US Airways Pilot Pulls Plane Over To Kick Off Unruly Passenger

A 49-year-old Scottish man with an injured arm grew angry at the crew on his US Airways flight to London last night, so he demanded they turn the plane around and take him back to Philadelphia. Instead, the pilot, who has had it up to here with you kids, landed the plane at Logan International Airport in Boston and had him removed.


The flight was heading from Philadelphia to London when a verbal altercation occurred between Murray and the flight crew. Murray had some type of arm or hand injury which required a splint. He refused to move the bandaged limb out of the aisle despite several requests from the flight crew, according to Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

“Mr. Murray allegedly became belligerent, stood up, and demanded to be brought back to Philadelphia,” Wark said.

“Unruly passenger forces unscheduled landing at Logan” []
“Man deemed unruly pulled from transatlantic flight” [Boston]
(Photo: eisenbahner)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather says:

    Well this should make all the “pro-baby lovers” on this site happy. See they kick off adults as well. Lesson learned, everyone, parents, kids, adults, learn how to behave in public.

    • PsiCop says:

      @Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather: Actually I expect some responses will be along the lines of, “It’s reasonable to expect adults to behave, but 2-year-olds? How dare anyone impose on them to sit still and be quiet? Why, of course they’re unruly! They should be!”

      Or something like that.

      Not that I buy that excuse myself. Just that someone will, no doubt, offer it.

      • Saboth says:


        “Look, kids will be bad. What can I do about it? I don’t have a corner to send them to for a 30 second time-out, and aside from useless time outs and ignoring the problem, what else is a breeder to do?”

    • tmed says:

      @Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather: That’s me – I am much happier seeing adults kicked off than kids under 5.

      I have seen the best behaved kids stress out and break down and holding them to an adult standard is ridiculous. Holding adults to that standard, naturally, is not.

      • soundreasoning says:

        @tmed: What about holding their parents to that standard? I mean having them take responsibility.
        Anyway I agree with your statement but that doesn’t mean there’s not a line for kids too.

      • DH405 says:

        @tmed: And a parent with an unruly child has the right to disturb my experience how? I don’t care what your circumstances are, they don’t give you any extra rights to disturb others.

        • tmed says:

          @DH405: That is absolute crap. The kid (again – under 5) has the right because at some point – he / she does not have the ability to stop. The parent who has the kid in the middle of the meltdown does not have the right to be belligerant, but that does not give the general public the right or the justification to treat the parent like anyone except someone in the middle of an unfortuante situation and offer aid as appropriate. If the parent is not apologetic, concerned, and embarassed already, than you are not going to be able to help the situation and those with the authority to do so (the flight crew in this case) should fix the situation. You have no right to pile on someone in the situation.

          You have no inalienable right to a hassle-free existance. If you simply choose to be a d*ck who does not care about another person’s circumstance, than stay the at home. Sometimes people have to fly with kids in the modern world. Sometimes that goes badly.

          Once again, adults should get booted off the plane and arrested in Boston.

          • floraposte says:

            @tmed: What’s weird is that the “I’m entitled not to hear this stuff!” is actually part of the same indulgence that such people object to in others.

          • Charmander says:

            “You have no inalienable right to a hassle-free existance.” Yep, this.

            If more people would realize this, I think the world would be a better place.

            • gtrgod01 says:

              @mamalicious: Good luck trying to get that point through the thick skulled 20-something ass hats on this site that spew hate towards children every chance they get.

              Apparently “they” think that simply buying a plane ticket entitles them to sleep, absolute silence and purified air (ie…no dirty diapers).

              All their comments do is show how young and inexperienced in “real” life they really are….They seem to think they are entitled to everything at the expense of others all while saying “you don’t have that right at MY expense”. They are all hypocritical ass hats who need to grow up….

              The more they post, the more you can tell it’s not just kids they hate, it’s anything/anytime they don’t get what they want or feel they deserve or are “entitled” to by some fictitious set of “rights” that simply don’t exist anywhere but in their warped, detached from reality minds….

      • sicknick says:

        @tmed: Not trying to cause a flame war, just a discussion here:

        I agree that children should not be held to the levels of adults to a point, but where are the adults who are watching that child to be made responsible for unruly kids? Yes, kids act out, but that doesn’t make it a right or correct for them to be allowed to.

        Point of fact, as a young kid, we were in a department store (Hudson’s! I’m showing my age here) and I was playing in the clothing racks like they were my own private fort. I was told by my Mom to stop. I didn’t, and she grabbed me by the arm and asked a store clerk where the bathroom was. She took me in and beat my ass. Needless to say, I stopped hiding in the clothing racks.

        I feared my mother, as all children should fear their parents. She could give me an evil look most times or speak in That Tone and I was picture perfect. When I wasn’t, I got the wooden spoon or her hand. Why can’t we hold all parents to these standards, since we’d cut down greatly (there is no way to erradicate it) on unruly children in public.

        Again, not trying to start a fight (since there is no easy answer to this fight) but I’m just posing a thought.

        • shepd says:


          Ruling by fear is not a good thing. It teaches children that the way to be in control is to be able to instill fear. That means when the kids become older teenagers, they may turn on their parents, if they’ve actually learned the fear lesson correctly.

          Incidentally, this goes for citizens of most countries, too.

        • nybiker says:

          @sicknick: I didn’t fly when I was a child (my first flight was when I was 17), but growing up we feared my mom and not my dad. Mom would have no qualms about smacking us on the backside (of course, if we twisted & shouted, the smack might hit us elsewhere) and it didn’t matter if we were outdoors or at home. And if we were home, yeah, the wooden spoon could be used. Dad, well, he was afraid he’d lose control and really go off on us, so his threats about hitting us were just that.

          Fortunately, the 4 of us boys turned out ok (actually, let’s just say 3 out of 4 did – my youngest brother is not what I’d call any sort of angel).

          I think it all comes back to kids being taught boundaries and parents enforcing them. Yes, a 2-year-old is probably not going to truly understand it all, but I imagine that as they get older they should be able to. (I say I imagine, as I am not a parent, so I don’t know the exact time when a child starts to be able to understand the rules of flying).

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Burning pakalolo not even noticing the weather: Call me a stickler, but I won’t be satisfied until someone hits him in the face then argues it’s a learning experience for him.

  2. UGAdawg says:

    So they couldn’t give him a row to himself? Was the flight sold out?

    • FatLynn says:

      @UGAdawg: Arrangements like these need to be made in advance. You can’t just get on the flight and demand an accommodation.

      • woogychuck says:

        @FatLynn: He very well could have made arrangements in advance. I travel with my son on a regular basis and there have been at least 3 occassions when our seats were changed despite booking months in advance. In one case, they moved our seats 8 rows apart even though he was 2 years old at the time. The ticketing and gate agents refused to change our seats and the gate agent even attempted to add an un-attended minor fee to my sons ticket. In the end, we had to walk around the gate asking people to switch seats.

        Also, was he injured when he purchased the ticket? If not, we can’t really expect him to know the future.

        • FatLynn says:

          @woogychuck: What airline were you on? I have never heard of confirmed seats being changed for no apparent reason, but I also don’t fly USAirways.

          • Quake 'n' Shake says:

            @FatLynn: If you buy well in advance, it can happen when the flight schedules change. Typically, the airlines just spit out 2 new seats for you, and those aren’t always the same arrangement. This is especially true if, as floraposte mentioned, the aircraft type changes.

            Last year, I bought tickets on Delta about 10 months in advance. Knowing the flight schedules would likely change several times, I checked my itinerary weekly. Sure enough, changes were made automatically to accommodate the schedule changes. I recall having to change the seats too. After one “automatic” schedule change, they stupidly had us landing in Atlanta after our connecting flight had already departed.

            • FatLynn says:

              @Quake ‘n’ Shake: Ah, you are right, this has happened to me now that I think about it. I am just vigilant about checking my seat assignments, and would be even more so if I required a special accommodation due to disability or injury.

            • Oddfool says:

              @Quake ‘n’ Shake: I had the same issue a couple of years ago with my son and I traveling from San Diego to D.C. Since our hotel accommodations were different, we had 2 separate itineraries. Halfway through the year, flights were changed, and we were split up on separate flights, with his having an extra stop. I’m definitely glad I had kept monitoring throughout the year, so I could fix anything that came up.

          • PinkBox says:

            @FatLynn: I’ve had confirmed seats changed before, but I don’t remember which airline it was.

            They moved my boyfriend back several rows, and had me squished between two guys. Luckily my bf convinced the woman beside him to switch somehow.

            I’m thankful, since the flight was over five hours long.

  3. MostlyHarmless says:

    I am kind of tempted to side with the crew here.

    Was there a way where the passenger could have easily with minimal effort moved the bandaged arm out of the way? If yes, then it is the passenger’s fault.

    I get the fact that you are injured and all, but “I have an injury” is not a valid reason to cause others _avoidable_ inconvenience/hazard.

    Also it is for his own safety that he move the bandaged arm out of people’s way, so it does not get bashed up by mistake.

  4. smirkette says:

    The selfishness and pig-headedness of some people takes my breath away. The only way he can have a leg to stand on is if his arm was splinted in such a way that he could not move it from the center aisle.

    Still, this and hours of cripplingly uncomfortable flying could be saved if passengers weren’t mistaken for sardines.

  5. rpm773 says:

    …so he demanded they turn the plane around and take him back to Philadelphia.

    Hmmm. Sounds grave, like shock and dementia from the injury had set in.

  6. ToddMU03 says:

    Is the news going to do a story on how he now has to pay more money for a different flight? What? He’s not a whiny parent with bratty kids the runs directly to TV news? Hmm, sucks to be him.

  7. pot_roast says:

    Unless the flight was absolutely full, this was something that should have been handled at the ticket counter or at the gate. I used to work for an airline (customer service/gate/ramp – we were cross trained) and we did what we could to accommodate disabled passengers (we had to) and passengers with injuries that were casted, splinted, or on crutches.

    • valthun says:

      @pot_roast: unless he was one of those, “I must sit in an aisle” kind of person. He probably told everyone he was just fine, but when he refused to co-operate and follow the instructions of the flight crew he caused a serious problem. He deserves to be dropped off at the closest airport.

  8. RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

    Too bad there wasn’t a 60 year old man around to slap him into behaving if he didn’t shut up.

  9. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    “Don’t make me come back there, or so help me God I will turn this plane around and someone’s going to feel the back of my hand on their backside!”

  10. SatisfriedCrustomer says:

    Have you ever been with a 49-year-old Scottish man before? It’s not like you can just tell them to keep quiet. They can be fine in the airport and then all of a sudden have a meltdown in the plane and there’s nothing anyone can do, even if you’re the best parent in the world. The real problem is the wait on the runway before takeoff. This is hard on anybody and particularly on a 49-year-old Scottish person. I wish you all would come off your high horse because someday you might be with a 49-year-old Scottish person of your own and then you will expect other passengers to be patient with you. And you’ve never raised a 49-year-old Scottish person so you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Sorry, just amused why the detail that this person is Scottish makes any difference to the story :)

  11. Anne Boleyn says:


  12. Smashville says:

    @Trai_Dep: Where’s that one been, anyway?

  13. scoosdad says:

    From the linked article in the Boston Herald (caption under the guy’s photo):

    John Alexander Murray, of Glasgow, was charged with being an unruly passenger shortly after US Airways Flight 728 landed at around 11 p.m last night. He said today, through his court appointed lawyer, that he needed a window seat to stretch out his injure{d arm– text missing from caption}.

    If this is accurate, it sounds as if the airline assigned him an aisle seat when he wanted a window seat instead. So maybe he was making an ass of himself in the aisle seat to punish the flight crew for his seat assignment.

    And here he is:

  14. davidc says:

    In the picture, his arm is bent and fairly close to his body. He could have / should have been able to shift in his seat to allow the cart to go by.

    Bottomline? I hope they charge him the fuel cost to land the plane and take off again.

  15. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Scottish? Maybe he was being completely reasonable but there wasn’t a translator on board.

  16. katstermonster says:

    @Smashville_Flippin the Bird Before Bud Adams: That one started this thread. New name. For reals.

  17. Naame says:

    It sounds like the passenger took the situation too far, but I do question whether or not the flight crew was capable of working out a compromise which would have made everyone satisfied. In situations like these, you always got his side, her side, and the truth.

    • DangerMouth says:

      @Naame: Agree, but I think the lesson here is that, generally speaking, if you’ve reached the point of getting hauled away in chains for making a ruckus, you’ve lost your right as consumer to legitimate complaints and expectations of reasonable accomodation.

      Getting angry and assertive can work in a lot of situations, but on an airplane, you do not want to be seen as out of control.

  18. Tim says:

    This sounds like something The Onion would write …

  19. Hogan1 says:

    If his arm was in a cast and extended, he was probably blocking the aisle which is an FAA Safety violation and the Airline is forced to act. If there were no open seats, their ONLY option would have been to ask him to position himself in a way as so move the limb out of the aisle. If he had an issue with this he *should* have had the common sense to let the Airline know his situation beforehand.

    Airline acted in the right; this guy was just an idiot.

  20. khfurletti says:

    Don’t make me pull this plane over! LOL

  21. Superawesomerad says:

    So, was he drunk?

  22. eaglearcher says:

    Looks like he can bend his arm just fine.

  23. Smashville says:

    @katstermonster: @MostlyHarmless: It all makes so much sense to me now.

  24. Invader Zim says:

    Why pull over…..”if you dont behave, I’m gonna drop you out this door right here and you can fly yer self”.

    May the 49 Scottish guy can do a “fly me I’m Scottish” commercial