Published April 04, 2013
A family's criticism of inflight entertainment allegedly prompted a United flight to be diverted over "security concerns."
In a story published in The Atlantic, one family recounts traveling from Denver to Baltimore with two young sons, ages 4 and 8. During the flight, the PG-13-rated detective film "Alex Cross" was shown on drop-down monitors across the plane.
The family worried about their young children seeing inappropriate content in the film.
"Alarmed by the opening scenes, we asked two flight attendants if they could turn off the monitor; both claimed it was not possible," the family said, according to The Atlantic.
After some back and forth between the family and the flight crew, the family reportedly relented to the movie being shown and did their best to engage their children to keep them from watching the movie.
"We asked if the captain has the authority to address this issue, but received no response," the family said. "Throughout these interactions the atmosphere was collegial, no voices were raised and no threats, implicit or explicit, of any kind were made. The flight continued without incident, while my wife and I engaged our children to divert their attention from the horrific scenes on the movie screens."
But shortly after that, the captain announced the flight was being diverted to a Chicago airport due to "security concerns."
When the family disembarked, they were questioned by law enforcement officials then booked on a new flight.
"United flight 638 from Denver to Baltimore diverted to Chicago O'Hare after the crew reported a disturbance involving a passenger," United Airlines told FoxNews.com. "The flight landed without incident and the customers were removed from the aircraft. We reaccommodated the customers on the next flight to Baltimore and have since conducted a full review of our inflight entertainment."
The family argues the captain overreacted to the incident.
"We understand that airline captains can and should have complete authority," the family said. "However, when this authority is used for senseless, vindictive acts, it must be addressed."
The family also contends that United should reassess the movies they screen to ensure they are appropriate for all audiences.
"Had this been in a cinema or a restaurant, we would have simply left if the content were too violent," the family said. "Cruising at 30,000 feet, leaving was not an option.