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Woman mistakes Preferred seat UG for biz class UG then is removed from AC flight

Woman mistakes Preferred seat UG for biz class UG then is removed from AC flight

Old Jul 25, 19, 6:27 am
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Woman mistakes Preferred seat UG for biz class UG then is removed from AC flight

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north...ight-1.5224146

Two chaperones for more than a dozen students from the Northwest Territories on a summer tour of B.C. university campuses were kicked off their Air Canada Express flight home to Yellowknife from Vancouver on July 19.

Rachel Tambour-Zoe, 55, said her ordeal with Canada's largest air carrier began when she realized the tickets she thought she had upgraded to business class for her and her co-chaperone at the airport check-in counter, had not been.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 6:31 am
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Why would it be appropriate for the two chaperones to upgrade themselves into a separate business class cabin, thereby leaving the kids unsupervised?

ADDED: It also seems bad that AC kicked off the two chaperones but let the kids fly alone. The news story seems to imply that the two chaperones were on the same PNR (IIRC it said same ticket, which can't be right as the two adult women obviously cannot share a seat) but the kids booked in a way that they either weren't linked or the airline agents ignored the situation. Why wasn't everyone booked as a group? That might have discouraged booting the two adults as AC would then need to rebook the entire group together, which could have been difficult. Also, why didn't the chaperones object to being separated from their charges?

Last edited by MSPeconomist; Jul 25, 19 at 6:45 am
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Old Jul 25, 19, 6:39 am
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Tambour-Zoe said that after paying for what she thought was an upgrade to business class seating, she boarded the plane to discover her assigned seat was in economy class.

It is difficult to determine what the situation was like without actually being there. People under the stress of travel sometimes overreact to things. Voices often get raised and body language becomes threatening.

I recall a thread years ago when someone came on FT to threaten law suits and compensation demands as he felt he had been unfairly treated and denied boarding by the gate agent. The tune changed when other regular posters on the same flight gave a more factual reporting of his behaviour at the gate rather than his "through rose tinted glasses" opinion.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 6:57 am
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So much for "chaperones." $75 for an upgrade to J, get real. Plus, as said above, if they would be in J, where is the chaperoning?
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:19 am
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"It's not unheard of for business class seats to be had for a song as an upgrade at the last minute."
I'd like the reporter to cite some sources there.
If true, I would like to know which song, so I can be prepared.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:23 am
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It's barely 7am and there's already victim blaming.

I've been on school trips where the kids all sit at the back of the bus and the adults at the front. Not that one should assume a ton of misbehavior from kids. And not that a chaperone couldn't walk back the 10 feet necessary to deal with anything (on bus or plane).

Is it not possible that the FA just overreacted? I once walked on board a Jazz flight, said "what the", an FA asked what was wrong, and I said "I'm supposed to be in business class".

I'm glad I wasn't removed after taking my preferred seat. I even used a naughty word.
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Last edited by tcook052; Jul 25, 19 at 11:37 pm
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:26 am
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IMO it's a bit different with chaperones sitting in front when there's a chartered bus for the group versus using public transportation where the kids sit among the general public.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:42 am
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Teenagers are perfectly capable of behaving on an airline unsupervised, and, hey groups are often scattered about an aircraft rather than in a single block. An adult chaperone in business class may actually be closer to the kids if an issue comes up than they would have been in a 'scattered around the cabin' coach seat.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
So much for "chaperones." $75 for an upgrade to J, get real. Plus, as said above, if they would be in J, where is the chaperoning?
Is your expectation that the chaperones hold hands with all of the students at all times?

For people that don't travel a lot, the idea of pay $75 for a bigger seat might seem fair.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
For people that don't travel a lot, the idea of pay $75 for a bigger seat might seem fair.
And while it's highly likely that the check-in agent tried to confirm that they wanted 'Preferred' seating when presented with the request for "those big seats upfront", it's equally possible that the pax did not understand the differentiation.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Is your expectation that the chaperones hold hands with all of the students at all times?

For people that don't travel a lot, the idea of pay $75 for a bigger seat might seem fair.
I'll answer the question you pose: NO, but I think it's very bad form for chaperones to deliberately (in this case, pay to) upgrade themselves into a different cabin when they're presumably being paid to chaperone the kids (as part of their job) and are also being given an expensive trip. It would be different IMO if these were volunteer parent chaperones or if the chaperones were paying the cost of their trips. The business purpose of the travel was solely to supervise the kids.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 9:16 am
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I don't think supervising anyone of any age requires your eyes to be on them constantly. Once the chaperones charges are aboard, then they can relax. You don't need to number off every 10 minutes; there isn't anywhere to go.

The chaperons can relax, in preferred seating or business class.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'll answer the question you pose: NO, but I think it's very bad form for chaperones to deliberately (in this case, pay to) upgrade themselves into a different cabin when they're presumably being paid to chaperone the kids (as part of their job) and are also being given an expensive trip. It would be different IMO if these were volunteer parent chaperones or if the chaperones were paying the cost of their trips. The business purpose of the travel was solely to supervise the kids.
If they paid for the UG themselves (or the apparently business class fare the next day on WJ) then why not. If they used donated funds (donated to benefit the kids one assumes ) then seems inappropriate. While itís true the kids canít escape for sure bad things can happen in Y cabins (abuse, sexual and otherwise) though seems unlikely on a dash up north.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 10:13 am
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Sometimes I wonder how these airline events manage to hit the media, and it doesn't matter which Canadian airline it is, there seems to be a weekly tale of woe (or more often this week.)

I would imagine a diligent reporter could hang out at a car repair place (say the big Canadian Auto Repair Store Chain) and get tales of woe all day long. Why is it the air stories that get the attention? Is there some special media hot line for these events?

As for this specific event, seems like a tempest in a teapot, but I was not there to witness it. You either have a few overzealous AC employees, or the passengers did in fact complain a lot more vigorously than we are led to believe. Both are distinct possibilities.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 11:00 am
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Why is it that "air stories" get all of the attention?

Because commercial air travel is an expensive, stressful and de-humanizing experience for a lot of travellers.

Arcane terminology, confusing fare structures, a myriad of addon costs, complicated fine print, variable customer service, endless queues for everything and unreliable schedules.

Add to that the fun of spending time in glorified noisy cow sheds with attached gift shops before getting packed into a metal tube with seats better suited for contortionists, and people will simply not be at their best or willing to forgive their fellow man.

That's why.
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