Woman Says She Was Kicked in the Head By United Employee

Earlier this week we saw video of a 71 year old man pushed to the ground by a United customer service agent in Houston.

Apparently passengers don’t have to be onboard United flights to get beaten up.

More evidence suggestive of this theory: a woman says that she was kicked in the head by a United employee while sleeping in the Houston Intercontinental airport chapel across from gate 33A.

Credit: Click2Houston

There’s no video, always a mistake, because that means the situation is more of ‘he said she said’ but United is taking the incident seriously enough that they’ve suspended the employee.

Lindsay Urbani had a 10 hour layover in Houston Saturday overnight enroute between San Francisco and Belize. She took a nap in the airport chapel, and says she was “woken up by someone kicking [her] in the head.”

According to Urbani, the man kicked her in the head, told her she couldn’t sleep there and rolled out a prayer rug and started praying.

She then asked again why he had kicked her.

“His response was he didn’t want me to miss my flight, to which I told him I didn’t need him to do that,” Urbani said.

United Boeing 757 in San Francisco

The man, she says, wouldn’t provide his name but she snapped photos of him and filed a police report.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Is tapping someone on the head with a foot (which is almost certainly what happened) now a “kick”? While it’s not cool to make contact with a sleeping person’s head with your foot, calling this a “kick” is likely a gross exaggeration on her part.

    Maybe the employee tried to wake her verbally first and maybe he also tried to tap her body first — to no avail? We don’t know.

  2. I believe we will see more of bad conduct of United employee in future, whether they were true or not. I do hope United (and the rest of US airlines) will take this chance to improve their service attitude on and above the ground to compete with asian or european airlines.

  3. A couple of things strike me as odd.

    1. As another reader mentioned, was it a tap with a covered body part – a foot – so as to avoid physical skin-to-skin contact? Plus, crouching down next to someone in a darker environment to wake them up is probably a good way to scare the heck out of them. So I’m trending towards this was a tap-tap-tap situation versus haul-back-and-kick situation.

    2. Unsure how the whole “and rolled out a prayer rug and started praying.” This sounds like racebaiting as we can then make an educated assumption he was Muslim and this whole scene becomes race-oriented, preying on the current sociopolitical climate. And if it’s being reported in Texas, I think that would go much further than it would in San Francisco.

    3. Whenever someone starts speaking in hyperbole about how “[their] DREAM vacation was absolutely ruined” and starts with the histrionics, I’ve already judged them as full of baloney. This woman sounds like a fraudster.

    And this is all from someone who loathes United and would love to see them fail.

  4. luckily that she didn’t get beheaded by the thug who thought it is fine to kick a women’s head first and then pray! Prayer is supposed to be mainly an action of peace!

  5. If it’s a legitimate snooze, the airport has ways to shut that whole thing down.

  6. Its mentioned inside the chapel that sleeping is not allowed at anytime so the man was correct and I think he did a favor to her so that she didn’t miss her flight

  7. @tommyleo —> You wrote, “We don’t know.” ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! We don’t. And that includes your opening sentence: “Is tapping someone on the head with a foot (which is almost certainly what happened) now a ‘kick’?” We don’t know, so what makes you “almost certain” it was a “tap” and not a “kick”? I don’t know that, and to make presumptions of fact without knowing what the facts actually are is simply wrong.

    The truest and most accurate line in Gary’s entire post is, “There’s no video, always a mistake, because that means the situation is more of ‘he said she said’ . . . .”

  8. So if a united employee kicks someone in the grocery store on the way home will it be a story about United Airlines too! I am so glad I am alive during the persecution era…

  9. you People with the cellphones and instant video taping need to Give it a Rest Already! Follow the damn Rules or Stay the Hell Home….. your Drama is F’n Endless!

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