I totally respect a parent’s choice of what to expose their young children to. I just don’t respect it when it negatively affects and inconveniences a plane full of passengers. A United Airlines flight originally scheduled to travel from Denver to Baltimore had to land in Chicago due to what the pilot deemed was a “security concern.” A plane is diverted over parents’ disapproval of the in-flight movie. How did this happen?
“Forced” may be a harsh word. This whole story is so confusing that I’m not exactly sure what went on. The in-flight entertainment that the parents objected to was the movie “Alex Cross.” It is rated PG-13. The parents were travelling with two young children, ages four and eight. The movie was being shown on those drop down screens, not individual screens on the seat backs, so the parents had no control over whether their kids could see it. When they asked if the monitor could be turned off they were told “no.” In a letter to The Atlantic, the family explained:
“We asked if the captain has the authority to address this issue, but received no response,” the family said. “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.”
The family was surprised when the plane landed in Chicago and they were asked to disembark. They were met by law enforcement officials, questioned and booked on a new flight.
It’s pretty clear to me that these parents totally over-reacted. Do you actually think your child is going to be scarred for life because he saw a few scenes (with no audio) of a PG-13 movie? That’s just ridiculous. Complain, take your business elsewhere, but don’t be so self-involved and cause a disturbance to all the passengers around you. Everybody hates flying. You’re making it worse. It’s not like they were showing Debbie Does Dallas or Evil Dead.
On the other hand – did the pilot actually believe that this family of four was a “security concern?” That is also ridiculous. What the heck happened on this flight? It seems like the perfect storm of entitlement and over-reaction from all parties involved. Except all of the other passengers, of course. Can you imagine being diverted for something like this? That is just infuriating.
Parents – get a grip. And pilots – don’t abuse your power just to teach one entitled family a lesson. Not fair to everyone else on the flight.