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United Airlines

Non-Revs And Their Shenanigans

Non-Revs And Their Shenanigans
Meg Butler

FlyerTalk member pmlflyer wants to know, should he report this situation:

Looking for some advice. so Myself (Plat) and my GF (Gold) flew two nights ago on UA51 to Madrid. We were seated on 18E and 18F. Close to departure we realized that 18D was a no show. Mentioned to the FA that my GF would like to move to such seat and the FA said that would be fine once the door closed.

Shortly after talking to the FA the non rev seating in 19E forcefully asks that he would like to seat in 19D since he has a problem and need to use the bathroom regularly. My GF being a small woman in her twenties stupidly cracks due to the pressure and gives up the seat.

As no surprise to me Non-Rev 18D does not stand up a single time during the whole flight. I found this to be completely offensive and systematically to take advantage of paying customers that essentially called dibs on a seat.

Before those asking how we knew he was a non rev, well all the people sitting on 19DEF were non revs as they were all on the double standby lists for economy and BF and both parties were talking about how they use their non rev privileges, seem to be on buddy passes. One party of more experienced older travelers were actually promoting to the other non rev that there were other empty seats apart from the one that he was seating in and that he should try to change so they could have the spear seat in between them.


What do you think pmlflyer should do? Weigh in on the United Airlines forum thread HERE.

[Image Source:]

View Comments (8)


  1. aerolaw

    April 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    I’m sorry but what is the problem here? Asking to switch to another seat that’s empty? Non-rev or not, there is no harm in asking. And oh by the way, some “non-revenue” passes can cost more than some revenue fares, albeit with no advance purchase required (but they are standby). That said, non-rev pax are not supposed to create a scene or take away from rev pax experience. If that was me and I asked a customer if I could sit in an empty aisle seat and the customer indicated that they wanted it, as a non rev I would have insisted that the paying customer take it. (Former airline employee here).

    But really, this is much to do about nothing in my opinion.

  2. Donna49

    April 14, 2018 at 11:43 am

    How do you know 19E was a non-rev?

  3. Allan38103

    April 14, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Meg. this writeup doesn’t make sense. Why would pmlflyer care about who sits where in the row behind him/her?

    pmglyer, get on with your life.

  4. FlyingNone

    April 14, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I would hardly call this shenanigans. Your girlfriend should have said “no”.

  5. be_rettSEA

    April 16, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Also completely appropriate to ask someone in an aisle seat to get up during the course of the flight (assuming seat belt sign is off, of course) to get up to use the lav/stretch legs, etc Just because they don’t get up, doesn’t mean people in middle/window seats should feel they can’t get up. This hardly seems like anything “systematic” at play, either. Someone decided to change seats which happens often on flights (non-rev or not). Purchasing a ticket on a flight doesn’t guarantee a specific seat, or the ability to change to another seat. Seems like someone trying to make a fuss over nothing or earn extra compensation from the airline.. Feel free to complain if you want, but feels petty to me, and definitely not deserving of front-page FlyerTalk feature.

  6. mvoight

    April 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

    The picture included above makes it look like this was in first or business class. I assume they are referring to a row of 3 seats in economy after reading the story a couple of time.

  7. Lakeviewsteve

    April 16, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    mvoight: United has a terrible Business class configuration on many of their wide bodied aircraft that haven’t been converted to Polaris yet. On their 777’s for example it is 2 4 2 ! Therefore I don’t believe they are talking about economy.

  8. DirtyDan


    April 16, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    damn bait click non-news

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