Empty Flight, Economy moved to First...

 
Old Nov 1, 07, 7:57 am
  #1  
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Empty Flight, Economy moved to First...

Hey all,

I was just on a fairly empty flight on an Airbus. There were 7 people up front, and about 40 in the back. I was up front.

After takeoff and getting to 10,000 feet, I witnessed the flight attendant letting 5 people come sit in business class... So here I am with my paying upgrade, and here THEY are with a free ride up front...

I wrote to AA about this and received the worst response in the world: Below.....
---------
Thank you for contacting us regarding your recent trip.

I did research the flight information and due to weight and balance of the aircraft we
had to move a few people around to even out the weight. There are also times that our
coach is oversold and we have to bump a few passengers up to the next cabin. We do
not reimburse anyone that is already in first or business class when this happens due
to the fact that these passengers are helping us out. They did not get upgraded on a
whim.

There is no guarantee that you would of been pulled from coach to business class if
you had not upgraded so please understand that we will not be able to refund the
upgrades that you used.

It has been a privilege to assist you. We look forward to welcoming you
aboard American Airlines in the near future.
----------

Weight and Balance really has to do with Cargo, it doesn't have to do with moving 5 people up front... well after the plane was in the air.

I called back AA this morning, they actually put me through to the lady who wrote this email and I went off on her, b/c she insulted my intelligence in that email. I'm not Joe Blow who will just say "OK"...

Anyhow, I said to her, just put these stickers back and my account and we have our issue solved. And so it was done!
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:09 am
  #2  
 
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Interesting post.

Personally I take the "good for them, i'll get my chance another day" theory.

Not a lot helpful for me to contribute here. I just really don't like it when people complain because they didnt get the good deal but someone else did.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:09 am
  #3  
 
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Happend twice 2 me..

40 (160lbs) People 20 feet behind the CG of the plane will put a significant moment arm on the plane..
40 * 160 * 20 = 128000 LBS force.
Trim tabs will correct for this. (I don't know the limits) but then the plane flies less efficiently..
I guess this could be considered an "Op Up" on an empty plane !!!

Read your post closer..
5 People if they were real BIG and FAR back might make a Significant difference
Weight * Distance = LBS force...
Remember Atlas...
[Snip]
Weight and Balance really has to do with Cargo, it doesn't have to do with moving 5 people up front... well after the plane was in the air.
[/Snip]
The less trim tabs the cleaner the AC flies, Less fuel. One wouldn't suspect the difference would real significant.
Maybe on a longhaul, or where trim tabs are max'd out. Or maybe the crew had a bet with another crew about who could fly using the least amount of fuel.. The decision to move people around is subject to [Master and Commander]

I've seen 10 guys (drunk with their own duty free supplies) running from side to side on a 747 cause it to rock and that was only a few feet around the center axis of the AC..
on a World Cup flight from AMS - Mexico City

Last edited by msakas; Nov 1, 07 at 8:19 am
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:09 am
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Weight and balance is not solely as issue of cargo loading. As fuel burns the center of gravity does shift on the plane, so it is not in conceiveable for this to occur. I have been on two empty flights in the last 10 years where this has happened as well, and I never even thought of asking for compensation much less calling and making demands.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:15 am
  #5  
 
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That's interesting. I was on an empty flight just last week (10 passengers total, plus 2 FAs) and there were only 2 people in first. I jokingly asked about sitting up front since there was tons of space. One of the FAs politely refused.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:25 am
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I got moved up on BA once (LHR-KWI) because my IFE was broken. The FA was so paranoid about negative reactions from other passengers that he made me give him my credit card so that he could pretend to be charging me to "upgrade". He even gave me a fake receipt .

This experience makes me think that the OP's reaction isn't atypical.

Assuming the excuse was valid, AA would probably have been better off doing this silently with boarding pass reissues before boarding.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:26 am
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I've been on a flight in the UK and they have ropped off seats to stop people sitting them to aid weight and balancing, it must affect the aircraft more than we know.

Interestly the seats where ropped off at the front. So that goes against what they did on your flight.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:31 am
  #8  
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I think AA should have told you that you'll get nothing and like it. I'm disappointed that AA gave into your ranting. I plan to call and complain and demand something. Anyone have any ideas as to what I should demand?
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by Jamman View Post
I've been on a flight in the UK and they have ropped off seats to stop people sitting them to aid weight and balancing, it must affect the aircraft more than we know.

Interestly the seats where ropped off at the front. So that goes against what they did on your flight.
depends where they loaded the cargo
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
I think AA should have told you that you'll get nothing and like it. I'm disappointed that AA gave into your ranting. I plan to call and complain and demand something. Anyone have any ideas as to what I should demand?
Lifetime EXP. Make sure you mention how much you spend and amount of miles you fly a year, it carries more weight.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:33 am
  #11  
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IceSlater, the email response you got from AA makes perfect sense to me.

Operational upgrades happen all the time (usually when the plane is very full or very empty) - people who had already paid for F/J don't get refunds, whether they paid in the form of cash, miles, or other upgrade instruments.

Look at it this way: your upgrade guaranteed you the seat. That's the benefit that you got vs. the people who received the op-UG. You didn't have to go to the airport and hope to get lucky.

There are many, many threads here where people post "I'm on Flight XXX, it's F9 Y0, I'm Plat, will I get an op-UG?" The typical response from the forum: "If you really want the seat, confirm it with a real upgrade. If you're okay with coach, go to the airport and cross your fingers."
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:36 am
  #12  
brp
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Originally Posted by IceSlater View Post

I called back AA this morning, they actually put me through to the lady who wrote this email and I went off on her, b/c she insulted my intelligence in that email. I'm not Joe Blow who will just say "OK"...
I'm glad that yelling and screaming inappropriately got you what you wanted. I see this approach taken by people routinely, unfortunately. Getting irate or "going off" on someone may be appropriate when one is correct but you were not here, IMO. Op ups happen, and do not mean that you got less than what you paid for. I've been op upped, and I've paid with toms form of currency when others surely were.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:36 am
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One of the most arrogant lawyers in my former firm was the only one in first. The FA moved the rest of the passengers up front (this was a number of years ago and the flight was almost empty). The lawyer then moved back to coach and was the only one sitting back there.
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:36 am
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Weight and Balance is a perfectly valid reason to move people before the flight. It happens all the time on all airlines.

However moving people after take off is not for the reason of weight and balance. Trim is calculated on the ground primarily for the purposes of take off performance. Whatever reason those people were moved for in the air it would not have been for weight and balance reasons.

Also that response is very sloppily written, far more so than any I have had the pleasure of receiving:

"There is no guarantee that you would of been pulled from coach"

Would HAVE, not would OF. Grr!
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Old Nov 1, 07, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by spanishflea View Post
However moving people after take off is not for the reason of weight and balance. Trim is calculated on the ground primarily for the purposes of take off performance. Whatever reason those people were moved for in the air it would not have been for weight and balance reasons.
Do you think or do you know?
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