Passengers spooked when men removed from Tampa flight
Mike Deeson 12 hrs ago

Tampa, Florida -- An incident aboard a United Airlines flight to Tampa resulted in nine foreign-born people being removed from the airplane and left several passengers shaken. In fact, several thought the incident was serious enough that they asked to be booked on another flight.

At least 15 passengers who arrived in Tampa Monday on a United flight were supposed to be here Sunday night. However, the incident involving the nine men changed everything.

John Luke, who was on the flight, says the nine men were seated throughout the airplane. Luke says he was told the men were of Pakistani descent and one man made a comment that apparently was "inappropriate" and made a flight attendant feel uncomfortable.

United Airlines spokesperson Megan McCarthy says at that point, the gate agent had a conversation with the men and they were asked to depart. But that's not how Luke and other passengers saw it.

Luke says the fact that the men knew each other caused concern and police came on with their hands on their guns. Then, according to Luke, the police started escorting the men off the plane.

Despite all of the security measures the TSA and the airlines have taken since 9/11, Luke says after seeing federal agents get on the airplane with guns and take the men off, he and several other passengers decided not to take any chances.

Luke says he was just using common sense and it made him feel more comfortable taking another flight.

United Airlines says it eventually became comfortable the men did not pose a threat and they were rebooked on another United flight.

While the "better safe than sorry" action is getting praise from passengers, it also is a reminder of the fact that things are still a little edgy when getting on a plane in this post 9/11 world.

Mike Deeson, 10 News ... ovider=top