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Fri, Feb 22, 2013

Blogger Removed From United Flight For Taking One Picture

Claims FA Lied To The Flight Crew About Following Her Instructions

In a lengthy post on his blog "Live and Let's Fly," a travel writer and consultant who is identified only as "Matthew" recounts an incident in which he was removed from a United Airlines flight from Newark to Istanbul. Matthew says he asked to leave the flight for taking one photo of the seatback video screen in front of him.

United has a specific policy about taking photos and video aboard their airplanes that prohibits "unauthorized photography or audio or video recording of airline personnel, aircraft, or procedures." After taking the photo with his smart phone, Matthew, who was flying in Business Class, says he was approached by a flight attendant and told that he should not take any more pictures. He writes that he put his phone away and did not take any more photos.

But then, he tried to explain himself to the FA. He told her he was a travel writer, often wrote about the airline, and that he airline management was even aware of his blog. He said "I don't want you to think I am a terrorist ... " and offered her a business card, which she refused.

A little while later, a United Global Services rep came and asked to speak to Matthew. He as told the captain was not comfortable with him being on the flight.

In a discussion with the captain, Matthew was told that the FA had said he had continued to take pictures after being asked to stop. He tried to make his case, saying the FA had lied, but was removed from the flight. The captain even threatened to call the airport police. Matthew left the flight, and by the time the dust had settled, he missed his connection in Istanbul, was unable to find another direct flight, and paid an additional $225 for an economy-class ticket on a Turkish airline.

Matthew says on his blog that the captain of the United flight was "unprofessional and weak," but says the "true culprit is the FA" who "lied about me."

The blogger said he has not heard from United about the incident, which occurred last week.



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