HOUSTON - A couple on the way to their wedding were reportedly removed from a flight after moving to an empty row on a United Airlines flight.
Michael Hohl and his fiancee Amber Maxwell were traveling to Costa Rica for their wedding on Saturday when they were asked to disembark after moving up to an empty row, according to KHOU.
When the couple boarded the plane, they found another passenger sleeping in their seats. Instead of waking the passenger up, the couple said they moved up a few rows that were in the same class. A flight attendant reportedly approached them and asked if they were in their ticketed seats. Hohl and Maxwell explained they had moved up as to not disturb the sleeping passenger in their row and had asked for upgraded seats but were denied.
The couple said they then moved to their original seats but were approached by a U.S. Marshal, who asked them to get off the plane.
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They were able to get on another plane the next day and arrived in Costa Rica to celebrate their wedding Thursday. Both Hohl and Maxwell are still shocked by their treatment aboard the aircraft.
“We thought, ‘Not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat,'” Hohl said. “We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
United said the couple did attempt to move into upgraded seats without permission and refused to move back when they were approached by the flight attendant.
"These passengers repeatedly attempted to sit in upgraded seating, which they did not purchase and they would not follow crew instructions to return to their assigned seats," the airline said in a statement Saturday. "We’ve been in touch with them and have rebooked them on flights (Sunday)."
According to United, the couple tried to move into Economy Plus seats.
The incident comes days after Dr. David Dao was dragged, injured and bloodied off a United flight in Chicago. Dr. Dao was reportedly selected at random to be removed from the plane to make room for United employees and was forcibly dragged off when he refused to give up his seat.
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