F seat poached by disabled passenger

Old Jan 22, 14, 2:56 pm
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by davidviolin View Post
UA's seatmaps are not always correct, and you're taking a risk relying on them. I guess there are also people who really don't realize they do have seat assignments and that some seats cost more than other seats...
I've never been on a UA flight where the seatmap didn't update prior to departure to reflect reality. In my experience if a seat shows as open on the app it's pretty much guaranteed to be free.
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Old Jan 22, 14, 2:56 pm
  #137  
 
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Unless Mr. Transferring Pilot shows up. When door closes, that seat is essentially empty.
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Old Jan 22, 14, 3:22 pm
  #138  
 
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Originally Posted by alex_b View Post
I've never been on a UA flight where the seatmap didn't update prior to departure to reflect reality. In my experience if a seat shows as open on the app it's pretty much guaranteed to be free.
Not in my experience. I've checked many times just out of curiosity. Maybe some people sat in the wrong seat, or someone moved to sit next to spouse or whatever reason. Seatmaps has just not been a reliable way of figuring out if F is full, C is full, or exit rows are full, or just blocked by GA for FA deadheads. But thats just my personal experience.
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Old Jan 22, 14, 3:26 pm
  #139  
 
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Originally Posted by davidviolin View Post
Not in my experience. I've checked many times just out of curiosity. Maybe some people sat in the wrong seat, or someone moved to sit next to spouse or whatever reason. Seatmaps has just not been a reliable way of figuring out if F is full, C is full, or exit rows are full, or just blocked by GA for FA deadheads. But thats just my personal experience.
Seatmaps >2 hours out are not a reliable way of knowing if F or C is full or whether you have an open seat next to you. But once all passengers have boarded it is (in my experience) accurate.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 4:23 am
  #140  
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I for one am happy when they enforce it. A seat empty next to me is a rare occasion and if someone tries to poach it, well, get your a$$ back where you belong.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 6:27 am
  #141  
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Originally Posted by jon0 View Post
It's been two days since the original incident. No word yet from UA.

Meanwhile, I've posted my story on FlyerTalk and has discovered, from the replies, that I am a horrible person for having given up something I didn't really care for in the first place to someone who claimed they needed it and presumed they could get it from me. Apparently I have done a huge disservice to the FT community by encouraging this sort of seat poaching behavior. Also, I have apparently wronged myself by being willing to give up something on an airplane, with no expectation of receiving anything in return, and also without obtaining the proper documentation from the airline of what I have given up.

(sarcasm mode off)

I'll post any updates as I get them.
In my opinion, you haven't wronged yourself if you are ok with the outcome, despite it not being the preferable one. You seem level-headed, and ensuring that despite the issue, other people were able to board. I've seen many standing blocking the aisle for seemingly no reason at all. So kudos to you for also thinking of your fellow passengers and allowing them to board while you attempted to fix your situation.

Honestly, from your OP, I didn't read that you were even asking about opinions on whether you were right or not to give up your seat - you were simply asking how it could happen that someone who received priority boarding could take a seat in the wrong cabin. From re-reading the OP, it is not even clear to me whether the poacher actually received help with boarding or whether they themselves boarded (inappropriately) at the first boarding call without assistance from UA staff.

I think most here saying that you were wrong are doing so from the perspective that you didn't sit in the cabin you were booked in and that you didn't teach the poacher a lessen and encourage her to not try this again, potentially putting them in a similar situation. Give me a break. I'm sure some of the people saying they'd stand up for their right to be in that F seat at all costs, despite the possibility of potentially causing themselves (not to mention, probably others) a missed connection, actually would. But I think most would probably not. After all, this board has plenty of people that consider a spend requirement for status, or a raise in the cost of mileage for an award redemption, practically the end of the world. Not to mention, there are some that likely wouldn't hesitate to start a thread complaining about how their flight was late and demanding compensation because another pax couldn't handle their F seat being taken.

Honestly, I would like to think that I would stand up for my F seat. In reality, in the situation as you described it, I wouldn't. It was a friggin Q400 flight of what, 90 minutes or so? What I would like to think I would have done, if I thought quick enough on my feet, and time permitting, was to go back inside quickly to relay what was happening, and have the GA properly downgrade me to the Y cabin (on the backend, even after departure, which is certainly possible), with a return of the RPU if not used on downline segments. Less important in many respects, but perhaps to discourage this for next time, would be to move the poacher into the F cabin, with the appropriate upfare charged to their CC that paid for the reservation. That would teach the poacher a lesson.

Originally Posted by alex_b View Post
Seatmaps >2 hours out are not a reliable way of knowing if F or C is full or whether you have an open seat next to you. But once all passengers have boarded it is (in my experience) accurate.
Not necessarily. My wife got off a flight after boarding at EWR when it was being delayed bit by bit until it was clear she would miss her only connection through JAC (long story, busy travel day, already missed her original connection inbound from India) to SFO. I know the coupon was initially showing as "used" after the flight was showing departed - I'm pretty certain the GA didn't offload her immediately, or completely forgot and CS did it when she showed up to rebook. I've also been offloaded after boarding in delay situations. In addition, once at CVG, after boarding was complete, we took a delay to take on passengers from another UA flight that was diverted there. So changes can happen sometimes, even after boarding is complete. Maybe not exactly commonplace, but does happen. And probably correct at the time, but still, changes can happen on the computer right up to, and even after departure (believe the GA can finish up on the computer and close the flight after actual departure).

Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
I think the key is knowing how UA's seatmaps work, and boarding late. I agree that exit row might be harder, but in the end, I don't think most FA's have a clue which seats are supposed to be occupied. Is it even on the manifest?
For exit rows, if done later in the process, or attempted poaching after take off, I suspect at least the FA that is doing the safety briefing probably has an idea of at least how many were there (i.e. it was full, there were two people, etc.). For the manifest, not sure on the FAs, but I know I've seen GAs in YYZ, especially one excellent one, come on board and do an E+ count, once removing causing a couple of folks to do the walk of shame back to E-. Don't remember if those were exit row seats though.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 7:56 am
  #142  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
In my opinion, you haven't wronged yourself if you are ok with the outcome
+1
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Old Jan 23, 14, 8:01 am
  #143  
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Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
Why was she checking their seat assignments?
I've seen it on flights where a pax moved after boarding has completed.

Originally Posted by mgcsinc View Post
The seatmaps on the app and website actually are correct, down to the minute. If a seat is empty on the seatmap, and all the standbys have been cleared, that seat is essentially guaranteed to be unoccupied.
Alas, no. Nonrevs mess up the process. On CRJ200s I monitor the seat maps zealously and move around often to increase my chances of getting a row to myself. One flight after checking the seat map after boarding, I thought I was golden, and then just before boarding a pilot from another airline boards, and naturally is assigned a seat next to me. I checked the seat map again, and the seat still showed empty.

Originally Posted by jon0 View Post
It's been two days since the original incident. No word yet from UA.

Meanwhile, I've posted my story on FlyerTalk and has discovered, from the replies, that I am a horrible person for having given up something I didn't really care for in the first place to someone who claimed they needed it and presumed they could get it from me. Apparently I have done a huge disservice to the FT community by encouraging this sort of seat poaching behavior. Also, I have apparently wronged myself by being willing to give up something on an airplane, with no expectation of receiving anything in return, and also without obtaining the proper documentation from the airline of what I have given up.

(sarcasm mode off)

I'll post any updates as I get them.
Horrible for giving up your seat? No.

Complaining here about you giving up your seat and then complaining about it to UA? Horrible would be an extreme term to use. It is however puzzling.

If you have no expectation of anything in return, then why did you make an enquiry of UA?
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Old Jan 23, 14, 8:02 am
  #144  
 
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Originally Posted by goalie View Post
First off-sorry this happened to you

Secondly-I know I'm gonna get flamed but the pax on your seat moves to her assigned seat-end of story! (and my gut is telling me, this pax knew exactly what she was doing (conveniently saying "can we swap" in front of witnesses when ultimately busted) and sort of reminds me of Helen Hayes in "Airport")

Thirdly-if the pax required no assistance to board (and again, my gut says none) as that's when the f/a's should be asking "the handler" where this person is seated, the only way a poacher is gonna get caught is when the actual seat her shows up

Fourth-you had better be getting your upgrade back
BINGO! She knew what she was doing, played the non speaking card, got busted and then played dumb. I would have insisted that she sit in her assigned seat. This person knew what she was doing...

If you were fine with the poacher winning, fine. Then why post? If you were upset, I can understand path of least resistance, but still. Why let a poacher win?
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Old Jan 23, 14, 8:16 am
  #145  
 
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Twice last year the app was NOT accurate even after all passengers had boarded and doors closed!

I know this because I was monitoring the F cabin seats. Both times, I was NEXT one to be upgraded but I didn't clear. Once, there was ONE empty seat and the other time, there were TWO empty seats, in F.

Both times, I showed the purser the app where I was on the upgrade list and both times, I was allowed to move up

The app showed ALL F seats taken and that all F passengers had CHECKED-IN.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 1:48 pm
  #146  
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Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post
Complaining here about you giving up your seat and then complaining about it to UA? Horrible would be an extreme term to use. It is however puzzling.

If you have no expectation of anything in return, then why did you make an enquiry of UA?
OP here. Like I said before, I'm just posting here to share an amusing story, and perhaps to see what other fellow travelers have seen before.

As for emailing UA, while I don't mind giving up my F seat to the other passenger, UA should not have let this happen in the first place. I was under the impression (from what the FA was saying, and also because there's no way she could have sneaked by me in group 1/GS without me noticing) that she was helped onto the plane by UA ground staff (outsourced to American Eagle or whatever they're calling themselves nowadays). It seems logical that they should have seated her in the right seat to begin with.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 2:06 pm
  #147  
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As someone who pays for domestic F on every flight I would only swap for an economy seat under extremely rare circumstances. This not even being close to one of them. And in those instances I would confirm that I was entitled to (at minimum) a fare difference refund.

I wonder if your reaction would have been different if you had paid cash money for the F seat rather than been upgraded to it?
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Old Jan 23, 14, 2:09 pm
  #148  
 
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
As someone who pays for domestic F on every flight I would only swap for an economy seat under extremely rare circumstances. This not even being close to one of them. And in those instances I would confirm that I was entitled to (at minimum) a fare difference refund.

I wonder if your reaction would have been different if you had paid cash money for the F seat rather than been upgraded to it?
To be fair to the OP he seemed to be most concerned about not causing a delay and missing a connection to mainline F. In those circumstances might you have concluded that discretion was the better part of valour and slummed it in Y?
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Old Jan 23, 14, 2:15 pm
  #149  
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Originally Posted by alex_b View Post
To be fair to the OP he seemed to be most concerned about not causing a delay and missing a connection to mainline F. In those circumstances might you have concluded that discretion was the better part of valour and slummed it in Y?
Under these circumstance I would not even consider that for a moment. Not even a split second.

Who in their right mind would pay an F fare and sit in Y except under extraordinary circumstances and with compensation?

That's like paying for a steak and being served a hot dog. Because some crazy lady wants your steak!?!?!? Simply unacceptable. Period.

As for the delay: that's being caused by the lady, not by me. Again, EOS.

Now I am ALL for getting good karma for switching around in a cabin of service. But voluntarily downgrading myself after paying for F? No. Just...no.
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Old Jan 23, 14, 2:20 pm
  #150  
 
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Under these circumstance I would not even consider that for a moment. Not even a split second.

Who in their right mind would pay an F fare and sit in Y except under extraordinary circumstances and with compensation?

That's like paying for a steak and being served a hot dog. Simply unacceptable. Period.
So you'd rather miss a 6 hour flight (and potentially an overnight delay) rather than put up with an hour in Y? Whatever the rights or wrongs (and I agree the OP was wronged) that seems to me rather like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

In addition as the OP was upgraded if they missed their connection they may not have been in F for the transcon flight either.
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