A World War II veteran traveling to a Pearl Harbor ceremony on a December 4th United Airlines flight was kicked off the flight to “accommodate” more fuel for the trip.
90-year old Ewalt “Walt” Shatz was scheduled for a non-stop from Los Angeles to Honolulu, but after getting the boot to make room for fuel he was re-booked on American Airlines. He left eight hours later than scheduled, which added a layover in Maui.
The WWII vet spent those extra eight hours sitting in an airport alone: “I was surprised. I didn’t know which way to go. Here I am at LAX with all these people and it’s all new to me.” On top of traveling alone, Shatz has an eye condition that has left his vision greatly diminished.
Shatz said he originally did not know why he had been kicked off the flight. He thought they had “overbooked” the flight and that angered him because “[he] paid for that seat and [he] thought someone else was sitting in it.”
United Airlines said “inclement weather” forced them to take on more fuel for the flight, which in turn required “[reducing] the number of passengers on board by 41.” Ironically, 41 is also the year in which Shatz fought at Pearl Harbor.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.