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(The Atlantic)   Don't like the movie we're showing on United Airlines? Here, let us make an emergency landing and escort you off the plane   ( theatlantic.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, emergency landing, police escort, Alex Cross, need to know, Alaska Airlines, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport  
•       •       •

11963 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2013 at 3:47 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



124 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2013-04-02 04:17:06 PM  

Ambivalence: Pilots do not divert flights for rational disagreements, only for medical emergencies, mechanical malfuntions inflight or security threats so either someone was having a heart attack (completely unrelated to the Whiney couple), the "check engine" light came on, or this couple was being hostile and/or making threats.

It costs an airline money to make an emergency landing. They are not going to spend that kind of dough just because people are pouty about the movie.


Maybe not about a movie, but a United Airlines captain decided to divert a flight because he and a flight attendant were getting pissy at each other.
 
2013-04-02 04:19:43 PM  

Paris1127: 12349876: Paris1127: Ambitwistor: Trans American Airlines.

An excellent answer, but not what I was looking for...

12349876: Paris1127: In all honesty, they could've offered a better film for everyone to watch.

/trivia question:  Airplane was offered as the in-flight movie on only one airline. What airline was it?

AeroMexico

Very good. Now did you know that, or did you just Google it?

DVD Commentary

Ah, OK. Well done then.


I've watched it enough to remember several things.  Like Pete Rose being the original scripted co-pilot but filming was during baseball season and purposefully speeding up "Stayin' Alive" and the power outage on the runway actually happened while filming helicopter shots.
 
2013-04-02 04:20:11 PM  

Savage Bacon: Tough call. The beef is well written and seems reasonable, but this is all after the fact and only showcases the parents' point of view. When the reactions of others are mentioned, they are conveyed through said parents, thereby being subjective at best and manipulated at worst.

That the captain risked being written up for needlessly diverting his flight on a security risk that didn't exist seems unlikely. Being vindictive is one thing, but one would have to be seriously disgruntled to pull this after a simple, 'calm' verbal complaint from a couple. My money is on the parents being more 'agitated' than they let on. They even said that some of the FAs 'timed out' when the authorities got there. Why would they do that if they had dealt with pleasant, even-tempered people up until that point?


QFT - of course, I'm used to clients with severe mental disorders, so I might be biased.
 
2013-04-02 04:21:18 PM  

Savage Bacon: Tough call. The beef is well written and seems reasonable, but this is all after the fact and only showcases the parents' point of view. When the reactions of others are mentioned, they are conveyed through said parents, thereby being subjective at best and manipulated at worst.

That the captain risked being written up for needlessly diverting his flight on a security risk that didn't exist seems unlikely. Being vindictive is one thing, but one would have to be seriously disgruntled to pull this after a simple, 'calm' verbal complaint from a couple. My money is on the parents being more 'agitated' than they let on. They even said that some of the FAs 'timed out' when the authorities got there. Why would they do that if they had dealt with pleasant, even-tempered people up until that point?


It was a PG-13 movie and in theory the parents should have brought something to keep their kids focused for the flight (book, iPad, etc).  Just pass out your options to the kids, don't give them headphones, and discipline them if you catch them looking up and staring at the screen.  Given it was PG-13 it likely isn't wall to wall adult content, just a couple scenes.  I can kind of understand the FA refusing to put it up out of concern other passengers were simply keeping quiet due to fear of 'omg think of the children!'.   It makes me wonder if the mom did something else to earn a diversion and of course in hindsight is merely claiming her response was perfectly measured.

On a different plane if we're talking seatback units and I'm sitting a row in front of them and watching some PG-13 or R rated movie, they're in the same boat aren't they?  They can't make me turn my unit off and the kids can easily look between the headrests to see my screen.  However the parents deal with that situation should also work for the drop down option.

/I always like it when the person in front of me has the flight tracker on their screen so I don't have to toggle out of the movie to see where the plane is on its route, just move my head a little and look at their screen
 
2013-04-02 04:24:14 PM  
If people would just stop flying commercial, things like this wouldn't happen.

Note to all passengers: you are cattle.  Do not moo too loudly, though, or they'll put you off the plane.
 
2013-04-02 04:24:39 PM  

LessO2: gopher321: At least it wasn't 'Gigli'. I'd demand my flight be free go into a spiraling nose-dive into crocodile-infested waters.


Ronnie Van Zant does not approve of this message.
 
2013-04-02 04:25:53 PM  

Savage Bacon: That the captain risked being written up for needlessly diverting his flight on a security risk that didn't exist seems unlikely.


Every pilots' union has a contract stating that a captain has 100% authority to kick off anybody they deem to be a security risk.  There is zero risk to him, other than looking stupid in front of his co-workers.

That being said, we do only have one side of the story and no actual confirmation (like a newspaper article or government press release) it even took place.
 
2013-04-02 04:27:32 PM  

Lucky LaRue: That husband should have told his wife to keep her slore mouth shut


Many shuvs and zhuuls agree
 
2013-04-02 04:29:07 PM  
As much as I hate the type of parents who expect the world to bend to their wishes there was no reason to divert the flight.

Alo I hate those screen setups on old planes, they suck and are distracting. Couldn't they just duct tape a bunch of cheap tablets to the seatbacks and stream media through a couple of wifi routers?
 
2013-04-02 04:29:59 PM  
We understand that airline captains can and should have complete authority. However, when this authority is used for senseless, vindictive acts, it must be addressed.

And this is how it's addressed: the Pilot In Command (PIC) has final authority.

/CFR Title 14, Part 1, Section 1.1
 
2013-04-02 04:30:05 PM  
A couple things:

1:  Never ever believe anyone who is giving their account of something and reenforces their side by stating that everyone agreed with you.  Translation: "everyone was cordial to me therefore they knew I was right"
2:  Never believe on side of a story on the internet, especially when it seems outrageous
3:  If everything is as stated my guess would be that the issue was a communication problem between the crew and the captain overstating the urgency of the issue.  I highly doubt a captain would do something like this just to be a dick.
 
2013-04-02 04:30:11 PM  
Good parents would have given the kids a couple of benadryls before the flight.
 
2013-04-02 04:31:51 PM  
If the film was a porno, I'd understand. But it's Alex Cross. It's adult themed but so what? Kids love violence and a bit of T&A.
Kids now permanently scarred for life because of this incident. If they actually watched the film it would have been forgotten after the plane landed.

Grow a pair, biatch. Or something gender appropriate.
 
2013-04-02 04:34:21 PM  

Geotpf: Captains have 100% discretion as to whether or not they think somebody is a security risk.  They can kick anybody off a plane if they feel like, and they can't be disciplined or fired for doing so.  This has resulted in the following pattern happening at least a dozen times since 9/11:

1. An airplane captain kicks some muslims off an airplane mainly for being muslim.
2. The muslims sue the airline.
3. The muslims win a couple million bucks.
4. The captain is not disciplined at all.
5. Go to step 1.

Of course, being a parent of a couple kids who don't want them to see an R Rated movie is not a constitutionally protected class, so the people involved in this particular incident won't have this type of recourse.


Which is why they landed and booted them off. Once you've done that you still need to deal with the aftermath. They're running a business after all, so there's media, politics, potential lawsuits, investigations, incident reports, interviews, etc. This pilot did himself no favors.
 
2013-04-02 04:39:34 PM  

The All-Powerful Atheismo: Lucky LaRue: That husband should have told his wife to keep her slore mouth shut

Many shuvs and zhuuls agree


Leaving satisfied...

www.ps3hax.net
 
2013-04-02 04:45:23 PM  
I used to enjoy flying several times annually.  The airlines, TSA and self-obsessed public have taken this pleasure from me.
Now I dread my one trip involving air travel every 2-3 years.

I prefer this view
blogs.voices.com
 
2013-04-02 04:45:44 PM  

labman: Good parents would have given the kids a couple of benadryls before the flight.


YAY!!!!  I'm a good parent!!!!!
 
2013-04-02 04:47:17 PM  

Ambivalence: Pilots do not divert flights for rational disagreements, only for medical emergencies, mechanical malfuntions inflight or security threats so either someone was having a heart attack (completely unrelated to the Whiney couple), the "check engine" light came on, or this couple was being hostile and/or making threats.

It costs an airline money to make an emergency landing. They are not going to spend that kind of dough just because people are pouty about the movie.


10 or 20 years ago they wouldn't but this is now. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case.
 
rka
2013-04-02 04:52:53 PM  

IRQ12: A couple things:

1:  Never ever believe anyone who is giving their account of something and reenforces their side by stating that everyone agreed with you.  Translation: "everyone was cordial to me therefore they knew I was right"
2:  Never believe on side of a story on the internet, especially when it seems outrageous
3:  If everything is as stated my guess would be that the issue was a communication problem between the crew and the captain overstating the urgency of the issue.  I highly doubt a captain would do something like this just to be a dick.


You just crashed Fark's entire business model. People screeching at each other over crap they read on the internet.
 
2013-04-02 04:56:36 PM  

Freschel: Ambivalence: Pilots do not divert flights for rational disagreements, only for medical emergencies, mechanical malfuntions inflight or security threats so either someone was having a heart attack (completely unrelated to the Whiney couple), the "check engine" light came on, or this couple was being hostile and/or making threats.

It costs an airline money to make an emergency landing. They are not going to spend that kind of dough just because people are pouty about the movie.

10 or 20 years ago they wouldn't but this is now. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case.


I would bet they send the fuel bill to the customer that was put off the plane.
 
2013-04-02 05:02:36 PM  

Odd Bird: I used to enjoy flying several times annually.  The airlines, TSA and self-obsessed public have taken this pleasure from me.
Now I dread my one trip involving air travel every 2-3 years.

I prefer this view
[blogs.voices.com image 500x287]


You mean this view?
 
2013-04-02 05:04:40 PM  
^^


i.imgur.com
 
2013-04-02 05:10:02 PM  

Paris1127: 12349876: Paris1127: Ambitwistor: Trans American Airlines.

An excellent answer, but not what I was looking for...

12349876: Paris1127: In all honesty, they could've offered a better film for everyone to watch.

/trivia question:  Airplane was offered as the in-flight movie on only one airline. What airline was it?

AeroMexico

Very good. Now did you know that, or did you just Google it?

DVD Commentary

Ah, OK. Well done then.


Thanks for the gift!
 
2013-04-02 05:12:46 PM  

Lucky LaRue: I am siding with authority on this one because, when is it ever a bad idea to side with authority?  That husband should have told his wife to keep her slore mouth shut and read to the kids from the Bible.


moviesmedia.ign.com

Many Shuvs and United passengers knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slore that flight, I can tell you!
 
2013-04-02 05:17:56 PM  
Lucky LaRue: That husband should have told his wife to keep her slore mouth shut

ciberido: Many Shuvs and United passengers knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slore that flight, I can tell you!

The All-Powerful Atheismo: Many shuvs and zhuuls agree


*shakes tiny godlike fist of rage*
 
2013-04-02 05:19:46 PM  

MBooda: We understand that airline captains can and should have complete authority. However, when this authority is used for senseless, vindictive acts, it must be addressed.

And this is how it's addressed: the Pilot In Command (PIC) has final authority.

/CFR Title 14, Part 1, Section 1.1


Perhaps they meant "addressed" in the sense that, the Pilot In Command (PIC) has final authority, but if he uses it for senseless, vindictive acts, he should face consequences after the plane lands.

The two are not mutually exclusive.
 
2013-04-02 05:20:08 PM  

DrRatchet: The_Sponge: You think that's bad?  I had to suffer through "Jingle All the Way" on a flight from Phoenix to Orlando.

But at least you got out of Phoenix.


Out of the frying pan and all that.

/img1.fark.net
 
2013-04-02 05:24:45 PM  
Was the movie being shown over Macho Grande?
 
2013-04-02 05:24:49 PM  

ha-ha-guy: It was a PG-13 movie and in theory the parents should have brought something to keep their kids focused for the flight (book, iPad, etc).  Just pass out your options to the kids, don't give them headphones, and discipline them if you catch them looking up and staring at the screen.  Given it was PG-13 it likely isn't wall to wall adult content, just a couple scenes.  I can kind of understand the FA refusing to put it up out of concern other passengers were simply keeping quiet due to fear of 'omg think of the children!'.   It makes me wonder if the mom did something else to earn a diversion and of course in hindsight is merely claiming her response was perfectly measured.


Airline versions of films are routinely edited to take out any "objectionable" content. These days they rate anything a PG-13 anyway, I haven't seen Alex Cross (and probably never will) but PG-13 has been watered down so much from the original intent, which was for movies >thisclose< to being rated R but weren't. Look at the PG-13 films from when it started in the mid-80s and compare them to today. Same with the PG rating: movies that should be rated G like Kung Fu Panda get a PG now. Ridiculous.
 
2013-04-02 05:27:54 PM  

12349876: Paris1127: 12349876: Paris1127: Ambitwistor: Trans American Airlines.

An excellent answer, but not what I was looking for...

12349876: Paris1127: In all honesty, they could've offered a better film for everyone to watch.

/trivia question:  Airplane was offered as the in-flight movie on only one airline. What airline was it?

AeroMexico

Very good. Now did you know that, or did you just Google it?

DVD Commentary

Ah, OK. Well done then.

Thanks for the gift!


You're very welcome. Enjoy!
 
2013-04-02 05:35:57 PM  

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

 
2013-04-02 05:36:33 PM  
Seeing as the author (Fallows) is himself a pilot who normally is incredibly level headed, even when arguing against TSA "security theatre" in his words, I put a lot more stock in his description. Especially as he seems to know the family involved and did follow up with United before running the story.

Give people power and some will abuse it. The story from a few months back when a (dark skinned) New Zealander was throw a off the plane for wearing a shirt with a Princess Bride quote definitely shows how flight crews overreact.
 
2013-04-02 05:39:21 PM  

The All-Powerful Atheismo: Lucky LaRue: That husband should have told his wife to keep her slore mouth shut

Many shuvs and zhuuls agree


nice. I bet they wanted the Captain to know what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day.

/Large and moving Torg unavailable
 
2013-04-02 05:45:05 PM  

MythDragon: Was the movie being shown over Macho Grande?


No, that's a different type of flying altogether.
 
2013-04-02 05:46:19 PM  
I'd be pissed that they landed and took off again for something seemingly not much of a security threat.  It's more dangerous and would have meant delays, missed connections, etc.

I really hope someone posts a follow-up to this story to see what really happened.

And I don't like anyone in this story: people who thought the movie was a good idea to show to all, whiny helicopter parents who made such a big deal, flight attendants who didn't do anything but tattle, and a captain who ordered that the plane be diverted.  Wow.
 
2013-04-02 05:48:53 PM  
I flew on Delta a few years ago. I had my iPod headphones in because there were a number of crying babies and loudmouths on the plane when they made the announcement to disable all electronic devices. Of course, I didn't hear it. A flight attendant approached me and motioned to me to remove my headphones, which I did. As soon as they were out she was biatching about my inability to follow rules and said I might have to be arrested when we land. I apologized and was polite, of course, but she was still uber-nasty about it.

I know flight attendants deal with rude and angry passengers a lot, but assuming that all passengers are rude, angry, or potential terrorists is no appropriate either.

/parents might have been nasty though
//probably not, since article mentions that nearby passengers were supportive of them
 
2013-04-02 05:50:32 PM  

Blues_X: In summary, the captain was a dickhole.


Actually, he was relying on the report of a moron flying waitress who thinks she's been deputized by Homeland Security.

TSA is bad enough, can we get some lawsuits going over this kind of happy horseshiat too??
 
2013-04-02 05:52:46 PM  

peterthx: Airline versions of films are routinely edited to take out any "objectionable" content.


This.

The airline version of a movie would generally be playable on TV it's so heavily edited and watered down so as not to offend anyone.

The parents who got all upset about this need to chill the fark out.
 
2013-04-02 05:53:54 PM  
I would pay extra to fly on an airline that bans kids from flying
 
2013-04-02 05:57:53 PM  

heili skrimsli: peterthx: Airline versions of films are routinely edited to take out any "objectionable" content.

This.

The airline version of a movie would generally be playable on TV it's so heavily edited and watered down so as not to offend anyone.

The parents who got all upset about this need to chill the fark out.


Agreed.

Unfortunately, I was raised by parents who were probably this couple. Picture a Hank and Peggy Hill level of what's inappropriate.

Those kids are the only true victims in this story, what with the overbearing parents and all.
 
2013-04-02 06:01:34 PM  
Dear The Consumerist,...
 
2013-04-02 06:32:26 PM  

eggrolls: Blues_X: In summary, the captain was a dickhole.

Actually, he was relying on the report of a moron flying waitress who thinks she's been deputized by Homeland Security.

TSA is bad enough, can we get some lawsuits going over this kind of happy horseshiat too??


This.  Some of them broads really get off on the power.
 
2013-04-02 06:41:49 PM  

Sybarite: I was going to side with the pilot until I realized they were being subjected to Alex Cross.


going to read the article, but it was written by a sphyllitic chimp. my brain started hurting before I could get part way,
 
2013-04-02 07:03:48 PM  
They showed a serial killer movie on an airplane?... way to put people in a festive mood

/did they serve complimentary Bloody Marys to go with it?
//and Virgin Bloody Marys for the kidlets?
///glad I wasn't on that flight
 
2013-04-02 07:04:10 PM  

slayer199: The parents had a legitimate beef...and the Captain was a douchebag.


Every employee on that plane was a douchebag, no matter how "collegial" they sounded.  I don't need a child to justify getting a movie screen out of my face.  Fold the motherfarer up and fetch me more peanuts.
 
2013-04-02 07:17:26 PM  

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: Airline is stupid for showing a PG-13 movie on a flight.

Drama queen stewardess probably blew the whole thing out of proportion to the Captain, probably told him the parents were upset and disruptive. Boo hoo.


Yeah, I strongly suspect the problem was with the stewardess, not the captain.  The captain is going to believe what his crew tells him.

ha-ha-guy: Those just fold up though, so even easier, unless someone else in that row wanted to watch the movie. I've pushed them up before on long flights without any problem. Of course I don't ask the flight attendant, I just ask the other passengers, wait for the FAs to be elsewhere, and fold it up.


It doesn't stop the movie, though.  I've been on a flight with a broken screen, you could still follow the movie on the wall.

Ambivalence: Pilots do not divert flights for rational disagreements, only for medical emergencies, mechanical malfuntions inflight or security threats so either someone was having a heart attack (completely unrelated to the Whiney couple), the "check engine" light came on, or this couple was being hostile and/or making threats.

It costs an airline money to make an emergency landing. They are not going to spend that kind of dough just because people are pouty about the movie.


I have no problem believing this did happen pretty much as stated.  The passengers argue with the flight attendant, the flight attendant reports them to the captain as not following her orders and embellishes the situation.

peterthx: Airline versions of films are routinely edited to take out any "objectionable" content. These days they rate anything a PG-13 anyway, I haven't seen Alex Cross (and probably never will) but PG-13 has been watered down so much from the original intent, which was for movies >thisclose< to being rated R but weren't. Look at the PG-13 films from when it started in the mid-80s and compare them to today. Same with the PG rating: movies that should be rated G like Kung Fu Panda get a PG now. Ridiculous.


Looking it up I can understand the parent's problem--there's a lot of violence in there.  Without the audio the rest of it won't matter.  I do think the parents objected more than is made out in the article but I seriously doubt there was anything that could reasonably be interpreted as a security threat.
 
2013-04-02 07:27:23 PM  

heili skrimsli: peterthx: Airline versions of films are routinely edited to take out any "objectionable" content.

This.

The airline version of a movie would generally be playable on TV it's so heavily edited and watered down so as not to offend anyone.

The parents who got all upset about this need to chill the fark out.


Not necessarily. I was surprised while watching Harry Wilson's War on a flight that they didn't cut out the hot tub boobies. It didn't bother me, but for a moment I wondered if it might upset the older lady sitting next to me, but she was reading a book.
 
2013-04-02 07:28:01 PM  
*Charlie Wilson's War
/ftfm
 
2013-04-02 07:49:44 PM  

Savage Bacon: Tough call. The beef is well written and seems reasonable, but this is all after the fact and only showcases the parents' point of view. When the reactions of others are mentioned, they are conveyed through said parents, thereby being subjective at best and manipulated at worst.

That the captain risked being written up for needlessly diverting his flight on a security risk that didn't exist seems unlikely. Being vindictive is one thing, but one would have to be seriously disgruntled to pull this after a simple, 'calm' verbal complaint from a couple. My money is on the parents being more 'agitated' than they let on. They even said that some of the FAs 'timed out' when the authorities got there. Why would they do that if they had dealt with pleasant, even-tempered people up until that point?


Of course, from the other angle, the FBI, Chicago Police, and Border Control all investigated and found nothing worth even charging them for.  United ate the cost.  If you're the cause of a diverted airplane, these days it's very common to be charged and handed a bill from the airline for the diversion.  Why wouldn't have they been charged if the captain had a legitimate concern?

Second, "timed out" has nothing to do with dealing with even-tempered people.  It has to do with how long the crew has been working.  There are laws governing how many hours the crew can work in a day, and if they exceed that (which is called "timing out"), the airline has to rotate in a new crew to pilot the plane to its final destination.  It's not uncommon for an unscheduled diversion to push a crew over this threshold.  Since crews aren't usually just sitting around unused, this typically results in the remainder of the flight being cancelled or hit with a massive delay while the airline flys in a replacement crew from somewhere else.
 
2013-04-02 08:06:31 PM  

cptjeff: gilgigamesh: slayer199: The parents had a legitimate beef...and the Captain was a douchebag.

Of course you have to take this with a grain of salt, but assuming the parents really did remain calm and reasonable, the captain went over the line.

I wouldn't be surprised if the diversion resulted from the parents turning into screeching hysterical banshees.

I would lay money on the hysterical banshees scenario.


Ditto. There is no way they diverted a whole flight because the parents were "I'm so sorry, but we don't want our kids watching this movie."

Pilot: That's it! [SCREECH! Flaps down! Find me an emergency runway!] You're off my plane you reasonable parents, you!
 
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