-- Why This Mother Was Removed From Her Plane Will Leave You Dumbfounded

When Peggy Uhle woke up that day she knew she had a flight to catch, so she picked up all her stuff and headed towards the airport without the slightest idea what would happen next. She reached the Chicago’s Midway International Airport, checked in, placed herself in her seat, buckled her seatbelt but then something unusual occurred – instead of taking off, the plane returned to the gate. No one knew what was happening at the time and when suddenly a stewardess approached Uhle and told her to leave the plane. The reason would shock Peggy and completely change all of her plans.

Really Unpleasant Situation

Some people are afraid of heights, so they never travel by plane. Others simply don’t believe planes to be safe, so they rather travel by car, even though the number of plane accidents is actually way lower than the number of car crashes.
Peggy Uhle is not one of these two types of people because she used to love traveling by plane, until this particular day when she was told to get off of the plane for no obvious reason. She was shocked!

The Instructions Were Clear

This was not the first time Peggy traveled by plane, so she was well familiar with the protocol – she turned off her phone, fastened her seatbelt, made sure all her personal stuff was safely stored and that nothing was left in the aisle. Still, something seemed to be wrong…
Of course, and all the other passengers already did everything they were supposed to do, the same way Peggy did, so the plane was supposed to take off but yet, it didn’t.

From Chicago to Cleaveland

Peggy Uhle was on this plane because she wanted to avoid the long travel from Chicago to Cleaveland by car. The actual traveling time by car on this relation is around 6 hours and by plane, she could reach Cleaveland, Ohio within 80 minutes.
She had no clue that this time the traveling time would be changed, or perhaps there would be no traveling at all. The moment she realized the plane was returning to the gates, she thought the flight was canceled for weather-related reasons or something along those lines.

An Unexpected Request

When the plane returned to the gates, everyone was confused because they didn’t know what was going on, and the lack of information raised many questions: Is the flight postponed? Are we going to fly anytime soon? Are we all supposed to leave the plane immediately? Is there a bomb on the plane?
Still, none of the passengers got any of the answers to their questions, and only one person was kindly asked to leave the plane. This led Uhle to believe she was accidentally on the wrong plane!

The Midway International Airport

The name of the airport Uhle was at is The Midway International Airport. It was opened back in 1927 and it was a very busy one before they built a new airport - The O’Hare International Airport.
Generally, when accidents or unpleasant situations happen, it doesn’t matter which place you are at, but when planes or flying is in involved, it definitely matters. The unpleasant situations on flights can cause trauma with people, due to the feeling that you are trapped in the air and that you cannot ask the driver to stop the plane so that you could leave.

Shocked

Just imagine how would you feel if someone came up to you and told you to get off of the plane immediately. What would be the first thing that would come to your mind? Of course, if all the passengers were asked to deplane it would be a different situation. But this time, only Peggy Uhle was asked to leave and it was strange for her.
Of course, the first thing Uhle thought was that she had boarded a wrong plane, but how come it wasn’t obvious before she reached her seat? How come only now the flight attendants realized they boarded one extra passenger?

Peggy Uhle Was Not the First

It is interesting to know that Peggy Uhle was not the first passenger who was asked to get off of a plane, immediately. In fact, in Chicago, this happens every once in a while.
Have you heard of the United Airlines scandal from 2017 when a person by the name David Dao Duy Anh was removed forcibly from his flight? This happened on the United Airlines plane when four crew members had to get on that flight and no one of the already boarded passengers wanted to give up their place...

Doctor’s Rights Were Not Important

This Vietnamese-American doctor was practically expelled from the plane even though he was a great passenger – he was quiet, he turned off his phone and his seatbelt was properly fastened. Then why did the police have to intervene?
When the United Airline officials talked to the reporters, they said that Dao was behaving inappropriately, but that simply wasn’t true. There are some recordings made by the passengers that circulated social networks showing Dao’s behavior – he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

The Truth

What really happened was that four of the airline’s staff members had to be on that plane and no one of the passengers wanted to give up his seat. Then, the person in charge randomly picked four people who were told they had to leave the plane immediately.
One of those four people was a doctor, a Vietnamese-American pulmonologist who had an important surgery to handle in the morning. He simply didn’t want his patient to die because of the airline’s irresponsibility.

The Cruelty

Those people who were on the plane, and didn’t have to leave the flight, had no idea what was going on when they heard the noise. Later on, when they saw the video on the social networks, they were terrified by the cruelty of the plane security officers.
If the staff only heard the doctor’s reasoning in regards to why he was so insistent on staying on the plane, maybe they would understand him and leave him alone, but still, they didn’t ask him anything. He was simply ordered to leave and was forced to do it.

It Happened Before

It has become a frequent situation that a passenger has to be removed from a plane. Usually, it is due to unacceptable behavior, which is understandable. There are protocols and rules that have to be followed in order for chaos to be avoided. Could you imagine how it would look if all the people on a plane did exactly what they wanted, breaking the rules?
Two years ago, on a flight from Chicago to Houston, a female passenger became agitated and started behaving inappropriately after a stewardess politely asked her to close her tray table. Her aggressive behavior caused her to be removed from that flight.

Witnesses Are Important

This story might have ended differently if there wasn’t for witnesses, the co-passengers who told their side of the story. So when this woman claimed she was expelled for no reason, a witness explained what the problem was.
After all, the flight attendants are there for a good reason – to make sure everyone on a plane is treated properly and equally and that no one makes a mess or breaks the basic rules. That’s simply their job – to make passengers traveling as pleasant as possible.

The Woman Caused a Delay

No passenger complained when their flight was postponed for about an hour once they were sure the trouble-making woman was outside of the plane. After all, no one wants to travel under huge stress caused by a woman who is hateful, arrogant, and noisy.
The moment they saw she was escorted from the plane, they felt relief because she was really rude and even racially abusive. The plane had to be returned to the gates but no one complained as long as that uncivil woman was kept away from them.

Southwest Airlines Statement

The official statement, issued by the Southwest Airlines, and published in Daily Mail after the incident said: “The customer became unruly and verbally abusive toward our flight attendants, and the decision was made to return to the gate to deplane the customer, where she was met by local law enforcement officers.”
On a plane, safety procedures are everything and if only one person decides to ignore them, then all the passengers on that flight, together with the plane staff, might have a huge problem to deal with.

Another Example

About a year ago, Southwest Airlines had a problem with the attitude of a passenger who didn’t like the fact that his flight was delayed for a few hours due to maintenance and fueling issues.
Of course, no one likes unexpected delays, especially when we are in a hurry or in pain. Still, if a delay happens no one has the right to make a scene, after all, it is no one’s fault when unexpected delays are in question.

Give Us Vodka!

While the passengers waited patiently in the line, the airline staff had to make sure all the passengers were hydrated, so they were handing out bottles of water. One of the passengers, who probably wanted to crack a joke, said they better served them vodka.
The flight attendant who didn’t find this remark funny approached this passenger and said: ‘I don’t think that and I didn’t like your joke.’ If the situation wasn’t already tense, maybe this joke would be simply ignored but apparently even this crew member was irritated by the delay.

Again, the Importance of Witnesses

Peter Uzelac, who was also on this flight, described the event in detail in his interview given to KTXL. He said that even his wife had to intervene. He said that the flight attendant didn’t like the joke, but he thought it was obviously made as an attempt to lower the tension.
It wasn’t completely clear why this flight attendant reacted the way they did in the first place. After all, a light joke couldn’t harm anyone.

Get Used to It

A rude passenger is a common thing but not a rude flight attendant, right? Apparently, in this particular example, both the flight attendant and the passenger were rude. Or maybe one bad behavior provoked the other…
What we could read from the interview was that when Peter Uzelac’s wife said to the flight attendant: ‘Look, we’ve been on this plane for hours,’ the attendant replied: ‘Well, so have I, so get used to it.’ Not an answer we would expect, right?

A New Statement

Apologies are all we usually get from airlines when something unpredictable or unpleasant happens on flights. They rarely offer something like money or flight compensations.
In this situation, when this person was removed from his flight just because he irritated a flight attendant by making a bad joke, all we got was a public statement saying: “We regret any less-than-positive experience a customer has onboard our aircraft. We welcome over 100 million customers each year and we aim to maintain the comfort of all while delivering Southwest hospitality.”

After Peggy Uhle

It is a well-known rule that everyone has to turn their off phones after boarding a plane, regardless of the airline company. Not even when there’s an emergency no one can turn their phones on.
This is precisely what happened when a woman who boarded on a Southwest Airlines flight had an emergency call just before the flight from her husband – she wasn’t allowed to call him back and was forced to turn her phone off. After all, she was on a plane, so there was no way she could help him, right?

A Real Emergency

What really happened on that phone call that day, was that the husband of a woman named Karen Momsen-Evers called her to say that he was going to take his own life. After she got that message from him, she was forced to turn her phone off.
When the plane took off, she kindly asked the plane staff to allow her to make an emergency call, in case her husband was serious. What would you do in such a horrible situation? The worst-case scenarios probably came into her mind.

No One Wanted to Help Her

Upon receiving such a disturbing call from her husband, Karen Momsen-Evers was deeply troubled. In desperation, she asked another flight attendant if she could help her, to calm her worried mind.
Unfortunately, the answer was the same – she had to keep her phone off in airplane mode which meant no calls! She continued her flight fearing the worst. Obviously, this trip felt like the longest one in her life and she couldn’t be sure what would she find when she got home.

A Devastating Discovery

When she got home, she finally found out what happened to her husband. She discovered that her husband did in fact commit suicide. It can be asked, if she could even help him at all since his intentions were clear – he wanted to say goodbye to her knowing she couldn’t have helped him.
On the other hand, Southwest Airlines stated that their protocol covers some emergency situations which are related to their passengers, yet, this time the passenger was not in any kind of danger, so the emergency protocol wasn’t necessary and the phone call couldn’t have been made.

What About Peggy Uhle?

Let’s get back to the Peggy Uhle case. What happened this time? No, she wasn’t rude nor aggressive. She didn’t have a verbal conflict with a flight attendant but still, something forced her out of the plane.
What do you think that it was? We have already mentioned similar cases. Can you guess which one it is? OK, let’s see now – did her husband send her a message right before she boarded the plane? Maybe this was the case.

The Phone Call

Yes, in this case, there was a problematic phone call. But, it wasn't addressed to the passenger herself but to the airline company. Uhle’s husband called the airline company to tell them the bad news related to one of their passengers on the flight from Chicago, Illinois to Cleaveland, Ohio.
Ms. Uhle knew nothing about the call and that was why she was so calm and thrilled for that plane to take off. Still, she was removed from it without knowing why at the time.

She Was Clueless

When a stewardess approached Ms. Uhle, Peggy was clueless about the circumstances her family faced at home. As a good plane traveler, she had her phone off before she boarded, so her husband was desperately trying to tell her the bad news.
Since he failed in contacting his wife, he decided it was best to call the airline company and ask them to pass the important info to their passenger named Peggy Uhle, which eventually they did, but not right away.

A Desperate Husband

Since he tried several times to reach his wife and every time he failed, Mr. Uhle decided to call Southwest Airlines directly and tell them what his trouble was. He was hoping they would help him since the situation was related to one of their current passengers.
When the people from Airline got the message, they immediately contacted the crew of the plane Ms. Uhle was on. The stewardess contacted the pilot and he took the plane back to the gates.

The Important Call

When Mr. Uhle got his message across, he was sure his wife would know what to do. Even the plane captain was sure about his actions – he had to have that woman at the gates, so she could make that important call.
Still, at the moment the flight attendant reached Ms. Uhle at her seat, she didn’t relay the important message. Instead, she told Ms. Uhle to leave the plane immediately, which was perhaps a wrong thing to do since Ms. Uhle was confused.

The Essential Message

The message Peggy Uhle was supposed to get was that her son had suffered a head injury and that he was hospitalized. The news was shocking, and there wasn’t much she could do since she was more than a thousand kilometers away from Denver, where her son was hospitalized.
These are rather devastating news for any parent, especially if a parent is far away from the child but still, he was in a safe place and the doctors would do anything they could to save his life. That was the most important detail in the whole situation.

Southwestern Airlines Helped

Since the officials of the Southwestern Airlines were well informed about Peggy Uhle’s situation, they decided to help her more than they were obliged to. Not many airline companies would do that, right?
Upon receiving the horrible news, Peggy was a bit lost and having spent a lot of her money on a plane ticket, she didn’t know how to reach Denver now. She was afraid she couldn’t pay for a new ticket to go to see her son and she was devastated.

What a Relief!

As previously mentioned, Ms. Uhle believed she didn’t have enough money for a new plane ticket, so she was worried… Then she got information that her flight to Denver would take place in two hours!
As we could read from her interview given to BoardingArea.com, the crew of Southwestern Airlines had already booked a plane ticket for her on their flight to Denver. If all airline companies cared this much about their passengers the world would be a better place…

Ms. Uhle Was Grateful

According to Ms. Uhle’s words: “The company offered a private waiting area, rerouted my luggage, allowed me to board first, and packed a lunch for when I got off the plane in Denver.” Pretty amazing, right?
What a generous act of kindness! This was the right way to treat a troubled mother. She was so lost that she probably couldn’t do it all on her own and the people from Southwest Airlines treated her like a valued family member.

The Extra Service

One more thing the company did, according to Ms.Uhle, was that her luggage was delivered to where she was staying, and she even received a call from Southwest asking how her son was doing.
What a caring airline company! Or maybe all of this was charged to Ms. Uhle? What do you think – did the company do all this free of charge or they billed her afterward? It would be rather odd if they charged her for the services she didn’t actually ask for, right?

Her Son

It’s not surprising that the only thing Ms. Uhle had on her mind was her hospitalized son and that’s why she didn’t even question Southwest Airlines’ intentions when they offered her some extra services without mentioning additional costs.
Still, when she got a grip of reality, she couldn’t stop wondering how much all that help would cost her. After all, Southwest Airlines is not a charity organization but a profitable company striving to earn as much as possible, which meant no free services.

It Was Free!

To Ms. Uhle’s relief, it turned out that the company did give free services, but only on this particular occasion – when this person was in an emergency situation. It would be great, if other airline companies followed the pattern, right?
When we now read the statement given on the company’s website, we are sure they are telling the truth. The statement says that ‘'the mission of Southwest Airlines is the dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.”

Dedication

Here, we are not advertising Southwest Airlines, but admiring the fact that one profitable company met the needs of a common person in trouble. That’s the fact that has to be talked about and to be given as a motivation for other companies to do the same thing when needed.
Additionally, Western Airlines also state that they ‘don’t take their commitments lightly’. They are ‘dedicated to doing the right thing’, they ‘take great strides to ensure safety, and fostering trusting relationships between their employees, customers, suppliers, and the planet’.

An Admirable Rule

After the incident with Ms. Uhle happened, the spokesperson of Southwest Airlines has talked to the newspapers many times addressing this particular incident. The company was proud of their actions and they underlined the fact that passengers are their main concern.
They said, “This example is a direct reflection of the Southwest Airlines culture. Employees are empowered at Southwest to go above and beyond the call of duty…”

Additional Statements

In another interview given to the press, Southwest Airlines stated that their staff always have the right and opportunity to, “follow their hearts to make decisions that positively impact the customers.’’ They continued the statement saying: ‘We’re certainly proud of any of the hard work that went into doing the right thing for Ms. Uhle and her family.”
Were you surprised by the acts this airline company had made? Were you expecting something else? Remember the previous case when that woman was called by her suicidal husband – what happened in the end? If she was traveling by Southwest Airlines instead, would her husband still be alive?

What About Her Son?

Even though her son was in a serious and life-threatening condition, he managed to recover in the end. Still, the whole story didn't cast light on the son but on the mother’s treatment by the airline's company. It seems that her son was somehow forgotten by the media.
When interviewed by the website BoardingArea.com, Ms. Uhle said: “The care that I was shown is second to none. We have always liked Southwest Airlines and now I can’t say enough good things about them.”

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