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Squawks & HeadlinesUnited boots blogger from flight for taking photo, making 'terrorist' comment

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United boots blogger from flight for taking photo, making 'terrorist' comment

Submitted
A man says United Airlines kicked him off his flight to Istanbul on Valentine's Day after he took a picture of his seat and made a comment about terrorists. “I take photos on every single flight I am on,” Matthew Klint, a 26-year old travel blogger, told NBC News. “I have a picture of every airline meal I've been served for the last nine years.” (www.nbcnews.com) More...

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chiphermes
Chip Hermes 13
I think the terrorist comment was entirely what this was about.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 4
Yeah, but all he said was "I hope you don't think I'm a terrorist." That was just bullshit about the Captain being uncomfortable with him being on the airplane. This theatrical security, Flight Attendants with power that has gone to their heads, and overzealous pilots have gone too far. One day, just one day of boycotting the airlines will take care of this...
Jbabemd80
Jeremy Schoggins -4
spend one week as a flight attendant with the general public..you will understand why they are so crazy sometimes. I don't agree with rude service but we all tend to forget that people are in-fact CRAZY in the world and you just never know what somebody is truly up to anymore. Americans like to live in a bubble of safety all of the time with an arrogant "we are number one" attitude but leaving Istanbul for the US and saying you're not a terrorist will raise questions and IT SHOULD. Everyone will bitch and moan until another 911 happens then you will be fine with overzealous flight crews and pilots and "theatrical security." It's not perfect by any means but in my opinion it's still too lax in America. What would have happened to that American Airlines flight if a flight crew hadn't questioned and been "overzealous" with the guy who had a bomb in his shoe?...everyone on that plane would be at the bottom of the atlantic. America will never boycott airlines, you need us more than we need you. When's the last time you took a train from LAX to JFK?
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 3
If you take a customer service job, you know what you're getting into, CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!
There's absolutely no excuse to be rude to a customer even if they're being a jackass.
I've got no pity for the Flight Attendant that cries about passenger rudeness or difficulty. You took the job, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!!!
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 1
If I'm on a train why the hell would I go to an airport?
Jbabemd80
Jeremy Schoggins -2
Naturally...taking pictures isn't a big deal on planes and lets not forget this guy was in Business/First and probably had a "entitled" attitude about the situation. Two sides to a story, you assume it was an overzealous flight crew..how about just a jack ass in business as usual?
rpplano
Randy Patrick 9
Your opinions are very one-sided. I'm a second generation of business flyer. No, I don't wear a suit to fly upfront anymore, but I'm still courteous at all times to the cabin crew. However, over the last several years, the airline staffs in general have lost their respect for us, their customers. The industry is falling down based on what it used to be.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -1
Personally, I still support the "better safe than sorry" philosophy. Sorry is too late.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Yes, sorry is too late, but it's the true employee that could walk the fine line of good service while enforcing a "rule" in a professional and courteous manner, all with a genuine smile... Unfortunately those people are far and few in between. Just like every other business, most trainers that are training todays trainees, were themselves crappy employees.
Whenever I get on an airline flight I always think about back in the beginning of the 80's, my mother and I would fly Pan Am and Eastern, it was a first class experience, even in coach, minus the cigarette smoke...
nickpiszczek
nicholas piszczek 1
I couldn't agree more with your attitude or interpretation of history...but its just not reality...this is now a societal problem and its infected everything...including FA's. The "keep your mouth" shut biz is really the only approach unless you are looking for trouble...because everybody is ready to hand it out at the drop of one dumb comment.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
That's true about the "keep your mouth shut" deal, but we shouldn't have to live that way, and there are a lot of people including myself who may get into "trouble" because we don't have the shut up meek and mild mentality. C'est la vie, I guess...
nickpiszczek
nicholas piszczek 1
I'm completely on your side...I got my Girlfriend up in Biz-class a month or so back on an international and she was treated horribly by a moody french purser working a U.S flagged carrier. I try not to speak up about their jobs but the reality is the idea of cabin attendants being service oriented is long gone. they are riddled with so many other issues that they perceive the passenger as beneath their position and have a general air of resentment towards them...The "us and them" syndrome is now complete...If they get sick of it, suspicious or pissed, they send it up to the flight deck and the Captains call is rendered...remember...he/she has to work with the cabin attendants...who do think gets picked?
pilot62
Scott Campbell 11
I've been flying since the 60's, with the last 12 almost all United.
I've been yelled at, and theatened, with all kinds of nosense on Both United, and United Express. From the gate personal and the Flight crews. I'm the guy who buys coffee or soda for the gate agent if flights are delayed and always give respect to flight crews. But last Novemeber on a United flight LAX - HNL on board one of Continentals horrible 757-300's I walked back from first to take a video of the extreeme lentgh of this beast, and was told by the aging FA (without a clue of regulations regarding taking pictures or video) , there are none. Told me you better not do that there watching you !! HUH ??? And then told me I couldnt do that..
I told her she was wrong and she almost had a heart attack !. I could go on and on about the unreal treatment I've receieved over the years, but im stuck with them at this point. Where on the planet, besides airlines do companies treat there customers so poorly and succeed. I should write a book ..............
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 3
Mr. Campbell, you should absolutely write a book.
iflyrjs
terry gersdorf -2
All major airlines have it written as company policy DELTA AA and UAL USAirways that no pictures of flight crew are permitted >PERIOD How did that F/A know that you werent taking pictures of the crew ...There are None? you are wrong Sir! it is a company reg. and believe me if you were on one of my flights you will cease taking pictures I can guarantee that.. Id be gladly drop you off at a city other than your destination.... and you can spend the day explaining to Homeland and the Feds what a dumbass you are
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Before you call someone a dumbass, proof-read and run the spellchecker...
Sounds like you're one of the overzealous ones!!!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -1
Proofread is one word, not hyphenated. Plus there aren't any misspelled words in his post, just a few errors here and there but not misspellings. Perhaps there's more than one overzealous one around? And as much as I don't admire stooping to name calling, I don't think there's a rule you have to be good at spelling or grammar. Just a thought.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Perhaps there are a few, just a thought...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Another gotcha. She got me the other day on a misspelling. She's sharper than an autopilot !!!! Lol
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Only reason I even mentioned it is because the arrogance was a bit over the top. And, I must confess, I'm kind of anal about spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. Don't know why. Just can't help it.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
We all have our quirks. Could be worse than spelling. There' s a guy on another thread saying Christ hates the rich and hates people that watch Fox. Now there's a quirk!
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Where is the arrogance you're referring to?
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Hehehehe that sounds like a psychosis. He probably spends his days walking along the sidewalk waving his arms and shouting gibberish to some unknown individual(s)
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Perhaps I should have written "your superiority complex"...telling the poster he's a dumbass, that he should proof-read (sic) and run the spellchecker...when, in fact, your post was definitely not without fault and could have benefitted through the use of spell check as well. It's my opinion that if you feel the need to correct someone, that's fine, but you yourself had ought not make the same mistakes. That's all. (Now, of course, I hope with all my heart I've said all of this without error.)
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Yep. And all the while cussing like a rapper. A real Flightaware piece of work. Lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
You need a literacy check!!! Where did I say he was a dumbass??? He's the one that said it to the other blogger. You seem to be full of contradictions, saying you're anal about punctuation and spelling, but yet you call me arrogant for telling him to run the spellchecker before calling someone a dumbass.
Was a nerve hit because some of us are attacking stupid airline "policies," and you are airline hr??? I"ll put it bluntly, go f with someone else!!!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
You're right in most respects and I apologize. I also am exercising self-control in remaining above it all and not following your example of rudeness.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Since you apologized, I will too, but you drove me to that comment. You started with the rude "arrogant" comment, but this will be the last from me...
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
hehehehe drove you to that? - you just made me feel mad with power. (kidding)

pilot62
Scott Campbell 7
I STAND CORRECTED .. United HAS a rule, come on that is insane, I along with 200 or so other passengers photographed every inch of United's new 787 last november, Chicago to houston.... Oh BTW we didnt turn back and we weren't arrested on arrival :)
cheshire
Cal Keegan 7
I think the whole notion of terrorists "casing" a target by taking photos of it is a construct of Hollywood dating back to at least Mission Impossible in the 60s. Usually shot as a montage, it offers the director a scene with a lot of movement and visuals that can be shot inexpensively. In the old days it would end with a darkroom scene where the photos were being printed, coming out of the fixer tray, hanging on wires with clothespins, etc.

I read on wikipedia recently that in the 1960s quicksand featured in the plots of almost 3% of all films shown. I would like to see an estimate of the proportion of spy movies and TV shows that feature this kind of photography. Even Ronin, a great movie, has a scene like this.

There are regular press reports of DHS, police, etc, quoting nonexistent law against photographing in public, even after the courts have made clear this activity is legal. Granted that doesn't apply to what happens on United's property.

The idea that taking a picture of your seat or your food on a plane means you might be a terrorist is completely ludicrous and another example of how our country's hair-trigger "zero tolerance" policies are used to trump all reason and just treat ordinary people like dirt, or worse.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
The pax is the one who mentioned "terrorist" not the FA.
PVUpilot
PVUpilot 6
As an aviation photographer, I now know to avoid United when flying! Although I don't care about pictures of seats or food, wing shots are all I go for.
Fourpawphoto
Michael Ostrowski 6
The FA was in the wrong and that's why she was hiding like a coward!
FedExCargoPilot
FedExCargoPilot 8
Its a little ridiculous, every passenger who gets on the plane needs to justify they are not a terrorist. If it be at security, not arguing with the crew, not complaining or being loud, the list goes on. You literally have the right to remain silent that's it, assuming there is no prejudice involved. Captains call I suppose. It seems like they will kick you off the plane for about anything now.
KevinBrown
Kevin Brown 3
If taking pictures is prohibited how come it is not mentioned in United's 46 page contract of carriage? https://www.united.com/web/format/pdf/Contract_of_Carriage.pdf

The in-flight magazine is not a legally enforceable document.

Why would an airline not want passengers to take pictures inside their aircrafts cabin? Is United's fleet in such bad shape? Are their crews so unprofessional they don't want them video recorded? This is not a privacy issue. There is no exception of privacy inside of airliner. Of course airlines can make just about any rule they wish but why would they want to prohibit people from taking pictures?
pilot62
Scott Campbell 3
If only i could proof read before I hit enter
KevinBrown
Kevin Brown 1
I meant "no expectation of privacy".
SootBox
SootBox 5
Kick him off the plane AFTER it takes off, that'll teach him.
runway18escanaba
runway18escanaba 2
I've flown United a few times and have NEVER noticed that policy.
pilot62
Scott Campbell 2
Time for 24 - 7 video recoring aboard all aircraft, there in 7/11's for crying out loud.
Time for a little more training UNITED !!
stbernardpass
Jackie Butcher 2
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Blogger Removed From United Flight For Taking One Picture

Claims FA Lied To The Flight Crew About Following Her Instructions

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

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=d8e52ea1-133f-4672-ba5a-cfec6225643d
smoki
smoki 2
The guy screwed up when he let the T-word slip out of his mouth. He should simply have acknowledged the FA's authority, sat down and put a zipper in it. Whether he disliked or disagreed with her interpretation of the rules is irrelevant. All the FA had to do was say to the Captain, "I'm not comfortable with this passenger on the airplane and that would have been it, and obviously was. End of discussion.

Then and there and with the FA and/or the Captain was not the time or place to settle it. He could have held his peace and taken up the matter later with United's management. But no, he had to press to test, push the envelop and as a result suffered the consequences. I don't give a damn how innocent his photography may have been, that's irrelevant. What is relevant was his running his mouth trying to have the last word and win the argument. It's called being a hard head or words to that effect.

Unfortunately it's not life any longer in Mayberry USA. That died on September 11, 2001 and isn't likely to ever return. Airline passengers regardless of how much they may pay for their ticket, once they set foot on that air transport vessel, they become subjects of its crew and must simply deal with it or as this passenger did, suffer the consequences. It's either shut up, comply with instructions, or get off and fly with someone else.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The FA's are in training as we speak. They are going to start carrying pistols. Once in the air they can shoot you if the captain orders it.
nickpiszczek
nicholas piszczek 1
Unfortunately,.I agree with every word above. All other comments are moot. If people want a discussion on civility between flight-crews and passengers [possibly] addressing the serious discourse that exists therein.., that's a entirely different subject matter.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Somehow I still feel safe as they'll probably shoot themselves in the toes...
nickpiszczek
nicholas piszczek 2
Never,, ever,, make off handed risky security related remarks to flight crew,gate agents,TSA agents, Immigration or anyone else in a professional or even moderately affiliated capacity when within the system....I don't care how funny, interesting, or altruistic you may think you are. DO NOT DO IT. If you do...expect to find yourself in a world in which it is way to late and the idea of Keeping your big arrogant mouth shut has been lost.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Taking pictures of nasty seats and crap on a plate. Sounds like more of a fruitcake than a terrorist.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Now what professional uses an iPhone for their photography? Give me a break!
FritzSteiner
Fritz Steiner 1
Paul Young wrote: "... All the FA had to do was say to the Captain, "I'm not comfortable with this passenger on the airplane and that would have been it, and obviously was. End of discussion. "

Nicholas Piszczek wrote: "... Unfortunately,.I agree with every word above. "

Paul: I disagree with your contention. Simply because an FA "isn't comfortable" with a passenger doesn't mean that the Captain automatically has to eject that passenger. What if the passenger happened to be, say, her ex boyfriend or a teacher who'd flunked her in high school? Suppose two passengers were discussing a news article that said Major Hassan is a terrorist and she head only the word "terrorist".

The passenger in question made an innocent enough comment. She overreacted to it and that's why this thread exists.

Evidently you both would prefer that this sort of nonsense continues. You'd apparently rather argue and bitch about what happened than fix the problem -- so that it goes away forever.

The reason I call it nonsense is because THERE IS NO UNIFORM POLICY regarding photography of and on airplanes, trains, busses, buildings, etc.

I proposed one in my earlier posting in this thread (currently 2 days ago). Here is an excerpt from my proposal:

"The question of whether one can or cannot legally take pictures inside an airplane has become a BFD. So why don't the airlines do some thing POSITIVE about it and establish a uniform policy and carry it out with consistency? If taking pictures is permissible add a statement to the pre-flight safety briefing saying so. If it's not, say that instead.

That way EVERYBODY -- passengers, FA's, Captains, TSA, FAA, unions, you name it -- would be reading from the same page."

P.S. I forgot to include the ignorant media. Mea Culpa.
twincessna
william koehler 1
Who else would carry this story NBC,cnbc,g.e. all the Obama networks. They prolly feel that one of there own was ejected.
Foxtrot789
Trevor Rubatzky 1
It's a pretty simple rule, don't make jokes about terrorists. Not saying I agree with it, but it's still the "rule"; everyone knows about it.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 1
People don't like to have their picture taken if they are doing something wrong or are not where they are supposed to be. Those with authority will often attempt to prevent photographs on their whim. With minor exceptions you can take a picture any place you like, unless you're interfering with the flight crew or creating a safety hazzard.

On the other hand the captain is still in charge of the plane, and he can discriminate and take any action to assure the safety of the flight. That is the way it has to be.
evercllear
J T 1
I heard him say "bomb". What?????? no?? Did someone say bomb or terrorist? I think he said bomb!! We definetely have a issue here!

Do I look like a terrorist to you? I was just taking a picture.

We have a terrorist on board with a bomb!
FritzSteiner
Fritz Steiner 1
The question of whether one can or cannot legally take pictures inside an airplane has become a BFD. So why don't the airlines do some thing POSITIVE about it and establish a uniform policy and carry it out with consistency? If taking pictures is permissible add a statement to the pre-flight safety briefing saying so. If it's not, say that instead.

That way EVERYBODY -- passengers, FA's, Captains,TSA, FAA, unions, you name it -- would be reading from the same page.

P.S. My wife just reminded me of the recent incident on a Jet Blue plane in which the Captain went 'round the bend in the cabin and had to be physically restrained. A passenger took video of the incident as it happened. Everybody concerned was delighted because it confirmed what went on. There were zero complaints about its permissibility .
we0209
William Jensen 1
The guy could have just asked if it was okay to take a photo before he took it. Some folks here are right - there are two sides to every story. Who knows what sort of attitude the blogger came across with?
evbutler
Ev Butler 1
Is there any way to keep spammers off this sit? Who cares if Christa Tenner advertises without paying the going rate? I do and I hope you do, also. There has to be a way to monitor the spammers and have tehm pay for ads.
smoki
smoki 2
My comment about the FA speaking to the Captain about not being comfortable with a particular passenger onboard and that being the end of it was not intended to be taken literally. Maybe I should have included quote marks around the words "that would have been it,...End of discussion." I didn't feel it necessary to write a movie script dialogue. I'll grant that you can come up with all sorts of goofy scenarios to discredit my terse conclusion. Obviously the Captain has to insert his judgement into the situation and make a decision as to disposition of a passenger which included in this case dialoguing with the "offending" passenger. The Captain is also under company pressure to keep a schedule so he doesn't have all day to hold court and coddle a passenger's personal concerns and complaints. He also has to weigh carefully the input of a member of his crew, whose input should until proven otherwise be deemed of greater credibility than that of the passenger.

Without having been present we can only speculate as to the precise nature and content of the exchanges between the passenger, the FA and the Captain, but the company has entrusted this Captain with the power to render final judgement as to whether to transport a given passenger balancing the safety of the remaining passengers and crew against the concerns/complaints of one passenger. He can't go to the back of airplane and take a poll among the passengers as if it were a democratic society rendering judgement on whether to seat or expel a given passenger from their midst. He need not and should not consult a higher authority. No doubt some of those decisions will inevitably err on the side of being overly conservative

Captains always dread to see the senior FA approaching the cockpit prior to push back with a concerned on her/his face. I don't envy any commercial Captain the decision making tasks with which they are faced in today's stressful transportation environment. We're all imperfect beings and by no means infallible. We do make mistakes despite all the training, education and experience. Been there done that!
FritzSteiner
Fritz Steiner 1
Paul: I don't have any disagreement with your explanation. I understand the Captain's authority and responsibility. It's his airplane and he can pretty much do as his best judgment dictates.

Nevertheless, what you have said debates the details of the incident, but it doesn't address the bigger issue -- namely that NOBODY seems to know exactly where they stand on the issue of photography in and around airplanes, airports , etc. It's fine if United has a policy in its manuals, but its like the Obamacare bill that was passed -- NOBODY who's going to have to live with it knew what was in it.

In the pre flight safety briefings we're told that "smoking is not permitted" so if you smoke, or try to, you're in violation of something that you knew or should've known and you're in trouble.

When you attempt to take a picture because there's nothing you know of that prevents you from doing so, and then you're told not to by a FA because she says so, that certainly could evoke a "why not?" It wasn't smart of the perp to include the word "terrorist" in his response, however innocently he intended it.

What I've suggested is that the airlines come up with a common policy regarding the taking of pictures, videos, etc., and unequivocally let their passengers know it. Then issues like the one in question won't happen, but should they occur the policy being violated is known to everyone concerned -- and the consequences would require very little judgment.

Btw, I understand a Captain's role very well. I had my own command in the Navy. Once I said "I relieve you, sir" to my predecessor, it was all mine -- the authority and the responsibility. It was up to me to exercise both in the best way I could to carry out our mission.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
KISS. Take pics if you want. If crew tells you you it's against policy then stop. KISS.
nickpiszczek
nicholas piszczek 1
You quote me, and then just chuck it in the bin..."Evidently you both would prefer that this sort of nonsense continues.",, then further more accuse Paul and I of a "bitch" and "argue" method in dealing with a problem that you unequivocally seem to have licked and by golly., nobody will listen to you..... Why don't you adopt a Uniform policy of reading what was said in specific and how it pertains too not getting kicked off an aircraft first and then state your case to management with the nonsense photography issue after that. Its either you really believe that fuzz or I am a fool for responding to devils advocate careerists.

I will repeat:

When having a unsatisfactory relationship with an FA, the T-word helps NO-ONE,.No- body, No-How..Ever. IT renders anything else you want to inject post facto for your own personal condition meaningless.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Select contact from the left hand menu. Click on contact FA by email, include spammer name and squawk involved. They take care if it fairly quickly.
FritzSteiner
Fritz Steiner 1
Nicholas, inasmuch as the comment I quoted expressed your complete agreement with what Paul had said, I thought you might understand that you, too, were being addressed. Alas, I was wrong.

Read what I said to Paul in response to his explanation. It should be self explanatory. It reiterated what was said in my initial posting on this issue.

You should heed your own advice and read what was said in specific about how to avoid incidents like this. I made a simple suggestion as to what I think the airlines should do. You obviously either didn't read it or decided to ignore it.

What "fuzz"? Where's the "fuzz" in:

"No photography of any kind is permitted aboard this airplane" IF that were the airlines' uniform policy.

"Devils advocate careerist". Me? No way. I'm a career problem solver. To solve a problem it's necessary to identify what the problem is, not just its symptoms. In this case the problem is there's a world-wide Tower of Babel on the question of what's permitted vis a vis photography. Imagine what international air control would be like if English weren't its common language. A similar agreement on photography would solve the problem in question.

Have a nice day ;-)
nickpiszczek
nicholas piszczek 1
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
Someone who supposedly travels for a living ought to know better.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 0

[This poster has been suspended.]

THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Phil, that's it, no dessert for you today!!!
nickpiszczek
nicholas piszczek 2
I was about to say...and then......why bother., anyone with some maturity a reasonable sense of values gets it.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
You had to have been raised by wolves.
superheat11
dee guerry -4
Glad he got kicked off thats all anyone needs some stupid freakazoid taking pics of food and the toilet and floors stupid retard sit there and STFU.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -1
Judging by the 3 thumbs down you got I'm guessing 3 people didn't understand sarcasm.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -1
There are some words that just shouldn't be spoken post 9/11 when you're anywhere near an airplane: bomb, terrorist, explosives, etc. Doesn't take a genius to know this. Or does it?
spdmrcht
Ron Lorenz -2
Boy he didn't fall far from the Tree, did he?? I'm sure
the other passengers were glad to see him go. I wouldn't
want to listen to his crap for hrs.
spdmrcht
Ron Lorenz -2
He's a Blogger, that's what they do to generate a reaction so they
can write about it. If it was my airline that jerk would never set
foot on one of my airplane again. Is't the puplic going thru enough
with out him adding to the problems. 86 him for the rest of his
miserable life!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I can't tell by where your post landed ... who's the blogger?

[This poster has been suspended.]

us1999
Ishan Gajra 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

United Airlines Throws Travel Blogger Off Of Plane For Taking Pictures

Matt Klint was thrown off a United flight for taking pictures!! This is BULL!

http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/02/22/united-airlines-throws-travel-blogger-off-flight-for-taking-pictures/