Maciel’s wife, Maura Furfey, criticized the man, saying, “There will always be individuals who make racist remarks.”
“When the plane taxied to the gate, however, a number of officers from the Port Authority and Customs and Border Patrol boarded the plane, approached my husband and instructed him to grab his carry-ons and follow them,” Furfey wrote. “He and our daughter were escorted out of the plane before anyone else could get off.”
Officers later told Maciel that he was being investigated because of the drunk man’s accusation.
Furfey said she was shocked that the flight attendants took such a unsubstantiated claim seriously.
“My husband is Mexican. Therefore, he is a target, and in effect, so is our family,” she wrote.
How did United Airlines respond? They issued a weak apology and gave the family a $100 voucher.
“This is useless to us because we won’t ever fly with this particular airline again,” she wrote. “Furthermore, it is more important to us that United and other airlines review their procedures.”
After the story went viral on social media, one user responded with their own similar experience:
Other’s said this wouldn’t have happened if Maciel was white:
United Airlines later issued a public apology, but by then it was too late and their attempt was an obvious form of damage control.
“It should be clarified that the passenger was not removed from the flight,” the airline added.