DENVER (CBS4) – Recent delays and diversions to Denver International Airport, due to disturbances on board flight, left passengers stranded for hours.
Matt Finnigan’s United Airlines flight from Newark to DIA was delayed Thursday night after one woman’s disturbance almost forced him off his plane.
“The flight attendants told her she needed to shut her device off because we couldn’t leave until she did,” Finnigan said.
He says she began recording her interaction with flight attendants when there were questions about her luggage.
“The passenger who was upset voluntarily deplaned, and as she got off the plane, she was tearful and apologized to everybody for creating what ended up being an hour and five minute delay in leaving,” Finnigan said.
The delay caused many to miss their connecting flights out of Denver.
Around he same time, a pilot diverted a Spirit Airlines flight to DIA after a disturbance.
The Spirit flight, from Oakland to Baltimore, was cancelled.
The FBI is investigating the incident. They say no arrests were made in the incident.
Recently, a New York mother of three claims her family was removed from a JetBlue flight in Florida because her one-year-old kicked another passenger seat.
JetBlue denied her allegations.
Finnigan believes airline are starting to push back against customer complaints.
“They have to balance the safety of the passengers, the safety of their own employees, compliance with laws, but also their public image,” Finnigan said. “They want to say, ‘Hey, maybe we messed up here, maybe we didn’t. We’re sorry, however, passengers bear some burden of the blame as well.”
Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner of Airline Weekly, agrees.
Social media has changed the way people interact with companies. It seemed like airlines were falling all over themselves to apologize for absolutely anything, you know, even if it wasn’t really their fault,” Kaplan said. “Now the airlines here just over the past week or so are taking a step back a little bit saying the customers are not always right.”
Finnigan suggests ways for both sides to meet in the middle.
“People need to recognize they’re not the only one one the plane,” Finnigan said. “At the same time I think the airline needs to remember we’ve spent a lot of money to fly.”