Matthew Klint was thrown off of a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Instanbul last month for taking this picture (right) of a video monitor on the back of the seat in front of him.
“The flight attendant runs over and says, ‘You can’t take a picture,’” Klint told CBS Philadelphia (video below).
Klint was told by the flight attendant that photo-taking violates United’s Airlines policy, which appears in small print in the airline’s in-flight magazine:
The use of still and video cameras, film or digital, including any cellular or other devices that have this capability, is permitted only for recording personal events. Photography or audio or video recording of other customers without their express prior consent is strictly prohibited. Also, unauthorized photography or audio or video recording of airline personnel, aircraft equipment or procedures is always prohibited. Any photography (video or still) or voice or audio recording or transmission while on any United Airlines aircraft is strictly prohibited, except to the extent specifically permitted by United Airlines.
“United’s photo policy is geared towards protecting the privacy of other passengers, and I appreciate that, and I wasn’t taking pictures of other passengers or the flight crew,” said Klint.
Klint put away his iPhone and tried to explain what he was doing to the flight attendant: “I said, ‘Look, I am a traveler. I am not a terrorist, I write about airline stuff all the time. Here is one of my business cards,’ and she sort of forced a smile on her face and said, ‘I didn’t know that,’ and she refused to take a card, but she walked away."
Moments later, Klint was escorted off of the plane: “The captain is quite rude, and he says, essentially, ‘I don’t want to hear you, get off the plane before I call the police.’ It was quite embarrassing, just grabbing my bag and just making that walk forward with all eyes on me.”
After exiting the aircraft, Klint was rebooked by gate agents on another flight scheduled for 45 minutes later.
Days later, after posting his experience on his travel blog, United Airlines contacted Klint and offered some modest compensation for the change in his travel plans.
“It’s really not about me anymore, it’s about making sure this doesn’t happen to any other passenger going forward,” Klint said.
United Airlines did release a statement, which had nothing to do with Klint's taking a picture of the back of a seat: "We welcome customers to record their personal experiences on board provided they don’t take photos or videos of customers and crew members without their consent. This is both a security and service measure we take that also respects the privacy of other customers. United’s policy was implemented in 2010."
Source: CBS Philadelphia and Upgrd.com