VIDEO: 71 Year Old Man Pushed to Ground By United Customer Service Agent

Surveillance video shows 71 year old Ronald Tigne shoved to the ground by a United Airlines customer service agent. This happened in 2015 and the grandfather and frequent flyre is now suing the airline.

He says he asked the employee “for a new boarding pass because the one he had was garbled” but that the agent replied, “Can’t you see we’re busy?” (though the agents weren’t helping other customers at the time). Mr. Tigne told the agent to “wipe that smile off his face” and the agent is said to have responded, “I’ll kick your…” and that’s when he shoved the man to the ground.

“He lies there lifeless for minutes. Not one employee comes to check on him.”

“None of the United employees even bend down to see if he’s OK, to see it he’s alive?” Spencer asked.

“No one even went to check his pulse,” Hoke said. “They literally left him there like a piece of garbage.”

In fact, over the course of the nearly three-minute surveillance video, not one United employee ever appears to try to comfort the man in any way.

Another passenger came over to check on him and asked employees to call 911. The United agent was charged with a felony for the attack.

United says they’re “distured by the completely unacceptable behavior” while mentioning more than once “2015” it seems to me suggesting that since this didn’t just happen we shouldn’t worry so much about it.

The actions shown here do not reflect our core values or our commitment to treat all of our customers with respect and dignity. We are reviewing all circumstances surrounding this incident and reaching out to our customer through his attorney to profusely apologize for what occurred and to make this right.”

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. “The actions shown here do not reflect our core values…”

    Empirically they do!

    The employee’s supervisors should also be implicated. While the employee probably doesn’t have a habit of feloniously bad customer service, I bet he does have a habit of rudeness about which his supervisors were negligent not to take action.

  2. Yeah something’s sketchy with this. Why now? We know the answer to that. You can’t actually see the shove very clearly as well, he may not have touched him.

  3. Absolutely disgusting.

    What’s actually worse is that none of the United employees seen in the video notified police on their own. Someone had to tell them to call.

  4. Hello, It is incredible what is happening in the American Airline companies. Lately i read many bad stories. I use to travel a lot to the USA and Delta was my favorite. Hostesses were very nice and professional and there were almost no restrictions. I guess with the Low cost business, big companies had to stretch their budget which damaged customer services. Over stress and tiredness might also be part of the cause as employees do constant overtimes. Today European companies did also reduce the quality of the customer service and some companies do not doubt to charge you for any extra. I am very nostalgic of the 90’s Airlines companies.

  5. The shove- deplorable. But my god, the lack of attention, interest or action by United employees is actually terrifying. A random passer by takes more care than a team full of employees. This may be the most shocking air incident video I’ve seen…

  6. I suspect the reason it is surfacing now is it is a surveillance video and they were able to get the airport operator to release as part of court proceedings.

    I don’t think it is easy to get surveillance videos if the incident is not well known (otherwise media would have gotten their hands on it) and ordinary people can’t get those “just because”.

    Regardless – I hope that employee was fired years ago otherwise this will speak volumes about the airline.

  7. Why does it matter when it happened Apparently United Airlines have been abusing their customers for awhile ! United thinks they can treat their customers with such disrespect, put their hands on them and any other thing they choose too do ! Not only did no employees come to his aid but other people were just passing by ignoring this poor gentleman whose lying on the ground . Am I the only one that finds this deplorable ? My God , I would run to someone that was on the ground . Finally a passerby comes to help him . Maybe it’s coming out now because united can’t suppress it anymore . What if that was your father I would want the world to see what these people did !

  8. My guess is that it took this length of time for the plaintiff’s attorney to acquire access to the video.

    I’ve recently retired outside of the USA, and my friends and family back in the States ask me why I would ever consider leaving our “wonderful country”. Well, this video in part shows exactly why: a corporate mentality that puts profits ahead of both employees and customers. That mindset trickles down to the common folk, resulting in an apathetic and unmotivated populus. What a way to live.

  9. This is troubling on two levels.

    One – The assault, I am glad the police got involved and charged this man. He is a violent and frankly dangerous person. I do agree that he doesn’t represent the values of any company, United included.

    Two – The absolute lack of concern by all the UA employees. None of them could give a hoot.

  10. Hmmm…..Houston is a Continental hub & base . CO crews & employees are SO rude compared to the pre-merger UA crews and employees. If that had happened at SFO or ORD – you would have seen a much different response. To this day, CO crews and employees are self serving Aholes.

  11. This is horrible if it happened yesterday or two years ago. Even if he wasn’t pushed the fact that no one came to his aid is terrible.

  12. Can’t ser the whole picture at this angle. Wonder if that agent is still working gor them. Any way to find out?

  13. Wow, it took a lawsuit for us to find this out. Unbelievable, simply unbelievable. The world has gone mostly mad. Ugh

  14. Look at how fast a United employee darts out to the victim a moment before the two cops enter the frame. By then it had become a matter of CYA.

  15. Umm if this happened in 2015 then shouldn’t we know what the results of the criminal case are by now?

  16. The lack of response by the UA employees, as well as just people walking by, is appalling! Shocking!

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