A United Airlines flight from Denver to Baltimore was diverted to Chicago O'Hare over "security concerns" after a couple travelling with their two young children complained about the "violent" in-flight movie.
The parents were travelling with their two young sons, aged four and eight, when the PG13 film Alex Cross started playing on the plane's drop-down monitors.
The family were not happy for their sons to watch the film, which they said, "includes extreme, graphic violence and sexually explicit content", and asked cabin crew if it could be turned off.
They family wrote toThe Atlantic's James Fallows about the incident, and the paper published their account online.
It read: "Alarmed by the opening scenes, we asked two flight attendants if they could turn off the monitor; both claimed it was not possible."
The couple were told that the screens could not be closed because of other passengers, but claim that many other people agreed the content was inappropriate for children.
In the end, they accepted the film would play on, and attempted to shield their children from the scenes.
The letter continued: "Throughout these interactions the atmosphere was collegial, no voices were raised and no threats, implicit or explicit, of any kind were made. The flight continued without incident, while my wife and I engaged our children to divert their attention from the horrific scenes on the movie screens.
After the plane landed, the family were approached by a Chicago police officer who had boarded the plane to accompany them as they disembarked.
The Captain had diverted citing "security concerns" for the aircraft, crew and other passengers.
The couple were met at the gate by a host of officials, including "several of Chicago's finest, two Border Protection officers and several United and ORD managers, and an FBI agent."
After a very short interview, they were booked on the next flight a few hours later.
But the couple have been left furious over the incident, calling for a review on United's in-flight movie schedule as well as what the abuse of a Captain's power.
They added: "We understand that airline captains can and should have complete authority. However, when this authority is used for senseless, vindictive acts, it must be addressed.
"Had this been in a cinema or a restaurant, we would have simply left if the content were too violent, or too sexual, for a preschooler and a 2nd grader. Cruising at 30,000 feet, leaving was not an option."
United Airlines spokesman Charles Hobart told Fox News: "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 re-accommodated the customers on the next flight to Baltimore and have since conducted a full review of our inflight entertainment."
Read the couple's letter in full at The Atlantic
Smokers divert flight after refusing to stub out cigarettes
US to allow passengers to carry small knives in hand luggage