The United Agent Who Pushed a 71 Year Old Passenger to the Ground? Yeah, He’s Suing

Six weeks ago we learned about a 71 year old man who reported being shoved to the ground by a United customer service employee in Houston. There was video showing the incident.

This all happened in 2015, and despite being able to see what transpired some people were skeptical simply because time had passed before the man sued. It turns out that’s because United threatened to steal all his miles and cancel his MileagePlus account if he didn’t give up the matter.

And there’s now a new twist to the story: that United employee who appears to shove the passenger to the ground? He was fired by United. But now that employee is suing for $1 million saying that the 71 year old grandfather actually assaulted him and that “United failed to provide proper training and a safe work environment.”

Yes, United failed to tell him it was wrong to shove 71 year old customers to the ground. He can’t just be expected to know that. At his previous employer that sort of thing was probably done all the time.

It all happened after the passenger was turned away at security because of the condition of his boarding pass. He went to United looking for a replacement.

The employee who was dismissed by United claims the senior citizen “began shouting profanities and using racial slurs during their conversation” — something the passenger denies, but let’s assume he was an ornery sort it wouldn’t justify a physical response.

And he says he didn’t push the passenger, instead he “outstretched his arms and backed away after [the man] got in [his] face and stepped on his toe.” Put another way, who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

He’d be better of going with the Shaggy Defense.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Well if he is suing, that means we can learn his name. Lets name and shame this guy. What he did was outrageous.

  2. The worst part is that we will now get linked to this article in every future daily National Enquirer -esque click-bait post whining about UAL and how these one-in-a-million events are really, honestly, truly common occurrences.

  3. Mr. Anastasia’s case is a prime example of a frivolous suit. On the one hand, he says he was only defending himself from a potential physical assault by the elderly passenger. On the other hand, the suit alleges that United trains employees so inadequately that Anastasia only knew how to defend himself by assaulting someone. Either pushing the old guy was the right thing to do or it wasn’t–obviously, it can’t be both. Likewise, the passenger either fell accidentally, as Anastasia is now insisting, or he was pushed. Claiming that United trains its employees so badly that they leave fallen, immobilized customers sprawled on the floor puts the suit beyond frivolous territory and straight into outer space.

  4. Regardless what happened before the man fell to the ground, any reasonable person would have immediately gone to the stricken person’s assistance. He not only left but stood there for some seconds and then turned and walked away. So very disturbing and made worse now that he’s filed suit as well.

  5. It’s the shyster lawyer taking this case that’s the real asshole here. This will go NO WHERE in court, but if he thinks UA will thrown his client some money to go away….and he’ll take his 35-40%….then they file the paperwork and clog up the court systems.

  6. This type of thing is what makes the American legal system a laughing stock in the rest of the world, period.

  7. @ValueTraveler – LOL

    “If your boarding pass don’t scan, we’ll throw you in the can.”

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