Guy arrested for sneaking into First Class on my flight

 
Old Mar 11, 05, 11:43 pm
  #1  
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Guy arrested for sneaking into First Class on my flight

Flew ATL to NYC two weeks ago. Was bumped up to FC. When we landed in NYC everyone stood up and began to gather their bags - the FA came on the speaker and asked everyone to please sit down as they needed to escort a passenger off the plane.

My first thought was that it was either someone who was going to miss a connection or an elderly couple. Imagine my surprise when 4 of New York's finest board the plane, walk over to the last row in FC and handcuff a guy and escort him off the plane.

Asked a FA after we got off the plane what it was all about and she said that he had snuck up into FC and had lied about being up there or something to that effect.

I've always wondered what would happen sneaking into an unoccupied FC seat, now I know!

Jason
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Old Mar 11, 05, 11:52 pm
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Are you telling us that throughout the entire flight the FA didn't make a request to this passenger to return to the Y cabin, and that he was simply arrested upon arriving at LGA??
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Old Mar 12, 05, 12:05 am
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It's no different than theft. He stole a product.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 12:13 am
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Wow! Yikes! Was there a warning given to this sneaky guy? Was he obnoxious? Did the FA ask him to go back to coach?
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Old Mar 12, 05, 12:14 am
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I find this story to be a bit suspicious. When is the last time anyone saw an empty seat in DL first? And how was the guy so lucky that he chose a seat that wasn't already taken (assuming he took the seat while boarding)?
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Old Mar 12, 05, 12:43 am
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Actually this story is probably true. Happens all the time people trying to sneak into first. During this time of the year all airlines are seeing the slowest travel so it is not so uncommon to see a seat in first that is not occupied. A person could have easily mis-connected.

First and elites always board first so this guy probably waited 1 minute before the gate was to close and as everyone was on the flight. He grabbed the first class seat.

I have FA friends that work for US, UA, DL and CO and they say that it happens more often that one would think. Normally though what happens is that the FA of the first class cabin usually kicks that person out of first before the flight pushes back.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 1:14 am
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It's happened more than once or twice on my flights. I don't think that these people deserve the benefit of a discreet request to move to coach, in fact I think they should simply be thrown off. They are trying to steal. No matter, in order to not ruffle those in F/C, I always try to be discreet (but very firm) in telling this person they must move once I've found out that they don't belong there. Amenities not withstanding, there is no possible way that ANYONE could mistake their coach seat for a F/C seat.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 1:20 am
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Judging from the price of one of those seats, it's probably a felony. Very serious theft from the airlines point of view.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 1:28 am
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I'm not questioning that the OP was told this by a FA, but I'm not buying the story. If I were a police captain and I learned that four of my officers spent hours dealing with a guy who finagled some free drinks, better food and hot towel service, I'd send them all back to the police academy.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 1:41 am
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I buy the story.

It's no different than having shoplifters being handcuffed and put into a police car outside some department stores, and I have seen that happened with my own two eyes.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 1:59 am
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Are FA's required to match the seating list or count the number pax in FC to make sure nobody steals a seat?

On a recent AA flight, someone (who probably doesn't fly much) noted the many empty FC seats on AA and asked the FA if she could get upgraded. I liked the FA's response: that upgrades could only be done at the gate agent because there was no computer on board the plane, and that the FC pax were probably all drinking in their "little Admirals club" and will rush down at the last minute and complain that all their overhead space is gone. Pax laughed, FA prevented possible theft of FC seat and showdown with pax.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 5:15 am
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The FA's story is complete bull. Most likely, she did not have a clue why he was being arrested. I'm certain it was a more serious infraction of the law.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 6:18 am
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Originally Posted by AS Flyer
Amenities not withstanding, there is no possible way that ANYONE could mistake their coach seat for a F/C seat.
That is true, but look at it from the point of view of someone who does not fly very often.

He knows that if he goes to a baseball game, buys bleacher seats, and the stadium is pretty empty he can move down to the box seats after the game starts.

He also knows that if he goes to the theater, and there are better seats that are empty, the ushers won't care if he moves to them.

So he might well figure that if the F/C seats are empty he can take one.

I am not saying he is right but he may well -- in all honesty -- believe that there is no problem. I would not want to be the prosecutor who tries to convince a jury that he had any idea he was doing something criminal.
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Old Mar 12, 05, 7:13 am
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This is ATL to NYC! There was probably no real food service, no hot towel service, and probably only a couple rounds of drinks. So, at DL's retail price for alcohol, we're talking $15-20?
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Old Mar 12, 05, 7:21 am
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I was on a flight recently (DL, I think) where I boarded early as usual. A guy sat down across from me in F/C. Then someone came on board and said he was in their seat. He went up a few rows and sat down. Someone else boarded and he moved again. Then moved again when someone else boarded.

He finally asked to sit next to me. I said "Are you SURE that's your seat? I saw you sit there and there and there." He said yes, he was sure it was his seat. The lady across the aisle from me and I both rolled our eyes, since she was the first person who had displaced him.

I kept wondering if I should report my suspicions to a F/A.
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