INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — It was a frustrating evening for passengers of flight 3708 when a woman on board refused to check a suitcase that was too large for carry-on regulations.
Crew members of the flight, which were headed from Indianapolis to Newark, asked the woman to check her bag, but she refused.
According to United Airways Spokeswoman Maddie King, the passenger became verbally abusive toward the crew. She was then asked to leave the aircraft, which she also refused to do.
All passengers were asked to deplane while the crew waited for this one woman to disembark.
The flight was delayed multiple times because of the incident. It was originally scheduled to leave at 7:05 p.m. but didn't take off until 12:17 a.m. A different aircraft was used to get all other passengers to their destination.
King and United Airlines sent this statement to WTHR:
"A customer on United Express flight 3708 from Indianapolis to Newark was asked to check her oversized bag, and she refused to do so. She became verbally abusive to the crew and they asked her to leave the aircraft. The customer refused and all customers were asked to deplane. To minimize the inconvenience to our customers, we arranged for a different aircraft to make the flight from Indianapolis to Newark as soon as possible last night."
Jason Kowalsky, a passenger on the flight, said the entire situation was "frustrating." Kowalsky said he and other passengers sat in the terminal for more than 4 hours with little information and no food or drink options because food vendors were closed by that time.
Kowalsky said, "They could have handled it much better. The fact that one person can hold us hostage is outrageous."
He also said a passenger suffered a medical condition while passengers waited in the terminal.
Kowalsky shared this video with WTHR:
King said any customers on that flight who didn't receive a voucher can do so by sending an email to United with proof they were a passenger on the plane. She also said the woman did eventually disembark.