A Flyertalk member who gifted a first-class transatlantic British Airways ticket as a birthday present for their 81-year-old father is at a loss for recourse after a “celebrity” on the flight ordered the octogenarian out of his rightfully assigned seat – allegedly with the tacit approval of cabin crew members.
Flyertalker Killian_S describes the circumstances of a recent transatlantic British Airways flight as equal parts “sad and anger-inducing.” In a post seeking guidance from British Airways frequent flyers, the dejected customer explained his plight after purchasing a first class ticket as a birthday gift for the user’s globe-trotting 81-year-old father, only to learn the elderly parent had been bullied out of his seat by a minor celebrity.
“He was seated in 1A on the 744. He doesn’t travel that often now because of age, and very rarely in [first class], so this was one of those occasions where he was truly excited about his trip,” the Flyertalker near his wits’ end wrote. “Anyhow, upon boarding the aircraft and then nicely settled, he was approached by another passenger: ‘Excuse me, I always sit in this seat when I fly, 1A, so kindly take my original seat (5E). You should know that I’m an important customer for BA, with all respect, likely much more than you. Therefore, please could you move.’ He then called a cabin crew member to ‘kindly escort’ my dad to 5E. The cabin crew lady first checked the boarding passes and said that his seat was 5E, what’s he doing here, but he repeated the line and to my surprise, the cabin crew member then did as asked. Dad then complained to the cabin manager, but was met with indifference from that lady. To not cause a fuss (and of course age being an issue), he moved to 5E.”
The unidentified premium cabin oppressor is described as a “political celebrity” often featured as a panelist on British news programs. The advice-seeking poster chose not to reveal the boorish celeb by name out of fear of legal repercussions.
“Worth complaining to BA, or wasting my time?” the despairing poster wrote. “I think the latter but wanted to check to see if anything could be done. Still can’t believe that in this day and age this sort of behavior is tolerated.”
As requested, elite British Airways Executive Club members on Flyertalk weighed in on the bizarre episode. Many of the forum posts equally faulted all parties involved. While it was generally agreed that the entitled television star and flight attendants involved acted inappropriately, the fact that the mild-mannered passenger voluntarily agreed to relocate, completely negates any responsibility on the airline’s part.
“No, your relative should not have moved, and in a way, it makes it worse when he acquiesces like this,” corporate-wage-slave offered in response. “He shouldn’t have been asked, and the crew should not have gone along with it, but as you can see for yourself it was the path that actually gave the least resistance. If he really was of big net worth to BA, then BA would have resolved this well before your father boarded. ‘Not cause a fuss’ tends to do exactly that, and complaining afterward is too late.”
It is perhaps noting the television pundit and minor celebrity Piers Morgan once took to Twitter to brag that he was assigned the coveted Seat 1A on a flight in which actual movie star Brad Pitt was assigned seat 6F. Morgan presented the arrangement as proof he is a bigger deal than Pitt.
“So Brad Pitt got on my @British_Airways plane to London,” Morgan wrote in June 2016. “He’s in seat 6F, I’m in 1A. This settles my celebrity status once and for all.”
When the airline wrote a tongue-in-cheek response to Morgan’s tweet, the onetime CNN host decided the situation was no laughing matter. In fact, he made clear in no uncertain terms that seat 1A was his seat.
“Ooops, It seems like we made a mistake there Piers!” the airline responded. “Any chance you could swap with him?” Morgan replied with a curt “No!” and the carrier was forced to make clear the suggestion was only in jest, writing, “We are only joking, of course, Piers – enjoy the flight!”
It seems it may be entirely possible, according to clues currently available, that the British television presenter may be a serial abuser who thinks he owns a specific seat on a commercial airliner. It is also possible that the original poster, in this case, Killian_S is actually one of Brad Pitt’s children, justifiably concerned about their elderly parent’s mistreatment at the hands of Piers Morgan.
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