United Removed Woman From Flight To See Her Dying Mother: ‘Nobody Flies For Free’


A woman on her way to see her dying mother in Minnesota was removed from the United flight because of an incorrect ticket cancellation.

Carrol Amrich was sitting on a United Airlines flight, waiting for the plane to take off when she says a flight attendant approached her and told her she had to leave. Amrich pleaded with the attendants to let her stay on the plane, but she was allegedly told, “nobody flies for free.” She traveled through the night by car, not even stopping to use the bathroom, she told the Times, but she didn’t make it in time. Her mother had died.

“I drove 1,000 miles, and she was gone before I got here,” she said to the Times. “I never stopped to rest. I went straight through. And she was gone.”

Read more at Fox News.



  1. Something is missing from this story. How did she get on the plane in the first place if she didn’t pay? How did she get a boarding pass? How did she go thru the TSA security? Did she pay or did she not pay? If she didn’t, then the airline is right. They are not michuyav to give her a free flight just because she has a personal tragedy.

  2. You are right, there is something missing from this story. I can honestly believe that United in there usual incompetence reacted badly in this situation. This airline is one of the worst offenders when it comes to customer service. They deserve all the bad publicity they get and then some.

  3. United is a terrible airline. A family member of mine flew United from Tel Aviv. They lost her suitcase and requested she finds receipts for all the contents in the suitcase so they would reimburse her. she worked on getting all the receipts; which took a lot of work. Some of the stuff lost were stuff that cannot be reimbursed by money; like a needlepoint that took years to make. After months of running after the airline and trying to get her money she was sent a$1800 check in the mail. Massive Chutzpa!!!!

  4. Comment continued:
    The contents that were in the suitcase that had receipts amounted to $4000 dollars… $1800 is a very small amount when it was atleast 4000.

  5. United’s customer service is less than outstanding. But there are important details missing, which are explained in the NY Times article.

    The passenger could not afford the flight. Another person decides to pay for her ticket and does so with her own credit card, purchasing a cheap ticket via an online booking service, on a flight a few days later. Subsequently, someone calls the airline, gives the booking code and requests that this ticket is exchanged for a much more expensive ticket on a flight which is taking off shortly. The airline representative does so.

    Airline takes the bulk reseller’s reservation and creates a new ticket at a new fare, and the system notifies the reseller that the cheap online ticket is voided and must be refunded. The reseller’s offices now say they tried to call the phone numbers on file (who knows). But the point is what both the reseller and the airline see. They notice Ms 1, who booked a cheap ticket for which she paid with credit card of Ms 2, is now flying on an expensive ticket and is just about to take off. The reseller promptly refunds the original payment as they have to, and either them or the automated system alerts the airline, that is, the gate, since the flight is already boarded.

    Usually the gate does not even have a way to process payment (as standby tickets are no longer commonly sold) but a supervisor could have certainly taken cash from the passenger, or her credit card, and would get on the phone with ticketing. But Ms 1 who is seated in the plane has no cash nor credit cards and she says she would like to charge the credit card number of Ms 2, who is not there. It does sound like a fraud against Ms 2. Also we can imagine that in her state of mind, the passenger did not explain very clearly the issue, insisting she needed to get on the flight to see her dying mother – which no one could easily verify. Staff decides to take Ms 1 off the flight and bring her back to ticketing to sort things out. In the meantime the flight closes, and getting her back on the plane would be very difficult.

    Can we really blame the workers and state we would have done differently in their shoes?

    If you scroll down a little bit on the website, you will see the story of the “serial stowaway”. You do not think all airlines circulated a memo to employees requesting to be extra careful and reminding them of liabilities?

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