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Squawks & HeadlinesFlight diverted after family raises concerns over PG-13 inflight movie

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Flight diverted after family raises concerns over PG-13 inflight movie

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A family's criticism of inflight entertainment allegedly prompted a United flight to be diverted over "security concerns." I would be curious to hear the Captain's version. Comments? (www.foxnews.com) More...

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jajjrr12
james jennings 4
there's United...doing it's best and working hard to remain the worst airline in the U.S.
Detonate
Detonate 2
If it were me on that flight, I would sue UA for the delay and inconvenience. I do not equate PC with Security. Another reason to fly USAir (oops), AA.
vincentvan
vincentvan 4
hmmmm...comments on this thread are beneath the level I've become accustomed to on Flight Aware...too bad..it's flightaware, not a political mud slinging site...
andreadebiase
Andrea De Biase 3
I agree with the family. I think that if individual screens are not available they should choose better and wiser what movies to show.
BTW...I cannot believe they diverted the flight to KORD for this. REALLY?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
The article doesn't report whether or not seat back screens were provided. A paper towel or a "T" shirt will cover any seat back screens but not central cabin screens. I'm more concerned with the PIC's decision to divert the flight to a company hub 30 minutes from final. BWI has excellent security and a lot less traffic than ORD,which makes a good case for continuing to destination. I suppose it's possible that his dispatcher made the decision for him.

I find an awful lot of the controversy surrounding these issues are the way the unprofessional reports are written even though it appears clear that it was the PIC's decision. What was the conversation between the FA and the PIC supposedly precipitating the decision?
vancinad
David Vancina 2
The article DOES say: "...the PG-13-rated detective film "Alex Cross" was shown on drop-down monitors across the plane."

If it were me and my kids I'd have been angry too.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
It's been a few years since I was father to such young children, but when I was practiced at it I had to do additional research before trips. Today that would include knowing what movie was being shown during the flight. If necessary, it's incumbent on me to be sure there are no surprises or at least minimize those surprises. The airline is not nor do I want them responsible to raise my children. The airlines are there to service lots of people and it's difficult to find a movie you deem suitable for your children. If you don't like what's available, pick something else or find a way around it. "Adapt and overcome". I can recall a trip to DEN a bunch of years ago with AAL. The leg to DFW was delayed for deicing at BWI and we, the family missed our connection to DEN. Some adapting got us where we needed to be on a day of travel that was pretty much lost anyway. I hate to cheat you out of your indignation, but you haven't earned it because you didn't do your homework, research or due diligence.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
I agree on some of your points Mark, but there's something else to consider ... the movie theaters that play them are responsible for keeping kids out of movies rated unsuitable, so would you consider that they are responsible for raising your children? I believe I'm on the side of those believing the airline should exercise more care in movie selection. There are a lot of children flying today and it's just another of its responsibilities, like not serving minors alcohol. If they won't serve inappropriate beverages, why would they show inappropriate films? I wonder if we've reached the point where the flights listed should include the "entertainment" being offered when you book a flight, thereby raising the issue to a level that reminds parents of the potential problem. As much traveling as I do, and most of the time with my family including my small grandson, this situation hadn't occurred to me.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
The movie theaters "guard" R rated and below or above which ever you consider the direction should be, Or at least that's the way It used to be. PG was not guarded by the theaters, I don't think. As I said it's been a while since I had to even think about it.
That said, It's my contention that it's the parents responsibility to guard the children. The few flights my children were involved with that displayed movies, I made it a point to know what the movie was and how it was rated. It's my job to raise my children not the airline's. The advent of personal or seat back screens goes a long way to shield young ones from from "inappropriate" content and adults like us from lousy productions. Certainly, an FA is expected to adhere to the federal laws regarding alcohol service to those under 21, but these same folks have no control over the what flick is being served up to all on board.

As a grandma you're a trusted babysitter. Trusted by the child's parents one of whom is your own off-spring, to protect their youngster as though he were your own. Lots has changed since your youngun was under 13 years old and the threats are many times bigger.

This all started with the PIC's decision to interrupt a flight very close to it's scheduled destination because of a complaint by a mother regarding an airline cabin service issue. The article was not clear about the issue, but certainly the PIC didn't divert so close to destination for a customer service complaint yet the law enforcement authorities sent the family on their way. From what I can gather from the awful information provided in the article, it appears the PIC way over reacted for a reason to be discovered.
tf51d
Thomas Cain 0
Your only hearing one side of the story, I don't believe the pilot would have diverted for just this. There must of been something else that happened, that he/she felt presented a potentialy dangerous situation on board.
pnschi
pnschi 2
You're right that we're only hearing one part of the story. But it's ridiculous to follow that with "there must have been something else...", basically saying that the pilot's side of the story is the only one that really matters.

Funny, you don't even say "we should wait to hear the other side of the story". You just assume the other side will be the right one.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
Except we're not going to hear the other side of the story.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
OK. What was that circumstance? To write an article about parental protest and complaint and then say it was something else is a flat out lie
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
He didn't say it was something else, he said it must have been something else - it was just conjecture. Gosh, Mark.
Scrape
Scrape 3
I would happen to agree with the family in this situation. This plane was not equipped with seat-back screens that they could control, but drop down screens that server several rows. There was no real way without putting bags over their kids heads that they coult prevent them from seeing what was on the screens. Here is the IMDB description of the film:

"A homicide detective is pushed to the brink of his moral and physical limits as he tangles with a ferociously skilled serial killer who specializes in torture and pain."

Does not sound like family friendly fare to me. United was in the wrong here, and the flight attendants should have shut the thing off and put something else on instead of diverting. I'm SURE no one else would have complained, as this movie has pretty terrible reviews. Who gets on a domestic flight expecting good in-flight entertainment if any is provided at all. I'd prefer if they just went seatback or nothing.
joelwiley
joel wiley 3
At least Fox attributed their source on this.
preacher1
preacher1 3
It is a family matter in that regard of what they want their kids to see, and if it was a seat back screen it would have been a simple matter to turn it off. I think a diversion was a little on the extreme side, but we really can't question the parents as they have the responsibilty for raising their children. I think it is good that United placed them on another flight and is reviewing their in flight movies.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I'm inclined to agree with you, but I'm suspicious all the same. The time difference of diverting to ORD or continuing to BWI is pretty short. I didn't read of any interference with normal operations nor any other reason to divert, but then the article as usual, is scant on details.
btweston
btweston 1
God forbid they should do their own reporting.
cm5299
Chuck Me 2
They actually did in this case. If you read the source article, you'll see FOX at least contacted the airline and basically confirmed the incident. But for that, it's just an anonymous rant on some blog.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
two questions on the IMDB desc:
1) Is that PG-13?
2) Is that entertainment?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
PG-13 is a standardized rating for movies. Entertainment on the other hand, is a relative term.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
quite true. Also 'offense' is also relative.
It seems in this day and age, anything that occurs offends someone.
ususally vociferously.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Very true. I think probably because there is no down-side. The offended complaintant is usually rewarded in some way even if they are in the minority. I have seen quarries shut down because someone was allowed to build their house too close to it. The quarry may have been in operation for many years before the homeowner considered their house, but once there the quarry had to cease operations. I watched the same thing happen with the houses and farms around BWI airport in Maryland. The State was forced to buy and then rezone the surrounding area and interstate highways all over have been affected. Most recently the syndrom has enjoyned politics and the social arena. Minority rule seems to be the new norm.
preacher1
preacher1 1
A big 10-4 on that. It used to be that you could speak your mind and if someone didn't like it, they just went on and didn't come around you anymore. Now in this age of PC, they no longer leave but feel entitled to make you think like they do. Personal opinion has gone by the way. Iguess I'm from the old school but if sombody asks me what I think about something, they are going to get an honest answer, whether they like it or not.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
LOL - Preacher - doesn't that mean that you're speaking your mind? Or am I misinterpreting?
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 3
Part of me says "you don't like it, don't watch it". But as a father of young children, I can see why they did what they did. I would've said something.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
I would have to now agree....being in my late 20's and single....lead me to immediately post my first comment below. I agree with you Mike.......I'm glad you would have said something to. Thanks for being a good example to people like me sir. Blue Skies
THRUSTT
THRUSTT -1
Late 20's and single? You'd better hurry up, only a few years left before it stops working!!!
JetChaser
JetChaser 0
Didn't see that comment coming
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
THRUST recover, repeat, repeat, repeat,...

Sorry, had to go there
cm5299
Chuck Me 2
When will the lawsuit be filed?
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 2
Sounds like another power-hungry flight crew. I like how United got them on another flight that same night. I guess they knew they were wrong and were trying to keep it quiet.
pnschi
pnschi 1
And, does that somehow justify hijacking our national security laws to punish them for speaking up?
jaffer
Jay Kimbrough 1
I have come across this problem with my kids before. I did not let them have access to the head phones and we had children's books to keep them busy. No reason to bother flight attendents during a flight for no reason. Its called parenting, not alwayse in life is everything going on in life around me, what I want my kids to experience. To me it sounds lime the parents expected the flght crew to be the baby sitter and provide that,so they could do their own thing.
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 1
This looks like it occurred on the Feb 2 flight for UAL638? I don't see any more recent ones that diverted.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL638/history/20130202/2000Z/KDEN/KBWI
dleite
Dustin Leite 1
There isn't enough information here for me to be convinced of anything. Maybe the Captain was just fed up with whiny passengers...I don't know.
mjsracing1
Steve Shaw 1
Really? Inconvenience hundreds of passengers because they can't parent their own children and screen what they watch? Preacher1 said it right....turn off the screen or cover it up. Oh, and United Airlines, you won't see me anytime soon. I need to fly to my destination, not be diverted for an in-flight movie choice. Geez.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well Said. Life is full of REALITY.lol
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I agree with the idea that lots of folks have posted that we're in charge of parenting our own children - 100%. We personally do bring all sorts of things to entertain them and keep them engaged during the flights. But I just can't help but think there's every possibility the child may just look up at the wrong time (even without headphones) and see a bloody violent scene that seem to be so popular today in progress on the screen. I know my grandson is sensitive to even small degrees of violence on TV or in a movie and has nightmares for a few nights. I seriously do believe it's the airline's place to select inflight films more responsibly. It appears a lot of us are just going to have to agree to disagree.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
You and I agree more than not and you make you're point well.
canuck44
John Donaldson 1
If the flight attendants had a clue they only needed to hang a coat or tape a magazine over the screen in front of the dear little urchins for the sound comes from the seat. Problem solved with the exception of two poor kids with whiny parents who didn't bring entertainment on the aircraft for a 1500 mile flight and were not prepared to "Parent" their own kids.

My grandkids, six and four, have been flying all over the world since each was an infant and regularly make transcontinental flights from SFO to YHZ, BOS and DCA with one parent, the other or both, but always with projects, VCR or entertainment of their own. In all their flying they have never been a problem to other passengers or flight crew and my family do not feel the airline has any responsibility to babysit them.
pnschi
pnschi 2
They're not "whining" (a word people use to describe points of view they can't refute with logic) about not having appropriate entertainment provided. Nor are they asking for babysitting. They're arguing that material that is inappropriate for young children was in plain view of their children.

Imagine you take your daughter's grandchildren to a restaurant where for some reasont they lock you in for 8 hours. After they lock the doors, they bring out the strippers. So you'll just distract them for 8 hours to make sure they never get a peek?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Again I agree with you, but in their own school they might be in the company of a cucumber or a banana and a box of condoms to practice with
jpreston1
Josh Preston 1
What is this "VCR" you speak of? ;)
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
It's something that seems to have gone the way of parenting in some circles.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Ya'll both be careful here or you will tell your ages.LOL
preacher1
preacher1 1
Seems to me DVD came along in there somewhere.LOL
ethanbenjaminsa3
ethanbenjaminsa3 1
Honestly if the family is unhappy with the movie just blindfold the kids for g-ds sake,I mean they have well sued the airline for not having peanuts
wally3178
Michael Downs 1
What about everyone else on the flight? Why should they suffer because two over protective people don't want their spawn watching a movie? At the ages specified, and if they were properly seated, I doubt that they would have been able to see the screens anyway.
genethemarine
Gene spanos 1
What they hell is going on ?
pilot62
Scott Campbell 1
lET IT GO !!! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO HEAR THIS CRAP, Fa 's ALLOWED TO BS CAPTAINS INTO
TO REMOVING PEOPLE OFF OF FLIGHTS AND NOW THIS ? , I THINK THEY'RE BORED AND THIS IS ALL THEY HAVE LEFT TO DO. AND A FEW CONTROL FREEKS...
jimquinndallas
Jim Quinn 1
Solution: Read a book, Kindle, magazine or something, or catch up on some sleep. I can't believe that the airline would show something like this movie, and I can't believe parents wouldn't have some sort of distraction for their kids. I don't think I've ever watched an inflight movie except perhaps on overseas flights, and generally I've seen the films anyway. Seems extreme to divert a plane full of people for something so minor, however I have not read all the articles, etc. and don't have all the facts as presented. Just my two cents' worth.
preacher1
preacher1 0
People on a power trip. As with Brian, who posted this, I would have like to have heard the Captain's version. Somebody was on a power trip.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp -1
LOL.....drive your shielded asses to your destination then.....unbelievable.......were they unable to not watch the movie? idiots
preacher1
preacher1 3
Comment up above says that it wasn't seat back screens so they couldn't turn it off
KingHell
Adrian Rox 0
Much ado about nothing. Children should only be allowed on special flights anyway.PG flights where normal childless adults would never be seen. Perhaps sedating children on flights if they must be on board is the solution. I mean why should the rest of us suffer because some people want to make global warming worse by reproducing. Eh?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 0
I know I'm howling at an all but extinct point, but I just have to ask; assuming everything written is true and accurate, the cause of the problem was the parental protest of viewing a PG-13 video by under aged younguns. What of the parents responsibility to investigate the entertainment provided by the airline? When it was of interest to me, I've never had a problem finding out what "movie" was going to be shown on any particular flight. It seems to me, if the parents were so concerned about what movie their children watched, it would be incumbent on them to find out first what the movie was and second what type of display was being furnished on the scheduled aircraft. If they didn't know where to find it on the airline web site then, the CSRs would have it available over the phone or at the counter. I know the magic of flight calls for soothsayers at the ticket counters sometimes you have to ask a question or two. The rest is the old game of "Telephone": the FA tells the, senior FA, the senior FA tells the FO, the FO tells the PIC and the PIC tells the company dispatcher and something gets lost in translation.
lbflight
Burke Files 0
I have read the article and the letter to the Atlantic. What a sniveling whiney victim that family has chosen to be. It is very sad.

As for why the pilot diverted, I guess the movie was over by than <grin>.
snapshot44
Jim Collins 0
I dont think the plane landed because of the parents and children. How do you announce to the other 300 adult passengers they are in for 4 hours of Donald Duck and Popeye. I think they did the right thing saved a possible riot or cockpit highjack
RobSJC
RobSJC 0
while it did say PG-13 ... Parents were there, to engage the children and keep their ttention off of the movie ... I do feel the pilot over reacted .. as this is written, I've yet to ever see young children as a "security risk or threat" and stated "no voices raised" .. The pilots side of this would be interesting to read or hear.
mldavis2
Mike Davis 0
First, I'll guess we don't know the whole story. Flights are never diverted without due cause because of the scheduling and expense issues involved. Every few added minutes in the air cost thousands of dollars to the airline. With today's full aircraft, you don't just put people on another flight, find another plane or shift crews around randomly.

Second, choice of inflight entertainment is a double-edged sword. If the movie had been "Leave It To Beaver" or "Donna Reed" reruns, everyone over the age of 10 would be fast asleep or otherwise occupied with no complaint. If I recall, the last flight I took with inflight entertainment required headphones so as not to disturb passengers who did not wish to watch the show. Could they not throw a coat or blanket over the seat back?

The airline does not rate movies, the entertainment industry does. Most likely this was one of a batch purchased which had never been watched by airline personnel. I cannot imagine an airline paying an employee to watch every movie to verify suitability before sending it aloft, and no doubt there had never been a complaint had the movie been aired to other passengers, or this was the first run on the schedule.
preacher1
preacher1 0
The article does say that United is reviewing their in flight entertainment.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
This story reminds me of the time The Rat Pack was playing cards at the Vegas Sands Hotel pool, and Sammy Davis Jr. slipped into the water for a swim. Within minutes a crew came and drained the pool, cleaned it and refilled it. Today we laugh, but it was a stupid and ignorant reaction.

Diversion of a plane without a credible threat, just a complaint about a movie being screened is silly. All too often "security" trumps good sense in air travel. I point to the teenage girl who had a picture of a gun on her purse. Security people on the main had to struggle to finish high school, why are they allowed to make huge financial decisions?

I would have offered eyeshades to the parents and said I was sorry the entertainment was making them uncomfortable, and continued onward.
plestedr
Bob Plested 0
So all of that good publicity about holding the last jet of the day for the connecting passenger who's mom was on her deathbed in Texas - I think it was during the double winter storm in February - All that publicity ... gone!
twleiser
thomas leiser 0
Seems to me, if a PG 13 movie could be offensive to someone, he should take the time to research the movie and then choose a different flight if it is not to his liking!

Some of us do not like coffee, then do not drink it. If you do not like the movie, simply do not watch it,
FedExCargoPilot
FedExCargoPilot 0
I think questions need to be answered by the flight crew and this should go into investigation. This is becoming a common theme these days, wasting the companies money in diversions and degrading customer experience. Questions like: Are the parents telling the full story? Did the F/A overact and alarm the pilots? Did the pilots overact? Too much posting by the media without any answers and many blanks. As far as the movie, there are better options when it comes to cop movies as there are a wide range of audiences forced to sit in front of a screen for 4 hours.
grinch59
Gene Nowak 2
Sorry preacher, but see para. #9 where it states, "We reaccommodated the customers on the next flight to Baltimore and have since conducted a full review of our inflight entertainment." In this context "We" must be United.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
You aren't seriously suggesting drugging your children are you? Is a different movie really "suffering"?
snapshot44
Jim Collins 1
What I am saying is halfway through a flight you can not really expect 300 people have to have their inflight entertainment changed to suit 2 children, I agree with you that if as a parent they were that concerned it would be better to contact the airline and find out before the flight.
As for diverting the flight, let alone the increase in fuel landing and takeoff fees what about the ongoing delay to all them passengers and all onward flights. Or was it a case of a pilot trying to run out of hours so he would not have to complete the next leg of his days work schedule. Passengers can and do complain about any and every thing, no flights would make it to its next destination at this rate.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I would think UA has muzzled the pilot.
pnschi
pnschi 1
It's not just that security trumps good sense - it's that security is used as a cudgel to bludgeon passengers over commercial disputes.

Your government, your tax dollars, enforcing corporate bullying.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Nothing else has been said except for the speculation in this column. A couple of good points have been raised: 1. There must be more here than what is being told 2. the one you just brought out. There has been nothing else new brought ought on this since a week ago when it happened. United said their piece and not a word from any of the crew.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I suspect there is more unwritten than what was written. I see no eveidence presented in the written article to justify the diversion to ORD. I see a lot of opportunity to the PIC and crew to lay over in Chicago rather than Baltimore or Linthicum Heights.
KingHell
Adrian Rox 1
I don't have children. No I'm suggesting drugging everyone else's children ;-)
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Since you didn't understand, that was the generic "your" - however must say I'm totally happy to learn you don't have children. Please don't ever have any.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well said Donna. My feeling is about the same
KingHell
Adrian Rox 1
You really are bereft of a sense of humour aren't you!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
You really are bereft of being more clear with your posts. My sense of humor is soundly intact. Had you made it clear in some manner, any manner at all, that you were kidding around would have been helpful. Relax Adrian - no need to be rude.
KingHell
Adrian Rox 1
I assure you it's not (and I discovered the biggest comedian in Britain ever so I'm pulling rank on that one). In any case people already DO sedate their kids on planes, here in the UK and in the US so you wanna talk to them. But you've already prejudged their actions so I assume you are religious (i.e. not a rational individual)
preacher1
preacher1 1
I personally don't think that religion comes to irrationality anymore than not being PC should force me to have to change my opinion just becuse it disagres with some else's.IMHO
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Assuming is for fools. That's the last of my comments to you - you're a waste of my time.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

KauaiGolfer
KauaiGolfer 3
Discussing your Christian beliefs and your hatred for something in the same sentence. I always thought the two were mutually exclusive. I guess I was wrong.
dax9876
dax9876 4
IT'S A MOVIE!!! Not a religion! WOW! Now let's ban all movies with magic, or curse words, or sex, or violence, or politics, or I suppose anything that has to do with life actually.......
I'll tell you what you could do; LIGHTEN UP!
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I've been on lots of flights as both a paying PAX and and bumming a ride. If I didn't want to watch the movie, I didn't plug the ear phones in and I opened a novel or some study material. NO ONE ever MADE me watch a movie against my religion or my tast. My departed wife said it best in a sarcastic resopnse: "I can resisit anything but temptation".
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 1
Due to my religious beliefs, I too have never seen a Harry Potter movie.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Me neither. I think hate was probably a poor choice of words, in ref to the comment above, but it is being used to display a forcefulness against something. I have no malice toward the writer but I choose not to condone her writing.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

bishops90
Brian Bishop 4
Can you ever just comment on the topic at hand instead of attacking Fox News?
canuck44
John Donaldson -2
No he can't...he is a typical Plantation Voter programed to automatically blame FOX, Global Warming, Climate Change, Racism, Sexism or whatever the liberal talking points du jour happen to be to divert attention from real issues. This one was easy for him as FOX was on the link and he goes to auto pilot in spite of the fact that a quick search on Bing would reveal at least 15 other outlets with the same story, many in "news" services 12 paces to the left of Karl Marx.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Oh Rats! I thought this was from global mane made climate change.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Boy, you're full of P and vinegar this morning.lol
joelwiley
joel wiley 0
Please don't confuse "Can't" with "Won't" Pletits may have.
cm5299
Chuck Me 2
I find it comical so many people feel the need to defend fox news.
ToddBaldwin3
Todd Baldwin 1
Csn we stick to aviation and not stoop to the levels of other "news sites?"
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
Why the vitriol? Afraid of a little independence in the news?
krahmerica
krahmerica 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

United flight diverted after family complains about movie

A violent in-flight movie apparently proved to be too much for a family traveling with kids, setting off a chain of events that led to the pilot diverting the flight and an airline taking a second look at its entertainment offerings.

http://www.nbcnews.com/travel/united-flight-diverted-after-family-complains-about-movie-1C9254726