United Airlines Boots Family Off Flight Because They Complained About Violent Inflight Movie

Do you have young kids?  Do you or should I ask would you, allow them to watch a graphically violent PG-13 movie?  I know many parents who would not allow their kids to watch these movies.  We never allowed our kids to watch anything like that and were quite upset when relatives took our young daughters to see Ghostbusters when it first came out at the theater.

A family with two young children ages 4 and 8 were on board United Airlines flight 638 from Denver to Boston.  When the movie screens lowered throughout the plane, the parents were shocked to see the movie Alex Cross being shown.  I haven’t even watched this movie because of the commercials I’ve seen and because of what I’ve heard.  IMDb describes the movie as:

“A homicide detective is pushed to the brink of his moral and physical limits as he tangles with a ferociously skilled serial killer who specializes in torture and pain.”

The parents were quite concerned about their young kids seeing the violence, torture and killing, so they asked the flight attendants about the appropriateness of showing such a movie with children on board.  Speaking to a reporter afterwards, the family said:

“Alarmed by the opening scenes, we asked two flight attendants if they could turn off the monitor; both claimed it was not possible.”

“We asked if the captain has the authority to address this issue, but received no response.  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.”

Not long after they asked if the captain had the authority to stop the film, the captain announced that the plane was being diverted to Chicago due to security concerns.  Upon landing in the Windy City, the family was escorted off the plane and the plane made its way back into the air and on to Boston.  Once off the plane, law enforcement officials questioned the parents about the incident on board the fight.  Satisfied with what they heard, the family was then placed on a different flight from Chicago to Boston.

When Fox News contacted United Airlines, they were told:

“United flight 638 from Denver to Baltimore diverted to Chicago O’Hare after the crew reported a disturbance involving a passenger.  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 says there was no incident and that the captain was too quick to react.  They told reporters:

“We understand that airline captains can and should have complete authority.  However, when this authority is used for senseless, vindictive acts, it must be addressed.”

“Had this been in a cinema or a restaurant, we would have simply left if the content were too violent.  Cruising at 30,000 feet, leaving was not an option.”

Mind you, United Airlines is a brilliantly run company.  For many years, the flight safety card found in the back of the seat on every United Airlines flight had the bold words printed across the top of the card saying:

“If you are unable to read this, please notify flight attendant.”

Like their flight safety card, it seems there are those individuals at United Airlines that fail to use common sense or any sense of decency or courtesy towards families traveling with young kids.  So be advised, if you are planning any traveling with your kids or grandkids, they may be subjected to inflight movies that are totally inappropriate for them to see.  But if you say anything to the flight crew about the movie, be prepared to be kicked off the flight in some city between your home and your destination.  Better yet, take your own small DVD player with you so they can watch what you want them to, rather than something like Alex Cross.