Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

Disgusting harassment behaviour by seatmate in WTP to SEA. What can be done?

Disgusting harassment behaviour by seatmate in WTP to SEA. What can be done?

Old Aug 23, 16, 1:05 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold, Eurostar Carte Blanche
Posts: 513
Disgusting harassment behaviour by seatmate in WTP to SEA. What can be done?

“Then I’m going to do this,” he said, grabbing the back of the seat and shaking it (and me with it) violently up and down.
My friend was flying back from Scotland to Seattle on yesterday's BA49. She upgraded with her husband to WTP, and had an absolutely insufferable seatmate behind. Even the CSM couldn't make any headway with the customer.

She writes of her travels (80k+ a year) at Everywhereist.com - here's her writeup of yesterdays events.

If you've time to read it, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on what should be done in this situation? Police escort off the plane? No fly list?

Edit to add: as per usual on long haul flights, the cabin was dimmed and most other people were asleep. Including husband in the adjacent seat.

Not okay to hear. As any passenger, especially a seasoned flyer, the frustrations of cramped seating get to most. But this sort of behaviour..?

Last edited by World Traveller Fuss; Aug 24, 16 at 2:01 pm Reason: Clarifying part of the story.
World Traveller Fuss is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:12 am
  #2  
V10
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Provincie Antwerpen, Vlaanderen, BelgiŽ
Programs: MUCCI Gold
Posts: 2,416
Lifetime ban. No possibility of parole.

Completely unacceptable.
V10 is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:20 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northumberland, UK and outback Australia.
Programs: BA silver
Posts: 3,857
I've read her blog entry. It's quite unacceptable behaviour from the guy behind her and it would seem that he would have done the same regardless of who was in front.

It's a shame the cabin crew didn't appear to report his non-compliance to the authorities (would any of us ever know they would actually file a report?) but without being there, it's all too easy to criticise what the crew did or didn't do and it seems she is broadly happy with the crew's actions.

As for her last comment about being moved (I wouldn't class it as an upgrade at this point being so late in the flight and the stress of it all) to Club World and therefore the guy got what he wanted... not sure how else the crew would have done... put him in Club World? Leave them both there and let it get worse from her point of view?

Definitely not a nice situation for anyone to be in, and hope that she is able to find a resolution to her stress after the fact.
Stez is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:31 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC Bronze
Posts: 5,154
Really terrible. I wasn't clear what was stopping her seat from reclining though. However, the offender should have some kind of sanction - a warning from BA perhaps, if not a ban.

I do find seat recline issues quite stressful myself - should I, shouldn't I? Do I ask permission or not? Should they ask permission? etc etc
Flexible preferences is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:37 am
  #5  
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: N/A
Programs: Go Fish
Posts: 4,400
I am really sorry for what happened. Without knowing the facts and being on board I cannot judge what would have been appropriate action by the crew, but the fact that the passenger behind you got what he wanted is not just and perhaps he should be prohibited from future BA travel.
nufnuf77 is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:38 am
  #6  
V10
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Provincie Antwerpen, Vlaanderen, BelgiŽ
Programs: MUCCI Gold
Posts: 2,416
In this situation I'd probably have insisted to the crew that police were ready on arrival to speak to this guy. Panic attacks are a serious matter and this situation could rapidly have developed into something that impacted on the normal operation of an aircraft.

As it is, this jerk has left with the idea in whatever pigswill is taking the place of brains inside his head that behaviour like this does not have consequences. This is WRONG. It should have consequences - serious consequences. It doesn't matter what pathetic excuse for manhood this guy has - he needs a bloody good kick there.
V10 is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:41 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Bronze; IHG Spire Amb
Posts: 328
Awful story. I'm a bit surprised that cabin crew didn't proactively interrupt, or that adjacent passengers in the middle didn't say anything. I would also imagine that his behaviour is borderline criminal - and if it is, it should obviously be reported.
Bluebirdnick is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:41 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Programs: BA GGL, FB Platinum, Delta Nothing, HHonors Diamond, IAG Gold Ambassador, Ritz Silver, SPG Gold
Posts: 100
I must say that while I think the gentleman in question should have been downgraded and told off by the crew, (or better, the Captain,) in no uncertain terms, I'm rather ashamed for this woman's husband. Had it been my wife, this wouldn't have gone past the first exchange. Very poor form on his part.
FrenchMerican is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:46 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 7,101
Originally Posted by FrenchMerican View Post
I must say that while I think the gentleman in question should have been downgraded and told off by the crew, (or better, the Captain,) in no uncertain terms, I'm rather ashamed for this woman's husband. Had it been my wife, this wouldn't have gone past the first exchange. Very poor form on his part.
Was the person also mentioned in the blog her husband? He needs to intervene and get a grip of the situation.

That being said, I find the whole blog a bit dramatic, but that is just my opinion.
rossmacd is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:47 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Bronze; IHG Spire Amb
Posts: 328
Out of interest- could BA insist that he pays for her seat too, as he made it unusable?
Bluebirdnick is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:51 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Leicestershire, UK
Programs: BA Bronze, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite, Heathrow Rewards Premium, Tesco Clubcard, M&S Sparks
Posts: 384
Originally Posted by FrenchMerican View Post
I'm rather ashamed for this woman's husband. Had it been my wife, this wouldn't have gone past the first exchange. Very poor form on his part.
Agree to some extent, but different people react in different ways and don't like to make a scene etc.

If I were them, I would have encouraged the crew to have police on standby to escort the ***** off the plane.

He shouldn't get away with this form of behaviour.
Paren is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:53 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6,288
Totally unacceptable. Clearly no way of knowing what action (if any) was taken.
simons1 is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 1:58 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK
Programs: EK Gold, BA Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 68
He should definitely been reported to the authorities for action on arrival, who knows how his behaviour may have escalated putting safety at risk for all.
philiphenry is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 2:10 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Somewhere between 0 and 13,000 metres high
Programs: AF/KL Life Plat, BA GfL+CCR, Aclub Plat, Hilton Diam, Marriott Gold, blablablah, etc
Posts: 24,433
Originally Posted by Stez View Post
I've read her blog entry. It's quite unacceptable behaviour from the guy behind her and it would seem that he would have done the same regardless of who was in front.

It's a shame the cabin crew didn't appear to report his non-compliance to the authorities (would any of us ever know they would actually file a report?) but without being there, it's all too easy to criticise what the crew did or didn't do and it seems she is broadly happy with the crew's actions.

As for her last comment about being moved (I wouldn't class it as an upgrade at this point being so late in the flight and the stress of it all) to Club World and therefore the guy got what he wanted... not sure how else the crew would have done... put him in Club World? Leave them both there and let it get worse from her point of view?

Definitely not a nice situation for anyone to be in, and hope that she is able to find a resolution to her stress after the fact.
+1. While it is perfectly possible that the man is a misogynist pig, I think that the evidence provided in Geraldine's account suggests that the different behaviour towards her husband was most likely to be because he simply was not sat in front of the guy and also because he "complied" with the order to go upright as opposed to state his right to recline.

In terms of what to do, I think that talking to the crew is indeed the best thing in this case after it becomes clear that the person is in no mood to be reasonable and I would have recommended doing it the moment she perceived him to be rude. Sadly, the terrible panic attack that she describes is horribly primarily fuelled by our own feeling of powerlessness: what we say makes no difference. If she thinks that this only affects women she is also sadly wrong. There are plenty of male victims of bullying (in fact more than women for some forms of bullying and less for others) and of course of rape and sexual crime as well (I have sadly met enough of them to know).

If insisting to deal with it directly, the only other things to do would be to say 1) let's call the crew and 2) if you do not immediately stop this physical contact with me I am going to file a complaint against you and report you to the police for assault.

In terms of what the crew should do, again, this is tricky. Ultimately, you have only two major ways to look at this: either you see it as a dispute between two passengers over seat recline, which sadly must be the bread and butter of flight crew life, even if one passenger here proves to be particularly a horrible character, which is not in and by itself a crime, or you treat it as an air rage incident which leads to much heftier consequences but also could technically lead to much stricter criteria if the law is to be invoked.

I'll venture the opinion that if the poster had gone to report the problem with the passenger from the start (ie avoided dealing with it directly), the crew had gone to speak to him, gone nowhere, and decided to upgrade the poster and her husband as a result, this would have been lauded as a great resolution, so in a way, it is only because the situation got poisonous in the argument on whether reclining is a "right" that this feels insufficient. I happen to fully agree with her that reclining, whilst ideally done unanimously, is ultimately a right, but I know many people in every regular discussion we have of this disagree, and I have often paid the price of my "right" with the person behind deciding to kick me permanently throughout the flight, and clearly on purpose. Not as explicit as what the moron of this particular story is, but ultimately a similar form of physical abuse.

In that sense, the next step - of the crew threatening restraint - while it would have pleased the poster, may have seem delicate for the crew to take on the basis of rudeness. Not only did they not witness the previous episode, but I too am intrigued by the poster's question as to how her partner perceived the situation to not intervene. I mean she answers him from the point of view of the appearance of her own reaction, but there is the other small issue of the perception of the "assault" per se. Clearly, he did not see the "I'm going to do this all flight" as as physically invasive as she did or he would have intervened - I sure know that if anyone did something which I felt was a physical assault on my partner I'd go ballistic (I know because it happened once and I did) and I'm not a violent person at all. If he did not see it as serious enough to justify his intervention having witnessed everything directly, it may be unlikely that the crew would see it as such having missed the worst part of the interaction.

In that sense, I think that they seem to have done well and that if they had been called at the first opportunity their resolution would have hit the spot entirely. They should also report the incident but unless some unconnected passengers happen to be willing to back the poster's perceptions (such as the moron's seat neighbour), I doubt that this would go very far based on the limited evidence of actual assault. As I said, rudeness and idiocy are not, in and by themselves, an obvious cause for a flight ban however repugnant they are.
orbitmic is offline  
Old Aug 23, 16, 2:32 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: MAN
Programs: BA Blue, Priority Club Plat (again!), Marriott Rewards Gold
Posts: 541
Completely unacceptable, but ... is she doing taking pictures of herself "post-panic attack, in Business Class" ?? What is that all about.
TheMajor is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread