Action against unprincipled passenger?

Old Jul 27, 2018, 9:09 pm
  #1  
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Action against unprincipled passenger?

I have a friend that just took his family on a trip to Spain, DFW-MAD. He and his wife were in J and bought their 16 and 14 year old children seats in economy. On outbound and return they paid $400 per ticket to upgrade their kids to Premium Economy. No issues on the outbound. On the return everything was fine at boarding, they walked back to check on their kids after boarding but before departure.

When the meal was served a few hours into flight the flight attendant allowed them to take sundaes back to their kids. When he got to the seat they weren't there, the man seated in the seat that was next to theirs asked "Are you looking for your children?" he said "Yes" and the gentleman proceeded to tell him he'd asked them to trade with his wife and daughter, who were seated 25 rows back in regular economy.

Turns out this gentleman was Concierge Key per the flight attendant.

American handled this as well as could be expected given the situation. The flight attendants forced them to switch back, and they gave them some miles and refunded the upgrade cost. My question is, can they file a complaint against this Concierge Key member? There is absolutely no way he didn't know EXACTLY what he was doing. He had the gaul to complain after they asked them to move back. The flight attendant told my friend that he flies DFW-MAD almost every week of the year and she knew him.

This is probably more venting than anything but it makes my blood boil.

The only punishment I can think of is noting the guy's account so next time he asks for extraordinary treatment he gets denied.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by jmail1
I have a friend that just took his family on a trip to Spain, DFW-MAD. He and his wife were in J and bought their 16 and 14 year old children seats in economy. On outbound and return they paid $400 per ticket to upgrade their kids to Premium Economy. No issues on the outbound. On the return everything was fine at boarding, they walked back to check on their kids after boarding but before departure.

When the meal was served a few hours into flight the flight attendant allowed them to take sundaes back to their kids. When he got to the seat they weren't there, the man seated in the seat that was next to theirs asked "Are you looking for your children?" he said "Yes" and the gentleman proceeded to tell him he'd asked them to trade with his wife and daughter, who were seated 25 rows back in regular economy.

Turns out this gentleman was Concierge Key per the flight attendant.

American handled this as well as could be expected given the situation. The flight attendants forced them to switch back, and they gave them some miles and refunded the upgrade cost. My question is, can they file a complaint against this Concierge Key member? There is absolutely no way he didn't know EXACTLY what he was doing. He had the gaul to complain after they asked them to move back. The flight attendant told my friend that he flies DFW-MAD almost every week of the year and she knew him.

This is probably more venting than anything but it makes my blood boil.
I understand how you feel. I would have given him a piece of my mind, but it isn't reasonable to expect AA to do anything to beyond what was done on the plane.t of.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 9:20 pm
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Originally Posted by beachfan
I would have given him a piece of my mind
Nothing would come of that. The offending passenger has rationalized this event by telling himself the seat swap was mutually agreed. He will refuse to entertain the idea that he is a <redacted> who took advantage of others to obtain the agreement.

More to the point, if the upgrade cost was refunded, then there is nothing more to be done, except maybe to warn 16 and 14yo kids of <redacted> on planes.

Last edited by JDiver; Jul 29, 2018 at 12:01 am Reason: Complaints received of language
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 9:26 pm
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What a cheapskate CK.....this type of person shouldnt even have CK status to begin with.

Good for the FAs for doing the right thing.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 9:32 pm
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The flight attendant was clearly upset by the situation, she did say she was going to note it and seek even more compensation for them in the form of vouchers. He told them he had no interest and that they'd done plenty. She felt bad because an attendant in the economy cabin helped their kids move back from their seats in PE and knew they'd made the swap and didn't intervene.

My only comment is regarding that guy, just hate it when people get away with crap like that. I'd read recently that American had a grading system based on how many favors they'd granted you in the past, that might not have been true but if it is this guy's grade should take a hit.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 10:09 pm
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I think enough has been done, though I understand your and your friend’s upset.

The kids were restored the seats purchased for them.

The devious CheapsKate was upstaged, the FA started she’d write the incident up. I hope he chokes on his own gall, or he meets up with his karma.

Miles were issued.

Refunds for the seat upgrades, which the kids did have significant use of, were issued.

IMO, because you asked, recommend your friend let it go and move on. The high value dipstick isn’t going to be disciplined by AA, they made the kids while agaun and then some. I hope they all had a memorable holiday, and they won’t give this manipulative moron the power to affect those memories.
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Last edited by JDiver; Jul 27, 2018 at 10:35 pm
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 10:30 pm
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I'm curious though, why did they agree to move? Presumably the guy must have made out as if there was some benefit in it for them, perhaps a row of 3 to themselves with spare middle instead of seatmates in Premium?
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 10:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1
I'm curious though, why did they agree to move? Presumably the guy must have made out as if there was some benefit in it for them, perhaps a row of 3 to themselves with spare middle instead of seatmates in Premium?
Why would that matter? He manipulated them into accepting a cheaper product so his friends could benefit - friends who would have had that three for two themselves.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver
Why would that matter? He manipulated them into accepting a cheaper product so his friends could benefit - friends who would have had that three for two themselves.

Exactly. Kids that age are easily manipulated. My kids would probably make the swap as they feel it might be rude of them not to. We teach kids to respect adults....and then adults do this crap.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver
Why would that matter? He manipulated them into accepting a cheaper product so his friends could benefit - friends who would have had that three for two themselves.
I didn't say it mattered; I said I was curious.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Uncle Nonny
Exactly. Kids that age are easily manipulated. My kids would probably make the swap as they feel it might be rude of them not to. We teach kids to respect adults....and then adults do this crap.
Easily manipulated is the point. What I'm asking is what method of manipulation the guy used. Clearly it is easier to manipulate someone with something that sounds reasonable (even if falsely so) than simply saying can I swap my bad thing for your good thing.

Edit: I actually just re-read the OP and realised the guy asked for his wife and daughter - I originally missed the daughter bit and thought he was straight-up poaching for himself and his wife, hence wondering what the reasoning was. In fact he may well have simply said 'do you mind swapping so my wife and daughter can sit with me' and the kids may well have simply agreed.
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Last edited by Ldnn1; Jul 27, 2018 at 11:22 pm
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 11:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1


Easily manipulated is the point. What I'm asking is what method of manipulation the guy used. Clearly it is easier to manipulate someone with something that sounds reasonable (even if falsely so) than simply saying can I swap my bad thing for your good thing.
Be an awesome coda to this story if we found out each kid pocketed a c-note.
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Old Jul 27, 2018, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1
I'm curious though, why did they agree to move?
I had the same thought. I wonder whether the kids didn't realize that the upgraded seats cost $400 each. (By age 11, I had earned my AA status going back and forth between separated parents, this of course being back in the pre-9/11, pre-mandatory-UM-paperwork days. So I was by far an outlier in airline-product awareness and would never have given up a premium seat under such circumstances. I probably would have asked CheapsKate to pay me a few bucks more than the difference in value. But the average 14/16yo, unless kept in the loop on ticket purchases, probably has no reason to know what costs what on board, and would probably be swayed pretty easily into agreeing to let a family sit together even if it meant swapping into visibly worse seats.)

The part that gets me, of course, is that obviously the kids didn't realize they were getting crAApy seats until after they agreed to make the switch and marched on back, and by that time, "unprincipled passenger" (I preferred the pre-moderator title, tbh) knew full well that they weren't going to make a scene even if they wanted to back out of the bum deal. Kudos to the parents for getting the FAs to put this behavior in the record.
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Old Jul 28, 2018, 12:23 am
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I'm surprised that any of you are surprised that this happened. Kids being monstered by adults into doing things when they aren't familiar with the norms of the situation is not uncommon at all. Nothing will happen to the CK from the AA end of things: he's CK and they want to continue to get his money. EOS. The CK is pyschopathic in the telling here, but AA will turn out to be the unprincipled party in the story.
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Old Jul 28, 2018, 12:25 am
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I get asked all the time to change seats so people can sit together. And sometimes people act like I'm being a <redacted> when I say no.

I reject the idea that if someone asks an 18 year old to move this is perfectly reasonable and if the 18 year old moves then the 18 year old is just being a nice, generous normal person. But asking a 16 year old to move is duplicitous? 16 year olds can drive but they can't decide for themselves to move seats?
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Last edited by JDiver; Jul 28, 2018 at 11:58 pm Reason: Complaint received of language
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