United Airlines Flight To Israel Diverts Due To Self-Upgraders

United Airlines Flight To Israel Diverts Due To Self-Upgraders

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Yesterday I wrote about how an American Airlines transatlantic flight returned to its origin because of a passenger who refused to wear a mask. Well, now a United Airlines transatlantic flight returned to its origin, but this time it was because of self-upgraders.

United flight to Tel Aviv returns to Newark

This incident involves United Airlines flight UA90 from Newark (EWR) to Tel Aviv (TLV) yesterday evening (Thursday, January 20, 2022), operated by a Boeing 787-10. The flight was scheduled to depart Newark at 11:05PM and arrive in Tel Aviv at 4:20PM today.

The flight departed from Newark as scheduled, but then problems arose after takeoff. According to reports, two passengers tried to self-upgrade to business class, thinking that because the cabin wasn’t full, they should be allowed to sit there. Of course the crew told them that’s not how it works, but the passengers refused to comply and return to their original assigned seats. Witnesses onboard claim that these passengers then “rioted.”

At this point the plane was near the United States & Canada border, and the decision was made to return to Newark to offload these passengers. The plane ended up landing back at Newark shortly after 1:30AM, a bit over two hours after departure. Below is a map showing the flight’s path.

The flight path for the UA90 diversion

Police met the flight on arrival, and the passengers were allegedly arrested.

United’s flight status page suggests that the airline tried to reschedule the flight for 2:20AM, but I’m guessing the airline couldn’t find a crew to operate the flight (since the initial crew timed out). United’s flight status page states that the flight was “canceled because of airport conditions,” so I’m not sure what exactly that’s supposed to mean in this context.

UA90 flight status from last night

What were these disruptive passengers thinking?

I just don’t understand what goes through peoples’ minds when they act like this? In these situations I almost hope they are drunk or on some sort of drugs, because I’d like to think that nobody would act this way in a sober state.

How did these two passengers see this ending? When the crew told them that they couldn’t stay in business class seats, did they think that just standing their ground would work without consequences? And when the plane actually turned around to Newark, what went through these passengers’ minds?

A few more thoughts, which are similar to what I mentioned in my post yesterday about American’s mask related diversion:

  • This diversion easily cost tens of thousands of dollars (if not more), given the amount of fuel burned, the pay for the entire crew, along with the impact on the flight in the other direction that had to be canceled
  • I really hope the passengers who caused this diversion are sued by United for the costs incurred
  • It’s interesting how the solution for crews in these situations is almost always to just turn the plane around and inconvenience everyone; assuming these passengers just wanted their business class seats (and were just jerks, but not actually drunk or otherwise disruptive), how about instead saying “I just want you to know you’re violating federal regulations by not following crew member instructions, the police will meet the plane on arrival, you’ll never be able to fly United again, and you’ll be sent a bill for the full fare cost of these seats… enjoy the rest of your flight!”
Are these seats worth gong to jail over?

I’m not suggesting that last point should be the solution in all cases, since I don’t know what happened on this particular flight. However, it seems like an approach like that is almost never taken, and I feel like it might work just as well, without inconveniencing hundreds of other people, and costing an airline a ton of money.

United Airlines Boeing 787-10

Bottom line

Last night’s United Airlines flight from Newark to Tel Aviv ended up being an over two hour journey to nowhere because of two disruptive passengers who decided to self-upgrade. Reportedly they just took business class seats after takeoff since they weren’t full, and refused to return to their original seats.

The flight ended up being canceled, so presumably hundreds of people were stranded (since a flight in the other direction had to be canceled as well), and this cost United a pretty chunk of change.

Why are people such jerks?!

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  1. xenonman Guest

    I think there might also be the concern that the Israeli authorities might just decide to wash their hands of the whole issue, particularly since it didn't involve an Israeli carrier.

  2. Michael Guest

    item one: passenger creating a distraction so an accomplice can do something...the airline doesn't want their security people to reveal themselves...they try to remain incognito and only handle really bad problems
    where deadly force may be necessary.

    item two: landing in another jurisdiction can have unexpected consequences. In the days before 9/11, there was a hijacking attempt on an ElAl airliner over Europe. The security people drew their guns. The plane landed in Switzerland...

    item one: passenger creating a distraction so an accomplice can do something...the airline doesn't want their security people to reveal themselves...they try to remain incognito and only handle really bad problems
    where deadly force may be necessary.

    item two: landing in another jurisdiction can have unexpected consequences. In the days before 9/11, there was a hijacking attempt on an ElAl airliner over Europe. The security people drew their guns. The plane landed in Switzerland and the hijackers were arrested (and later freed!), and the security people were also arrested, for carrying firearms!!! It took a long time for their release.

  3. Jill Guest

    So many comments

    Also that’s unfortunate for a flight diversion

  4. John Doe Guest

    As an airline crew, this is a violation on many parts. One it’s an FAA violation to move between cabin types (ie move from coach to premium or even to business or first). Second, witnesses state those individuals refused to comply with crew member instructions (again another FAA violation). Third, as witnesses stated, those two individuals became hostile. All three of these instances raises the threat level of the flight. Therefore, the most important thing...

    As an airline crew, this is a violation on many parts. One it’s an FAA violation to move between cabin types (ie move from coach to premium or even to business or first). Second, witnesses state those individuals refused to comply with crew member instructions (again another FAA violation). Third, as witnesses stated, those two individuals became hostile. All three of these instances raises the threat level of the flight. Therefore, the most important thing to do is to land the plane immediately at the nearest airport (ie going back to EWR). The flight crew is there for safety first before service of a meal/drink for passengers.

  5. Michelle Smith Guest

    Those passengers should be charged with the cost of canceling the flight and putting up passengers in hotels. To me that's a threat. I applaud the captain to turn back.

  6. Conservative Guest

    This is another result of our government setting the stage for disruption and anarchy. Since the rioting began prior to the election and the following chaos in our cities, many think they can get by with anything.

  7. Indian chief Guest

    Other sources mention nationality. It is clear for me that some people do not have to be drunk or intoxicated to behave like this.

  8. G. P. Guest

    Usually the Captain makes the decision to divert due to disruptive passengers because no one knows how far these situations will escalate. So regardless of the cost, for the safety of all involved, it's always best to get disruptive passengers off the pane as soon as possible. Not just let them disobey crew instructions and run the flight. Would be nice if the Captain could just land at the nearest airport and remove the bad...

    Usually the Captain makes the decision to divert due to disruptive passengers because no one knows how far these situations will escalate. So regardless of the cost, for the safety of all involved, it's always best to get disruptive passengers off the pane as soon as possible. Not just let them disobey crew instructions and run the flight. Would be nice if the Captain could just land at the nearest airport and remove the bad actors but this is not possible on international flights except in emergency situations.

  9. Jack Guest

    No race mentioned so have to assume the perps were BIPOC.

  10. Joel Guest

    One mile at a time…Im very surprised by your stance here. While I like your solution in theory, it is NOT realistic. First off, other passengers said the thieves rioted. Second, they refused to return to seats and were combative. At this point they are not listening to crew members and have zero respect for the authority onboard. It’s considered a security risk . Have you as a publication reporting on aviation forgotten that terrorists...

    One mile at a time…Im very surprised by your stance here. While I like your solution in theory, it is NOT realistic. First off, other passengers said the thieves rioted. Second, they refused to return to seats and were combative. At this point they are not listening to crew members and have zero respect for the authority onboard. It’s considered a security risk . Have you as a publication reporting on aviation forgotten that terrorists are still attempting to take down aircraft?! This story is at the least delusional. Another commenter posted to handcuff the passengers and have them arrested upon landing which is a better solution however some airlines have asked FAs to not handcuff people unless they are a violent security threat. Bottom line is, please be sensible when you write about the decisions a crew makes onboard. Without the full story you shouldn’t report on it. If you want to do true reporting try contacting the crew or the airline for a statement. Based on this story you have cheapened your credibility and seem more like a gossip column magazine.

  11. L Johnson Guest

    These passengers should be arrested and put on a NO FLY LIST FOR LIFE! Plus made to paid the cost of the canceled flights in both direction! Fuel cost and personal salaries aswell!

  12. Pascual Ramirez Guest

    Being a flight attendant we know that even if you tell them to call law enforcement in the Final Destination or in a foreign country nothing will follow through as most of the countries will not arrest the passengers they'll recommend them and let them go. The safest and quickest way to end the issue is for the flight to return to the nearest use the city and have the passengers deplaned and be arrested by the US police.

  13. Stevo Kelly Guest

    Did I miss something, what is the whole generational thing about?

  14. Richard Bunch Guest

    Theft is theft. Sorry 129 people got disrupted, but one person’s behavior does destroy others vacations. A slap on the wrist does not stop bad behavior….a huge slap in the wallet does stop the bad behavior! Tired of self centered asses acting out…..time to act like adults.

  15. Jerrie Guest

    Why not zip tie them and confine till end of flight? Let them marinate in a cargo hold. Likely they have no assets to attach in a law suit and they are literally two individuals running the show for hundreds of people. Plans wrecked, trips interrupted, likely hundreds of thousands of dollars lost by airline and passengers. Really-when do we quit babying these idiots?

  16. Mike Guest

    TLV bound flights are famous for having passengers who won't comply with rules. This isnt really surprising to any of us who have worked this route.

  17. Ja Guest

    Omg people, if you buy a ticket you need to learn to respect the airline rules and regulations! I am happy that plane turned around.. they had to but what a huge inconvenience for all other passengers who followed the rules and regulations as stated when a ticket is purchased! These flight crew have it hard enough! It’s like a flying barroom these days with fights and such disrespect!
    Each person who is disputing...

    Omg people, if you buy a ticket you need to learn to respect the airline rules and regulations! I am happy that plane turned around.. they had to but what a huge inconvenience for all other passengers who followed the rules and regulations as stated when a ticket is purchased! These flight crew have it hard enough! It’s like a flying barroom these days with fights and such disrespect!
    Each person who is disputing on a flight needs to automatically be out in a no fly list!
    You buy a ticket… wear your damn mask, be respectful… follow all rules…. And STFU! Stop with your little temper tantrums! You want first class?? But it like the rest of us!
    And next time, try bringing some chocolates to your flight crew! God knows they work hard enough!
    Former airline employee…..

  18. Tonya Guest

    Entitled people. Sounds like mom and dad never told these brats no before.

  19. LAurie RIch Guest

    Some people have become awful, demanding, entitled etc etc… United should have handcuffed them in the seats the originally had and had them arrested upon arrival in Tel Aviv. Enough already, going back to Newark-throwing Ever other person’s scheduled trip off, because of 2 passengers choosing to upgrade themselves! All the airlines should draw a strong line against this non compliant behavior. It would stop!

  20. Rid Here Guest

    Rioting in Business class? So close to the cockpit is not a security risk that is taken lightly. Inconvenience and cost comes after safety. Airlines have not forgotten 911.

  21. Swiss48 New Member

    I'm an X-Flight Attendant. During my career I've experienced many incidents with unruly passengers. In fact several times our aircraft had to be met by police due to naughty inflight behavior. On one occasion, we were nearly halfway to Honolulu out of LAX, and the Captain turned the airplane around. All in the group of misbehaving passengers were arrested. In my opinion, unruly passengers should be removed immediately - even if it means turning around...

    I'm an X-Flight Attendant. During my career I've experienced many incidents with unruly passengers. In fact several times our aircraft had to be met by police due to naughty inflight behavior. On one occasion, we were nearly halfway to Honolulu out of LAX, and the Captain turned the airplane around. All in the group of misbehaving passengers were arrested. In my opinion, unruly passengers should be removed immediately - even if it means turning around mid flight; arrested; banned from flying ANY airline and pay a (mandatory) minimum fine of $50,000. Jail time and financial penalties sends a strong message to even stupid people.

  22. Susan Fleming Guest

    They may not have jurisdiction to have them arrested in another country.

  23. Chris Guest

    I take this flight for work in Israel. I would be willing to bet its Orthodox jews who did this. They always complain and demand impossible things on the flights. Separate bathrooms, bigger seats, etc. Always a shit show with them

    1. Moe Guest

      You are likely wrong. As a rule, Orthodox Jews do not take a flight which is scheduled to land in Israel 4 PM on a winter Friday eve.
      Perhaps you do not like Orthodox Jews, that is your right but don't blame them based on your bias.

  24. Dave Guest

    You hope United sues them for the costs... okay, but why? Everybody makes mistakes.. Maybe they were drunk or just being stupid. They already got arrested and will likely have to pay a fine and get blacklisted. But you "hope" their livelihoods get destroyed by having to pay United a massive amount of money... Great job Lucky

    1. iFlyaLot Guest

      Yep, we do. Actions have consequences. Their actions cost the airline thousands of dollars - make them accountable. They should've thought about that before they behaved like entitled, obnoxious asses.

    2. Lita Kerr Guest

      Yup. Acting like you run the show at 35,000+ feet in a metal tube is not okay with me. If I was on board a light like this with my child I would want to wring their necks. Your thought process is why people behave in asinine ways: LACK OF CONSEQUENCES. Nope, let them pay the fines and NEVER fly again. It’s not that hard to stay in your seat.

    3. David Guest

      A fine to the government is okay, but United recovering the cost is to much? I think the people causing the diversion should have to reimburse all the customers for the inconvenience they have caused them personally.
      If like every other company United were to have the cost of incidents like this passed on to the rest of us ticket cost would be crazy expensive. Or have every airline passenger get private travel insurance...

      A fine to the government is okay, but United recovering the cost is to much? I think the people causing the diversion should have to reimburse all the customers for the inconvenience they have caused them personally.
      If like every other company United were to have the cost of incidents like this passed on to the rest of us ticket cost would be crazy expensive. Or have every airline passenger get private travel insurance to pay for their stupidity. It'd be like auto insurance, just in case you're a jerk and cause havoc, everyone else gets compensated.

  25. Al Reynolds Guest

    I believe we are going to see more and more behavior like this throughout our daily lives. ... People worldwide are frustrated, mad, and scared and it appears more and more people are unable to cope .
    I'm sure the airlines have rushed through new procedures they can use to confront those who misbehave a mile high or more.... and in this case, I bet they followed their training.

    I hope these two people pay for all the expenses involved in turning around. ...

  26. Ann vaughan Guest

    On a return flight from Rome we had the same problem. None of the passengers would sit in their assigned seats. The flight attendants were constantly checking seating charts and making passengers move. Women were faking sickness trying to be allowed to stay in first class. People in first class were enraged about them being there. I have never seen anything like it. We missed are take off time 3 times and had to sit...

    On a return flight from Rome we had the same problem. None of the passengers would sit in their assigned seats. The flight attendants were constantly checking seating charts and making passengers move. Women were faking sickness trying to be allowed to stay in first class. People in first class were enraged about them being there. I have never seen anything like it. We missed are take off time 3 times and had to sit on the runway for almost 2 hr. In hot august temperatures. The flight attendant told me she never has this problem with Americans. Well that is several years ago . Maybe Americans have caught up with bad behavior.

  27. Steve Orwin Guest

    Quite a while ago I flew with Kuwait air and Cathay Pacific. Instructions about how to behave on board and the consequences of not doing so were included in the safety briefing. I remember them as being unequivocal and scary. Don't know if they still do it, but it's not a bad idea.

  28. Taterrxa Guest

    As per a report in Israel times, they were Israeli citizens..and once the flight landed in Israel, it is not sure how much the United airlines could have done in enforcing some kind of restriction on these people..so they decided to come back to their own country and let the local law enforcement punish these idiots..

  29. ThatFlyerDude Guest

    There are several methods for de-escalating a situation before choosing to divert. You wrote yourself that other witnesses said the pax “rioted.” That is NOT acceptable behavior for a flight that long. Furthermore, telling a pax midair that they will be banned from flying with only gaslight the situation and make it worse. How about instead of worrying about flights diverting, we talk about pax boarding and behaving like decent human beings.

  30. Dell Guest

    I have been on this route with United. I complained to the crew about many people not wearing masks. They told me this is the Tel Aviv flight and it is normal. They always have insubordinate passengers and this is the way it is. I also see the same kind of people jump the queues on departure and arrival and on return check-in.

  31. Thomas Hagerty Guest

    There needs to be a national do not fly list and the only way you can get off the list is to attend therapy, pay back any fines levied against them and any other expenses the airline incurred (gas, salary, cost of putting passengers in a hotel, meal vouchers and any other expenses deemed necessary)

  32. Charlie C Guest

    I don't think it's fair to assume what the Flight crew did or didn't do prior to the aircraft being turned around. I commend all airlines for taking this stand in the current toxic environment we live in with people thinking they they (like a former president) are above the law. Stop them dead in their tracks. I was a Purser for 33 years and I comment the flight deck for not putting up with...

    I don't think it's fair to assume what the Flight crew did or didn't do prior to the aircraft being turned around. I commend all airlines for taking this stand in the current toxic environment we live in with people thinking they they (like a former president) are above the law. Stop them dead in their tracks. I was a Purser for 33 years and I comment the flight deck for not putting up with this bullshit and protecting their cabin crew and standing behind them. I have had to many experiences when pilots didn't support or protect their cabin crew in situations like this and it never ended well.

  33. Fellow passenger Guest

    Isn't this like shop lifting? You are trying to get something and not pay for it. How about sueing the couple for not going back to their seats?

  34. R. Lee Guest

    I think they need to install airlocks on passenger jets. In science fiction, a trip out the airlock is the favorite way to get rid of the disruptive element.

  35. Julian Briell Guest

    Court should grant restriction to the airline to cover crew, fuel, housing and any other costs involved in delaying this flight.

  36. cory chalmers Guest

    Why not continue the flight and have them arrested upon arrival? Going to jail in a foreign country would be scarier than our joke of a system right now and it wouldn’t have affected hundreds of other people and saved the airlines all of their list revenue. Seems like a simple fix. Is a free upgrade worth foreign prison? Then have a seat!

    1. julie Guest

      When you do not comply with crew request you become a flt risk, better to return then be 35,000 feet in the air with nowhere to go!

    2. Barnesh Guest

      Who said it would be a “foreign” prison? Or that they would actually end up in ANY prison at all….

      Unfortunately, history has shown that this is the most effective and safest way to handle these “won’t move selfupgraders”….

    3. SemiOld Guest

      Plus, according to a different post, it was reported in Israel that they were Israeli citizens. So they would have been landing in their home country and United would have had much few options.

  37. S. Pappas Guest

    I think the airline should charge these morons every penny it cost to divert the flight, also the jet fuel that was wasted.

    1. David Clark Guest

      Flights to Israel have Strick security protocols. Moving between cabins is not allowed. Moving closer to the cockpit is a big security issue. The United Captain made the right call to go back.

      Having worked many Tel Aviv flights as a cabin crew I can say passengers to Israel are not the most well behaved.

    2. Charlie C Guest

      And the cost of hotel rooms for all the inconvenienced passengers.

    3. Thomas Hagerty Guest

      Keep them on a national no fly list until all expenses and costs incurred by the airline are paid in full.

  38. Janet Guest

    I am a retired flight attendant and the self upgrade was a common ploy on flights to Tel Aviv. We quickly learned to take the seat cushions off the empty seats and put in the overhead bins before takeoff to avoid the conflict.

    1. Moe Guest

      Don't forget that I have witnesses UAL flight cabin crew accepting cash for upgrades on flights to TLV. It might have been related to that.

  39. Rusty Henson Guest

    Good call by the PIC. These asshole’s behavior might have just been the tip of the iceberg.

  40. Tj Guest

    Here's an idea, get rid of different class seats. :)

  41. D. M. E. Guest

    What happens when all the economy passengers decide to upgrade themselves? Will they fight it out over who gets the seats? Should this kind of anarchy be allowed? I think the airline did the right thing turning around and having these passengers arrested. It will discouraged the same thing from happening in the future. All the other passengers on the flight should start a class action law suit against these jerks and make them "pay"...

    What happens when all the economy passengers decide to upgrade themselves? Will they fight it out over who gets the seats? Should this kind of anarchy be allowed? I think the airline did the right thing turning around and having these passengers arrested. It will discouraged the same thing from happening in the future. All the other passengers on the flight should start a class action law suit against these jerks and make them "pay" for their attempted upgrade. I feel bad for the other rule following passengers as they were the ones punished for the bad behavior.

  42. Metal Tube Insanity Guest

    Sure, they shouldn't have done it, but the inflexibility of "sacred" flight rules ends up screwing over everyone. The reality is, it would not have hurt anything to allow them to change seats, but the airline would lose money if anyone could get first class for the price of cattle class.

    1. R. Lee Guest

      If there are empty first class seats then by all means, scan their credit cards and let them sit there. Easy Peasy.

  43. Gary Guest

    Why not land at the first suitable airport and have police them off the plane . Then it’s their problem to sort through the legal issues in a foreign country and find their way home while the remainder of the passengers only experience a smaller delay.

  44. Wayne Coulter Guest

    For those of you (including the author of the story) who say, 'why not just arrest them on arrival', did you not catch the part where the passengers in question RIOTED? Disruptive passengers on a flight are a danger to everyone on board. The pilots and airline took the appropriate action in this incident and as had been said elsewhere, the airline should sue those two individuals for the difference in cost of the seats,...

    For those of you (including the author of the story) who say, 'why not just arrest them on arrival', did you not catch the part where the passengers in question RIOTED? Disruptive passengers on a flight are a danger to everyone on board. The pilots and airline took the appropriate action in this incident and as had been said elsewhere, the airline should sue those two individuals for the difference in cost of the seats, the fuel and any other related costs related to the cancellation of this flight.

  45. John Scotto Guest

    I spent 40 years in the airlines. I watched people become more disgusting as time passed. I love the business if it weren't for the passengers LOL

  46. D3kingg Guest

    First of all let’s congratulate Ben this is possibly the greatest blog post in the history of aviation geeks. How will I sift through all these comments ?
    Anyhow growing up in NY I’ve noticed Hasidic Jews tend to isolate themselves from the outside world and keep within their community even going as far as providing their own police and ambulance services. So once in a while they do go outside of their community...

    First of all let’s congratulate Ben this is possibly the greatest blog post in the history of aviation geeks. How will I sift through all these comments ?
    Anyhow growing up in NY I’ve noticed Hasidic Jews tend to isolate themselves from the outside world and keep within their community even going as far as providing their own police and ambulance services. So once in a while they do go outside of their community their behavior can be bizzare because they just don’t realize.
    On a side note , in the middle of long haul flights with no service American would open the tray tables in vacant business class seats on flights to mainland China so they knew if someone coped a seat.

    1. Hoze Guest

      Returning back to the US is very expensive. If I were the decision-maker I would land the plane in Canada, offload these freeloaders, and continue my flight to the final destination. Of course, United should also prosecute these losers for unscheduled route change and make them pay for the charge incurred.

    2. Moe Guest

      Umm, You are very likely wrong but did expose an anti-Jew tendency on your part.

      Hasidic Jews do not travel on a flight scheduled to land minutes before the Sabbath.
      As a part time resident of NYC I think someone should clarify. They do utilize the Police and the EMS ambulance service provided by the FDNY of New York. A separate volunteer ambulance service was set up many decades ago when response times in...

      Umm, You are very likely wrong but did expose an anti-Jew tendency on your part.

      Hasidic Jews do not travel on a flight scheduled to land minutes before the Sabbath.
      As a part time resident of NYC I think someone should clarify. They do utilize the Police and the EMS ambulance service provided by the FDNY of New York. A separate volunteer ambulance service was set up many decades ago when response times in NYC were about 30 minutes for the most serious calls.
      Whether you love Jews or hate them is immaterial, when you makes absurdly wrong conclusions you have shown your true colors.

    3. NYGuy24 Gold

      Wouldn't surprise me if that turned out to be the case. That community has regularly flaunted the rules of agencies outside their community. They vote as a bloc and soo the politicians let them get away with having their own little territory. The most extreme schools only have like 60-90 minutes of secular education a day, so the education level of the men is quite low. It is a real travesty what has been allowed...

      Wouldn't surprise me if that turned out to be the case. That community has regularly flaunted the rules of agencies outside their community. They vote as a bloc and soo the politicians let them get away with having their own little territory. The most extreme schools only have like 60-90 minutes of secular education a day, so the education level of the men is quite low. It is a real travesty what has been allowed and they don't function as a part of the rest of society. A big part of the problem is the politicians being scared of them so they enable this nonsense. Lot of people would be shocked to learn that this is able to happen in places like NYC. I can totally see people coming from that insulated culture throwing a fit when being told that they can't sit in the empty nicer seats.

    4. Moe Guest

      Much as my response to a previous post, Hasidic Jews do not travel on a flight scheduled to land minutes before the Sabbath. These idiots on the flight might have been Israeli, that would include Jewish or Arab. Again, a safe bet that ultra Orthodox Jews did not fly this flight based on the timing.
      Glad to know your feelings, though.

    5. Mujahideen Guest

      Such an apologist for poor behavior Moe.

  47. TB Guest

    If they were drunken, the most probably not from the UA on board bar.
    We just crossed the North Atlantic with UA, worst ever seen Business Class service, pardon Polaris Class. It was hard to even one class of white wine.
    Unfortunately we have to return same way.

  48. Unknown Guest

    Unfortunately there is a saying in the industry. When passengers pack their hold bag they pack their common sense and their manners into their hold case with their belongings. Some passengers think that crew are just trying to be difficult when we ask them to put their seatbelt on before landing or open their window blind, but it's for their own safely. I've lost count the amount of customers who try "upgrade" themselves. I've also...

    Unfortunately there is a saying in the industry. When passengers pack their hold bag they pack their common sense and their manners into their hold case with their belongings. Some passengers think that crew are just trying to be difficult when we ask them to put their seatbelt on before landing or open their window blind, but it's for their own safely. I've lost count the amount of customers who try "upgrade" themselves. I've also lost count how many times customers have insulted us just because we didn't bring them their drink quick enough. A fellow crew member was sitting on a customers chest doing CPR when another customer tapped her on her shoulder and asked her when would she be bringing him his drink.

  49. Chris Howells Guest

    Whilst airlines hate waste of space a "brig" type arrangement would allow non-conforming passengers to be isolated in relative discomfort for the rest of the flight without inconveniencing anybody.

  50. Linda Downard Guest

    I don’t see any reference to the ages of the people in question, in the article nor do I get the reference to “socialism”.
    To answer the question “why are people such jerks?!” Because as a society we have become more self important and not at all concerned as to taking that which does not belong to them. So, jerkier if you will.

    1. Barnesh Guest

      We do whatever we think we can get away with. Maybe they have done before.

  51. Stephanie Guest

    Not sure the law in the destination country would cover this situation unless the passengers committed an offence over their air space? What others have said though, and I agree with, is if they behaved like this at the beginning of the flight, would you really take the risk they wouldn’t do something more dangerous later in the flight when landing wasn’t an option?

  52. Talma Shmul Guest

    We are Travel agency 4 of our passengers were on the flight, they were told the aircraft needed to return to Newark due to technical issues. They were panicking as they needed to arrive on time to their destination, they rented a car and drove home for 4 hours, two of them canceled their flights and 2 will fly today.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Talma

      Good shabbos. And I would also say the Flight Attendants need to show some authority to get those passengers to return to their original seats so they are partially at fault here as well.

    2. Lita Kerr Guest

      You’re not serious are you? More authority? Such as what exactly? They asked them to return to their seats. They refused then proceeded to act up. I really want to hear it from you, what would you recommend? Physical force?

  53. Al Topel Guest

    Airlines have been squeezing passengers into smaller seats, overbooking, and charging more. They bear some responsibility for angry customers.

    1. John Scotto Guest

      Airlines are in business to make a profit. "Squeezing"???? For half the cost of a phone you can be flown to another country in relative comfort. What more do they want. Pay the money and go first class if you feel that way but when you're in economy class then suck it up

    2. Robert C. Guest

      I completely disagree. In the face of customers demanding cheaper and cheaper fares, the airlines have taken to attempting to optimize their revenue-generating space. You know this before you book the flight or board the flight, unless of course you've been in a coma for the last couple of decades. And to in any way justify or excuse this sort of behavior because the "seats were too small" in economy or not wearing a mask,...

      I completely disagree. In the face of customers demanding cheaper and cheaper fares, the airlines have taken to attempting to optimize their revenue-generating space. You know this before you book the flight or board the flight, unless of course you've been in a coma for the last couple of decades. And to in any way justify or excuse this sort of behavior because the "seats were too small" in economy or not wearing a mask, potentially endangering others because of your self-absorption and sense of entitlement misses the point totally. If you don't like the accomodations on a given aircraft or flight, you have three options: pay the fare to upgrade to a better, larger seat, take a different form of transportation, or stay home. To inconvenience or possibly endanger (in this case) 125 other passengers and crew on the outbound flight is simply unconscionable and unjustifiable. Trying to ameliorate this behavior by arguing that the airline somehow beats some responsibility for the egregious behavior of a couple of entitled a****les is not only unsupportable by the facts, but really just reeks of rather transparent justification of something quite outside the norms of acceptable or even "normal" social interaction.

    3. R. Lee Guest

      For a few hundred dollars you can sit in a comfortable seat, fly at nearly the speed of sound and get form NY to Israel in less than a day. How long ago was it that journey would take weeks? We forget how blessed we are.

    4. Jean Bernard Guest

      Al Topel, if people don't like sitting in economy, they can always fly an all-business class airline like Eos, L'Avion, Maxjet. MGM Grand Air and Silverjet. Just go on their websites and book a nice, wide, lie-flat seat on a transatlantic flight with Chateaubriand and Champagne. Ooooh yeah...they all went bankrupt after less than ten years in operation. Why? Can it be that people want Dom Perignon service for beer money? If you want those...

      Al Topel, if people don't like sitting in economy, they can always fly an all-business class airline like Eos, L'Avion, Maxjet. MGM Grand Air and Silverjet. Just go on their websites and book a nice, wide, lie-flat seat on a transatlantic flight with Chateaubriand and Champagne. Ooooh yeah...they all went bankrupt after less than ten years in operation. Why? Can it be that people want Dom Perignon service for beer money? If you want those fancy wide seats, you have to pay the price. There are other forms of transport where people are less angry. Amtrak, Chevy, Greyhound and Cunard. But you won't arrive as quickly.

  54. Rob Guest

    So Im an airlines pilot for a major US carrier. There are many reasons on my continuing the flight is a bad idea. First off, lets start by what happens when you let one person get away with something their not suppose to? Will other follow suit. What about the people that spend thousands of dollars in Polaris class? How would they feel?
    Next, lets move to not following crew instruction. If they are...

    So Im an airlines pilot for a major US carrier. There are many reasons on my continuing the flight is a bad idea. First off, lets start by what happens when you let one person get away with something their not suppose to? Will other follow suit. What about the people that spend thousands of dollars in Polaris class? How would they feel?
    Next, lets move to not following crew instruction. If they are not following instruction here will they ignore others that can be more hazardous or illegal.
    Third, why not get these passengers off in a US territory where the laws and rules offer the airlines protection. Or where some of the passengers might be able to go home or get on another flight. Would you really want to be on a plane that diverted to another country? What would the taxes be to do an emergency landing there?
    United had a hub in EWR (newark), meaning they have other crews and airplanes incase problems with maintenance or timing out. It doesnt mean they will find any but the chances are greater than the crew making an emergency landing somewhere else.
    Also you need to take legal rest rules into consideration under FAR 117 including the ones for crossing multiple latitudes and time zones.
    Anyways there are more reasons then this. Just remember the primary purpose of crewmemebers is safety, not getting you to your destination. Its better to be alive on the ground then dead in the air.

    1. Ed Guest

      Disruption of flight while in the air or on the ground should be a felony. Do not pass go, go straight to jail and wait there till you are arrained. They are putting a lot of people at risk.

    2. D3kingg Guest

      Yeah I’d have to put maybe 10% of fault on the FA or captain this was a manageable situation. “It is against company policy to switch cabins in flight. It is theft of service. If you don’t return to your assigned seats you will be in violation of Federal Aviation Authority failure to follow instructions from flight crew and will be subject to arrest upon landing. “But you continue to Israel and then they’ll return...

      Yeah I’d have to put maybe 10% of fault on the FA or captain this was a manageable situation. “It is against company policy to switch cabins in flight. It is theft of service. If you don’t return to your assigned seats you will be in violation of Federal Aviation Authority failure to follow instructions from flight crew and will be subject to arrest upon landing. “But you continue to Israel and then they’ll return to their original seats during landing. Lmfao I’m sure they did that in Newark.

  55. Alex Guest

    Travelers lately (especially inexperienced ones) have completely lost touch with the reality and basic travel etiquette and are ruining the experience for everyone.

    It's plain and simple: If you pay for economy - you get economy. If you cant afford Business class (which costs on average 1/2 of the usual price during COVID), then you don't get to sit there any enjoy those amenities.

    If you cant afford it, deal with it or make more...

    Travelers lately (especially inexperienced ones) have completely lost touch with the reality and basic travel etiquette and are ruining the experience for everyone.

    It's plain and simple: If you pay for economy - you get economy. If you cant afford Business class (which costs on average 1/2 of the usual price during COVID), then you don't get to sit there any enjoy those amenities.

    If you cant afford it, deal with it or make more money. It's not anyone else's problem that you chose to book what you did and absolutely nobody is obligated to accommodate you or do you any favors. This is a business and you are paying for a service. You buy cheap - you get cheap.

    It's not fair to the others in Economy who don't get "upgraded" and it's not fair to the people in Business who paid around 2-4k for those seats.

    What's next? You going to buy a Honda and expect to drive off the lot in Maserati? Fuck outta here.

  56. Vincent T Guest

    More and more, we see people with their distorted sense of entitlement and more and more, this need to stop in order to avoid pure chaos at 35,000.00

    More and more airlines will have to heavily fine these people and make these fines public to send a strong message.

  57. Brett Radford Guest

    The author of the story has a short sighted view. Continue the flight? You have disruptive non compliant passengers and you say continue and bill them???
    Disruptive and non compliant, drive on and hopefully it doesn’t get worse over the middle of the Atlantic???
    It’s amusing to read the opinions w”experts”.

  58. Mark Guest

    Just ban them from flying for 5 years. They’ll think again about acting so appallingly again.

    1. Roger Guest

      The ban would be effective only if across all the airlines. Otherwise people would act up on one and just go to another carrier. Jail and lawsuits should be a given.

  59. John E. Guest

    Yes, that situation is a violation and the context of the report is that they were probably headed towards Israel with some sort of illegitimate intentions from the very start.

  60. Holloway Robert Guest

    As this was an American plane flying to Israel why not have the Onboard Security that fly on these planes arrest them, handcuff them and have them arrested in Israel then fined by United plus no fly
    In fact same for anti mask people instead of disrupting two planes,lost fuel and emergency landing

    1. D3kingg Guest

      Yeah. Wasn’t their an Air Marshal on board ?

  61. Hakim Guest

    Many are suggesting the aircraft should have diverted to Gander or Goose Bay. The flight would have been over Canada in the early a.m. hours. Goose Bay and Gander are not metropolitan urban areas. I doubt their airports operate 24/7. I would be surprised if even Bangor with a population of <40K was open 24/7. Opening a closed airport would probably require the airline to declare an "in flight emergency" for which there are probably...

    Many are suggesting the aircraft should have diverted to Gander or Goose Bay. The flight would have been over Canada in the early a.m. hours. Goose Bay and Gander are not metropolitan urban areas. I doubt their airports operate 24/7. I would be surprised if even Bangor with a population of <40K was open 24/7. Opening a closed airport would probably require the airline to declare an "in flight emergency" for which there are probably standards. Even if they landed in Canada it would have taken a few hours on the ground to sort matters. Continuing the flight at that point would have timed out the crew in flight. I don't think Goose Bay, Gander or Bangor has the lodging capacity for an entire flight.

    1. Jack Guest

      Bangor is open 24/7 because they actually have a federal jail at the airport for just such instances. Unless this has changed in the last few years. I have a cousin that grew up there and the told me that anytime they saw a big international jet landing their they would say, "someone is going to jail".

    2. Andrew Gold

      Per their website, opens at 3:00am, closes at last flight, which is "sometimes 1:00am." 22 hours is still most of the day. :)

  62. Amy Guest

    Obviously, the problem is not the money or the protocol would not be to turn back the plane knowing of the consequential cost that would be incurred.

    Airlines operate with the safety of their crew and passengers at the forefront of their decisions and I strongly disagree with your shallow opinion (and lack of understanding considering you run a travel blog) that these passengers should be allowed to remain onboard.

    What if you were sitting...

    Obviously, the problem is not the money or the protocol would not be to turn back the plane knowing of the consequential cost that would be incurred.

    Airlines operate with the safety of their crew and passengers at the forefront of their decisions and I strongly disagree with your shallow opinion (and lack of understanding considering you run a travel blog) that these passengers should be allowed to remain onboard.

    What if you were sitting in business class with these idiots and they threaten or physically hurt you for your meal or amenities because they don’t have enough onboard for them? Or you have no service (meal or drink) for the whole 10 hour flight because they injured your flight attendants? And if they do injure one of your flight attendants, good luck getting help or directions on how to evacuate in the case of an emergency (possibly the one the same idiots because they’re too dumb to have any sense of moral or common sense.)

    1. Steve S Guest

      You make a lot of assumptions that are creative. This wasn't exactly the crime of the century, but many passengers were seriously inconvenienced when the plane was turned around. Imagine losing a day or more on your trip over this. I would be very upset, both with the people and the airline.

      I'm sure this article doesn't give every detail, but it seems the passengers could have been "taken off the plane" along the route.

    2. LChristy Guest

      Interfering with flight operations is a federal offense…
      Passengers should be arrested and definitely put on “no fly list”

  63. Robert Smart Guest

    This and any disruption can easily be handled.

    Passengers should be required by airline to acknowledge the rules prior booking. Place a credit card on file, as you do at a hotel, you screw up, we charge your card.

  64. Pat Guest

    No one should behave this way and airlines have a right to establish policies about it. However, if seating was designed to be more humane in the economy area, there would be fewer people having outbursts or taking desperate gambles to be more comfortable.

    1. Amy Guest

      You sincerely get what you pay for. If you can’t deal with the “inhumane” economy area, fly business or first class. If you can’t afford them, don’t travel. No one shoved you into these seats ‍♀️

    2. Eskimo Guest

      Are you suggesting tax the rich and give it to the poor to solve theft problems?

      Hint: California.

    3. Lita Kerr Guest

      No, Pat. It’s not life and death. No one is at risk flying economy. They get food/snack, fluids, and don’t have to sit in their own excrement. It is far from in humane **eye-roll**

  65. Jordan Guest

    I’m sorry but this post is bordering on elitism and feels like filler content…Yes, these passengers broke the rules, and their actions disrupted everyone else’s plans. I also agree they should be held accountable for the costs incurred. But to say “I hope these passengers were on drugs” really feels like the writer is starting to lose touch with the majority.

    “What were these disruptive passengers thinking?!” They saw the opulence of trans-Atlantic business class...

    I’m sorry but this post is bordering on elitism and feels like filler content…Yes, these passengers broke the rules, and their actions disrupted everyone else’s plans. I also agree they should be held accountable for the costs incurred. But to say “I hope these passengers were on drugs” really feels like the writer is starting to lose touch with the majority.

    “What were these disruptive passengers thinking?!” They saw the opulence of trans-Atlantic business class and tried to jump ship from cattle class. Haven’t we all lusted after those recliner seats and real food after being forced to parade past and settle into our economy holding cells? And dare I even suggest some of us fantasized about just sneaking up a few rows and slipping into an open seat that otherwise would have gone to waste. Let’s not forget the core of this blog is essentially “how to travel in luxury for free”….I doubt more than a handful of us are regularly paying (or have ever actually paid) $10-$20k in cash for these business seats that actually cover the costs of this opulent service. No, we gamify the system to scoop up the “scraps” of what the wealthy actually pay for. I’m not above it - I’m one of you, but I recognize what it is.

    Despite this, we are still privileged to travel in this way (and travel frequently at all). Maybe they had never been on a plane before, or maybe they just don’t know whats acceptable in public (like those people who think its OK to remove their shoes and prop up their bare feet on a plane). Or maybe they are just jerks and have no remorse. Either way, we don’t seem to know much more about them, so speculating is just filler content.

    If these passengers got away with it (and you somehow still heard the story) wouldn’t you be just a little bit jealous that you never pulled that off and think “good one!”

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Maybe you're losing touch with reality.

      You are suggesting stealing is fine because they don't know what's acceptable?
      You can fantasize of having expensive jewelry, doesn't mean you go steal one. And I for one am not jealous of a jewelry thief.

    2. Alex Guest

      Travelers lately (especially inexperienced ones) have completely lost touch with the reality and basic travel etiquette and are ruining the experience for everyone.

      It's plain and simple: If you pay for economy - you get economy. If you cant afford Business class (which costs on average 1/2 of the usual price during COVID), then you don't get to sit there any enjoy those amenities.

      If you cant afford it, deal with it or make...

      Travelers lately (especially inexperienced ones) have completely lost touch with the reality and basic travel etiquette and are ruining the experience for everyone.

      It's plain and simple: If you pay for economy - you get economy. If you cant afford Business class (which costs on average 1/2 of the usual price during COVID), then you don't get to sit there any enjoy those amenities.

      If you cant afford it, deal with it or make more money. It's not anyone else's problem that you chose to book what you did and absolutely nobody is obligated to accommodate you or do you any favors. This is a business and you are paying for a service. You buy cheap - you get cheap.

      It's not fair to the others in Economy who don't get "upgraded" and it's not fair to the people in Business who paid around 2-4k for those seats.

      What's next? You going to buy a Honda and expect to drive off the lot in Maserati? Fuck outta here.

  66. Bob Guest

    The airline crew knew before takeoff that these two did not belong in Business class. Why did they wait until mid-flight to do something about it?

    1. Kelli Guest

      Because as the article states the passengers moved up to business class after take off ‍♀️

  67. SLL Guest

    You buy a hamburger but think you should be served filet mignon. You buy the cheapest hotel room but think you should be in the presidential suite. You buy the nosebleed seat but think you should be in a luxury box.
    One (usually) get what they pay for. You paid for an economy seat, the airline has no obligation to move you up to a larger seat. Imagine, you saved your money or miles...

    You buy a hamburger but think you should be served filet mignon. You buy the cheapest hotel room but think you should be in the presidential suite. You buy the nosebleed seat but think you should be in a luxury box.
    One (usually) get what they pay for. You paid for an economy seat, the airline has no obligation to move you up to a larger seat. Imagine, you saved your money or miles for the privacy, service and space in a first class cabin and then you watch somebody move into an empty one for free. How does that make you feel?
    Walk in a store and walk out with some thing you didn’t pay for, it’s called stealing. The same thing applies here.

  68. hop Guest

    This is on the flight crew (pilots). I used to fly that route. The pilots could have dumped them off in Gander, got fuel and continued on. However, being good union members, they knew if they returned to Newark, they would
    be timed out and could just go home and get paid for the whole trip.. passenger l schedules be damned.

    1. Will Guest

      No. Canadians would not approve stopping at Gander without a more critical reason (e.g. 9/11, onboard health emergency etc). It subjects everyone on the plane to Canadian jurisdiction. And they do not want be involved with a dispute involving a US carrier travelling between two non-Canadian nations.

  69. Small plane aviator Guest

    They turned around probably because the other countries will not prosecute the offenders.

  70. Come Fly With Me Guest

    The best option for airlines is to have a few parachutes onboard. Any passenger causing a disturbance will be forced to put them on. Next the exit door needs to be opened and a friendly shove of the troublemakers will end this nonsense. The other passengers on board can continue on with their journey knowing that they'll reach their destination on time in peace.

    1. Melanie Guest

      LOL. Love this idea and the humor behind it.

  71. Woody Guest

    Yep, turning around even though it screws up everbody else is the ONLY way to sort this out. The writer's solution, to simply "bill them for the charges" and have threm arrested at their arrival is fraught with pitfalls.
    1. They simply refuse to pay the bill for the full First Class fare and any other charges. Even if sued in court, it is unlikely a major airline will spend capital on recouping dollars...

    Yep, turning around even though it screws up everbody else is the ONLY way to sort this out. The writer's solution, to simply "bill them for the charges" and have threm arrested at their arrival is fraught with pitfalls.
    1. They simply refuse to pay the bill for the full First Class fare and any other charges. Even if sued in court, it is unlikely a major airline will spend capital on recouping dollars that the hooligans will still refuse to pay.
    2. On arrival in another country, it may not be treated by the local authorities as severely as in the US. Isreal I would think would be an exception, but I imagine in some countries the authorities would laugh at the airlines response and no show sympathy.

    I do agree with the airline ALSO attempting to recoup their losses in court via civil proceedings. Even if they don't recoup any cash it does give another avenue of punishment for this outlandish behavior.

  72. harold t simpson Guest

    I say just dump them at the first available airport along the flight path. Not only charge them for the seat and diversion costs but let them figure out how to get further from there. I think doing that and heavily publicizing it should only take one or two events to solve the problem.

  73. Ur mom Guest

    Simple. Let the upgrade and bill them the airline has their info so let the passengers know they will be charged the difference. And then add an inconvenience fee for not asking permission in the first place.

    1. Hop Guest

      This is on the flight crew (pilots). I used to fly that route. The pilots could have dumped them off in Gander, got fuel and continued on. However, being good union members, they knew if they returned to Newark, they would
      be timed out and could just go home and get paid for the whole trip.. passenger l schedules be damned.

  74. Shanequia Guest

    Actually just the opposite of white. It’s you others that throw a fit and scream racism when you don’t get your way. FACTS.

  75. Cindy Guest

    Maybe airlines may have to resort to having security/Air Marshal or the likes on board?
    And a holding area for offenders?

    It is getting ridiculous these days, seems people think it's their given right to disrespect employees and disobey boundaries put in place for a reason.

    1. Hakim Guest

      Most, if not all, flights to Israel have Israeli security officers on board. But, they are only concerned about threats to Israel or Israelis.

    2. Donato Guest

      Think! Exposing the Marshall might not be prudent. they are also burned forever after this.

  76. Paul Guest

    This is called theft of services and the two violators are subject to fine and arrest.

  77. John Guest

    The jet should have landed in Canada then they would have been arrested, held and then deported after being tried in Canada. Boy would that have cost them!

  78. Mark Guest

    To United. The airline is staffed by morons. Nobody pays for seats with cash. Just bill the passengers for a full fare business class seat. They will not do it again.

  79. Marc Guest

    The notion that you let them fly and arrest, bill, etc. them when they get to the destination would be great if you weren't dealing with people capable of this behavior. No telling what they pull when the flight is in a much worse location with fewer options.

    Safety always has to take priority over all other things in aviation. Period.

  80. Noreen Smith Guest

    Why not stop at the nearest airport and have authorities in that location arrest them?

  81. Anonymous Guest

    I’m surprised the passengers in economy could pry themselves out of the cramped, no leg room, section to attempt to sit in the section that is sized well enough to actually accommodate a human being.
    What’s wrong with holding a random drawing of passengers in economy to fill empty business seats when they are available.
    United could gain the goodwill of passengers. But oh no let’s treat the “customer” like cattle instead ,...

    I’m surprised the passengers in economy could pry themselves out of the cramped, no leg room, section to attempt to sit in the section that is sized well enough to actually accommodate a human being.
    What’s wrong with holding a random drawing of passengers in economy to fill empty business seats when they are available.
    United could gain the goodwill of passengers. But oh no let’s treat the “customer” like cattle instead , all in the name of profit.
    How about holding United accountable for treating passengers like the enemy all in the name of their bottom line. Profit is the only
    reason economy sections are configured to pack in passengers so tightly it makes for a miserable, tension filled and unsafe experience.

    1. M Elwood Guest

      How about pay for the seat you want to sit in? All the business class paid more for their seats. I would have a problem with those who paid those coach rates sit in the section I paid extra to get away from those exact people. Then the airline would have a bigger fight on their hands I promise.

  82. Former Flight Attendant Guest

    United Airlines had NO choice but to return, it's not about sitting in Business Class without paying...a passenger being out for control, combative and refusing to comply with the rules and regulations. This happened shortly after take off, one can only imagine what these two had in mind for the rest of the flight.
    They should be banned from air travel by all airlines. Air travel is a privilege, these two clearly put everyone...

    United Airlines had NO choice but to return, it's not about sitting in Business Class without paying...a passenger being out for control, combative and refusing to comply with the rules and regulations. This happened shortly after take off, one can only imagine what these two had in mind for the rest of the flight.
    They should be banned from air travel by all airlines. Air travel is a privilege, these two clearly put everyone in harms way.
    Wake up people, if you don't like the rules of flying...find another mode of transportation!

  83. Rhonda Guest

    Perhaps the airlines could keep a few parachutes on board for emergencies like this and toss the offenders out?? It is but to dream.

  84. Fed UP Guest

    You dont get it... United and others dont want to lecture the passengers, put the flight crew and others at risk for the rest of the flight. Its also a deterrent to show zero tolerance for this behavior. Also, (probably) US based carriers want the people in the US justice system, rather than where ever they are flying to. Good for United. PS - Airlines should have a common DO NOT FLY list and share...

    You dont get it... United and others dont want to lecture the passengers, put the flight crew and others at risk for the rest of the flight. Its also a deterrent to show zero tolerance for this behavior. Also, (probably) US based carriers want the people in the US justice system, rather than where ever they are flying to. Good for United. PS - Airlines should have a common DO NOT FLY list and share Information among them and get these people banned on as many airlines as possible.

  85. Deb Long Guest

    As a crewmember, you don’t realize the impact of the distraction. We have been trained to not put our crew and passengers in a worse situation down the road over the Atlantic with few options to divert timely. Terrorist have used these types of distractions to to preoccupy the Flight attendants and passengers. I agree that these minor appearing disruptions inflight cost 100’s of thousands of dollars. Was the better solution to handcuff the individuals,...

    As a crewmember, you don’t realize the impact of the distraction. We have been trained to not put our crew and passengers in a worse situation down the road over the Atlantic with few options to divert timely. Terrorist have used these types of distractions to to preoccupy the Flight attendants and passengers. I agree that these minor appearing disruptions inflight cost 100’s of thousands of dollars. Was the better solution to handcuff the individuals, put them in coach seats, and not give them any rights for the remaining of the flight to insure the safety of the crew and passengers. Getting an international airport authority to arrest them can also be difficult. Just my 2 cents.

  86. Mike (retired airline Captain) Guest

    A couple of points:

    1. The report noted that "Witnesses onboard claim that these passengers then “rioted.” The hyperlink related to this comment goes to an news report in Hebrew which I cannot translate but that report alone explains the need to return to departure airport.

    2. History has proven that seemingly mild disturbances aboard an airliner can be part of a diversion in an attempt to breach the cockpit and must always be handled...

    A couple of points:

    1. The report noted that "Witnesses onboard claim that these passengers then “rioted.” The hyperlink related to this comment goes to an news report in Hebrew which I cannot translate but that report alone explains the need to return to departure airport.

    2. History has proven that seemingly mild disturbances aboard an airliner can be part of a diversion in an attempt to breach the cockpit and must always be handled caurtiously.

    3. Forgien law enforcement doesn't always arrest and prosecute passengers the way the airlines home country may. Especially if the offenders are citizens of that country. (Nationalities unknown)

    4. In addition to the law about interferring with crewmembers, these criminals attempted to steal services for which they had not paid for. A crime not withstanding any other offences.

    I am sure there are a host of other issues related to this incident but these crimes can never be over looked.

  87. Jack Guest

    Easy. Jail cell on every plane. ‍♀️

  88. JAS Guest

    They should have landed in Maine or wherever they were, let them get arrested there, ban them from ever flying any airlines ever again and let them figure out how to get home from Maine. Until there is severe consequences for this behavior it will not stop these kind of people who think they can just do whatever they want.

    1. Ma Guest

      Goose Bay is nice this time of year..

  89. NA Guest

    Unfortunately, most of the time when flight attendants write up unruly passengers they do not get fined or reprimanded. Unless it is an egregious offense the passengers are just given a “stern” talking to and allowed to go about their business. The decision to not allow passengers who refuse to follow crew directives to remain onboard is ultimately a safety concern.

  90. Helen Guest

    I believe It’s best to land in the nearest airport on route to the destination. The unruly passenger can be met by federal agents, be arrested and spend the night in the local jail. Afterwards they can be placed on a no fly list, fined and allowed to find their way back home. Meanwhile the flight continues on. Only in the event there’s no airport on route, only then should the flight turn around.

  91. john bryant Guest

    Need small jail on airplanes and big security people

  92. Denise Calise Guest

    The airline did the right thing, yes it inconvenienced others but had they gotten further in their route and it turned into something else that would have been worse. What makes people think they are so entitled? Pay the upgrade or stay in the proper seat…

  93. Devo Guest

    Your example for a solution doesn't work when it's an international flight on an American plane. These passengers deserved to be arrested. If a verbal threat is all a passenger gets, then there would be more unruly foreign passengers knowing they dont have to fly that airlines again.
    A lot if the younger population did not experience 911. They dont understand the seriousness of air travel. Social networking and the internet has eroded common...

    Your example for a solution doesn't work when it's an international flight on an American plane. These passengers deserved to be arrested. If a verbal threat is all a passenger gets, then there would be more unruly foreign passengers knowing they dont have to fly that airlines again.
    A lot if the younger population did not experience 911. They dont understand the seriousness of air travel. Social networking and the internet has eroded common sense and elevated a lot of peoples sense of entitlement. Sadly, bad manners rule these days.

  94. Bluto Guest

    In another lifetime I worked for a major airline for nearly 20 years in customer services. When this occasionally happened, police met the flight after landing and arrested the idiots for theft of services. Usually the threat of doing this was enough.

  95. Michael Guest

    Why not treat this like a medical diversion and land at the closest airport and unload the passengers where ever and take off with the rest of the passengers and continue to the scheduled destination . Put the burden on them to get home or to their destination. And bill the unruly passengers for all expenses incurred not just the airline but all passengers as well.

  96. Mike Guest

    Why not treat this like a medical diversion and land at the closest airport and unload the passengers where ever and take off with the rest of the passengers and continue to the scheduled destination . Put the burden on them to get home or to their destination. And bill the unruly passengers for all expenses incurred not just the airline but all passengers as well.

    1. kate Guest

      this is NOT a medical emergency!

  97. Kish Guest

    No way should the flight have continued. As noted below, these passengers moved closer to the cockpit and demonstrated non-compliant behavior. I say duct tape them, return to the airport and too bad about the inconvenience. Imagine if they were over the Atlantic and the behavior escalated?

  98. Goldie Guest

    To the point about why not continue the flight and deal with it on other end…. The reason any flight generally diverts for these situations is that there has to be compliance with federal regulations which include following instructions and commands of the crew during flight. Dangerous slippery slope to start tolerating complete disregard for rules and instructions during flight. More and more people will think to take chances and do this sort of behavior...

    To the point about why not continue the flight and deal with it on other end…. The reason any flight generally diverts for these situations is that there has to be compliance with federal regulations which include following instructions and commands of the crew during flight. Dangerous slippery slope to start tolerating complete disregard for rules and instructions during flight. More and more people will think to take chances and do this sort of behavior with the possibility that police won’t do anything after the fact. People often don’t think consequences. They think instant gratification. This behavior must be stopped immediately. If an emergency situation (mechanical or weather, etc.) happens, safety of ALL passengers requires everyone following instructions.

  99. Tamsternator Guest

    Nope. Nope. Nope. Get people like this off the plane ASAP. No way should they be allowed to pollute this shared, limited space for one extra minute once they have shown their intentions. Would you actually expect a flight crew to be forced to deal with these unruly individuals for over 8-10 hours, for the sole purpose of not inconveniencing the rest of the passengers? No. That’s not how it works. Flight crews are already...

    Nope. Nope. Nope. Get people like this off the plane ASAP. No way should they be allowed to pollute this shared, limited space for one extra minute once they have shown their intentions. Would you actually expect a flight crew to be forced to deal with these unruly individuals for over 8-10 hours, for the sole purpose of not inconveniencing the rest of the passengers? No. That’s not how it works. Flight crews are already working under stressful conditions as it is. There should be ( and us) zero tolerance and swift action under these conditions This crew did the right thing.

  100. TAZ Guest

    I really don’t get the logic of thinking which some people are using when they board the airplane!!! People should understand that the airplane is not their house they can do whatever they want, they’re just guests there and they should comply with all the instructions and all what the crew advice them to do because they don’t have other choices ‍♀️… it’s not their way of thinking are the rules, the airline’s policies are...

    I really don’t get the logic of thinking which some people are using when they board the airplane!!! People should understand that the airplane is not their house they can do whatever they want, they’re just guests there and they should comply with all the instructions and all what the crew advice them to do because they don’t have other choices ‍♀️… it’s not their way of thinking are the rules, the airline’s policies are the rules… And what make you thinking that you are so special so you can seat anywhere without paying the price of that anywhere when someone else payed his fortune to travel in luxurious conditions!!! It’s really confusing

  101. DanDair Guest

    I wonder why they weren't put off at Gander.?

    The aircraft could have landed & the disruptive passengers removed & then whilst the planes fuel was being topped-up, their bags could have been found & taken off.

    The aircraft could have then continued it's journey & the passengers left in Gander to fend for themselves, once the local police had dealt with them.

    Seems like a no-loser scenario to me.?

  102. jon Guest

    so entitled they think they are hope they end up on a no fly list and are charged and fined

  103. Stefano Sancho Agada Guest

    Having quickky scanned through the comments, I didn't See anyone mentioning the Judicial aspects. Turning the flight around allows charging the offenders with relevant US laws. Doing this at the destination point can complicate things as other laws may apply and they would have to employ local lawyers etc.

  104. Steven Brock Guest

    As A middle age person , I think people who Don't adhere to the Rules of Travel which is is printed in carrier section of plane Tickets should be punished to the full extent of the law and of course be placed on the No fly List. It's become apparent that since the Pandemic passengers Feel they can Conduct themselves in ways that effect the rest of the passengers and that just permitted.

  105. Ross Guest

    I’d dropped them off in Goose Bay with the authorities…

  106. Anthony Guest

    There is normally a air marshal or 2 on board these flights and if they are getting out of hand they should zip tie them and if necessary gag them instead of putting hundreds of people in this situation
    Flying nowadays has become a nightmare and it’s time to start putting the other passengers first and deal with a few Idiots
    It’s almost time to think of having security on every flight

    1. Donato Guest

      The cost to the USA or Israel of an air Marshall being outed is high, said Marshall can no longer work this role.

  107. Bill Guest

    I was on an easyJet flight from Majorca to London Gatwick when a woman lit up a cigarette in the toilet. As these have smoke detectors in them the cabin crew were waiting for her when she came out. They demanded her passport and informed her she was barred from all U.K. flights. Police arrested her at Gatwick. I don’t know if she was fined or jailed

  108. Anon Guest

    Unfortunately entitlement and complete disregard to regulation is common behavior among Israelis.

    1. John Levitsky Guest

      My approach is more simple, less costly, less inconveniencing, and much more of a deterrent to other idiots. Tell them once. Then a second time. Then tase the hell out of them. Apply a liberal number of heavy duty nylon restraints. Put their hogtied, disruptive, ignorant asses in the last row seats. Gag if necessary. Sedate if needed. Award them the stupid prizes for playing stupid games. Crews can certainly find willing supporters and assistants....

      My approach is more simple, less costly, less inconveniencing, and much more of a deterrent to other idiots. Tell them once. Then a second time. Then tase the hell out of them. Apply a liberal number of heavy duty nylon restraints. Put their hogtied, disruptive, ignorant asses in the last row seats. Gag if necessary. Sedate if needed. Award them the stupid prizes for playing stupid games. Crews can certainly find willing supporters and assistants. A plane in flight is the same as a ship. The Captain should have complete authority in procedural discretion.

    2. Tom Guest

      I would like to see passengers such as these put on an International "no fly" list. It should be expanded to include any transportation service -- train, plane, ship. They can upgrade all they want in the comfort of their car which may have trouble crossing the Atlantic.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      feel free to provide data to support your position but non-Jewish Americans constitute the vast majority of behavioral problems on US airlines.
      psst. there are uncooperative, entitled people in every society and culture

  109. Kevin Guest

    I did once something similar with a friend, on a Guangzhou - Paris flight operated by China southern on behalf of Air France. We were seated at the back of the plane and behind was a Chinese mother and her entitled king (son).

    Despite that 5 years old kicking my seat for more than hour, neither his mum nor the FA were willing to try and stop him.

    Although that that kid was...

    I did once something similar with a friend, on a Guangzhou - Paris flight operated by China southern on behalf of Air France. We were seated at the back of the plane and behind was a Chinese mother and her entitled king (son).

    Despite that 5 years old kicking my seat for more than hour, neither his mum nor the FA were willing to try and stop him.

    Although that that kid was 5 years old he was not clean and was wearing diapers. When the smell started we asked his mum to do something and she said she didn’t bring any extra diapers.

    That was it, we could not take it any more and asked the FA to seat us elsewhere in the economy section of the plane. She said she couldn’t as this part of the plane was full and said we should stay at our place.

    We stood up and walked in front to discover an empty premium economy cabin and decided to seat there.

    FA came and said we had to go back. We answered there was no way we could stand the smell of the crap for an additional 8 hours. We gave her two options : let us seat in front or go back to Guangzhou and allow us to take another flight.

    15 minutes after she came back and said that we were allowed to remain.

  110. Old-Lady-Pilot New Member

    Sorry, cat walked across tablet...
    I think they should have diverted to an ETOPs airport near by. I would choose a small city where they would not fit in with to local population and one with very limited air service. Maybe make it a dump pax,"gas and go". Keep the plane , crew and pax on board in a sterile environment with no immigration services needed. Their bags could be left on board since...

    Sorry, cat walked across tablet...
    I think they should have diverted to an ETOPs airport near by. I would choose a small city where they would not fit in with to local population and one with very limited air service. Maybe make it a dump pax,"gas and go". Keep the plane , crew and pax on board in a sterile environment with no immigration services needed. Their bags could be left on board since they have been through international bag xray and security screening.
    I would hope the bags would be in the first can loaded so they could not be retrieved.
    If in Canada they might be subject to arrest for interference with an international flight and possible terrorism. Once removed they most certainly would be subjected to strict quarantine and confined, hopefully, to a small hotel with limited guest services.
    Furthermore, I would have them banned from flying UA for life and ask that they be listed on world-wide terrorist watch lists because they interfered with the operation of an international flight.
    United should also take steps to have them banned from all airlines for life for
    breaking US federal laws and interfering with the flight crew and being threats to the safety of flights.
    If they are banned from flying they will have a really "fun" trip back to the states. I don't think there is much bus service let alone trains. It would be a long expensive drive.
    United and hopefully other airlines should request new regulations that require perpetrators requiring emergency diversions be required to reimburse the airlines for the cost of the diversion: crew time, aircraft operational cost for flight time, fuel, landing fees, any emergency services needed, ground handling cost because it would be a non company ground handler and any immigration, customs and border control costs.
    The airlines need to make it clear that messing with the operation of any flight will have severe consequences with imprisonment and heavy fines plus costs.

  111. JLG Guest

    They didn’t want ‘their’ business class seats. They were not ‘theirs’. Seats. Crew said riotous behaviour when told to move. Perhaps airline travel has reached point of needing security on board, and a small closet to lock up unruly passengers.
    They used the term airport conditions to avoid liability.

  112. Brian Burdon Guest

    They should have diverted to the most northerly airport in Canada and dropped them there. They could have then continued onto their destination while the disruptive passengers tried to find an airline that would accept them after the airport police released them.

  113. Nany Guest

    Embarrassing ..
    And it's about time to issue a black list for passengers like this that prevent them to fly for some time or something in this manner.

  114. Charles Rapson Guest

    A ? If people do something, like taking seats they didn't pay for, why doesn't the crew continue to the next airport on their route, land, have the passengers sent or taken off the plane and continue on only slightly delayed?
    In this case, Moncton was directly ahead. An announcement of the delay and it's cause might have ended the theft of services and if not, land, have law enforcement remove the offending passengers,...

    A ? If people do something, like taking seats they didn't pay for, why doesn't the crew continue to the next airport on their route, land, have the passengers sent or taken off the plane and continue on only slightly delayed?
    In this case, Moncton was directly ahead. An announcement of the delay and it's cause might have ended the theft of services and if not, land, have law enforcement remove the offending passengers, take on fuel to replace that used, and continue the flight. What happens in Moncton is on the offending passengers, although it is likely that other airlines might refuse them to carry them. Hotels and food might get expensive until the passengers could somehow resolve the problem.

  115. annime Guest

    I agree with the original suggestion; however I believe the airline should have the right to strap the interlopers into seats where they cannot disturb others.

  116. Alexis Esguerra Guest

    The plane turned around because these were “unruly passengers”. No post-9/11 US carrier is going to risk keeping the plane in the air with passengers that went into a (your word) “riot”. Sucks for everyone else, but it is what it is.

  117. Old-Lady-Pilot New Member

    I think they should have diverted to an ETOPs diversion airport close by. I would choose A small city where they

  118. Bev Schulz Guest

    After reading about abusive passengers that have punched flight attendants, causing harm, I think the airlines have taken a hard line with belligerent passengers. It may cost a lot of money and inconvenience to the other passengers but making examples of these idiots may end up saving a whole lot of future flights from bigger disruptions. The article said the passengers rioted when told they couldn’t have their way, would the passengers have really wanted...

    After reading about abusive passengers that have punched flight attendants, causing harm, I think the airlines have taken a hard line with belligerent passengers. It may cost a lot of money and inconvenience to the other passengers but making examples of these idiots may end up saving a whole lot of future flights from bigger disruptions. The article said the passengers rioted when told they couldn’t have their way, would the passengers have really wanted to stay on a long flight with them?

  119. אלי ברעם Guest

    Why not throw them out of the door?

  120. Omni Guest

    This is a very unfortunate case, and shameful that people behave like that. But most people behave properly.
    By the way, lately there have been several times that United, postponed the same flight the next day, exactly the same flight number, they definitely took care of bed and breakfast, but people need to get to work or family as planned ... it's starting to feel like it's done on its own initiative

  121. Deb Shepherd Guest

    Offload them at the closest convenient airport and resume the journey.

  122. Silvia Guest

    "I just don’t understand what goes through peoples’ minds when they act like this" -
    Well you obviously never flew to israel.
    The passengers are... some of a kind.
    I completely understand the crew's decision.

    1. Jesse Guest

      Agreed. Though I've never flown to Israel, I often fly Aeroflot from JFK to SVO. Aeroflot used to have great fares between New York and Tel Aviv with a connection in Moscow, so many of the flights had lots of Israelis. They were often a headache for the crew and other passengers, and often made unrealistic demands. Once, I booked a Comfort Class window seat. A Jewish couple showed up, and the man "informed" me...

      Agreed. Though I've never flown to Israel, I often fly Aeroflot from JFK to SVO. Aeroflot used to have great fares between New York and Tel Aviv with a connection in Moscow, so many of the flights had lots of Israelis. They were often a headache for the crew and other passengers, and often made unrealistic demands. Once, I booked a Comfort Class window seat. A Jewish couple showed up, and the man "informed" me that I had to switch seats with him, as his wife was assigned the seat next to me and that by no means could she sit next to me. I refused to switch because he had a regular economy seat, and they absolutely threw a tantrum. They demanded the flight attendant make me move, and when she refused, they said that I had hurled anti-Semitic insults at them (which was a lie). Eventually they sat together in economy. I've seen several other instances where a Jewish couple threw fits because other passengers refused to bow to demands. I've also seen some get irate because they failed to pre-order Kosher meals, and so they weren't loaded. Aeroflot has a place where you can order special meals before the flight. It was ridiculous to expect them to have a lot of extra Kosher meals on demand. Oh, and don't forget at points during the flight men would stand and do some strange prayer-looking thing that involved rocking back and forth.

    2. YTPlowher New Member

      Ew. Such gross behavior from all of those kinds. I dare someone ask me to move because his wife can’t sit next to me. Man would I make that uncomfortable for both of them the entire flight. I would stare, lick my lips, wink, and they couldn’t do crap.

    3. Donato Guest

      Gee, I was the last person boarding an LH flight, FRA-EWR. Somehow the (empty) flight was all full because a prior JFK flight was cancelled. My seat was occupied by East Asian pax and they just told me to take another seat. It was OK and focused on myself and my needs. I did not stare, lick my lips, wink or anything else, life is too short. Then again, they were not Jews and I either hate or not hate logically, not based upon bias..

    4. Moe Guest

      All the incidents in your post correspond to Ultra Religious Jews and their concerns. Based on the calendar (flight landing Friday 4 PM) the passengers were definitely not Ultra Religious Jews. So much for your pent up hatred.
      just curious, how do you know that Jews failed to pre-order KSML? I use Western vegetarian or Vegan meals and they almost never get loaded.

    5. Jesse Guest

      Well, I've overheard flight attendants asking if they pre-ordered the meal, and they said no. The ones who did pre-order got their kosher meals, which made others angry when they couldn't have one too. There's no hatred here. Just observations from my experiences.

  123. Zoher Bharmal Guest

    When two Israelis grabbed two Chairs, there has been an outrage. Now, imagine the injustice been done to Palestinians by Jewish settlers for 70 years with American arms and Congressional Budgets

    1. Jeremy Guest

      Well aren’t you a racist

      You know this could be also Israeli arabs.

    2. Gladys Stith Guest

      This crossed my mind as I wrore my response. Israeli's can do mo wrong in the eyes of America, so why not ecdrcise the dame privilegrd behavior in othet situations? It is hkvhly unlikely tgese passenhers will ho on a no fly list if they are Isradlu, so they teally don't rxprct stringent consequences.

    3. Mohhamut Guest

      There’s a big difference between the cases. Don’t mash it all together.
      Don’t forget that there is only one country for the jews as arabs has 1/3 of all earth

  124. Steven E Guest

    New York to Tel Aviv … say no more .. it's always bedlam .. seating .. male/female.. religious situations .. had this happen a few years ago when a man refused to have a woman sit next to him, it was awful , thankfully the police were called and the entire family were deplaned

    1. Omni Guest

      This is a very unfortunate case, and shameful that people behave like that. But most people behave properly.
      By the way, lately there have been several times that United, postponed the same flight the next day, exactly the same flight number, they definitely took care of bed and breakfast, but people need to get to work or family as planned ... it's starting to feel like it's done on its own initiative

  125. Shlomo Guest

    Jews wouldn't try to pull something like this on EL AL.

  126. iflyflat19 Guest

    absolutely they should be dumped off the flight. no reason to have passengers who willfully disobey the instructions of the crew and the law. I hope they get sued and are banned from flying United if not all airlines in the US. sucks for everyone else

  127. iflyflat19 Guest

    absolutely they should be dumped off the flight. no reason to have passengers who willfully disobey the instructions of the crew and the law. I hope they get sued and are banned from flying United if not all airlines in the US.

    1. Anonymous Guest

      Why are people such jerks you ask? Have you seen what mindset the people are in? Its become normative thinking that people have a right to just take what they want as "being owed to them". And the MSM telling them that its ok to do so. Then the outrage starts when they do and you get articles like this.

  128. DCR Guest

    Do you honestly think that major airlines do not already take steps to warn pax like this that they are in violation of crew member instructions, that they can be fined and that they can be banned from flying on that airline forever more? Do you honestly think that just on a whim the airline decided to turn around? Inconvenience to others and cost be damned??!! Wake up. Why do you think so many domestic...

    Do you honestly think that major airlines do not already take steps to warn pax like this that they are in violation of crew member instructions, that they can be fined and that they can be banned from flying on that airline forever more? Do you honestly think that just on a whim the airline decided to turn around? Inconvenience to others and cost be damned??!! Wake up. Why do you think so many domestic Airlines stop serving alcohol in coach. Today's passengers don't care and do whatever the hell they want and see what they can get away with

    1. Saint82 Guest

      Sounds like our last president

  129. Linda Guest

    I can see myself so desperate for a lie flat seat I could maybe try this. But what kind of person would not scurry back to their original seat when caught? A definite trouble maker.

  130. James Fair Guest

    They should have to pay all the bills for that flight !nice band from flying for a period of 2 to 5 years from all airlines

  131. Chuck Guest

    I happen to be one of the crew in row zero that flies a lot of trans-Atlantic trips...and I agree with the crew's decision 100%. We in the front office cannot leave it to go back and speak sense to these entitled idiotic passengers, so we rely on our cabin crew to do so. If the cabin crew feel that these passengers were a safety of flight issue, I have to rely on their observations...

    I happen to be one of the crew in row zero that flies a lot of trans-Atlantic trips...and I agree with the crew's decision 100%. We in the front office cannot leave it to go back and speak sense to these entitled idiotic passengers, so we rely on our cabin crew to do so. If the cabin crew feel that these passengers were a safety of flight issue, I have to rely on their observations and take them seriously. I would definitely turn the jet around and, if the behavior called for it, would consider diverting into a closer airport to remove the passengers. Actions have consequences, and unfortunately for the other passengers on board, safety of flight takes precedence over continuing on to destination. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more people behaving badly as society at large continues to devolve.

  132. PA Secrest Guest

    Every time a passenger moves their seat forward, towards the cockpit, that considered a safety threat. This was a safet measure that came into play as a result of 9/11. Safety transcends everything on any flight, esp international flights.
    In addition, for passengers who paid thousands of dollars, deserve the seats they paid for. You want to upgrade your seat? Pay for it like everyone else.

  133. Dave M Guest

    There should be a "global" no fly list for dipshits like this ... banned from every airline world wide ... after a few have this done this sort of behaviour will stop. Have fun never being able to travel by air again!

    1. Jim Guest

      Agreed. They can drive to their next business or vacation destination for the rest of their lives. All airlines worldwide should have a single No Fly Ever list for people who act like this.

  134. Bob Morrison Guest

    What is the punishment for such reckless behavior? Theses individuals should be banned from all domestic/internation flights for 10 years!

  135. rsactuary Guest

    I say land at the nearest airport and drop them off, take their luggage off, refuel and take off again. Let them fend for themselves, whether it's in another country or not.

  136. Paul Guest

    I think the jerks in this case are the crew that decided to turn around and cause so much trouble to other passengers and airline If it was European airline they would have had to pay a lot of money to passengers because Europe has laws to protect people from abusive airlines that do not care. Why don't we have similar laws in US?

    1. Jazzerrr Guest

      Because the laws aren’t abusive?

    2. Lita Kerr Guest

      Paul, WHAT?? The airline did t cause this the passengers did. And the airline put the other passengers into hotels and worked with them to rebook flights. I expect an airline to do everything necessary to keep me and my family safe. Turn that plan right around if someone is acting like an ass. 35,000+ feet up is. It a court of law. Let that be settled on the ground.

  137. Kiwi Guest

    If they wanted business class, then they should have booked and paid for business. Empty seats in a class above what you paid for is not an invitation to self upgrade. Put these passengers on the No Fly list for 20 years.

    1. Jeffrey McCurdy Guest

      Yes !!
      If the penthouse of a hotel is vacant for the night do people demand that they can have it???

  138. BigMacDenver Guest

    Should have continued on to TLV. The F/A’s should not have served them anything and they should have had police waiting in the jetway on arrival.

  139. CanuckinCT Guest

    Every single passenger whose journey was disrupted should be able to sue these 2 for being inconvenienced.

  140. Anonymous Guest

    Welcome to the Holyand

  141. Daryl Guest

    They should have diverted to Bangor and dropped them off with the police there.

  142. Evelyn FernandezFerrer Guest

    They should just drop them off to the nearest airport with a police waiting to give them a warm welcome, and resume the flight for the rest of the passengers.

  143. Dean Guest

    As a passenger diverted and delayed solely due to the behavior of an unruly passenger do I have standing to sue the unruly passenger(s) directly for compensation? Why has this not been done? People need to be financially responsible for their actions in planes just line on the ground.

    1. Martha Guest

      I was wondering the same thing. I think the answer is yes, but is the jurisdiction in the state of the flights origin? If it happened to me, I'd want compensation.

  144. Thomas Foo Guest

    The flight should have proceeded and let the two jokers sit in business class but on arrival, the police would take them into custody.
    Both of them would be charged with illegally upgrading and fined heavily.
    On top, the airline would charge them double the fare for business class.
    The turning back caused great inconveniences to other innocent passengers because of the two jokers unnecessarily.

  145. Brandon Guest

    I fly all the time (weekly, sometimes 2-3x per week) I have been on flights in the last 7 years where you could pay the flight attendant on board to upgrade if space was a available. You just needed your credit card and she would tell you the price to upgrade and then slide the card just like buying alcohol or something from her.
    I disagree with allowing passengers, like those in the story,...

    I fly all the time (weekly, sometimes 2-3x per week) I have been on flights in the last 7 years where you could pay the flight attendant on board to upgrade if space was a available. You just needed your credit card and she would tell you the price to upgrade and then slide the card just like buying alcohol or something from her.
    I disagree with allowing passengers, like those in the story, to remain on board. I feel that they are a safety Risk and if I were the FA I would not be comfortable in that environment.

  146. Marlene Guest

    What if they just dropped them off to the police at the next airport so they didn't have to turn around and go back? Then they're still arrested for causing problems and once released, they have to find their own way home at their own expense, and obviously not by flying since they'll be put on the no-fly list. Then it's just a quick stop to drop them off and then resume the flight for everyone else.

  147. Billy Guest

    Remember, when a flight turns around after 1 hour into an 11 hour flight, the pilots still get paid for the full trip. They don't have a problem turning the plane around. They get home early with full pay.

  148. tkphotog Guest

    It's probably against the law, but personally, I would like to see the miscreants abandoned in a foreign country with no US carrier willing to bring them home.

    1. CanuckinCT Guest

      Like the idiot Canadians stranded in Mexico.

  149. Robin Wade Guest

    Safety First. How far were these idiots going to go? How many other pax were going to get involved. I wish the airlines would sue these people since they are so entitled, they should be entitled to pick up the cost.

  150. Al Guest

    Should have served them polonium tea and wished them an enjoyable flight.

  151. GuestsuzyQ Guest

    It is just sad that incidents like this have been happening much more in the last couple of years. I teach high school and see this over and over again in terms of proclaiming one to deserve priority over others just because…allowing these types of things to happen just exacerbate the system. These individuals need to have immediate consequences. Where were the Air Marshals? What role did they play?

  152. Blaz Guest

    Just change the laws and give the airline the ability to charge the passengers the full cost of the upgraded seat from some form of credit card bond. You will be amazed at how quickly they will change back to their original seat.

    1. Phillis Mayer Guest

      Pax do this ALL THE TIME!. They see all the empty seats in premium cabins and try to move up. I then have to go back and embarrass them by asking them to return to the seat that they paid for.

  153. KK Guest

    Zip ties were invented for a reason....

  154. JC Guest

    As a flight attendant myself, we never know when a situation may escalate to something worse. This is a major consideration that must be taken into account especially on flights oversea as a diversion airport is not readily available. Kudos to the entire crew and I really hope Unitedfilea a civil case to recoup the losses.

  155. Longnight Guest

    Escape pods on airline is the solution. Shove them ib there and jetison them over any waters

    1. Jean Guest

      Probably because if they landed in a different airport, the airline would have to bed down the passengers in hotels. Returning to their home airport, the passengers could go back to their own homes.

  156. Howdy Guest

    Yep! Blame it on the airline!

    Could be distraction, so return/landing is always best.

  157. Tobaccovillan Guest

    Every passenger should also sue these passengers for their losses.

  158. Ed Lawrence Guest

    How about we make their names public info so anyone who loses any monies due to the delay getting to a location can sue them for
    their stupid acts.

    1. Jean Guest

      I agree. They should also post their mugshots as well. If these people realize they can't hide in anonymity, that should make them think twice.

  159. runnercm Guest

    reminds me of the bridesmaid movie x 1000

    1. Bob Guest

      I just don't think monetary punishment works. Maybe after the fact they'll think more on it but eventually they'll convince themselves they were right and the govt over reached.

      Public shaming for months and possibly years is really the best punishment for people desparate for attention.

  160. GLM Guest

    Wonder if the other passengers can sue the two that caused all this for damages…. Sort of Class Action Law Suit… maybe that would help stop this kind of nonsense…..

  161. Paul Guest

    I feel you’re being a little short-sighted. Airline ops people have significantly more experience with unruly passengers than any of us.

    What may start out as a battle for a free business class seat could morph into a much more volatile and potentially dangerous situation.

    For the same reasons you question the psyche of people like this, you should also be wary of the potential risks they may pose to the flight crew and passengers…which...

    I feel you’re being a little short-sighted. Airline ops people have significantly more experience with unruly passengers than any of us.

    What may start out as a battle for a free business class seat could morph into a much more volatile and potentially dangerous situation.

    For the same reasons you question the psyche of people like this, you should also be wary of the potential risks they may pose to the flight crew and passengers…which carries a much greater cost in the long run than 2 hours of fuel and rescheduling inconveniences.

  162. Franklin Guest

    Why weren't they offloaded coatless in Gander?

  163. Lone Ranger Guest

    This situation seems to be fuelled by a sense of entitlement.
    It starts with walking around the cabin on long haul, then using the bathrooms in the class you are not booked in. People will push the envelope as far as they can before someone - puts them back in thier place.

    Society today doesn't use the word NO. People of all ages are resistent to the word, and that brings with it...

    This situation seems to be fuelled by a sense of entitlement.
    It starts with walking around the cabin on long haul, then using the bathrooms in the class you are not booked in. People will push the envelope as far as they can before someone - puts them back in thier place.

    Society today doesn't use the word NO. People of all ages are resistent to the word, and that brings with it the entitlement.

    Having worked aircraft where passengers are unruly, this isn't the first option, however in a situation where there is non compliance with directions of the crew - it becomes the option of last recourse.

    Not only is there the Financial cost, there is a huge environmental cost too. This aircarft would have had to dump fuel to get down to maximum landing weight - and all that is released into the atmosphere. These "entitled" individuals should be clobbered with all the costs. If that means they surrender thier 401K to pay the fines and costs - so be it.

    1. Dean Guest

      100% agree. This should be considered an intentional tort and the financial penalty inescapable for life even in the event of bankruptcy. There should be incidental damages like you mentioned for environmental damages and put on the national no fly list for a decade or so. The penalties should be enforced by the IRS. They can find your money anywhere.

  164. FrankieG Guest

    I think your missing a point that the air carrier has the full weight of the US Judicial system when it returns to a US city to deplane the offenders. In another country the penalty might be light or nonexistent. I do however don’t know why they could not divert closer to an United Airlines station that had infrastructure to handle the 787.

    1. Jean Bernard Guest

      Probably because if they landed in a different airport, the airline would have to bed down the passengers in hotels. Returning to their home airport, the passengers could go back to their own homes.

  165. Wayne Guest

    They should have continued on to TLV and have them tried under the Israeli laws and fight o extradition for a few years from their jails in which are not country clubs

    1. Smartaviator Guest

      Probably because it was a international flight and therefore immigrations/customs agents are needed to handle the off loading of the passengers (when the flight cancelled)

    2. Omri Guest

      Actually, as an Israeli, our jails are country clubs compared to the US. 5 stars hotels got nothing on them, and they'll be out in a jiffy after cleaning 1/3 of their sentence just for good behaviour. It's best that they be tried in the US, you guys know how to nail them hard.

  166. Perez Wayne Guest

    They should have continued on to TLV and have them tried under the Israeli laws and fight o extradition for a few years from their jails in which are not country clubs

  167. Steve Guest

    Surely it would cost United less to request a divert to the nearest airport, remove the two from the plane and then continue the flight? Gives them the opportunity to continue the flight, not wasting fuel and crew hours, and not inconveniencing and entire plane load of passengers.

    Plus it leaves the a-holes stranded without luggage, damn good lesson just there.

    1. Les Guest

      Umm why would you want to remove the idiots, who could be intentionally creating a diversion on board with bad intents, but then leave their luggage on board to continue on? Think about it. Very bad idea. And contrary to FAA/TSA regulations.

  168. Jonyodo Guest

    Simple solution to these problems. These passengers are permanently placed on the do no fly list, along with other terrorists. In addition, they need to not only repay the airline for the cost of the flight they disrupted, but also repay every passenger that was inconvenienced. If they can't pay immediately, simply snatch the wealth of their extended families and give it to the inconvenienced passengers.

    1. Lee Guest

      Would you like your "wealth" snatched if a relative did something stupid or illegal?

  169. John sousa Guest

    I sincerely hope UAL sues the pants of these jerks….They should be banned from ever being able to fly again

  170. Most interesting man in the world Guest

    I don’t always carry but when I do its to rid the world of people like this - Most interesting man in the world

  171. Ken Nguyen Guest

    Both did not handle it well. The airline has their luggage so just hold on to them at the service desk until they pay the fare difference. Also, where is the air marshal during all of this fracas? Did they cut that back now for international flight?

  172. Allen Guest

    How about land in Maine, kick them off, and finish the flight, rather than returning to EWR? If the jerk passengers were acting dangerously, the captain would not have flown all the way back to EWR.

  173. Stop The BS Guest

    Maybe, instead of inconveniencing the entire flight, just strap parachutes on the offenders and escort them to the door?

  174. Sofia Guest

    To imply the the crew should suck it up to avoid confrontation is ridiculous. Who knows what other liberties they would impose on the flight. The crew should not have to put up with interference with crew members and oh ITS A FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATION. Imagine the inconvenience if for the next 12 hours.

  175. Karen A Shields Guest

    I think the airlines should install ejector seats for these occasions and offer free parachute hire.

  176. FLLw Guest

    I hope they are put on a boat in steerage and sent back permanently to Tel-Aviv

  177. dave Guest

    Probably some right wingers characterizing it as a riot when it was really "mostly peaceful" self-upgraders.

    1. FLLC Guest

      or maybe they were "insurrectionists" haha

    2. Zzer0 Guest

      That's it politicize it. Jesus sick of it its not a left or right problem it's a MORON problem.

    3. Gordo Guest

      free IQ upgrade for you , you now have the brain power of a concrete garden gnome

  178. Ellen Guest

    They should have just dict taped them to the seats for the 10 hours left on the flight….

  179. Jack Baggelaar Guest

    No matter what you do it’s a bad situation.If you ignore them they could become violent and that’s the last thing you want.I believe the crew did the best thing possible.Landing ASAP and removing passengers then let authorities deal with them.

  180. Jimbo Guest

    They should have found the closest airport they can land at, even if its Hell Hole Nova Socia, have the police escort them off, tell them their bags will be back in the US on the return flight. Now these idots are stuck, don't have bags and need a get out of jail card then let them find their own way home.

  181. Andrew Blagrove Guest

    I was a Purser with British Airways. 3 pax upgraded themselves on a flight from LHR to PRG. We were on the ground and ready to depart. They refused to move seats. I told them to move back to their economy class pre assigned seats. If they chose not to move, they would receive no inflight service ( which in those days consisted of drinks, dinner and coffee/ liquors) plus they would be met by...

    I was a Purser with British Airways. 3 pax upgraded themselves on a flight from LHR to PRG. We were on the ground and ready to depart. They refused to move seats. I told them to move back to their economy class pre assigned seats. If they chose not to move, they would receive no inflight service ( which in those days consisted of drinks, dinner and coffee/ liquors) plus they would be met by the police on arrival and pay the full business class fare and suffer the consequences of being arrested! I told them that the choice was theirs. They quietly and quickly returned to their pre assigned seats and we departed.

  182. BC Guest

    Hey Brig,
    Where were 1990 and 1962 mentioned in this article? What does socialism have to do with this piece? Yes, there are idiots born every day. I can see that by your comments, which have nothing to do with the article. I can guess your political affiliations. Yes, there are lots of idiots out there and you are one of them.

  183. Paul Guest

    Keeping on the flight just endorses others to do the same generally eroding the system as well as foreign nation heading might not be inclined to arrest as their departure one

  184. Gram Guest

    I agree that the Airline should be able to sue the passengers for money lost, including the $ of the other passengers. Perhaps it should be a condition stated on any flight ticket agreement when the purchase is made. A friendly reminder before takeoff could be announced.

  185. Brandon Guest

    Wow, it seems like the thought of United being generous and upgrading these folks when they have ample cabin space and the fuel cost is sunk is a contrarian view, but that's why I don't fly United (and their reputation proceeds itself). Would've been cheaper than turning the flight around and burning up dependent flights, and it's not like you're setting a precedent. Goodwill is a thing.

    1. Joe Guest

      I'm sure anyone who was on the upgrade list was upgraded prior to departure.

    2. Sky God Guest

      So Brandon, do you think that it would be okay for someone to walk into Nordstroms and pay $49. for a pair of shoes, but decide that you want to take the Manolo Blaneks which cost $490. instead? Do you think that Nordstrom should be generous, since they have so many pairs in the store anyway? You are an idiot and should go take the bus!

    3. JTR Guest

      As a premiere elite member of United who takes anywhere between 50-100 flights a year I couldn’t be more excited someone like you doesn’t fly with United. Follow the rules or gtfo.

    4. Mark Guest

      Should they have refunded the fares of everyone who paid for first or used miles/cash for upgrades, since they could have all just upgraded themselves for free? Would those pax and all others who would have been upgraded for free then upgrade themselves on all future flights?

      Would the people who buy first class buy it in the future if they know they can just upgrade themselves for free.

      If airlines do let people...

      Should they have refunded the fares of everyone who paid for first or used miles/cash for upgrades, since they could have all just upgraded themselves for free? Would those pax and all others who would have been upgraded for free then upgrade themselves on all future flights?

      Would the people who buy first class buy it in the future if they know they can just upgrade themselves for free.

      If airlines do let people move themselves up, why those two pax and not others who are in the military, or in the medical field and are constantly helping others. Those are the people who wouldn’t resort to this behavior but they sure deserve it over others.

      Please tell us other airlines that make it policy to let pax upgrade themselves.

      If you hate United, just say so but don’t hide it under this ridiculous and misinformed comment.

    5. Lita Kerr Guest

      Tell you what bRaNdOn…let us see your good will. I defy you to upgrade ONE solo passenger on your next flight. Go on, make it a “thing”.

  186. TJ Guest

    I think you know that that safety video does mention you must follow crew instruction. I think the funniest thing is blaming the crew of this piece.

  187. Paul Gauthier Guest

    Sue the pricks and make them pay!They were nothing short of terroist if they let them coninue on the flight with no repercussions!JMHO

  188. James Bartlett Guest

    These two passengers committed the crime of "theft of service" when they 'stole' those business class seats. Also, they became "hostile threats" to the security of the flight. No one can say just how far this hostility was going to gp. Were they going to insist on business class drinks and meals to? Were they going to assault a flight attendant when things didn't go their way? Security situations like this cause a LOT of...

    These two passengers committed the crime of "theft of service" when they 'stole' those business class seats. Also, they became "hostile threats" to the security of the flight. No one can say just how far this hostility was going to gp. Were they going to insist on business class drinks and meals to? Were they going to assault a flight attendant when things didn't go their way? Security situations like this cause a LOT of problems for all concerced. Please just obey your flight and cabin crews' instructions!!!

  189. Steve Guest

    Perhaps there's a good reason, but I think the flight should have been diverted to Bangor, the unruly pax arrested, and the flight continue to Israel.

  190. Alex G Guest

    I completely disagree that the answer is allow them to remain in their "self upgraded" business seats. First if the act was committed over US airspace, would Israel (or wherever their final destination is) care to deal with it? How about if they're well connected? And good luck "billing" them if they're not even US residents. And if they're willing to do this, what else are they willing to do? Upgrading them selves to the...

    I completely disagree that the answer is allow them to remain in their "self upgraded" business seats. First if the act was committed over US airspace, would Israel (or wherever their final destination is) care to deal with it? How about if they're well connected? And good luck "billing" them if they're not even US residents. And if they're willing to do this, what else are they willing to do? Upgrading them selves to the cockpit for a better view? Taking over the crew rest area? Get real.

  191. EBWaa Guest

    I bet the others pax were just delighted with these idiots.

    1. Jean Bernard Guest

      I thought the same thing. Imagine the in-flight announcement "Ladies and gentlemen, we are returning to Newark because two of your fellow passengers decided the rules were not for them and claimed Business class seats they had not paid for". Flying back to their origin point surrounded by their now-angry fellow passengers had to have been a form of torture. "We followed the rules...why couldn't you?". I wish I could have seen their faces when...

      I thought the same thing. Imagine the in-flight announcement "Ladies and gentlemen, we are returning to Newark because two of your fellow passengers decided the rules were not for them and claimed Business class seats they had not paid for". Flying back to their origin point surrounded by their now-angry fellow passengers had to have been a form of torture. "We followed the rules...why couldn't you?". I wish I could have seen their faces when they realized the airline wasn't bluffing. That the plane WAS turning around and that they would be arrested. Not to mention everything that comes after that.

  192. Charles Guest

    Returning to the US places the passengers under US law. If the plane had continued to destination the passengers would be under the laws of that country and would require extradition back to the US. They passengers should have to bear the full burden of the cost of this flight including the cost to the other passengers plus jail time.

  193. Mer Guest

    I think what you need to consider is when things get to the extreme and flights divert it is newsworthy. When the crew is able to resolve the issue without diversions or social media uploads you don't hear about it. I assure you the vast majority of issues are resolved even less dramatically then you suggested they could be. The last thing any crew or airline want to do is divert.

  194. Jeff Guest

    Anyone this stupid is a Bus Rider and Bus Riders should ride buses, not aircraft. next we'll have to install locked barriers between Coach and Business classes like the reinforced cockpit doors we installed after 911. Bus Riders.

  195. Amber Berry Guest

    I can assure you the unruly passengers were informed they were violating federal law. The crew is not allowed to speculate on what punishment will be assessed upon them.
    I am a flight attendant and I can tell you returning and or landing is always the last option.
    We weren’t there, we don’t know the entire story. The crews only obligation is to make sure everyone onboard is safe, including themselves.

  196. JJ Guest

    The crews are doing their job according to the company policy. If anyone can seat anywhere on the plane, why airlines have first and business class fare different.

  197. Doy Guest

    It is very clear there was a potential huge security concern here. The two men making their way into the forward cabin and defiant of the flight attendants orders to get out fo there….the Captain must have considered the possibility that the aircraft could have been in the process of being taken over, (who else had not “shown’ themselves yet) and the aircraft needed to be on the ground asap. Good job flight and cabin...

    It is very clear there was a potential huge security concern here. The two men making their way into the forward cabin and defiant of the flight attendants orders to get out fo there….the Captain must have considered the possibility that the aircraft could have been in the process of being taken over, (who else had not “shown’ themselves yet) and the aircraft needed to be on the ground asap. Good job flight and cabin crew. I hope these creatures will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  198. Emma Guest

    As a flight attendant, if a passenger cannot follow crew member instructions as simple as sitting in their assigned seat that signals to me and my fellow crew members that they may have difficulty following direction in a more serious situation. It’s safer to return to the original destination rather than risk noncompliance during an emergency or security incident especially on a transatlantic flight with few opportunities for diversion.

  199. James Lopez Guest

    The seats are open what’s the harm in allowing people to take those seats? It’s the same for a baseball game or football basketball game the seats in the front are open. People from above come down for the closer seats and it’s just happens. I’ve flown out of country often in times and have had the first class seats open and hav asked to fill in those seats and it was never a problem. I think this is just another case of dumb shit.

    1. emmayche Guest

      There’s a major difference between letting a polite passenger who ASKS to move actually do so, and dealing with someone who moves without permission and refuses to follow crew instructions. The first is building loyalty for the airline; the second is theft of service, bordering on piracy.

      Just to mention it, refusing to follow the orders of a flight crew can, in the SOLE JUDGMENT OF THE CAPTAIN, result in being shot dead. Yes, it’s...

      There’s a major difference between letting a polite passenger who ASKS to move actually do so, and dealing with someone who moves without permission and refuses to follow crew instructions. The first is building loyalty for the airline; the second is theft of service, bordering on piracy.

      Just to mention it, refusing to follow the orders of a flight crew can, in the SOLE JUDGMENT OF THE CAPTAIN, result in being shot dead. Yes, it’s legal, and while the captain might face disciplinary action from his company, the person who was on the wrong end of the pistol won’t much care.

  200. Mary Butler Guest

    You obviously think those words work. When they are at the mob mentality point everyone is at risk. When you are on a long haul flight it’s different than a quick one. People cause disruptions as diversions and have other motives so no one is sure the outcome especially once hire over water.
    We are not here to risk our safety for someone’s theft of service.

    Never forget!

  201. David R Guest

    Every passenger should sue them. Over a hundred law suits should make an impact.
    FAA should ban them from flying in the United States airspace for 10 years.

  202. Applesis Guest

    I heard a history before in Tel a vi flight a whole family went to the crew rest and stay there while the crew was doing the service. The family refused to leave and used all the crew amenities.

  203. Kiwi Guest

    Can we please remember 9/11?!
    When a passenger(s) act this way, flight crew has to go in high alert thinking 9/11 thoughts, especially when it involves a large, fully fueled aircraft and going on into international territories. It’s much “safer” to keep these aircrafts domestic even if cost triples. It’s all about safety first. Yes it’s a huge inconvenience for all involved but I’d rather get these “idiots” off the plane and fly another...

    Can we please remember 9/11?!
    When a passenger(s) act this way, flight crew has to go in high alert thinking 9/11 thoughts, especially when it involves a large, fully fueled aircraft and going on into international territories. It’s much “safer” to keep these aircrafts domestic even if cost triples. It’s all about safety first. Yes it’s a huge inconvenience for all involved but I’d rather get these “idiots” off the plane and fly another day for purely safety reasons first and foremost. I’m glad for those involved that they made the decision to turn around while over mainland USA. Things can get very difficult once international anything takes place. It’s all about safety people!!! Not convenience….

  204. Jose Palmer Guest

    Totally outrageous! These persons must be truly disturbed to think they would not be arrested an fully held accountable for costs associated with this insane action as well as FAA and U S federal laws. However there are obnoxious and self appointed privileged persons out there who
    Feel they are above everyone and everything. Lock ‘em up,bill them and put on the national news so other like minded dorks
    Understand this won’t be tolerated!

  205. Jay Guest

    Alcohol is always the issue. They need to start doing breathalyzers before people get on flights.

    1. Blaz Guest

      Sometimes it is mental illness, and sometimes it is people who only focus on themselves and think it is everybody else who has the problem. You see it at supermarkets. I have seen it a lot, and often alcohol isn't part of the equation.

  206. Hugo Sevilla Guest

    Your suggestion sounds reasonable, however, once a passenger refuses to obey crew members instructions, the best option is to proceed to the nearest airport available because if a passenger is willing and able to disobey something as simple as to remove himself from a situation that is not difficult to do, chances are that he will continue to disobey any and all crew members instructions, leading to something more serious. What if he decides that...

    Your suggestion sounds reasonable, however, once a passenger refuses to obey crew members instructions, the best option is to proceed to the nearest airport available because if a passenger is willing and able to disobey something as simple as to remove himself from a situation that is not difficult to do, chances are that he will continue to disobey any and all crew members instructions, leading to something more serious. What if he decides that he wants to pilot the airplane, what if he decides that he wants to drink his own alcohol or break an integral part of the aircraft cabin or goes to the bathroom to do something sinister. You just never know what else an unruly passenger will do next. We have to remember that an airplane is not like a bus where we can pullover or call 911, no, the safety of everyone is in peril because we may fall out if the sky from 40,000 feet high. Once these bad actors decided to disobey crew members instructions they have basically signaled that they do not recognize the authority of the airline and by extension the authority of federal authorities that conferred that authority to the airline. To continue to operate a flight under such circumstances is irresponsible because if something more sinister were to develop during the flight, besides unnecessary exposing passengers to harm, the airline would be exposing themselves to potential liability. What if they are allowed to stay there and then during the flight they determine that they would have a better view from the cockpit, what then? You see where this is going? The best option continues to be; proceed to the nearest airport available.

    1. William Taylor Guest

      How about that there is an international agreement that any plane with disruptive passengers (but not dangerous) continue to its destination and then those passengers be arrested, confined and tried in the country of their destination. I am assuming that most of these people are Americans, and would be surprised that their rights don't exist in foreign countries.

  207. Eric Guest

    As flight crew I can confirm that a diversion is definitely not the first option considered in these types of situations; It is however the only one that makes the news. Nobody reads articles about two passengers who had a little too much to drink, did something stupid and had themselves met by police on arrival.

    If you’re interested in actual statistics I suggest you call the police precinct which has jurisdiction over your...

    As flight crew I can confirm that a diversion is definitely not the first option considered in these types of situations; It is however the only one that makes the news. Nobody reads articles about two passengers who had a little too much to drink, did something stupid and had themselves met by police on arrival.

    If you’re interested in actual statistics I suggest you call the police precinct which has jurisdiction over your nearest major international airport and find out just how often they have to interfere. Sadly, as any frequent flyer can attest, the flying public has more than its share of “disruptive” individuals.

  208. JustDave Guest

    Divert to closest, suitable airport with police. Arrest the morons and move on to original destination. What's the advantage of returning to departure airport? Oh... I know... don't want to get sued for leaving the dipshits somewhere they didn't want to be???

    1. LarryInNYC Gold

      I imagine that, because these flights generally cancel (due to time-outs or other factors) that stranding the other passengers is more of a concern. By returning to the destination at least half your passengers are close to home.

    2. Freddie Guest

      It’s not really an option to continue the flight. Israeli officials cannot arrest the passengers fir violating US law.

    3. Omri Guest

      It actually happens quite often that passengers are arrested upon landing in the destination country (or a stopover in a 3rd country if the flight was diverted). They obviously violated Israeli law too, and there's usually policies and cooperations on incidents such as this.

  209. Cp Guest

    These folks should be arrested and heavily fined. A ban from all air travel on any airline for 5 years. This behavior should not be tolerated.

  210. Ben Guest

    As a Thursday night flight landing in TLV Friday afternoon, this was also the last opportunity for observant Jews to get into Israel before Shabbat began at sunset. The two hour delay is enough to force those passengers to stay in NY/NJ until Sunday...

    1. Mike Guest

      It was supposed to land after the start of Shabbat candle lighting. So presumably there were no Shabbat observant people onboard.

  211. Guest Guest

    Air piracy onboard an aircraft is a prosecutable offence internationally.

  212. Nate nate Guest

    Why didn't the plane land at Boston to drop the offenders off? Seems like that would save fuel.

    I understand why the AA flight a few days ago returned to Miami opposed to landing in Bermuda because of border issues, but in this case its the same country. Is there an obligation for United to get the offenders back to EWR?

  213. Guest Guest

    Why not divert to the nearest airport (i.e. Halifax), off load their as$# and continue the flight, instead of turning around and going back? Same question with AA's MIA flight earlier this week.

    1. Mark F Guest

      They broke US law. Return them to the US. Its their jurisdiction.

    2. Luke Guest

      Could have been portland or bangor, maine

    3. Chuck Gold

      I would have voted for Machias. If not enough runway, descend to 150 feet and let them out there.

    4. Greg Smith Guest

      Gander, Newfoundland. Good luck getting home.

    5. Doy Guest

      There are some technical considerations, apart from the human element, with a possible diversion. Overweight landing - new ETOPS predeparture inspection needed ….Most of the Canadian maritime airports have a long enough runway to land on, but the problems with handling the sheer size of a 787-10 begin after clearing the runway. Jetways? Stairs? Hotels? Handling staff? The list is long in making a divert decision and if so to where with a large aircraft....

      There are some technical considerations, apart from the human element, with a possible diversion. Overweight landing - new ETOPS predeparture inspection needed ….Most of the Canadian maritime airports have a long enough runway to land on, but the problems with handling the sheer size of a 787-10 begin after clearing the runway. Jetways? Stairs? Hotels? Handling staff? The list is long in making a divert decision and if so to where with a large aircraft. If you’re on fire that decision is suddenly very much easier though.

  214. MBAtl Guest

    Anyone who does not comply should face the appropriate plenty. We have too many laws but the lack of enforcement. This will continue happening until stiff penalties are applied to these jackasses.

    1. CrewJuice Guest

      The thing is, TLV/Any Israel flight has much more stringent regulations that have to be obeyed, ie Remaining seated for the last portion of flight, unlike say a US or Int'l flight, you might be able to plead your case of having an emergency lav need. TLV though, we are not allowed to make exceptions. That's on Israeli Security and govt regs. So, someone not returning to their seat, that plane might have been denied...

      The thing is, TLV/Any Israel flight has much more stringent regulations that have to be obeyed, ie Remaining seated for the last portion of flight, unlike say a US or Int'l flight, you might be able to plead your case of having an emergency lav need. TLV though, we are not allowed to make exceptions. That's on Israeli Security and govt regs. So, someone not returning to their seat, that plane might have been denied landing clearance by the time they get there by authorities over that particular instance.

  215. XPL Guest

    Flying United IAH-XPL last week, there was a passenger who tried to self-upgrade, making the same vacuous argument. The flight attendant very professionally deescalated the situation and got the fool back into the seat he paid for. SMH.

  216. Kate Guest

    I agree it’s awful to inconvenience so many people, and I love the thought of having them be sued for damages. But this was a really long flight, and indications are that these people could be dangerous.

  217. Ben Guest

    I’m so tired of this labor “union I timed ouT.” The passengers were wrong to go up to the next class of service but thins “I timed out” stuff is starting to get on my nerves. So you do a little overtime. What do you think a flight attendant if they work more than 11 hours a day they’re going to dissolve and turn into a pumpkin. And the pilots you don’t think if they...

    I’m so tired of this labor “union I timed ouT.” The passengers were wrong to go up to the next class of service but thins “I timed out” stuff is starting to get on my nerves. So you do a little overtime. What do you think a flight attendant if they work more than 11 hours a day they’re going to dissolve and turn into a pumpkin. And the pilots you don’t think if they had an hour or two extra on the plane and got overtime that they’re going to forget how to pilot a plane.

    1. Mark F Guest

      I thought the 'timed out' was an FAA thing. Sorry employee safety is getting on your nerves.

    2. madgoat New Member

      Timing out in this context isn't just a contract thing, it is exceeding FAA maximum hours regulations which are in place to ensure crew are given adequate rest between trips and not forced to work continuously beyond safe limits.

    3. Alex Guest

      Do you actually understand what it's like to work 11 hour days in stressful situations faced with horrible customers with the responsibility of keeping people alive in an emergency? Do you actually understand what it's like to be forced to work a shift longer than 11 hours when that's already brutal? Because I do, in a completely different industry. Your lack of empathy is not helpful.

    4. Snoozed Guest

      This isn't a union issue, there is federal law stating how long these crews can be on the shift.

    5. Daniel Krebs Guest

      There are contracts in place for limits of duty time. One extra hour may not seem like a lot to you Ben but trust me there are duty time limits for a reason.

    6. Hugo Sevilla Guest

      Ben: It’s not about Union working rules but rather about how long the crew has been on duty and how that is factored in to FAA rest guidelines to prevent fatigued crews from un safely operating an aircraft. Now keep in mind that paramount to an airline success and that of the passengers is to arrive safely at their destination, imagine what would happen if due to exhaustion a pilot makes a fatal mistake. A...

      Ben: It’s not about Union working rules but rather about how long the crew has been on duty and how that is factored in to FAA rest guidelines to prevent fatigued crews from un safely operating an aircraft. Now keep in mind that paramount to an airline success and that of the passengers is to arrive safely at their destination, imagine what would happen if due to exhaustion a pilot makes a fatal mistake. A flight from Newark to Tel Aviv can be between 14-15 hours, plus 2-hours in flight and another two hours of ground time to refuel and other administrative time to authorize a take off can be lengthy.

    7. NoDuh Guest

      Watch some of the Air Crash Investigation shows and you will understand about pilot fatigue. Its a real thing and the rules are for public safety. Piloting a plane is complex and if something goings wrong you don’t want a fatigued pilot.

    8. Monica Mefford Guest

      Actually our duty days are 16 hours. After 16 hours the FAA thinks mentally and physically people are unable to do their job safely.

    9. Janet Guest

      My ex was an airline pilot. FAA sets the standards for the length of aircrew work days. Believe me, you do not want an exhausted pilot flying the jet on which you are a passenger. As we used to say in the US Air Force, “you do not want to be a smoking hole in the ground.”

    10. Gabriel Guest

      Totally agree Ben. I’ve flown all around the world and time out induced cancellations are pretty much unique to America (or at least like 100 times more common in America than anywhere else). They are a result of union arrangements. In Europe and Asia if a flight is delayed, time out is never cause for cancellation - either the plane flies or a new crew is called up. Most international frequent flyers regard the airlines...

      Totally agree Ben. I’ve flown all around the world and time out induced cancellations are pretty much unique to America (or at least like 100 times more common in America than anywhere else). They are a result of union arrangements. In Europe and Asia if a flight is delayed, time out is never cause for cancellation - either the plane flies or a new crew is called up. Most international frequent flyers regard the airlines there as pretty much third world in terms of they’re professionalism and quality.

    11. Gabriel Guest

      Totally agree Ben. I’ve flown all around the world and time out induced cancellations are pretty much unique to America (or at least like 100 times more common in America than anywhere else). In Europe and Asia if a flight is delayed, time out is never cause for cancellation - either the plane flies or a new crew is called up. Most international frequent flyers regard the airlines there as pretty much third world in terms of they’re professionalism and quality.

    12. Grey Member

      ...
      It isn't about unions or labour issues at all. It is because sleepy pilots are dangerous. I am definitely in the, 'better safe than sorry' group on that front.
      Just like there are limits on hours for lorry drivers.

    13. Glenn T Guest

      Yeah, it's not as if they work their fingers to the bone for the entire flight! LOL!

  218. Anna Guest

    They probably have good lawyers anyway ;)

  219. David Guest

    Not turning the plane around sets a precedent. It also means they are now inclined to be even more disruptive for the remainder of the flight. Who knows what else they’d demand. This behavior ALWAYS escalates.

  220. Donna Diamond

    Airlines need to come together share information on passengers who force flight cancellations and other such problems and institute a ban across all, not just the carrier on which the offense occurred. Otherwise, this is will become a regular thing. The people doing this neither fear arrest or fines. Time to play hardball.

  221. RR Guest

    Honestly, if you told a person who ignored the FA's request multiple times that they were going to "be arrested on landing and would never fly the airline again but hey, enjoy the next 8 hours" that person basically becomes a three strikes offender in a car chase - nothing to lose.

    I think the part where you bring over the credit card reader to confirm they're about to be charged 3000 for their...

    Honestly, if you told a person who ignored the FA's request multiple times that they were going to "be arrested on landing and would never fly the airline again but hey, enjoy the next 8 hours" that person basically becomes a three strikes offender in a car chase - nothing to lose.

    I think the part where you bring over the credit card reader to confirm they're about to be charged 3000 for their new seat in addition to their old one, that stands a better chance of working. Because they either take the charge or they move back. And if they stay then you turn the plane around. Only problem there is do you then have cause to arrest them? I'd assume so but still.

  222. JP Guest

    I was flying back to the US from London in J once, and a couple of young ladies boarded late and took two open seats. The FA was quick to come back and ask to see their boarding passes, and politely informed them that if they wanted to stay where they were it would be 800GBP each. They moved. I suspect they didn't realize that the FA has a list of who is in each seat.

  223. George Romey Guest

    Just the sign of our time and this idea that if you want something it should just be yours for the taking.

    1. Arie Guest

      Isnt that why they carry duct tape? Tape em to the back seat of the plane and let israeli police deal with them. Not an elegant solution but practical.

  224. ramcm7 Guest

    Is Bangor, Maine no longer accepting these folks? Would have been more convenient than going all the way back to EWR and probably could have completed the trip with a bit of a delay.

    https://www.deseret.com/1999/6/14/19450654/maine-airport-ensuring-skies-stay-friendly

  225. Chuck Gold

    What would Harrison Ford tell them to do? #JS

  226. Chuck Gold

    The far less expensive solution would have been to land at Machias, drop the rabblerousers on the tarmac, and take off again.

  227. James S Guest

    They should have diverted to Boston

  228. Eskimo Guest

    Now you realize why El Al has armed air marshal on every flight and TLV have police carrying automatic weapons.

    Maybe Polaris is a holy seat taken away by some prophet.

    1. Moe Guest

      Gee, are you not aware of attempts to bring down airliners? EL Al has a pretty good record because they have these air Marshalls. Are you not aware of a bomb in luggage found at LHR a few years ago? The poor British Woman had just married an Israeli Arab and was travelling to meet his family, the husband happened to be in a different flight.
      I do not condone the passengers behavior but...

      Gee, are you not aware of attempts to bring down airliners? EL Al has a pretty good record because they have these air Marshalls. Are you not aware of a bomb in luggage found at LHR a few years ago? The poor British Woman had just married an Israeli Arab and was travelling to meet his family, the husband happened to be in a different flight.
      I do not condone the passengers behavior but do not make light of the reason for Air marshalls. Many an American has died on 9/11.

  229. Luke Guest

    This could have been easily solved by allowing them to sit in business class after declaring on landing they will owe the full fare amount charged for that class, or be immediately arrested for theft upon landing.

    1. ajh Guest

      Change "or" to "AND", then I would tend to agree.

  230. DWAGENT Guest

    I think both airlines handled both incidents properly.

    In the case of the mask refuser on AA, that’s a violation of federal regulations and a threat to the safety of the crew and passengers—of course those jerks should have been removed as soon as possible, and in this case, it sounds like that was back to Miami.

    In the case of the self-upgraders on UA…although there was less of a health risk and no federal...

    I think both airlines handled both incidents properly.

    In the case of the mask refuser on AA, that’s a violation of federal regulations and a threat to the safety of the crew and passengers—of course those jerks should have been removed as soon as possible, and in this case, it sounds like that was back to Miami.

    In the case of the self-upgraders on UA…although there was less of a health risk and no federal regulatory violation, it’s important to maintain the authority of the flight crew over operations—if flouting the flight crew is OK for self-upgrading, then what’s next? Smoking? Pissing on the seats? Mile-high club outside of the restrooms?

    In theory, the airline could charge them for the upgrade later, or have them arrested upon arrival…but that turns on the assumption that the issue is about money, or the law. But in this case, it isn’t —it’s about respecting the operational authority of the flight crew whilst in-flight.

    I hope both airlines sue both sets of jerks, at least for cost.

    And in addition, what about that cross-airline ban list…where are we on that?

    1. Reno Joe Guest

      Remember that the AA mask refuser turned violent. She threw objects at the flight attendants. That's what prompted the turn-around.

    2. David R Guest

      Every passenger should sue them. Over a hundred law suits should make an impact.
      FAA should ban them from flying in the United States airspace for 10 years.

  231. Joel Horwich Guest

    I can beat that:

    A 5.5 hour flight to the Faroe Islands from Copenhagen which diverted back to Denmark after inclement weather on the islands prevented our Landing. The next day, I flew on Faroe Island Airways whose minimums are lower than those of SAS. We got in.

    Flights to Nowhere can be a drag.

  232. CF_Frost Member

    Open question: If you don't turn around in these circumstances how do you stop from setting a precedent? It all goes downhill very quickly without consequences.

    1. HM Guest

      What precedent would be set if the passengers were left in business class, charged the full fare of the seats, charged with a federal crime, arrested on arrival, and banned from the airline?

      You think the precedent would be “passengers might think this is a good deal and will stay in the seats”?

    2. CF_Frost Member

      You are applying consequences which is a good thing. I seem to recall at one time the FA's had the ability to sell seat upgrades within the economy cabin on domestic flights. They could swipe a card to sell the exit row once on board. I have not seen that in a while.

    3. DWAGENT Guest

      The precedent that it’s fine to ignore the flight crew or any airline rules that you don’t like.

      Maybe they have enough money to pay for the upgrade, maybe not…maybe they’re the kind of assholes who say “what are they going to do…sue me?”…knowing that they’ve got $50 left in the bank.

      What if we just decided that no one needed to follow any laws or rules, only pay for any consequences (and assuming they’re always caught)?

    4. polarbear Guest

      Actually yes, the airline may or may not be able to collect the fare and fines in the future - but to tiktokers onboard the story would look like "this is how you get to fly business every time, free"

      I am on the fence whether diversion was justified - it is a delicate balance between enforcing respect to crew instructions and pissing off other passengers

    5. Reno Joe Guest

      And, then, there's the one guy who went for the (boarding) aircraft door. True story.

      The crews don't know these people's motives or state of mind. They have the situation they have.

    6. Jon Fondersmith Guest

      These people violated Federal Law by ignoring flight crew instructions. The FBI should have met the flight in EWR.

  233. Joey Diamond

    I wasn't there either but I'd presume this had become a safety issue and hence the turnaround. In the past I've always heard how an economy passenger or two would give a cash tip to the purser to get themselves upgraded to business class but I doubt that would have worked either.

  234. Donato Guest

    Normally I would have wondered if these were ultra religious people going to TLV but the timing, arriving Friday eve eliminates that.
    I do remember that when I flew this flight it appeared that one (nasty) male flight attendant was clearly selling upgrades and I am pretty sure this did not increase revenue to UAL.

  235. Tim Dunn Diamond

    I mean, seriously. They were going to Israel where armed police are everywhere at the airport.
    If Ben's verbiage doesn't work (which is logical), then let them deal w/ Israeli authorities.
    Arguing that they might become a risk later in the flight is speculative. Once the pilots turn the plane around, you have closed the door to any other type of resolution.

    Compliant passengers are going to get increasingly mad at airlines that...

    I mean, seriously. They were going to Israel where armed police are everywhere at the airport.
    If Ben's verbiage doesn't work (which is logical), then let them deal w/ Israeli authorities.
    Arguing that they might become a risk later in the flight is speculative. Once the pilots turn the plane around, you have closed the door to any other type of resolution.

    Compliant passengers are going to get increasingly mad at airlines that can't resolve situations w/o harming everyone else on the plane including those that know how to follow the rules.

  236. LarryInNYC Gold

    "It’s interesting how the solution for crews in these situations is almost always to just turn the plane around and inconvenience everyone; assuming these passengers just wanted their business class seats"

    There is no evidence to support this statement. We have no idea how many times there are unreported disruptive passenger problems that are resolved without a diversion. My guess is it's tens or hundreds of cases for every one that we hear about.

    Also,...

    "It’s interesting how the solution for crews in these situations is almost always to just turn the plane around and inconvenience everyone; assuming these passengers just wanted their business class seats"

    There is no evidence to support this statement. We have no idea how many times there are unreported disruptive passenger problems that are resolved without a diversion. My guess is it's tens or hundreds of cases for every one that we hear about.

    Also, I very much doubt if they did continue that the Israeli authorities would have any interest in getting involved concerning a violation of American aviation statutes that occurred in American airspace. Post-facto charging of the business class fare is also unlikely. Therefore, if the aircraft had continued with these passengers in J then the most that is likely to have happened is banning from United in the future. The only other alternatives were diversion to someplace within a US jurisdiction, or a physical altercation on the plane.

    1. Max Guest

      Indeed, I have been on a Lufthansa Flight once (FRA-YVR). We had a drunken and violent passanger onboard, who got offloaded in Iceland. About 90 minutes later we were on our way....the return flight was able to make up a good hour of the delay due to the winds, so they landed back in FRA with just 30 minutes behind schedule.

  237. Jeff Guest

    I disagree with any plan that allows troublesome passengers to remain on the flight. First, who knows what else they will do. Second, if there is enough publicity around the arrest of and flight bans for (there should be a National no fly list) these wack-jobs, hopefully, disruptive behavior will be mitigated.

  238. Jean Guest

    You'd like to think this would be a one off but I had a similar episode a few years ago when I was the only J passenger on a BA flight from Heathrow to Spain. About 15 minutes into the flight a couple from economy walked through the class-dividing curtain, stood opposite me in the aisle, folded their arms and glared at me.

    Of course the flight attendant came immediately and asked them to...

    You'd like to think this would be a one off but I had a similar episode a few years ago when I was the only J passenger on a BA flight from Heathrow to Spain. About 15 minutes into the flight a couple from economy walked through the class-dividing curtain, stood opposite me in the aisle, folded their arms and glared at me.

    Of course the flight attendant came immediately and asked them to go back to their seat. But no, instead they tried to argue that it wasn't fair that I had a toilet all to myself when there were so many people in economy who had to share. They then suggested the attendant open the curtain and the pilot make an announcement telling everyone they could use the business class toilet as well.

    The attendant wasn't standing for any of it and, with a polite (read her not having any of it face on) advised them if they wanted to fly J then they'd have to pay for it - like I did. They refused with such bluff and indignation you'd thought they'd been asked to buy the whole plane. Anyway, as they begrudgingly walked off, the woman half heartedly turned round and shouted 'well it'll be your fault if I p..s myself'. Classy eh....

  239. Bill Guest

    It’s an entitlement thing. You wouldn’t understand if you were born before 1990. But people born after 1990 deserve everything all the time. It’s why they are so in love with socialism. Since I was born in 1962, I would have welcomed them into Polaris class, then laced their first glass of Chardonnay with ipecac, turning their 10 hr transatlantic flight into a 10 hr nightmare in the toilet. Then whe in intestinal agony, I...

    It’s an entitlement thing. You wouldn’t understand if you were born before 1990. But people born after 1990 deserve everything all the time. It’s why they are so in love with socialism. Since I was born in 1962, I would have welcomed them into Polaris class, then laced their first glass of Chardonnay with ipecac, turning their 10 hr transatlantic flight into a 10 hr nightmare in the toilet. Then whe in intestinal agony, I would have confiscated their carry-ons and taken anything that looked expensive for myself. Call me old-fashioned…It’s just the way I was brought-up.

    1. Brig Guest

      Oh dear. Why turn this into a generational battle? There were idiots born after 1990 and idiots born before 1990. There's even evidence to suggest there were idiots born in 1962.

      I'm not sure why you've decided to bring socialism into this, but while I agree that these people were entitled morons I think that exists across the political spectrum.

    2. Reno Joe Guest

      The individuals were Israelis and not Americans. There might / might not be a cultural norm among Israelis that self-upgrade to a predominantly unoccupied business class is okay. I've lived in the Middle East, although not Israel, and such a thing would not be a surprise. The violent behavior is another thing.

      If the individuals were American, the entitled millennial thing that Bill mentions is very true. I have hired millennials from absolutely top universities...

      The individuals were Israelis and not Americans. There might / might not be a cultural norm among Israelis that self-upgrade to a predominantly unoccupied business class is okay. I've lived in the Middle East, although not Israel, and such a thing would not be a surprise. The violent behavior is another thing.

      If the individuals were American, the entitled millennial thing that Bill mentions is very true. I have hired millennials from absolutely top universities and fired them and have vowed never to hire another. However, I would not agree with any socialist characterization. There are plenty of entitled millennials who are conservative Republicans from Orange County who would do the same exact thing.

      Brig, to your point, it was idiots born prior to 1990 who made the millennials what they are. Ha.

    3. boomerremover Guest

      the irony of any boomer complaining about entitlements is enough to implode the universe.

    4. EBWaa Guest

      As a gen-Xer I get great amusement from watching millennials and boomers arguing over who’s the most entitled, LOL.

    5. Omri Guest

      Reno Joe I can assure you this sort of behaviour is neither common nor acceptable in Israel.
      They would've been arrested upon landing if the flight had reached TLV.
      Pricks exist with every nationality.

    6. Erich Guest

      Bill, you are a real peace of work, aren't you. Talking about generational issue, socialism and entitlement. Yes at the same time you are saying that you would have comited two crimes. Giving someone drugs against their will and without their knowledge and grand theft.
      Is that the good old way and how "real" Americans deal with things?

    7. Santos Guest

      This is like playing Boomer Bingo: generational whining, clueless socialism diss, internet tough guy routine, sociopathic impotent rage fantasy. Congrats. You're a walking stereotype.

    8. Gabriel Guest

      As someone born before 1990s, we are definitely the entitled ones. I mean we have systematically stolen from their generation, screwed the planet up and saddled them with crippling intergenerational debt… occupying a business class seat for a couple of hours doesn’t seem that bad by comparison.

  240. pstm91 Diamond

    I have to admit I did a self upgrade one time, years ago on an Ethiopian flight from the US. I was in the bulkhead of Y and J was completely empty. After the meal service and the lights were turned off, I went up to the FA and asked if I could sit in the last row of J and that I didn't need any service whatsoever, I just wanted to sleep for the...

    I have to admit I did a self upgrade one time, years ago on an Ethiopian flight from the US. I was in the bulkhead of Y and J was completely empty. After the meal service and the lights were turned off, I went up to the FA and asked if I could sit in the last row of J and that I didn't need any service whatsoever, I just wanted to sleep for the duration of the flight. She laughed and said no problem but not to be subtle about it. It was a very pleasant flight! If they had said no, I would have complied and gone back to my seat, unlike these lunatics.

    1. pstm91 Diamond

      But to be subtle about it**

    2. Evelina Guest

      I had a similar experience when I was small, I was 12yo and I was on a school trip to Tokyo, but it was mostly because my IFE was broken. The flight was from DOH - JFK on QR B777
      Before this happened I was disturbing the crew in the valley every 10 mins to ask when they would serve food and in the process ended up having a long conversation with them since...

      I had a similar experience when I was small, I was 12yo and I was on a school trip to Tokyo, but it was mostly because my IFE was broken. The flight was from DOH - JFK on QR B777
      Before this happened I was disturbing the crew in the valley every 10 mins to ask when they would serve food and in the process ended up having a long conversation with them since they were fascinated by me and they even gave me free food and drinks. Later when one of the FA took me to my seat I told her my IFE was broken and she smiled and told me to wait, probably went to the purser to discuss and came back and took me to the last row of Business Class and gave me a seat there, basically upgrading me for free in compassion and I had such an amazing flight due to that

  241. Rtms Guest

    Meh, forget arrest, just make sure to tell them that they will be charged the full business seat and their original seat together. Just make sure they pay it in full when they get off. That would wipe their smug gotcha angle away quick.

  242. Rumrunner Guest

    I saw this happen once on an OS flight leaving Tel Aviv…fortunately we were still on the ground and the passenger could be dealt with.

  243. MildMidwesterner Guest

    That flight path makes it look as if they forgot the Columbian coffee.

  244. Gunter Guest

    Airlines should work like hotels.
    At the check in passengers should leave a credit card just for incidentals on board during the flights.

    1. Mark Leiserowitz Guest

      Actually United works like this. They dont take cards on airplanes. If you order something they just charge the card you have on file

  245. Frank Freudenberg Guest

    I hope these two unruly pax will be charged for all costs. Same I hope for yesterday’s mask refuser.

  246. JK Guest

    Koreans!!! Am I right, JS???

    1. JS Guest

      @JK - you idiot. Would you please go back and re-read my response from the other post? I did not say Koreans - I said Karen's. A "Karen" is something completely different than a Korean. Look it up!! You're inability to read and accusing me of saying Koreans and being racist is highly offensive to me. Apology accepted!!

    2. Sky Guest

      Calling someone a Karen is almost as offensive. Read up on that to find out why it is misogynistic and a tad racist.

    3. Giovanna Member

      You should keep up to date with the comments section... he wrote Karen yesterday not Korean. Read what's written not what you think is written!!

    4. JS Guest

      @Giovanna - thank you!! :) I'm like the least racist person in this world and it truly is startling to be accused of being racist.

    5. Gregg Guest

      the 2 passengers were Israelis, which would make sense on this flight

    6. Stuart Guest

      This back and forth was worth the comments alone, lol. Koreans? I spit my coffee out laughing.

    7. JS Guest

      @Stuart - I know, pretty entertaining, huh?? Lordy!! At this point, all I can do is laugh about it as well.

    8. Reno Joe Guest

      Were these North Koreans? If so, *that* would explain it. They were rebelling against the elitism of business class and its oppression of the working class. (Ha)

      JS, the problem is that people don't read and people's psychological filters force tangential conclusions.

    9. JS Guest

      @ Reno Joe - Haha, maybe it WAS North Koreans - who knows? LOL.
      Well said. Thx!

    10. jason Guest

      Says the guy whose username is literally the code for Air Koryo! :-D

  247. DLPTATL Guest

    What are union pay rules on a turn-around flight for pilots and FAs? Do the crews get full pay as if they completed the trip, or do they just get paid for the 2 hours of flight time. I'm sure safety is the #1 concern, but I also wonder if there's any personal incentive/disincentive to turn-around vs. finishing the trip and dealing with the pax at the arrival end of the trip. With an AA...

    What are union pay rules on a turn-around flight for pilots and FAs? Do the crews get full pay as if they completed the trip, or do they just get paid for the 2 hours of flight time. I'm sure safety is the #1 concern, but I also wonder if there's any personal incentive/disincentive to turn-around vs. finishing the trip and dealing with the pax at the arrival end of the trip. With an AA and now a UA flights turning around in a single week I'm wondering if the tense labor relations at the moment could be a factor.

    1. SQ51 Guest

      You are pay protected by the minimum pay credit, usually equal to block time

    2. Darin Guest

      Much more likely that flight crews are increasingly intolerant of any type of passenger resistance than they are cynically trying to inconvenience travelers to not do their jobs. We’ve all seen the stories of how much passenger misbehavior has increased, we shouldn’t be surprised that crews are taking a no tolerance policy.

  248. RaflW Guest

    It's a tough call (more so as we all lack some details). But with performative rage on the rise -- I'll leave it to readers to surmise why angry in-your-faceness may have become more common in the past five years -- once the two people who were stealing a product they didn't pay for started acting unruly, offloading those pax becomes a safety priority for the captain.
    Would what you suggested as the intervention...

    It's a tough call (more so as we all lack some details). But with performative rage on the rise -- I'll leave it to readers to surmise why angry in-your-faceness may have become more common in the past five years -- once the two people who were stealing a product they didn't pay for started acting unruly, offloading those pax becomes a safety priority for the captain.
    Would what you suggested as the intervention message, delivered immediately after the request to return to assigned seats was 'declined' have deescalated these people? I'm skeptical. But it seems worth a try.

  249. Franklyn Guest

    The problem is keeping them on the flight you now have a KNOWN hostile person in that seat. What happens when drink service starts for actual business customers or meal service? Do you think the customer is just going to say "well I really don't belong here so I can't complain" - which just keeps the issue ongoing throughout the flight.

    Do you want to take that chance on a long haul flight as a...

    The problem is keeping them on the flight you now have a KNOWN hostile person in that seat. What happens when drink service starts for actual business customers or meal service? Do you think the customer is just going to say "well I really don't belong here so I can't complain" - which just keeps the issue ongoing throughout the flight.

    Do you want to take that chance on a long haul flight as a FA?

    Also...now that they are at their final destination theyve got what they wanted...a business class seat to their final destination. Which would embolden others to take the chance they wont be banned or billed or arrested upon arrival.

    Better to get them off the plane and have that known risk factor removed.

    1. Skylash Guest

      It's a bit of revenue protection and cabin integrity, but more of a safety issue. If these people were willing to stake out seats in the forward cabin, who knows who else they may have been coordinating with and how they may disrupt the rest of the flight.

      United should have offloaded them to Gander though and let them find their own way home, on horseback via The Mounties!

    2. eponymous coward Guest

      Uh, and if the crew times out before you get to TLV you now have a stranded plane out of position full of passengers and a crew that can’t fly the plane.

      This is why you turn the plane around. At least at Newark you can get people going instead of trying to get a crew to Gander or whatever intermediate point you had to land at.

    3. Stuart Guest

      It poses an interesting question that I want to assume flight operations looked at. It was probably borderline given the flight time to TLV but the crew might have not timed out with a quick diversion to Halifax or Gander. I have been on a flight (mind you was only to CPH from IAD) that had to stop in Halifax for a medical emergency. It was pretty fast and we were back in the air...

      It poses an interesting question that I want to assume flight operations looked at. It was probably borderline given the flight time to TLV but the crew might have not timed out with a quick diversion to Halifax or Gander. I have been on a flight (mind you was only to CPH from IAD) that had to stop in Halifax for a medical emergency. It was pretty fast and we were back in the air after about 40 minutes on the ground. Seems plausible that an on the way diversion with maybe an hour on the ground would have kept this crew legal.

    4. RalfW Guest

      several years ago I did see a Delta purser say to a self-upgrader that she had her wifi device with credit card reader, and she was going to collect the $120 for the Comfort+ seat (long haul A330 service) or the passenger was moving back to economy.
      It worked, they moved back. Not sure swiping CCs for $4K would have been feasible here, but as you say, these two 'guests' seemed likely to continue to disrupt the flight.

    5. Trey Guest

      Pretty sure at this there's protocol for diversion airports, point of no return, disruptive pax for each route. If only 3-hours left in the flight, maybe zip ties in last row with permanent airline ban may have been an option. With only an hour into a 10-hour flight, the obvious solution is to return to EWR.

    6. snic Diamond

      Totally agree with this. When someone is behaving disruptively, you have no idea what their frame of mind is or even whether they have some ulterior motive. The safest thing to do is land and offload the offending passengers. It sucks for everyone, but it's better than discovering while over the Atlantic that the passenger has become even more belligerent and is now violently attacking people.

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Brig Guest

Oh dear. Why turn this into a generational battle? There were idiots born after 1990 and idiots born before 1990. There's even evidence to suggest there were idiots born in 1962. I'm not sure why you've decided to bring socialism into this, but while I agree that these people were entitled morons I think that exists across the political spectrum.

6
Jeff Guest

I disagree with any plan that allows troublesome passengers to remain on the flight. First, who knows what else they will do. Second, if there is enough publicity around the arrest of and flight bans for (there should be a National no fly list) these wack-jobs, hopefully, disruptive behavior will be mitigated.

6
Franklyn Guest

The problem is keeping them on the flight you now have a KNOWN hostile person in that seat. What happens when drink service starts for actual business customers or meal service? Do you think the customer is just going to say "well I really don't belong here so I can't complain" - which just keeps the issue ongoing throughout the flight. Do you want to take that chance on a long haul flight as a FA? Also...now that they are at their final destination theyve got what they wanted...a business class seat to their final destination. Which would embolden others to take the chance they wont be banned or billed or arrested upon arrival. Better to get them off the plane and have that known risk factor removed.

6
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