United has already mastered guitar bashing, so now the airline is moving on to more ambitious projects: screwing up diplomatic relations with other countries.
This past Sunday, nine men were removed from a United flight at Dulles International Airport because of something one of the passengers said to a flight attendant. When the news was widely reported on Monday morning, there were no details on the passengers or what was said.
But now we know that the nine men were military officials from Pakistan who had been invited to the U.S. for a defense conference, and before the plane took off one of them said in reference to a long day of traveling, “I hope this is my last flight.”
The Washington Post writes:
That sparked a call to Dulles law enforcement officials, who detained the delegation for 2.5 hours and refused to allow the officials to contact their embassy or the U.S. military officials who had invited them to visit, according to a Pakistani military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Eventually the police at Dulles realized they weren’t terrorists and released them, but at that point instead of moving forward with their trip “the delegation was ordered to return to Pakistan by their military superiors in Islamabad, in protest of their treatment.”
“Pakistani officials leaving in protest” [Washington Post] (Thanks to Carl!)