Woman claims United Airlines employee forced her to back of plane in tears without explanation
By Alex Lasker
Apr 24th, 2017 at 4:02PM
A New York woman filed a $150,000 lawsuit against United Airlines on Monday, claiming she was forced from her business class seat to the back of the plane by an employee without any explanation during a flight last year.
Karen Shiboleth, a 24-year-old Columbia graduate and daughter of two well-known lawyers, was traveling to London to attend a master's degree program at Kings College on September 10, 2016.
She ended up paying a whopping $3,146.46 and using 60,000 American Express rewards miles to upgrade herself to a BusinessFirst class seat, according to NY Daily News.
Learn more about United Airlines recent fiascos:
Shiboleth said she normally doesn't travel in such luxurious accommodations, but decided to spring for a nicer seat because she was moving many of her "personal belongings and valuables" to London and wanted to make the journey easier.
According to Shiboleth's suit, there were multiple business class seats open when she boarded the airplane and sat down in 1B, which was her assigned seat.
But ten minutes prior to take off, Shiboleth claims a United employee boarded the craft and demanded she vacate her seat in United BusinessFirst and move to the back of the plane.
The lawsuit alleges that nobody would explain to Shiboleth why she was being moved, and that when she expressed her confusion, the employee took her arm "without consent" and forced her to a middle seat in the back of the plane.
To make matters worse, the unidentified worker reportedly called her a "c--t" during the interaction, bringing Shiboleth to tears.
According to the suit, the odd incident was "for the sole purpose of harassing, humiliating, embarrassing and physically accosting Plaintiff in front of other passengers."
United refused to refund Shiboleth the money and points she spent on her upgrade, only offering her a $750 voucher toward a future flight.
The airline denied comment on the story "due to pending litigation," saying only that it is "aware of the filing and reviewing it."
This incident comes on the heels of a week of PR nightmares for the company, snowballing from Dr. David Dao's removal from Flight 3411 on April 10.
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