A disruptive passenger sporting a bright-red Donald Trump campaign hat emblazoned with the slogan ‘Make American Great Again’ was booted off a United Airlines flight from Shanghai to Newark, New Jersey, Sunday after making a scene and causing a major delay.
Cellphone videos recorded by multiple travelers on board United Flight 87 out of Shanghai Pudong International Airport on Sunday afternoon captured the commotion sparked by the purported Trump supporter.
The culprit, an elderly Caucasian man believed to be American, allegedly refused to get out of another passenger’s seat during boarding.
The flight fracas culminated with the unruly passenger being escorted off the plane, with his fellow travelers, who were also forced to deplane, jeering and chanting, ‘lock him up,’ in an obvious homage to the cries of ‘lock her up’ referring to Hillary Clinton, which were often heard at Trump’s rallies during the presidential campaign.
The ill-fated flight was scheduled to depart Shanghai en route to Newark Intentional Airport at 3.44pm Sunday, but because of the standoff with the belligerent Trump supporter, it did not leave until 8.44pm, and was then rerouted to San Francisco to pick up a new crew.
According to United Airlines, the incident began unfolding on Sunday afternoon during boarding when the senior in the ‘MAGA’ cap grew increasingly disruptive when flight attendants tried to have him vacate another passenger’s seat.
A man whose father was on board Flight 87 told NBC Bay Area, which first reported the incident, that the Trump supporter asked to be bumped to first class but his request for an upgrade was denied.
He then walked to the rear of the plane and allegedly blocked access to his row of seats.
Eventually, all passengers were forced to get off the plane and return to the gate.
When the man in the Trump hat finally agreed to leave the aircraft ‘on his own accord,’ as United stated, he was greeted by a mob of his erstwhile fellow travelers, who screamed, ‘lock him up.’
A Twitter user later shared another video recorded by his wife, who was on board the United flight, in which the elderly troublemaker can be heard screaming, ‘I am entitled to this seat!’
While it is difficult to make most of what the man is saying over the din of the plane, at one point he can be heard ranting about people standing here who ‘don’t’ know how to speak English.’
The flight finally reached its destination in New Jersey at 2.25am Monday.
United thanked its passengers and crew for their patience during the ordeal.