Attempt to force seat change in First

Old Mar 12, 17, 6:33 pm
  #1  
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Attempt to force seat change in First

I recently booked an award ticket for my wife to travel in First on United 916 from Auckland to San Francisco. This is a three class 777-200, and we picked seat 1K for her for privacy and comfort. That showed on her reservation and her boarding pass printed out when she checked in, but when she went to board the plane her boarding pass was rejected and they told her she had been changed to another seat. She pushed back on this with the gate crew, saying she wanted her original seat, so they let her board with both boarding passes to sort it out with the cabin crew.

The cabin crew first said that 1K had been reserved as a crew rest seat, but my wife pointed out that she had reserved the seat well in advance and had the boarding pass to prove it. They then claimed that the entertainment system was broken, but she said she didn't care since she had her own tablet to watch. They still kept pushing, and the pilot even came out and tried to convince her to change to another seat, but the one they wanted to give her was an inside seat next to another passenger so she kept up her claim saying that 1K was what I'd picked out for her and she definitely wanted to stay in it. They did eventually relent and let her have the seat, and she didn't experience any problems with it.

Later she saw one of the flight crew use the seat they'd been trying to get her to switch to, while another flight crew used 1A (which had been reserved in advance). So as far as we could see this was all about the flight crew wanting the two best seats in First for themselves, and trying to bump a passenger out of the seat they'd reserved in order to do that.

Is this something anyone else has experienced? To have that much pressure applied to try to free up a particular seat seems over the top to me.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 6:36 pm
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if there was nothing wrong with the seat and the entertainment system ... I would report it. Sounds fishy to me. If the entertainment system was actually broken ... then I think this is legit.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 7:26 pm
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I thought all of the pmUA 777s have had the crew rest compartment installed upstairs mid-deck? How many are still set up with the cabin crew rest in E+ and the pilots still taking over F seats?

To the OP, it used to be standard for the crew to snag a first row seat for their rest. Seeing as there are only two rows of F on the 777, and 8 seats total, they do have limited options if it is a bird that doesn't have the crew rest compartment.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 7:27 pm
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The usual hustle, crew before pax.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 7:35 pm
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Would anyone even suggest that UA would lie to a pax, or that UA would ever put an employee before a pax? Glad you held out and found out the truth since the crew was not telling you the truth.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 10:07 pm
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Hope you took down their names in your report
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Old Mar 12, 17, 10:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying Kiwi View Post
I recently booked an award ticket for my wife to travel in First on United 916 from Auckland to San Francisco. This is a three class 777-200, and we picked seat 1K for her for privacy and comfort. That showed on her reservation and her boarding pass printed out when she checked in, but when she went to board the plane her boarding pass was rejected and they told her she had been changed to another seat. She pushed back on this with the gate crew, saying she wanted her original seat, so they let her board with both boarding passes to sort it out with the cabin crew.

The cabin crew first said that 1K had been reserved as a crew rest seat, but my wife pointed out that she had reserved the seat well in advance and had the boarding pass to prove it. They then claimed that the entertainment system was broken, but she said she didn't care since she had her own tablet to watch. They still kept pushing, and the pilot even came out and tried to convince her to change to another seat, but the one they wanted to give her was an inside seat next to another passenger so she kept up her claim saying that 1K was what I'd picked out for her and she definitely wanted to stay in it. They did eventually relent and let her have the seat, and she didn't experience any problems with it.

Later she saw one of the flight crew use the seat they'd been trying to get her to switch to, while another flight crew used 1A (which had been reserved in advance). So as far as we could see this was all about the flight crew wanting the two best seats in First for themselves, and trying to bump a passenger out of the seat they'd reserved in order to do that.

Is this something anyone else has experienced? To have that much pressure applied to try to free up a particular seat seems over the top to me.
LOL. I always assume that whenever I am moved, it is for the benefit of a UA employee.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by catocony View Post
I thought all of the pmUA 777s have had the crew rest compartment installed upstairs mid-deck? How many are still set up with the cabin crew rest in E+ and the pilots still taking over F seats?
As far as I know, and I could be wrong, but I believe all pmUA 777s, with the exception of the Hawaiian and domestic 777s have pilot bunks right behind the cockpit. This was achieved by removing the port side lav from F--leaving only one lav instead of 2 up front now. This allowed a shift in the reserved seat from a GF seat (was always 2A or 2K) to a lone, single business class seat (6B)--the theory is, the pilots now have a place to sleep (the bunks) and a place to relax upright or eat, if they so choose (the J class seat). For me, when I am stuck on the 3-class 777, I invariably select 6A now--and end up with an empty seat next to me for 1/2 the flight or more--often no one sits in that seat the entire time.

To the OP...Something is fishy here. Not saying it warrants a report, but I give your wife credit for sticking to her guns and not getting bullied out of a seat that was rightfully hers (the BS of the captain is the all-supreme commander and designated "god of the aircraft" notwithstanding). That being said, I'm a fan of most pilots--Denny Flanagan would have never pulled anything like this--that much I know!
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Old Mar 12, 17, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by MBS MillionMiler View Post
This allowed a shift in the reserved seat from a GF seat (was always 2A or 2K) to a lone, single business class seat (6B)--the theory is, the pilots now have a place to sleep (the bunks) and a place to relax upright or eat, if they so choose (the J class seat).
My knowledge is limited, but based on what I was told by an FA, pilot can then pay to upgrade to an open GF seat (in which case 6B will stay empty the entire flight).

But I'm not aware of any right to then bump a pax from an assigned seat. It would take an awful lot for me to complain specifically about crew, but this incident sounds pretty outrageous.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 11:15 pm
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I sat next to a reserve pilot once on a 767 EWR-HNL. He said that the flight only needed X number of pilots but because one of them is training, then needed an extra and that was him. That is why he was sitting next to me versus in the back seat. He also explained that there are different "levels" of crew rest seats which I had trouble understanding/remembering. So maybe they had extra crew and needed an extra rest seat??
I have read reports of pax getting bumped out of a seat because an extra crew rest seat was needed, however I've also read about pax getting their seat back after complaining. It seems like the seat is chosen at random and doesnt have to be the first seat.
The only time I've seen a crew member bump a passenger out of a seat that had to be in front was when the FA's jump seat belt buckle was broken so she had to take a F seat in the first row. Even then, she said that it could be any seat in the first row.
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Old Mar 13, 17, 12:11 am
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The only way this stuff gets stopped-or at least discouraged-is to turn it in with enough details (like the parade of changing reasons) to arouse suspicion.

A UA crew switched meals on us on a TATL flight in Business, and I wrote a report in the harshest civilized terms I could. We got a $200 voucher each, and more importantly the incident hopefully made it to someone's personal file.
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Old Mar 13, 17, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by Flying Kiwi View Post
They then claimed that the entertainment system was broken, but she said she didn't care since she had her own tablet to watch..
Was the entertainment system broken?
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Old Mar 13, 17, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr View Post
Would anyone even suggest that UA would lie to a pax, or that UA would ever put an employee before a pax?
Kidding, right?
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Old Mar 13, 17, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Kidding, right?
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Old Mar 13, 17, 7:47 am
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A few years ago, I was returning from LHR to ORD in F. When I checked in at the airport, I was given 1K (767) that I had reserved.

When I was in the F lounge, I was paged to the desk and told that my seat was now inop and given another seat. I asked them what was wrong with it. They didn't know the answer, so I asked them to call and find out. They did call and said that one of the compartments wouldn't open and close properly. WHAT!?

I told them that didn't matter and I'll take the seat. They said that now someone else had taken the seat (I'm assuming a non-rev). I told them that if I didn't get that seat back, I would refund the ticket and fly on another carrier (and those of you who know me know I don't bluff).

Lo and behold, I was given that seat back.

When I got on the plane, there was a piece of tape on the compartment door which is directly to the left of your arm in 1K.

Shenanigans? I absolutely think so.
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