F Seat Poaching

Old Aug 10, 16, 10:41 am
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F Seat Poaching

This type of behavior has been discussed in the past, most notably in this long thread from 2014:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ssenger-5.html

Yesterday morning, I flew from PBI to EWR and pre-boarding began about 10 minutes early so that the staff could accommodate 10 passengers in wheelchairs. After boarding several families with children (all aged well over two), boarding resumed with group 1 - there were no military or GS.

Entering the aircraft, one of the first class passengers discovered that someone had helped himself to his assigned seat (1E). When confronted that it was not his seat, the poacher refused to move, adamantly insisting that he had been instructed by UA to take this specific seat. A flight attendant inspected his boarding pass and told the seat poacher that his seat assignment was in row 35. Even with that, the passenger refused to move, citing a litany of reasons why he should sit in 1E. Eventually, he did finally move back, but only after another 10 minutes of cajoling and argument.

All in all, the incident was handled well by the staff but it's unfortunate that this occurred. It's not even the first time that I have encountered such an incident this year.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 10:50 am
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How long should the FAs wait before threatening to have person removed by security? I.e., you can sit in row 35 or you can sit in the terminal?
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Old Aug 10, 16, 10:58 am
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In a sick way I've always been astounded at the cojones on some folks who try to pull this off. My favorite was a few years ago IAH-LHR in J I found an elderly woman who pretended to not speak English to get me to take her middle E- seat for my J seat. Yeah no thanks. After it was clear she wasn't going to go easily I had the FA resolve it quickly

Last edited by goalie; Aug 10, 16 at 9:30 pm Reason: Fixed typo to prevent off topic responses
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Old Aug 10, 16, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
How long should the FAs wait before threatening to have person removed by security? I.e., you can sit in row 35 or you can sit in the terminal?
2 minutes, tops. A person with a plan consisting of "just sit there and pretend it's yours" is obviously not a security threat, but FAs have better things to do.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 11:05 am
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Fortunately the crew handled it well.

Last edited by goalie; Aug 10, 16 at 2:48 pm Reason: off topic comments removed
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Old Aug 10, 16, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by LarryU View Post
This type of behavior has been discussed in the past, most notably in this long thread from 2014:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ssenger-5.html

All in all, the incident was handled well by the staff but it's unfortunate that this occurred. It's not even the first time that I have encountered such an incident this year.
Had a lady on my medium haul OS flight this past week insist she had seat 2E, which in EU business class is a blocked middle seat. Two guys were already in 2D and 2F, and she sat there for about five mins trying to pry the little table away to get that seat. Kept on insisting it was her seat, and even that the guys should move from their seat. F/A finally had argued enough to let her look at her BP and moved her back to her real seat, 20E ;-)

Last edited by goalie; Aug 10, 16 at 2:50 pm Reason: response to deleted post removed
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Old Aug 10, 16, 12:04 pm
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FA's are trained to deal with these issues to keep the confrontation minimal but also with an eye on the clock. Needless to say, an unruly or abusive pax loses the option of whether he gets to move to his assigned seat, but that's usually not the case.

Last edited by goalie; Aug 10, 16 at 2:51 pm Reason: Off topic comments removed
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Old Aug 10, 16, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Boo_Radley View Post
2 minutes, tops. A person with a plan consisting of "just sit there and pretend it's yours" is obviously not a security threat, but FAs have better things to do.
Yeah - wouldn't want them arrested as a security threat, just removed from the plane. Kind of like how people who appear to be trying to shoplift but don't actually complete the crime are asked by security to leave the store and not come back.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 12:48 pm
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I had a non-rev attempt to poach my seat yesterday on UA1150. The FA knew damn well what was going on and watched the confrontation nervously like a kid who had his hand in the cookie jar. The non-rev's companion, another non-rev FA, said nothing so as not to incriminate herself and sat quietly as I took my rightful seat.

We can hardly expect FA's to help pax with poachers when they poach seats themselves.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Proudelitist View Post
I had a non-rev attempt to poach my seat yesterday on UA1150. The FA knew damn well what was going on and watched the confrontation nervously like a kid who had his hand in the cookie jar. The non-rev's companion, another non-rev FA, said nothing so as not to incriminate herself and sat quietly as I took my rightful seat.

We can hardly expect FA's to help pax with poachers when they poach seats themselves.
How exactly was the poaching attempted? I assume that you had a BP for the seat. FC or coach?
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Old Aug 10, 16, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
How exactly was the poaching attempted? I assume that you had a BP for the seat. FC or coach?
It was an E+ seat. I had the BP for it.

When I boarded, I found a man in my seat, 11D. That's a seat poach. Period.

He stated he wanted to sit next to his girlfriend. I requested a BP, and he showed me one for 8E, a middle in E+. He also stated he had already switched with 8D (another non-rev violation), so I would get the aisle despite what his BP said. When he showed it to me it was folded so I could not see the Non-Rev code printed on it..if it was there. I declined, and he vacated my seat.


During the flight, his girlfriend put her UA badge on the tray table, allowing me to see the name. She struck up a conversation with the pax in 11F. She said she was a UA FA based in SAN, and her BF, the poacher, worked for WN, also at SAN. WN staff can non-rev on UA in which case he is responsible. He could also have been on a buddy pass with her, in which case she is the responsible party. There is a remote possibility he was fare, but seeing as they ended up with middles in E+ at the last minute I seriously doubt it.

I submitted a complaint to UA, I am hoping they will find out for sure.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
FA's are trained to deal with these issues to keep the confrontation minimal but also with an eye on the clock. Needless to say, an unruly or abusive pax loses the option of whether he gets to move to his assigned seat, but that's usually not the case.
I've always thought the best (maybe only legal) way to deal with this is to announce as policy if you preboard first(in order to give you extra time to get settled without other pax being held up behind you), you deplane last (in order to give you extra time to get ready to deplane without other pax being held up behind you).

Last edited by goalie; Aug 10, 16 at 3:06 pm Reason: edited quoted post to match edited original post
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Old Aug 10, 16, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
I've always thought the best (maybe only legal) way to deal with this is to announce as policy if you preboard first(in order to give you extra time to get settled without other pax being held up behind you), you deplane last (in order to give you extra time to get ready to deplane without other pax being held up behind you).
Terrific idea. Quite fair as well.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 3:37 pm
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Also had a uniformed non-rev poach a bulkhead window seat on an early morning EWR-BOS, forcing me to her assigned middle seat. She pretended she was sleeping, and it's a 45 minute flight - i didn't push the issue.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Proudelitist View Post
It was an E+ seat. I had the BP for it.

When I boarded, I found a man in my seat, 11D. That's a seat poach. Period.

He stated he wanted to sit next to his girlfriend. I requested a BP, and he showed me one for 8E, a middle in E+. He also stated he had already switched with 8D (another non-rev violation), so I would get the aisle despite what his BP said. When he showed it to me it was folded so I could not see the Non-Rev code printed on it..if it was there. I declined, and he vacated my seat.


During the flight, his girlfriend put her UA badge on the tray table, allowing me to see the name. She struck up a conversation with the pax in 11F. She said she was a UA FA based in SAN, and her BF, the poacher, worked for WN, also at SAN. WN staff can non-rev on UA in which case he is responsible. He could also have been on a buddy pass with her, in which case she is the responsible party. There is a remote possibility he was fare, but seeing as they ended up with middles in E+ at the last minute I seriously doubt it.

I submitted a complaint to UA, I am hoping they will find out for sure.
Bit harsh to submit the complaint IMO. they moved when you said you wouldn't switch and he had a 'better' seat for you
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