What to Know
- United flight 87 was headed from Shanghai to Newark when the chaos unfolded before the plane even got off the ground
- The man in the Trump hat allegedly refused to get out of another passenger's seat, sparking a three-hour delay
- When he was finally led off the plane, people yelled, "Lock him up!" and cheered
A United Airlines flight from Shanghai that was headed for Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey was delayed for hours because a passenger allegedly refused to get out of another traveler's seat while boarding, the airline said.
United said the man, who was wearing a bright red "Make America Great Again" hat, grew increasingly disruptive when crew members tried to get him to move out of the other flier's seat as they boarded the aircraft in Shanghai Sunday.
According to a man whose father was on the flight, the man in the hat asked to be upgraded to first class, and when that wasn't done, he went to the back of the plane and would not let anyone else sit in his row. All passengers had to de-plane while local officials dealt with the matter.
The man "eventually left the aircraft on his own accord," United said. Fellow passengers greeted him with shouts of "Lock him up!" when he was escorted off the plane.
The flight left Shanghai three hours late and had to make an unscheduled stop in San Francisco to recrew, according to the airline.
United thanked its customers for their patience and its staff for its professionalism throughout the ordeal.