United Flight Diverted Due to Violent In-flight Movie
I read about a family traveling from Denver to Baltimore in February with their kids who are 4 and 8. In a letter to The Atlantic, the parent of these children describes a dilemma when the drop-down screens above the seats displayed the inflight movie, Alex Cross. United’s inflight magazine rates the movie “T” or “Adult Themes.”
With that said, the parents of the 4 and 8 year olds were upset because they couldn’t shield their children from the inappropriate content. As soon as they saw the opening scenes they talked to flight attendants to turn off the monitor, but guess what. They couldn’t do it!
The first flight attendant they spoke to also told them the screen could not be folded up and out of view independently, and that even if it was possible she was not authorized to do it. Passengers behind the family agreed the movie was inappropriate for young children and that they wouldn’t mind if the movie was turned off.
Other passengers agreed, but no one seemed to have authority to turn off the movie. They appealed to the Captain but didn’t get a response.
About an hour later, the captain announced the flight was being diverted to Chicago “due to “security concerns.” After landing, police boarded the plane and asked the family to collect their belongings and follow them. It seems the complaint about the movie “constituted grave danger to the aircraft, crew and the other passengers.”
After being interviewed for less than 5 minutes while background checks were run, they were booked on another flight which required hours of time in the terminal with exhausted little boys who were terrified with the whole set of events.
The film is rated PG-13, which raises the question of whether or not the airline should be showing such a film on a flight carrying children younger than 13, but a spokesman for the Airline Passenger Experience Association says there are no legally mandated guidelines regarding what movies airlines can screen.
What happened to making passengers comfortable during the flight? Remember when United’s tagline was “friendly skies”? It’s not like people on a plane can get up and walk out if they find the film too violent or sexually explicit.
I guess the real question is what ever happened to common sense?