I was on the late Washington Dulles to Orlando flight yesterday evening. During the boarding process a man, probably in his mid-20’s and 6ft 6in tall boarded. He put his head around the cockpit door and said ‘Hello Officers’. No one paid him much attention, but he was talking to himself as he went past me.
A short time later the crew made an announcement about having to pay for Economy Plus, United’s extra legroom product. This was, I later found out, because aforementioned gentleman had rather liked Economy Plus, rather than his seat in row 37.
At some point he then appeared at the front of the plane, waving his two passports about – one US blue and a green one I did not immediately recognise. He was unhappy at having to pay for Economy+. A couple of minutes later a passenger came from Economy and complained about his erratic behaviour to the crew.
I caught the eye of the flight attendant and she asked if I had noticed anything, so I explained the boarding behaviour as much as I could.
The flight attendants then met at the front and decided that they would like him to leave, the captain confirmed this and someone from United was summoned from the terminal. A lovely lady, glasses and a clipboard. No match for our fellow passenger I though. But that was the great strength – she was able to speak to him a quiet, almost motherly tone and persuaded him to leave with no fuss. Complaining loudly that ‘I’m not happy with this’ he left the aircraft. The sense of tension onboard diminished.
It was unclear whether it was alcohol, medication, lack of medication, mental health issues or just an eccentric personality that lead to him leaving. Whichever it was, I though United did a good job.
We left a little late, and arrived a little early