Disgusting: Video Surfaces Of A United Employee Shoving A Customer To The Ground In 2015

While this goes back a couple of years, video footage has just recently emerged of an incident that occurred on July 21, 2015, between a United employee and customer at Houston Airport. In the video you can see a United customer service agent intentionally shoving a 71 year old man to the ground after he asks a question. Even after being shoved and lying on the floor motionless, he’s ignored by all United employees. While the passenger had already pressed charges, he’s now suing over what happened.

It might sound like he’s just trying to piggyback on what happened with Dr. Dao in terms of the lawsuit, but this is actually really disgusting, especially as there’s video footage. Per Click2Houston, here’s what unfolded:

Hoke claims this all began with Tigner simply asking Anastasia for a new boarding pass because the one he had was garbled. The suit claims Anastasia laughed at him and cursed at him.

“Anastasia was looking at Mr. Tigner and started smiling and said, ‘Can’t you see we’re busy?’ and there’s no one in the vicinity of these two employees,” Hoke said. “And he tells Anastasia to wipe that smile off his face. That’s when Anastasia says, ‘I’ll kick your (expletives)’ and shoves Tigner to the ground.”

Anastasia was later charged with the felony crime of injury to an elderly individual, ordered to pay a fine, write a letter of apology and attend anger-management classes.

That’s bad enough, but equally bad is that he’s ignored by all other United employees in the area, while on the ground. Un-freaking-believable. Do these people not have hearts?!

Here’s video footage of the incident:

United issued the following statement regarding the situation:

We have seen the video from 2015 that shows completely unacceptable behavior by a United employee. This employee is no longer with our company. The conduct shown here does not reflect our values or our commitment to treat all of our customers with respect and dignity. We are taking a thorough look into what happened here and reaching out to our customer to profusely apologize for what occurred and to make this right.

Terrible! While this situation happened before the recent Dr. Dao incident, I think we’re slowly reach a turning point when it comes to abusive employees in the airline industry. There’s more awareness of this kind of stuff than ever before, and also more people filming everything. Stuff like this simply can’t be allowed to happen anymore.

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. So that employee is gone, good. What about the other employees around that literally did nothing… Yeah, UA, I’m sure your profuse apologies is what everyone wanted. *eye roll*

  2. As I said after the Dr Dao episode, United is infected with something that is rotten to its core. Its front line employees should be replaced even at the cost of downsizing the airline for a while. Re-training just seems like it would not be good enough to clean this infested house.

  3. Took a flop like an NBA player.

    I am curious as to why it took this guy 2 years to sue. hmmmmmm

  4. What we see in the video is a massive problem, but it’s not with United. It’s with America. (Not American, the airline; America, the country.)

    Americans are always up in arms about political correctness but rarely about actual etiquette. In NYC for example, catcalling is frowned upon, but dropping F bombs to pedestrians who are in your way is somehow acceptable.

    If an employee calls a customer the N word, the employee would be fired on the spot. Let’s raise the bar and fire employees on the spot for other rudeness including kvetching about being “busy.”

  5. This is yet another instance proving that United hates its customers. UA needs a complete customer service overhaul, but I don’t think that will ever happen in my lifetime.

  6. Wow. Civility at United is about as lacking as it with police forces these days it seems. Somehow I’m not surprised. I’ve encountered many courteous United employees, but not in Chicago or Houston. In either of those cities United will treat you as cattle. If I have to go to either of those places I usually fly Southwest.

  7. (◔_◔)
    If an event that just happened did not affect United’s bottom line one bit, why would a 2-year old video? I am sure that there are plenty of videos like that one (or worse) involving other airlines, if anyone wants to look for them, but it would be a futile exercise…

  8. @MrIncognito

    In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives you two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system.

  9. US airline employee culture has gone through the wringer partly because of us as customer’s incessant focus on the bottom line at all costs. Although consolidation has brought the airlines a potentially sustainable path to profitability, it will still take a long time (a generational rotation, even) for events like these to “feel” like outliers.

  10. Not to be disrespectful to anyone, but isn’t Anastasia a female name?
    I am from Russia, and here’s it’s a very common name for girls. Never heard of a male named Anastasia.
    As for the video – simply disgusting.

  11. @ ADP: Agree that the customer demand for the absolute cheapest airline tickets is part of the root cause, although I also think something seems to be rotten at United. I fly mostly American (almost once per month), and I have mostly seen good, courteous employees.

    We’ll have to see if this continued public shaming of United (and others) is enough to force meaningful reform.

  12. The man was pushed down in self defense. The passenger seemed kind of shmucky and aggressive. I’m going to have to side with United here.

  13. Bravo to the ONE lady citizen that came to the passenger’s assistance. Two other guys stood around, but shame for the rest of the staff and fellow passengers around.

    Totally agree with the statement that America has an issue when an person is splayed on the ground for nearly 2 minutes before anyone kneels down to see if he’s okay.

    smh

  14. Although the particulars of United’s internal handling of this incident are very hazy, I think it’s important to note that criminal charges against Anastasia were originally filed in October 2015. The case was dismissed in March 2016. Tigner filed a civil suit against United Airlines, Anastasia, and the other employee last week. Although this incident was horrible, it would be inaccurate to claim that UA did nothing until nearly two years after it took place.

    I do think, however, that this incident is ultimately reflective of a rampant accountability problem among United’s frontline teams. The strength of union contracts covering airport workers, FAs, and pilots means that employee compensation is negligibly tied to performance and instead derived from the amount of time spent working at the company. Employees have little financial incentive to provide strong service or go above-and-beyond their job requirements.

  15. @Justin H:

    Curious to know where you saw aggression. Though I will admit saying “Wipe that smile off your face” seems to have resulted in some sort of altercation, but I didn’t see anything by anyone – United or otherwise – that warranted physical violence, especially towards someone of advanced age by someone as…girthy…as Anastasia. Context certainly matters and we can’t hear the audio, which is unfortunate.

  16. I’m not trying to support the actions of the individual who pushed the gentleman but as a first responder you can only assist if the injured agrees or is unable to respond. It appears one United employee is on a radio and he’s telling others to move away. Moving someone COULD injur the further even paralyzing them.

  17. The guy goes down at 17:51:19. The first person who reacts and gives assistance is seen at 17:52:07. The guy is on the floor motionless for 48 seconds before someone tries to help. During this time seven people go through check-in.

    “God forbid that someone dies and I miss my flight.”

    That says as much about the flying public as it does about United Airlines.

  18. The old dude was the aggressor.

    The footage is choppy but clearly he shoves the employee.

    Self defense.

    Which also explains why no one helps right away.

    The pax was loud, obnoxious, belligerent and aggressive.

    So nobody cared

  19. that is america. a failed empire of hustlers, hucksters, and opportunists. a goal oriented empire without goals. That is what you get from a toxic “culture”. what exactly IS america’s narrative besides hustling?

  20. “The man was pushed down in self defense. The passenger seemed kind of shmucky and aggressive. I’m going to have to side with United here.”

    “The old dude was the aggressor.

    The footage is choppy but clearly he shoves the employee.

    Self defense.

    Which also explains why no one helps right away.

    The pax was loud, obnoxious, belligerent and aggressive.

    So nobody cared”

    The apologist behavior toward airlines is sometimes shocking. No, Tigner didn’t shove Anastasia. He made a fairly valid comment to a rude employee, and one that wasn’t aggressive in nature. The employee, who was noticeably larger and younger, shoved him onto the floor. The police obviously considered the employee’s behavior to be that of the aggressor, as he was arrested and eventually pled guilty to a crime.

    That said, it seems the armchair lawyers are out, as usual. There are myriad reasons why a lawsuit won’t be filed for sometime, especially in personal injury matters. As someone mentioned, most states have a statute of limitations on personal injury that varies from a year to three, with two being pretty common. In most situations, potential plaintiffs want to complete as much medical treatment as possible and also want to negotiate with the potential defendant/their insurer until an impasse is reached. Only then will a lawsuit be filed, which entails a lot more cost and time. I doubt the timing of the filing was simply meant to capitalize on the Dao situation, though the release of the footage and publicity probably are more in line with that.

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