F seat poached by disabled passenger

Old Jan 21, 14, 10:36 am
  #76  
 
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I agree the OP should not be eligible for compensation. He chose to give up a FC seat voluntarily. But it's all relevant. Is the OP a frequent flyer in first class? If so than a few rows back on a short RJ flight isn't that big of a deal for him. Compared to what he thought the "backlash" could have been and missing a connection. I can honestly say I can't fault him for doing that. If he travels very frequently in F than to him it isn't worth the hassle.

I personally do not frequently travel in F. I fly about 3x a year one of those being business the other 2 lesiure. I have an airline credit card that earns me miles and I am not an "elite" or "preferred' member. Last year I treated myself to a first class award to las vegas. Just one way to save some miles but get the F experience. I never flew first class and was looking forward to the added "perks". If this situation happened to me on that flight I would not have given up my seat. I saved up miles all year to fly first class! If I were the OP I would've notified the FA/GAs that the person was in my seat, and the appear to not speak english and are disabled. I am willing to give up my seat and save anyone hassle ONLY if I get proper compensation for it. If I fault the OP for anything it's not asking for "compensation" on the spot. But again, heat of the moment I can understand why he didn't.

Last edited by tag1084; Jan 21, 14 at 10:41 am
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Old Jan 21, 14, 10:49 am
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Flew WN BS to LAS last year. Got A1. During boarding, guy who was not a pre-board kept crowding the GA ahead of the boarding line. Once the pre boarders we on, I held up my A1 pass to the GA. She checked line jumper guy's pass and sent him back to his A5 position. His attitude was that of nothing ventured / nothing gained.

He did not get the exit row aisle seat he was hoping for.

There are those who will try anything to get what they want knowing full well most people will avoid conflict.

Last edited by CKizer; Jan 21, 14 at 3:10 pm
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Old Jan 21, 14, 10:51 am
  #78  
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I think showing up at your seat and finding it already taken is just a bad way to start the trade negotiation.
It isn't a negotiation. UA gave me a BP for a given seat, and unless the person sitting in that seat has the same seat assignment, they move. If the FA and the pilot can't handle it, a CSR supervisor should be summoned.

Letting someone poach a seat simply emboldens future bad behavior, and I'm not going to facilitate it. If that means UA gets me the same or equivalent seat on that flight or another flight, fine.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 10:56 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by username View Post
And on the subject of language...a few months ago, a guy started his trade negotiation with me by asking me "do you speak English?" I was so speechless for a few seconds by his question, he assumed I did not and the negotiation ended there Sometimes you do have to use your foreign look to your advantage
Funny that you find that insulting - I think that's its polite (although you were there and I concede that of course he might just have been your typical bigot lol). I travel constantly and I would never assume that the person (especially on an airplane) I am going to speak with speaks english - so I always ask - before I attempt to slaughter and butcher the local native language...
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Old Jan 21, 14, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by dcpdxtrans View Post
+1. Definitely get RPU back. Also, FA needs to step in more forcefully. This is what they are trained for. Third, FA should have given you one of those slips where you put your FF # in & get a voucher. Once on a TCON back in the day before I traveled with a head lamp, I stood in the galley (since my OH light was out) for about 2.5 hr finishing a paper that was due on landing. I didn't ask. The FA just gave me the slip.
I'm not sure if I should get my RPU back in this case, since it did clear for the much longer TCON that I was connecting into. Besides, I'm already up an extra RPU this year due to getting a redeposit from weather-waivered free rebooking into A.

Do the UX flights load those skykits (or whatever they are called nowadays)? I was under the impression they are only on the mainlines.

Originally Posted by love_to_travel View Post
I would have taken a picture of the poacher in my seat. I wonder if that is legal.
Until UA points to the hidden clause in Hemispheres that prohibit talking pictures on their equipment, and throws you off the plane...

Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Because the FAs should have insisted the woman vacate his seat!

The OP should never have been put in that position by the non-confrontational FAs. They should have done their job. This was not a totally voluntary swap--he was pressured and his commentary suggests he did it simply to avoid a problem. What a horrible reason.

Agree?
That's a good point, I would have preferred if the FA took charge of the situation instead of deferring to me. I definitely feel pressured to make the swap. However, I would have, in all likelihood, done the same swap if the other passenger simply came up to me pre-boarding and asked nicely.

Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
And thanks for sharing the story.^

Like so many FT situations, we'll never know what was really going on with this passenger. It's possible that a GA or some other airline rep assisted her as far as the door, she said she would take it from there, and she was so unfamiliar with US airlines that she felt she could plop down anywhere. It's also quite possible, as many have suggested here, that she was pulling a scam (albeit perhaps one that really did involve her being uncomfortable and wearing a legitimate back brace). Or some combination of other possibilities.

Regardless, I think you handled it well under the circumstances: You were in a rush to make a connection, inclined to give the woman the benefit of the doubt, and on a regional aircraft for a fairly short flight. There's nothing wrong with acting on those factors as you did. But particularly because you did not want to risk any delays, it was in your own self-interest to not escalate the situation.

As to where to go from here: If you ended up sitting in the seat that the woman was supposed to be in, you recall the seat number, and provide a basic description of her, it might give you a bit of extra credibility in asking for some compensation from United. Hope you get it.
My initial read of the situation was that the other passenger was likely mobile, but was genuinely unfamiliar with the etiquette of flying in the US. I suspected she might be expecting a cultural norm where more deference is given to people in physical needs. In my various travels, I certainly have stepped into situations where I might have been perceived as pulling a similar scam on someone else, so I am inclined to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

I do have the assigned seat number of the poacher, and will be sending a note to 1kvoice. I'm not expecting any compensation, but if they offer any, I'll happily take it.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Jan 21, 14 at 12:19 pm Reason: merge
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Old Jan 21, 14, 11:56 am
  #81  
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The reason OP should get his RPU back is that the FAs did not do their jobs and insist the thief get out of his seat.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
That's probably the seat she told them she had. I'm sure she knew exactly what she was doing and is adept at taking advantage of people's good nature.
There is no way in heck that I would have allowed this to happen. It's wrong on so many levels. All it would have take is for OP to speak up and request the GA or pilot.

Originally Posted by jon0 View Post
About the only way you could get ahead was if you have one of those Known Crew Member badges issued by the FAA.
Or if you are federal law enforcement (FLEO) traveling with a weapon.

Last edited by DelrayChris; Jan 21, 14 at 12:14 pm
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Old Jan 21, 14, 12:20 pm
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The more I am reading and thinking about this the more I'm thinking that this is all the fault of the FAs. It's not the passengers responsiblity to police the aircraft and make sure ppl are in their correct seats. The FAs should've never put the OP in the position to make that decision on their own. I've seen FAs ask ppl if they mind switching from an aisle to a window etc to accomodate a family, but that is NOT the same as asking someone in first class if they mind sitting in coach. What a joke!!

I've actually been on flights where someone in the exit row doesn't wish to perform the duties and the FAs in charge won't pull replacements from "non preferred" seats b/c its' not fair to those who paid $$ for their caoch seats. The FAs in the OPs situation clearly dropped the ball.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 12:25 pm
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Do not take this post to be a blanket 'smear' on travelers from the subcontinent, it is not so intended.

That said, I have observed in recent years on EWR-BOM flights, an exponential growth of pax "requiring" wheel chairs. In the past, this
seemed to allow them early boarding, but on my last two flights, the GAs waited until the regular boarding was completed to do the wheel chair loads. Was this just a fluke? I don't know. Are some GAs at EWR a trifle cynical? Is the pope a Catholic?

The interesting thing (and maybe karma does come into this??) was that on arriving Mumbai, several of the pax who had required wheel chairs at EWR were now able to walk briskly down the long passageways to immigration and customs. Maybe there is a healing property afforded by travelling in a UA 777 for 15 hours...

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in the fog in Seattle
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Old Jan 21, 14, 12:28 pm
  #85  
 
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For a normal human soul, feeling guilty is what makes you human and separates you from others. I appreciate guilt at times, its my train on the tracks in life. Now with that said, I do not feel guilty when I am right.

She needed to be moved by UA and with 'strict' flying instructions in place these days, she should have been deemed a flight risk IMO. Any passenger who wants 'my seat' is suspicious, especially a preferred or F seat assignment.

Who knows what anyone's motives are when doing something like this. I would call out that this person is jeopardizing the other passengers and is acting suspiciously and put the issue back on her. Let UA/staff deal with this and hold your ground.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Flyer420 View Post
Do not take this post to be a blanket 'smear' on travelers from the subcontinent, it is not so intended.
I would add to your comment, but it would not be appropriate. However, +1,000 on your post.

If it looks, walks, and talks like a duck, then it's a duck.
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Old Jan 21, 14, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by ZZYZXROAD View Post
She needed to be moved by UA and with 'strict' flying instructions in place these days, she should have been deemed a flight risk IMO.
Dead on - Aneyone, regardless of age, disability, race, ethnicity etc who STEALS a seat that signficantly puts themself closer to the cockpit is extremely suspicious and should be handled accordingly.

Last edited by Xyzzy; Jan 21, 14 at 1:20 pm Reason: Fixed BB code
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Old Jan 21, 14, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by bmwe92fan View Post
Funny that you find that insulting - I think that's its polite (although you were there and I concede that of course he might just have been your typical bigot lol). I travel constantly and I would never assume that the person (especially on an airplane) I am going to speak with speaks english - so I always ask - before I attempt to slaughter and butcher the local native language...
The guy was European and the flight originated in IAH (to MSY), so maybe he thought the local native language was Texan or French
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Old Jan 21, 14, 1:59 pm
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
The reason OP should get his RPU back is that the FAs did not do their jobs and insist the thief get out of his seat.
Originally Posted by tag1084 View Post
The more I am reading and thinking about this the more I'm thinking that this is all the fault of the FAs. It's not the passengers responsiblity to police the aircraft and make sure ppl are in their correct seats. The FAs should've never put the OP in the position to make that decision on their own. I've seen FAs ask ppl if they mind switching from an aisle to a window etc to accomodate a family, but that is NOT the same as asking someone in first class if they mind sitting in coach. What a joke!!

I've actually been on flights where someone in the exit row doesn't wish to perform the duties and the FAs in charge won't pull replacements from "non preferred" seats b/c its' not fair to those who paid $$ for their caoch seats. The FAs in the OPs situation clearly dropped the ball.
I will bash Republic employees at any opportunity, when warranted. However, two FAs were working to move the poacher: one to clear the poacher out, the other to help the poacher move her stuff to the back. OP was in the vicinity of the poacher, and chose to allow her to engage him in conversation. He only had to be silent and let the FAs do their job. Instead he capitulated.

Contrary to what you write, OP does not assert that the FAs asked him to move to Y.

Last edited by mre5765; Jan 21, 14 at 2:37 pm
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Old Jan 21, 14, 2:24 pm
  #90  
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I commend OP as well and agree that he should be getting something from UA to go along with his good Karma.

A few years back I was in a similar situation, on a UAX flight I had selected a bulkhead seat. The passenger, in this case was blind and escorted onto the plane. For some reason or another the seat I was in was the best one for them, and the FA was ready with a new BP for me AND a sky-kit. I didn't even ask, nor would I have complained but there she was ready to thank me for moving. That's how it's done.
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