Who is telling the truth?
With Statement Analysis, we break down the words to seek for truth. If we had specifically quoted statements we would know for certain. Yet, even here, we may guess.
A bride and groom headed to Costa Rica for their wedding got kicked off their United flight out of Houston on Saturday afternoon.
The incident took place on United Airlines Flight 1737 which was headed from Houston (IAH) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR).
The couple, along with their friends, were flying from Salt Lake City and had a layover at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Michael Hohl, the groom, said he and his fiancé, Amber Maxwell, were the last to board the plane.
According to Hohl, they noticed a man was spread across their row napping when they approached their seats, 24 B and C.
Not wanting to wake the man, Hohl said they decided to sit a three rows up in seats 21 B and C. He said they didn't think it would matter because the flight was half full with multiple empty rows.
Here they "decided", which speaks to an agreement and discussion between them. This is, according to the context, as they are standing over the sleeping man in their seats. This means a discussion occurred, rather than one suggesting, or asking the flight attendant.
Note the number three in their statement. We must now consider that due to its possibility of deception, were there other seats they went to before 21B and C? Remember, we must consider that a decision often indicates back and forth thought and verbal processing.
Although it is not a direct quote, the journalists used "said", so we are presuming the words are their own. If not, the analysis cannot be applied.
The groom is speaking:
“We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat," said Hohl.“We were simply in an economy row a few rows above our economy seat.”
Note he does not speak for himself even with what he thought. He next tells us what it was not ("not a big deal") and then further, in the negative, tells us what they were not doing:
"not like we are trying to jump..."
One should question if they were trying to move to higher paid seats, even if not first class.
Then, note the additional unnecessary word "simply" is added. We should now consider a more complex thought pattern.
In a Boeing 737-800 like the one the couple was on, United considers Row 21 "economy plus," an upgrade.
After sitting, Hohl said a flight attendant approached and asked if they were in their ticketed seats.
The couple explained they weren't and asked if they could get an upgrade, but instead they were told they needed to return to their assigned seats.
Note he does not say which spoke, nor what caused a flight attendant to even ask if they were in their ticketed seats. There is very likely missing information here.
On empty flights, once boarding is completed, attendants will frequently allow some movement within paid parameters.
Next we do not have a quote, but if this is accurate, it helps us understand what happened:
Hohl said after complying with the flight attendant's demand, a U.S. Marshall came onto the plane and asked them to get off.
The couple cooperated and got off the plane without incident, but they still don't understand why.
The word "comply" indicates a submission. This is very different than cooperation. Given that this came after "said" and where the groom refused to speak for himself, "I said...", we must consider that it took an elevated effort on the part of the flight attendant to get these two to move.
"They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers," said Hohl.
United Airlines claims they actually tried to sit in an upgraded seat "repeatedly" and they "wouldn't follow crew instructions."
When people do not follow simple early instructions, psychologically, it is a risk for all. This is something society has long established for civility.
If you repeatedly have minor traffic violations, you could lose your license as a "habitual offender." It means you pose a risk because you do not follow rules/laws.
When people immigrate to a new country, they do so lawfully to show the country that they are law abiders. (Often, they are leaving countries because of lawlessness).
The airline provided this statement on Saturday:
"We’re disappointed anytime a customer has an experience that doesn’t measure up to their expectations. 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. We’ve been in touch with them and have rebooked them on flights tomorrow."
The bride and groom were rebooked for another flight the next morning, but Hohl said they won't be flying United again and described the whole situation as "quite strange."
“I think customer service and the airlines has gone real downhill,” said Hohl. "The way United Airlines handled this was really absurb.”
At some point, I expected a detail from them, though we do not know how the journalist presented this.
After taking a black eye for its recent removal of a 69 year old passenger, this one goes to the Airline:
This man is not telling the truth and likely were unruly, unsettling and were trying to jump to seats they had not paid for.