A new crime: "Taking Food Out of First Class"

 
Old Jan 16, 09, 9:50 pm
  #1  
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A new crime: "Taking Food Out of First Class"

Today, my family and I flew to Hawaii on AA. Luckily, my wife and I cleared to F 3 days ago (thank you, EXP). Our two kids, 16 and 12 1/2, were in Y.

When dessert (ice cream) was about to be served, I mentioned to the #2 FA serving F (along with the purser) that we were such good parents that we were going to bring our ice cream to our kids in Y. (They were serving from the front, and we were in the last row, so we didn't take anyones' food from them.)

Her response was to tell me "The purser won't let you do that. They don't want people bringing food back." She didn't explain, nor did I ask, who the "they" were.

That same FA then served each of us a dish of ice cream. I then got up and took the ice cream back to our kids, hung out in the back of Y chatting with the Y FAs while they ate, and brought the dishes and spoons back to F, where the same FA collected them without comment.

About an hour later, with 90 minutes left in the flight, the Purser came over to me. She was holding in her hand a partially-completed AA "In-Flight Disturbance Report". She referred to me as Mr. ____, using the name of the person originally assigned to my seat (with whom I had swapped at boarding so I could sit with my wife). The Purser said that since I had taken food out of the first-class cabin, she was going to have to make a report to the appropriate authorities. Sure enough, written on the form (I couldn't read upside down to see what was printed there) were the words "Took food out of first class".

I told the Purser exactly what I had been told by the #2 FA. I also told her that the FA had not told me that I was prohibited from taking the ice cream back to my kids, just that she - the Purser - wouldn't let me do it. Next, I told the Purser that if she intended to submit a written report, she should at least get my name right -- and so I handed her my EXP card to copy down my name.

At that point, the Purser again asked me what the other FA had told me, and I repeated it. I again said that I had never been directly told not to take the ice cream to my kids. She then handed me back my EXP card and said that, given the miscommunication with the other FA, she was not going to submit the report. The Purser then added that she thought this "no taking food back" rule was "a silly rule" (her words), but that she had no choice but to enforce it.

(As an aside: Other than the "hibiscus" (cranberry & champagne) served as PDB, neither my wife nor I had any alcoholic beverages.)

I have no doubt that she would have sent in this form to whereever in the bureaucracy it goes had I not been elite status.

* * *

My questions:

-- Has anyone else ever seen an AA Purser write up a pax for what I did?

-- If she had gone ahead with the report, what were the possible consequences? Was it a matter for LEOs?

-- And, the real question: is this the STUPIDEST thing you've ever seen AA cabin crew do in dealing with a passenger?
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Old Jan 16, 09, 9:58 pm
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"The purser won't let you do that." meant "do not do that"
And then you did, potentially getting the first FA in trouble as well and ignoring that you were told not to do it, making things sticky for all involved. You clearly should have sought out purser to get permission.
Writing in for compensation now?
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Old Jan 16, 09, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by CO FF View Post
When dessert (ice cream) was about to be served, I mentioned to the #2 FA serving F (along with the purser) that we were such good parents that we were going to bring our ice cream to our kids in Y. (They were serving from the front, and we were in the last row, so we didn't take anyones' food from them.)

Her response was to tell me "The purser won't let you do that. They don't want people bringing food back." She didn't explain, nor did I ask, who the "they" were.

Doesnt this answer your own question? You were told not to do it, yet ignored the instructions of the crew and did what you wanted to do anyway.
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:00 pm
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This has got to be the silliest rule I've ever seen...and if true, it must be a new rule for 2009. In 2008 I've been on a few flights sitting in Y with my daughter where the FA came by and gave me the chocolate chip cookie from F.

This would appear to violate the "no food from first" rule. So either the FAs disregard this rule or it's new for 2009!
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:06 pm
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Do we as passengers have the option of choosing which "silly rules" we plan to follow, and which ones we chose not to?

Rules are rules, and if we disagree shouldnt we take it up with management to either explain better, or try to influence a change?
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by CO FF View Post
And, the real question: is this the STUPIDEST thing you've ever seen AA cabin crew do in dealing with a passenger?
It does seem rather silly, but no more so than your disobeying by taking food to the coach cabin. I have no idea why that request was made, but since it was, silly or not, you should have done as you were told. Later you could have contacted AA to ask for clarification.

Note to self: Make sure the FAs know when I have switched seats so I don't inadvertantly get written up for someone else's foolish actions.

Edited to add:

Originally Posted by Dan_E View Post
Do we as passengers have the option of choosing which "silly rules" we plan to follow, and which ones we chose not to?

Rules are rules, and if we disagree shouldnt we take it up with management to either explain better, or try to influence a change?
+1
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:09 pm
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Oops, dupe.
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:09 pm
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It does seem like a silly rule - but if I look at it from the perspective of those riding in coach, and from the airline and its personnel, it doesn't seem so silly all of a sudden - soon enough, it will be a chocolate chip cookie, a sundae, a cocktail, maybe an entire meal...

At the very least, it looks like folks in First are sneaking out First Class food to those who have not paid for the privilege - and there's no way for the green-eyed passengers to know the food you were passing was yours, extras, second helpings. If complaints ensue, the FAs have to pick up the pieces.

When the FA told you "The purser won't let you do that; they don't want people bringing food back," you knew perfectly well what it meant, and IMO it was disingenuous to use these words to get off the hook - glad it worked for you, and while I do think a report is a bit too far - but you were warned.
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:11 pm
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On a UA flight I was in the first row of Y and my brother was seated in F. He ordered two alcoholic beverages and the FA asked "who is the other for?".

She then delivered it and friendly said this is from your brother.

Seems different airlines and different FA's have different policies.
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:14 pm
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"I also told her that the FA had not told me that I was prohibited from taking the ice cream back to my kids, just that she - the Purser - wouldn't let me do it."

This sounds like something a clever 10 year old would say to avoid getting into trouble after they'd done something they KNOW they weren't supposed to do.

So you did something that you had just been told was not allowed.
And you're wondering why the people who told you not to do it got upset?
I don't follow.
The rules are there, and if you deliberately disobey, then don't be surprised when there are consequences.

Last edited by Flyingfox; Jan 16, 09 at 10:19 pm
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:17 pm
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some rules are so silly that you can choose whether or not to obey them.
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:18 pm
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I don't think it's a silly rule at all. Why wouldn't everybody else in coach want ice cream too?
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:25 pm
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Mayb you should have used the points to upgrade your kids too..thats what we usually do..either upgrade the whole fam..or dont upgrade :/
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
It does seem like a silly rule - but if I look at it from the perspective of those riding in coach, and from the airline and its personnel, it doesn't seem so silly all of a sudden - soon enough, it will be a chocolate chip cookie, a sundae, a cocktail, maybe an entire meal...

At the very least, it looks like folks in First are sneaking out First Class food to those who have not paid for the privilege - and there's no way for the green-eyed passengers to know the food you were passing was yours, extras, second helpings. If complaints ensue, the FAs have to pick up the pieces.

When the FA told you "The purser won't let you do that; they don't want people bringing food back," you knew perfectly well what it meant, and IMO it was disingenuous to use these words to get off the hook - glad it worked for you, and while I do think a report is a bit too far - but you were warned.

Yes, exactly right.
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Old Jan 16, 09, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by ILuvParis View Post
I don't think it's a silly rule at all. Why wouldn't everybody else in coach want ice cream too?
This is inane. By this logic, you couldn't bring your own tasty snack into coach, or bust out your own noise canceling headphones, because other people might want some as well.
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