Privileged United passenger in business class throws fit over meal choice, forcing plane to divert

Originally published at: Privileged United passenger in business class throws fit over meal choice, forcing plane to divert | Boing Boing


Maybe the airline decided to substitute quantity for quality?

The value of a fancy meal but in egg and cheese sandwiches?


Another arsehole passenger who should be forced to pay the fares of everyone else on the flight (in addition to the criminal charges, of course).


When tertiary-stage affluenza attacks the brain.


Jettisoned fuel as well. He should have to cover that cost.

I fly business for, well, business and it’s super great. I can’t imagine complaining about it.


The cost of a first class ticket is MUCH cheaper than the charges and fines he will have to pay now.


I’ve flown over 1 million miles with United and while this sounds fancy, business class really is not much to write home about. Yes, it’s WAY better than economy and you get a lie-flat seat to sleep in but in comparison to other airlines like Singapore or Emirates, all US based carriers scrape the bottom of the barrel with their business class service. Most airlines have totally done away with first class entirely and now only offer business, premium economy and economy classes.

Here’s what the “seared beef short rib with borderalise sauce” looks like:


When I was a cook we used to call the bordelaise Dull bullfight sauce. Bored Ole…get it?


My wife was an international flight attendant and told me that people would sometimes get picky with their food/beverage requests. One guy requested that they cook his steak medium rare (as if they were grilling in the galley). Another lady requested “a gin and tonic served as a proper cocktail with an umbrella”.

When I travel domestic these days I typically pack my own food. There’s a sense of satisfaction that comes with pulling a turkey and Swiss sandwich out of the carry on bag when everyone else is eating Biscoff cookies (which are awesome, don’t get me wrong).


I wonder if the cops who picked him up at the airport got him some Burger King? They do it for mass shooters like Dylann Roof, so I assume some RWA would also qualify for the white-glove treatment (pun very much intended).


They probably skimped on the paté.


Welcome to United’s no-fly list.


As long as an airline is offering different levels of luxury/pricing then doesn’t that mean the best available option is effectively “first class” even if it’s now marketed under a different name?


About ten years ago I cashed in a ton of miles to fly my family Lufthansa First Class to Frankfurt on the upper deck of a 747. We each got a full bed with sheets and pajamas, foie gras & caviar, Johnnie Walker blue scotch and private car service on arrival to whisk us through customs. On the return home we flew United’s “First Class”… Broken seats; surly and rude flight attendants; a photocopied piece of paper for a menu with 2 out of the 3 meal options unavailable. The difference was stark. It was nothing close to what would be considered a First Class experience by most standards.

Now I’m not complaining because it was still orders of magnitude better than sitting in steerage and I didn’t have to pay any money for it so I was certainly not ungrateful. Had I shelled out the tens of thousands of dollars for the tickets though I would have been supremely disappointed.
It’s only gotten worse in the years since to the point now that all that’s available for those who can afford it is a sub-par business class experience for the same price as a first class ticket.


In a sense yes. But I’ve been flying internationally for over 25 years in business. Mostly on United, but sometimes I get a code share or get something like Air France or on one memorable occasion bumped to British Air First Class from Heathrow right after the new lounge was finished. It was nicer than any place I’ve ever lived!

The real benefits of business class to me are the lie-flat bed so you can arrive ready to work, and the ability to generally skip a lot of airport inconveniences. I was United Global Services for a while and the separate check-in at SFO was a real time-saver. Similarly if you fly all the time you almost have to have TSA Pre and Clear.


And a lifetime entry on the ‘no fly’ list of every airline.


Even the best European and Middle Eastern carriers struggle to offer good food leaving the US. I don’t know what it is about American caterers, but the food is almost always better flying to the US than coming back.


I guess he didn’t want the done-done steak. :man_shrugging:


I’m honestly a bit surprised. Not that someone would be an asshole; but that there’s a level of threat great enough to justify the (significant) trouble and expense of a diversion; but apparently minor enough that the story includes no mention of the manhandling and duct taping and/or zip tying of the problem passenger by the flight crew that sometimes happens in the event of a disturbance.

I’ve flown economy and business/first on Lufthansa. They really treat you well, even in economy. The first class was amazing; made me wish the flight was longer!

1 Like