For two days, all we heard was that UA refused to transport nine passengers on a Sunday evening flight from Dulles to Tampa due to security concerns. Few details filtered out and we were left to speculate what really happened: was a well-known frequent flyer thrown off because the FAs refused to heat his ramekin of nuts?
Sadly, it was another case of overreaction. Here’s the real story:
The nine-member Pakistani delegation, headed by a two-star Navy rear admiral, was already aboard United Airlines Flight 727 when one of them reportedly made a comment to the flight attendant — saying he hoped the flight was his last, in reference to their long day’s travel from Islamabad.
The comment prompted concern and security officials were notified. The delegation was taken off of the plane and missed the flight.