United Airlines is at the center of another dustup with passengers just a week after it came under fire for having a man dragged off a flight in Chicago. A couple heading to their wedding in Costa Rica on Saturday say they were removed from their Houston flight after another passenger took their seats. Michael Hohl and his fiancée, Amber Maxwell, said they had moved a few rows up after seeing a man asleep in their seats, even offering to pay extra to sit in the more expensive seats. “We thought not a big deal, it’s not like we are trying to jump up into a first-class seat,” Hohl told Houston’s KHOU 11 News channel. The airline would not allow the couple to move, however, and they were soon escorted off the plane by the U.S. Marshals Service, Hohl said. “They said that we were being disorderly and a hazard to the rest of the flight, to the safety of the other customers,” he said.
The airline offered a different version of events, saying Hohl and Maxwell had tried to sit in more expensive seats without paying and refused to follow flight crew instructions, KHOU 11 reported. In a statement issued late Saturday, the airline said it was “disappointed” that the engaged couple’s flight didn’t “measure up to their expectations.” “We’ve been in touch with them and have rebooked them on flights tomorrow,” the airline said. The incident comes as the airline is already in the midst of a public-relations nightmare after a doctor was violently dragged off a flight in an incident captured on video last week.