- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

United Airlines is apologizing for an incident caught on video in which a New Orleans ticket counter agent is seen scolding a San Francisco man for videotaping her.

Navang Oza, 37, posted a video of the heated exchange on Twitter Monday afternoon. He told a local NBC affiliate that the agent canceled his flight home to San Francisco because he refused to stop recording her.

Mr. Oza said the confrontation started about 4 a.m. Monday after he complained about a $300 charge to check the same bag that only cost him $125 on his flight to New Orleans. He said he decided to start recording the exchange after the agent was rude to him.

The video begins with the agent wagging her finger at Mr. Oza.

“You did not have my permission to videotape,” the agent says.

“What’s his name?” she then asks an agent off-camera. “Cancel the reservation.”

Mr. Oza asks why he is being treated poorly for trying to check an oversized bag.

“I don’t know the situation, I know that you’re videotaping and this is not acceptable,” the agent replies.

“Do you know why I’m videotaping you? Because you guys have terrible customer service,” Mr. Oza responds.

The agent then informs Mr. Oza that he can either cancel his reservation or speak to the police.

“Go for it, call the cops,” Mr. Oza says, before reiterating that he is willing to pay for the oversized bag.

That’s when the agent pulls out her cellphone and starts recording Mr. Oza.

“Hold on, let me get my phone out,” she says. “I’ll do the same thing … and let me take a picture of your oversized bag, so you want to play that game.”

Mr. Oza told NBC that the agent eventually called airport police, who informed him that he had no obligation to stop recording or to erase the video. NBC reported that United Airlines canceled Mr. Oza’s reservation.

The airline said it is investigating the incident.

“The video does not reflect the positive customer experience we strive to offer, and for that we apologize,” United said in a statement. “We are reviewing this situation, including talking with Mr. Oza and our employees to better understand what happened.”

Mr. Oza admitted to NBC that he still had alcohol in his system from the night before when he recorded the exchange, but that it had nothing to do with his behavior. He encouraged other frequent flyers to document their travels, following a string of PR disasters for major airlines that have been caught on video. Just last month, United Airlines reached a confidential settlement with a Kentucky doctor who was seen in now-viral video being forcefully removed from a plane.

“If people are being rude, if people are making up rules at kiosks of airlines, I feel like that’s something we should be recording and sharing with everyone,” Mr. Oza told NBC.

He said he ended up having to buy a ticket home on a different airline. He wants United to pay for that trip and cancel his future United trips without penalty, NBC reported.

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