United Airlines Replies, About That Diverted Flight

"... the crew reported a disturbance involving a passenger."

OK, I want to wrap this up as much as you do. But I said that if I received any statement from United Airlines about a flight that was diverted to Chicago because of an onboard dispute, I would give prominent display to whatever the company said. Background on the dispute, from the family that was removed from the plane, is here. I've just received a reply from United, which I now pass along without comment and in full:

Hi James,
 
Megan [McCarthy, United's managing director for external communications] mentioned that you reached out to us earlier this week for a statement. Here's what I can offer you on this matter. Again, apologies for missing your initial request. Response below:
 
United flight 638 from Denver to Baltimore diverted to Chicago O'Hare after the crew reported a disturbance involving a passenger. The flight landed without incident and the customers were removed from the flight. We reaccommodated the customers on the next flight to Baltimore and have since conducted a full review of our inflight entertainment.
 
Many thanks,
 
Charles Hobart
Spokesman, Public Relations
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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