United Airlines Subject of Rants by Former Senate Leader

Bill Frist is a heart and lung transplant surgeon and a multi-millionaire who is also a former majority leader of the United States Senate. Click on the photograph to access his official Internet web site from which this photograph came.

Were the complaints about a recent experience as a passenger on United Airlines flight 1486 posted on social media by William Harrison Frist legitimate — or was he simply being what is known on FlyerTalk as a DYKWIA, or Do You Know Who I Am?

Frist — a heart and lung transplant surgeon and a multi-millionaire who is also a former majority leader of the United States Senate from Tennessee — fired off a series of “tweets” complaining about how he was bumped from a seat in the first class cabin of the aircraft and then seated next to a very noisy lavatory.

Well, if I had to sit next to a lavatory, I would rather have noisy than smelly. Besides, at least I am conveniently close to the bathroom when nature calls.

Although I would prefer not to sit near a lavatory, I am simply attempting to be positive here — lemonade out of lemons, you know — but I digress…

…anyway, in this discussion, some FlyerTalk members were somewhat confused by the following statement which was “tweeted”, as shown on the left: “I booked a first class seat and now I’m in the very last row next to a bathroom that’s in heavy rotation.”

When Frist wrote that he was “in the very last row next to a bathroom”, did he mean the last row in the economy class cabin or the last row in the first class cabin — or Frist Class, as FlyerTalk member PcolaPaul called it? After all, some Boeing 757 aircraft are configured where the last row of seats in the first class cabin are located near a lavatory.

“Hi Bill, we’ll do all to accommodate your seating requests, but we do not guarantee specific assignments. Every airline reserves the right to adjust seating for operational purposes. We regret the confusion. Thanks for flying with us.^JT” was the response from United Airlines — but Frist responded with such statements as “I can confirm that the toilets on this @united flight work! My seat vibrates with each passenger’s visit!” and “I also appreciate what @united is doing to keep the plane’s weight down. Bathroom walls this thin have got to be fuel-saving!”

Frist has a legitimate gripe if he paid for a ticket in the premium class cabin but sat in a seat in the economy class cabin, as he should be entitled to a refund, in my opinion — but is it really that much of an inconvenience; or is an adjustment in expectations in order for Frist pertaining to this story? Should Frist have had a more positive attitude in this situation?

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Comments (Showing 2 of 2)

  • JRBTennessee at 6:16pm January 20, 2014

    Curiosity got the better of me so here is the story – the plane is a 737-800 V1 seating pattern. That means Row 5 while still in first class abuts against the lavatory and has limited recline. According to seat guru – “the proximity to the lavatory in the economy class may be disruptive” Seems like a mild inconvenience – I mean after all somebody gets stuck in those seats – could be worse – like row 36 A – lavatory behind you – and 16.5 inch width instead of that sweet 21 inch width up there in row 5A. Count your blessings Bill!

  • […] Were the complaints about a recent experience as a passenger on United Airlines flight 1486 posted on social media by William Harrison Frist legitimate — or was he simply being what is known on FlyerTalk as a DYKWIA, or Do You Know Who I Am? Frist — a heart and lung transplant surgeon and a multi-millionaire who is also a former majority leader of the United States Senate from Tennessee — fired off a series of “tweets” complaining about… The Gate […]

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