Man dragged off United flight in China for trying to treat himself to free upgrade

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I get it, it sucks to fly in economy, and it’s much nicer up front in first or business class. However, that doesn’t mean that you can just decide to upgrade yourself to a nicer seat.

One man on Sunday’s United Airlines Flight 87 from Shanghai, China to Newark, New Jersey didn’t agree with that & decided an upgrade was absolutely necessary. Rather than just signing up for credit cards to get himself into first class like a “normal” person, according to other passengers who were on the flight, the man went to first class, sat down, and began drinking champagne.

Despite multiple attempts to get him back to his assigned seat on the Boeing 777, eventually the police had to be called, resulting in this scene.

It is believed the unruly passenger is a professor at the Southwest University of Finance and Economics.

Here’s more from the passenger who shot the video:

Man decided to “upgrade” himself from economy to first class. He got caught multiple times and refused to identify himself to the crew, at one point even walking down the aisles drinking champagne that he stole from first class. The crew asks him to leave the plane and he refuses. Finally, the Chinese authorities arrive to drag him off the plane. However, they claim they are not allowed to handcuff someone that is mentally unstable (???). Finally, with the help of some passengers and plastic zip-tie cuffs provided by the crew, the man is carried off the plane kicking and screaming the entire way.

And here is another passenger account via Shanghaiist:

I don’t think the guy demanded an upgrade. He basically just went and sat in first class. He got caught several times doing this and at one point was even drinking champagne that he stole. He was also taking photos and videos and just acting very strangely overall which led to the pilot asking him to leave the plane. He then pretended he was sleeping and refused to respond to the crew. At this point he was sitting in economy plus which was not his seat either. He paid for a regular economy seat.

The whole time while this was going on, there was ANOTHER separate incident. A woman was extremely ill and was in the bathroom throwing up. They had to call the paramedics to help her off the plane. So on one aisle you had the paramedics helping this sick lady and on the other aisle you had the police trying to drag the man off.

For some reason the Chinese police said they weren’t allowed to cuff someone that was mentally ill??? They had no tasers or any other useful equipment. 3 policeman and several passengers could not get control of this one guy. Finally, the crew brought out some plastic zip-tie style cuffs and put it on the man’s hands and feet. They were finally able to carry him out this way.

By the way, it took 30 minutes for the police to arrive and they sent one guy with no equipment and no back up. Took them another 10 minutes to get additional officers on the scene. Really makes me wonder what we would have done if the situation were more serious.

Thanks to the incident, it appears that the flight from Shanghai to Newark was delayed by about two hours. Next time just go for the credit cards, dude. At least everyone on board has an entertaining story, especially the guy who now gets to say, “Hey, I was the belligerent guy who delayed an entire flight because I threw a temper tantrum like a 2-year-old!”

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via View From The Wing


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