.
United Airlines needs to be taught a lesson! Then need to be shown who actually
pays their salaries!
This could have been handled with the back cover of the in flight magazine and a
piece of tape. Too bad McGiver wasn't on the flight..
Anyone heard of a coloring book and crayons, I'm getting tired of parents
blaming others the teachers, the schools, in this case United. No one forced ear
phones on their precious ones or made them stare at a 13 in. screen. It is
starting to sound like someone trying to make a buck from a lawsuit. Nothing
like making a mountain out of a molehill.
Has any high school graduate ever liked a Tyler Perry movie?
Hutterite, you do realize that these parents had no idea that the in flight
movie was going to be Alex cross - they had no chance to make a choice for their
kids. Now yes, if I was on a flight with my kids and it came on, I'd give
them the ipad and put on a movie for them, but there is little I can do to
prevent them from looking up at the film.
This is only one side of the story . . . the passengers' side . . . you did
not get UAL's side. A friend of mine who works at UAL as a flight
attendant told me about this incident a couple of weeks ago and the passengers
were not as cooperative as they claim. As far as the movie goes; I'm all
in favor of designating an area in the back of the plane with a wall separating
it from the general area for families with small & young children. That
should solve this type of problem in the future, as well as the problem of an
unruly child being disruptive to the other adult passengers on the plane.
It costs a LOT of money in jet fuel for one of these aircraft to divert and make
an unplanned landing, and then take off again. A settlement could cost the
airline much more. I hope this captain feels as silly as he looks.
A passenger plane should NEVER show movies rated above PG UNLESS the movies are
shown on individual screens and can be turned off/on by each passenger. This is
totally outrageous and I am so very disappointed in the response by United
If what is described is actually the extent of the story, then United comes off
looking very bad.I will withhold judgement until both sides weigh
in. It costs lots of money to divert, land and then take off again. I have a hunch that there is more to the story than we are getting.
This is a shame there are no family appropriate movies coming from Hollywood the
standard has been lost since the 1960's. The attached rating of movies like
G,PG,and R are gateways for Hollywood to include content at their will. The
Theaters and Airlines show movies that are violent, sexual, steaming with
profanity with no reguard for morality. Sincerely, Trenton
Some other airlines have screen on the seat-backs and more choices to pick from.
Too bad that United has not progressed to modern way like I-Pad type of
Several commentators have said that the couple asked to speak to the captain,
something that the story does not state. The article only states that the
couple asked the flight attendant was asked if the captain had the authority to
turn off the movie and that they asked the name of the captain. If it were true
that they were causing a disturbance worthy of the FBI's attention, I think
that charges would have been filed and the family would not have been put on
another flight. A review I read states that the movie was "rated
PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug
references, and nudity" and that the soundtrack included "Got My Eyes on
Ya Body". Even an edited version would clearly have been inappropriate for
children and parents cannot always control straying eyes. United should have
anticipated the potentiality of passenger concerns and made policy and/or
designs that would have accommodated passengers who had concerns about the
content. Such accommodations would hardly be expensive to implement and would
increase customer satisfaction and profitability.
United Airlines needs to fire this captain and incompetent stewardesses. They
are obviously not qualified to work with people who have some morals and want to
raise their children properly.I will not fly United again, they've
lost my business.
Here's a suggestion: People with children should consider
flying USAir. They don't show movies on domestic flights.
Kudos to this family for their courage to stand up for their very reasonable
convictions!. Shame on United Airlines. I, for one, will never fly that
airline in the future due to the way this family was treated. I want no part of
putting my life in the hands of reactionary crew, (even and most importantly the
pilot), who are clearly out of line and not motivated by good; bowing to the
supposed needs of others to view evil. Is it any wonder society has
deteriorated to the degree that mass murders and ongoing individual crimes are
rampant? This action reinforces people who have violent natures (maybe the
pilot himself?). In the air, of all places, we should promote peaceful, calm
themes in entertainment, passengers and crew. Those who must view their own
violence personally can do so on their private devices, though we should be as
worried about that as we are about possible weapons coming on board. Why would
we want to expose passengers to such themes, putting all at risk?
The Captain is at fault and could have diffused the problem. Shame on him, he
Because of BAD customer service and flight crew on a United flight in 1994, I
made the decision to NEVER fly United again. We have options, or did before the
recent mergers, and should let our $$$ vote who we patronize.
I was at a children's pool on a cruise ship with several grandchildren when
the overhead speaker played a song with extreme profanity. I reported it to the
customer service desk in the most polite manner, reassuring them that I felt
sure they would not want the great reputation they held for family friendly
vacations jeopardized. They were unaware the song was even being broadcast. They
thanked me and sent treats to our stateroom. I remain a loyal customer.
I will not fly Jetblue due to the service dog being forced under a passenger
seat and dying... And now United can join the list due to this. My question is,
this is PG-13, were there an y children under 13 years old on the flight? Most
likely yes, if parents of said children didn't authorize it to be played,
it shouldn't have been played. What is the point of a rating system
It is amazing that the flight attendants and the flight crew, Captain, would
have interpreted this request by the parents to be a security issue. It shows
you how insidious that our morality has become. We have become so politically
correct in anything that is dealing with immorality that people with morals are
despised, ridiculed and even made a spectacle out of for trying to protect their
children's morals. We have become a twisted nation and it will not become
any easier for people to assert their righteousness as the great and spacious
building's occupants will chide those that do.
If the flight crew had done what they were supposed to do instead of denying
that they could do it, the whole hoopla could have been avoided. The screens can
be folded up - no one objected to it. So why didn't they just accommodate
the family? I have been on a plane with a real disturbance. I shudder to think
how the captain would have handled that. I am not a litigious person, but I hope
this family sues the pants off United.
Most people want the captain to fly the plane, not diffuse situations...I think
this would be the job of the flight attendants...
We have movie rating systems for a reason. A responsible adult understands the
developing mind of a child should not be bombarded with certain types of images
or information. This is also not only a matter of these particular
parent’s opinions, others on the plane agreed the material was
inappropriate for children.The screens were a drop down type meant
to provide viewing for more than one row of people. The children could glance
at any time and witness something terrible that could never be erased from their
memory. Why would there be a time when parents would have to be concerned about
that in a setting like an airplane? Some have stated the parents
could have covered the screen. One can only imagine the reaction of the airline
staff if the parents had physically reacted. Attempting to resolve the matter
verbally resulted in the plane being landed and the parents escorted off by
police and questioned by the F.B.I.
Those responding negatively to this article and the parents may wish to
consider: "Everyone involved: The FBI agent, the police officers, United
employees, the passengers around us and (we were told) some of the crew, were
incredulous, and explicit in their condemnation of (the captain's)
actions." If those directly involved in the matter were
“incredulous” with how the matter was handled, what does that say
about those here or elsewhere who are not? The level of selfishness and rudeness
shown in some comments here and elsewhere are saddening examples of how some
segments of our society need to be taught morality, standards, respect, empathy
Find a lawyer and sue. Then United will listen, but not before then.Unbelievable.
I hope this makes a change and airlines more carefully consider their movies.
It is not just the rating of the movie that needs to be considered - but the
non-verbal content. It is easy to eliminate the auditory portion of the move
but not so much the visual. When my daughter was three we were assigned
"bulkhead" seats with the large screen just beyond arm's reach. We
did not get headsets and I did my best to distract her. She didn't seem at
all interested in the movie- but it is hard to totally and consistently ignore a
very large screen planted in your face. When the movie depicted the chasing,
kidnapping, and rough handling of a young child my daughter glanced up and was
so disturbed by the film that she was in tears and very concerned that "They
are going to hurt the boy!” I got up, explained the situation to the
stewardesses and asked to be moved to another seat where the back of the seat in
front of us would block my daughter's view. They refused to even try to
And airlines wonder why some of us will do just about ANYTHING to get out of
flying commercially. I think they should get the lowest, dirtiest, scumbag
lawyer they can find, and sue the heck out of the airline!
This is clearly abusive action and United should pay dearly for it. Those
involved were breaking every rule in the book as to customer service. The
diversion to Chicago was so over the top that it begs any justifiable reason.
United screwed up big time and it should pay.
Mark from Montana -- that is an absolutely GREAT comment!
deeisme, you might want to consider that the quote you provide is from the
person that was removed from the plane. You realize that perhaps this person is
trying to minimize their own actions? No? It seems that there is more to this
story that the parents that were removed aren't telling. I would love to
hear from the flight attendants and captain about their side. But most likely
they will never tell it publicly. So we just get one side. As far as
the movie I would have just had my kid do something else. And complained to the
airline afterwards, if the attendant can't help me right then. With that said, the choice of playing Alex Cross by the airline was wrong. I
wonder how movies get selected. I just went and read about the movie and the
movie plot sounds terrible, it also got terrible reviews. Are their no better
movies? And also taking content into account in a setting like this is
neccesary. This is pretty much a captive audience with screens put basically
right in front if them.
My wife and myself have been more fortunate. In the first instance, we were
guests at a private party during which a film was shown, the contents of which -
in parts - were far below our standards of living. We therefore just got up
and walked out. It was later that we learned that others had followed our
example. The second time was at a film being shown to elderly and
retired people. There we also left when the showing became unsuitable.
I am now 95, and looking back I can recall when going to the movies meant that
the film was a treat to watch - alas, not always so these days. It is good
that there are some DVD movies of those days and that we can choose to our
LDS. Bob J. Maryborough, Queensland.
When the wicked rule, the people mourn.
Airlines get graded on baggage handling and delays. Morality should also be an
issue but we don't want to have the government get involved on that as they
will be like the marijuana, marriage and other forms that government is involved
with in religion of choice. They have made our religion the government and not
God. Anything to demoralize our youth that are subjective to the
captivity of being on an aircraft where everything is open and choice is cut out
of it. I remember living in Mississippi in the 1970s and involved with trying
to get the television stations to show more family oriented programs. Several
of those stations came back with letters saying to not listen to their station
as they wouldn't change. That was in the southern Bible belt area. Media
has not been friendly to families and it is 100s of times worse now with media
and the propaganda they put out. We used to be worried about the Pravda
propaganda the Communists put out but we are being captive on airplanes with
what the media and airlines put out.Put the frog into the cold water
and turn on the heat. Cooked.
Usually the movie screens on planes drop down automatically. I'm not sure
an individual screen could be retracted manually without damaging it or the
system. Anybody know? Here's what the pilot should've
done:Told the flight attendants to turn off the movie.Explained to the passengers the movie was being turned off because some
passengers found it unacceptable for their children and if they had a problem
with shutting it off they could:a) Let him know when the flight was
overb) Write a complaint to United Airlinesc) complain to the
passengers sitting in row 21 seats d and ef) all of the above
@Mark,I am well aware the quote is from the parents and you are correct we
are only hearing one side of things and will not likely hear much information
from the airline. However, there were lots of other passengers on that plane
and what I do not hear are stories that conflict. If there were a conflicting
story out there you can be sure somebody would be reporting it. Another thing to consider is that United made arrangements for the family to
continue their journey. If there had genuinely been a security issue as claimed
and if the captain had acted appropriately in landing the plane and having the
family escorted off the plane and questioned by the F.B.I. would it not be the
responsibility of the family to find a way home or to their destination not the
airline? If you are the cause for a plane having to be diverted and require
removal for security reasons it is no longer the airline's responsibility
to get you to where you are going, is it? Was the way the airline
handled things after the fact telling of what truly happened on that plane?
@Mark,My goodness, why are you being so reactionary about my
remarks? There have been comments here that have depicted selfish and rude
attitudes and that was what I was referring to. Hardly an attack on anyone
specific, more of a concern for the callous attitudes shown by some members of
society that have been voiced here and other places. I will not name names but
I think you will find some comments here have been quite selfish in nature (eg.
nut comments). Yes, I stand by my comments and believe there are some members
of our society who need to be taught standards, compassion, morals etc. Can you
honestly look at society as a whole or some comments here and tell me this is an
incorrect statement? (You even agreed the movie was inappropriate.) If there were people on that flight who felt the story was not being
accurately depicted you can be sure they would be speaking to someone. They
might only speak to a friend for example but eventually the story would come out
and the media would run with it. That has not happened. The airline
continuing to fly that family also says a great deal.
I agree with the other comments that the crew should be fired for not listening
to the customer's concerns. The captain should've addressed this
situation by talking to the passengers before making such a drastic move as to
divert the plane to remove those passengers involved. Where is the quality
service these days. Airlines is no different from restaurants and department
stores. You have the freedom to choose who you want to fly on and this incident
is not one to encourage me to fly on United Airlines.
We fly UA on a 12+ hour flight RT two times a year (been doing this for 20
years!).. Each time we board the plane my kids look at the movie selections and
then ask me which they can watch. The inappropriateness of the films for
"general viewing" has been a problem for years. In Coach, you cannot
"opt out" or switch channels like you can in Business/1st class. I have
noticed over the years that the selection has changed from "multiple g or
pg" movies to mostly pg-13 & R rated choices. They are supposedly
edited for "older general audiences", but as a parent of 5 children, I
can say that I don't always agree that what is left in is
"appropriate" for young children, tweens & teens. I agree that UA,
along with all the other airlines, needs to spend a bit more time considering
what movies they will show and how they are edited.
What would they do if you complained about the food....call the CIA or shoot
Power trip on the Captain's part. How humiliating for this family, just
trying to do the right thing.
Interesting that the family was kicked off the flight for being in the wrong -
but United is now fully investigating their in-flight entertainment.... hmmmmm
"Alex Cross is a totally inappropriate movie to show on an airplane."Sometimes I wish you all were as zealous about limits on the second
amendment as you are on the first.
The 2nd amendments has no limits on it.
1. Movie in poor taste. Lousy choice.2. Reminds one of opening scene
in movie "Anger Management." Just asking a question to worker today, you
get called al-Quida. Insane.3. Had an experience like in (2), worker
refused to follow basic request. Afterwards, sent letter to CEO. That worker no
longer works at the store. Not my fault -- his fault for refusing to honor a
basic request. That's on him.