Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Rude FA tries to get Captain to deplane me for asking to make space for my carry-on

Rude FA tries to get Captain to deplane me for asking to make space for my carry-on

Old Sep 21, 18, 8:33 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1K + 1MM; HHonors Gold; Marriott Gold
Posts: 724
Rude FA tries to get Captain to deplane me for asking to make space for my carry-on

When I boarded UA6150 yesterday, all the first class overhead bins were closed. I was in 2C. I asked the flight attendant if they were full. He said yes. I proceeded to open the bin anyways to see if my small carry-on could be fitted in by adjusting bags. I saw a small backpack and asked the FA if he could ask a passenger to place it under the seat in front of them as is announced on United flights. This made the FA very upset. He started speaking in a vey loud voice that he could not do that as it would take away leg room from the passenger and make them uncomfortable. I said that this was United policy to put small bags under the seat, and that way I could get my bag in (I never personally touched the backpack - I would never touch someone else's bag). He got even more upset and started repeatedly saying very loudly 'what do you want me to do, the bins are full'. I placed my bag in economy and came sat at my seat. After a few minutes, the FA had stopped the boarding and has brought the captain to my seat. He told the captain that I was being disruptive and was escalating the situation and needed to be removed from the flight. Fortunately for me a passenger sitting behind me stepped in and said that the FA was the one abusing me and I had not even spoken a word since he became upset and started screaming at me. The Captain apologized, said there must have been some miscommunication and left. The FA then suddenly moved the backpack and made space for my bag, which he should have done in the 1st place.

I got to stay on the flight because of a helpful passenger. The Captain may have had no option but to deplane me on the false word of the FA that I was disrupting the flight.

This is unacceptable behavior and as a long term UA customer, I am shocked to see such lack of respect and abusive behavior one hears of, in person. I have filed a complaint with the ground supervisor at the destination airport and on united.com (awaiting response). Not really sure how to far to push this. I am thinking of writing a blog post about this on my blog on BoardingArea and even going to the press. I would have let the verbal abuse go, but asking the captain to remove me was crossing the line.
sharmaintl is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 8:39 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,161
I rarely find that arguing a point with a service provider gets me what I want.

That said, from your description, it seems this FA could do with some retraining. I would think your writing in as GS (per your profile) would be enough to get someone to pay attention to it.
fumje is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 8:41 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: West
Programs: UA MP
Posts: 211
Unacceptable behavior by FA. You need to write in, this FA needs to be retrained. From what it sounds like, the FA was having a bad day and a simple request tipped him off, nonetheless, not an excuse to remove a pax.
Silver Fox likes this.
erickliu is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 8:46 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1K & 2MM, MR Titanium
Posts: 184
Originally Posted by sharmaintl View Post
When I boarded UA6150 yesterday, all the first class overhead bins were closed. I was in 2C. I asked the flight attendant if they were full. He said yes. I proceeded to open the bin anyways to see if my small carry-on could be fitted in by adjusting bags. I saw a small backpack and asked the FA if he could ask a passenger to place it under the seat in front of them as is announced on United flights. This made the FA very upset. He started speaking in a vey loud voice that he could not do that as it would take away leg room from the passenger and make them uncomfortable. I said that this was United policy to put small bags under the seat, and that way I could get my bag in (I never personally touched the backpack - I would never touch someone else's bag). He got even more upset and started repeatedly saying very loudly 'what do you want me to do, the bins are full'. I placed my bag in economy and came sat at my seat. After a few minutes, the FA had stopped the boarding and has brought the captain to my seat. He told the captain that I was being disruptive and was escalating the situation and needed to be removed from the flight. Fortunately for me a passenger sitting behind me stepped in and said that the FA was the one abusing me and I had not even spoken a word since he became upset and started screaming at me. The Captain apologized, said there must have been some miscommunication and left. The FA then suddenly moved the backpack and made space for my bag, which he should have done in the 1st place.

I got to stay on the flight because of a helpful passenger. The Captain may have had no option but to deplane me on the false word of the FA that I was disrupting the flight.

This is unacceptable behavior and as a long term UA customer, I am shocked to see such lack of respect and abusive behavior one hears of, in person. I have filed a complaint with the ground supervisor at the destination airport and on united.com (awaiting response). Not really sure how to far to push this. I am thinking of writing a blog post about this on my blog on BoardingArea and even going to the press. I would have let the verbal abuse go, but asking the captain to remove me was crossing the line.
I had an abusive FA on a flight a week ago that the purser acknowledged, but did not seem willing to do anything about. Worst experience on UA in over 20 years of flying. I tried unsuccessfully to find out why that FA chose me to attack and it made the flight miserable. I wrote 1KVoice and received a response that said they found the experience I had disturbing but look forward to welcoming me back on a UA flight soon, very dismissive. I am avoiding UA all I can until I feel comfortable.stepping back on board a UA flight. I am used to the wide inconsistency in FA behavior but this went beyond anything I had ever experienced. So the OP has my sympathy.
lotemblizej is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 8:50 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,161
Ancillary thoughts: 6150 is served by UAX E175. UAX tends to have 'less polished' attendants — sometimes that's fine, and they're prone to more amusing banter, etc., but sometimes they aren't yet up with the finer points of service. Additionally, E175 bins, which although adequately sized for rollaboards, are not capacious enough for mainline-style carrying on, especially in F; if you're not first aboard, you may have trouble finding space. When I think an overhead can be rearranged to accommodate additional bags, I ask the other passengers rather than the FA and usually receive no argument.

Again, not questioning that you received bad service, but these are things I keep in mind to make my own travel smoother.
COSPILOT and Dublin_rfk like this.
fumje is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 8:51 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 2,217
Kudos to your fellow pax for stepping up and speaking up about the truth of the situation.

Sorry you had that experience. I have been seeing more instances where overhead space is limited in FC. Often due to the bag with the blankets and the odd carry on with a *Crew* tag.

If you do decide to blog, please emphasize about the need for pax to speak up when they see such situations, and that should go both ways, i.e. when pax are rude to FAs.
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 8:53 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: ORD-LAS
Programs: UA MM 1K, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium Elite
Posts: 4,369
So the passenger with the small backpack should move the bag to accommodate you? Did you know if the passenger whth the backpack had another bag? I travel with a small backpack only and itís going above my seat!
LASUA1K is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 8:58 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Australia
Programs: UA 1K 2MM, IC Plat Ambassador, Accor Plat
Posts: 690
Originally Posted by sharmaintl View Post
Fortunately for me a passenger sitting behind me stepped in and said that the FA was the one abusing me and I had not even spoken a word since he became upset and started screaming at me. The Captain apologized, said there must have been some miscommunication and left. .
You're fortunate you had someone with some cajones (man OR woman) who spoke up on your behalf. On the rare occasion I need to have some kind of discussion with an FA about a problem, I turn my iPhone on to audio "record" and leave it in my pocket to protect myself. Advice I give to everyone these days.

Last edited by jimmc66; Sep 21, 18 at 3:57 pm
jimmc66 is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 9:09 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,318
Originally Posted by LASUA1K View Post
So the passenger with the small backpack should move the bag to accommodate you? Did you know if the passenger whth the backpack had another bag? I travel with a small backpack only and itís going above my seat!
I keep my laptop bag in the overhead as I have another item under the seat - and find it incredibly rude when other passengers take it out or making a scene and start asking who's item it is as if their item is more important.
sdix, nikbruno, Miggles and 19 others like this.
HNLbasedFlyer is online now  
Old Sep 21, 18, 9:11 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1K + 1MM; HHonors Gold; Marriott Gold
Posts: 724
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Kudos to your fellow pax for stepping up and speaking up about the truth of the situation.

Sorry you had that experience. I have been seeing more instances where overhead space is limited in FC. Often due to the bag with the blankets and the odd carry on with a *Crew* tag.

If you do decide to blog, please emphasize about the need for pax to speak up when they see such situations, and that should go both ways, i.e. when pax are rude to FAs.
Great point. I would have been sitting in AUS had she not stepped up. I will take your advice and make the post on the importance of passengers speaking up when they see abusive FAs or other unacceptable behavior by even other passengers. Thanks for making the suggestion.

Originally Posted by LASUA1K View Post
So the passenger with the small backpack should move the bag to accommodate you? Did you know if the passenger whth the backpack had another bag? I travel with a small backpack only and itís going above my seat!
All I did was ask. This could have been a passenger in the bulkhead row with no seat to put under. I do not think at least asking was inappropriate. And I asked the FA for help to find out. And BTW, the pax did not have anything under the seat and the FA finally asked them if they could put it there when the captain decided not to deplane me. Either way, asking (without making a scene) if bags could be re-arranged in a bin if not an offense one should be deplaned for.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 21, 18 at 9:26 am Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
sharmaintl is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 9:18 am
  #11  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 86,977
Originally Posted by erickliu View Post
Unacceptable behavior by FA. You need to write in, this FA needs to be retrained. From what it sounds like, the FA was having a bad day and a simple request tipped him off, nonetheless, not an excuse to remove a pax.
IMO the FA needs to be fired, not retrained. Having a bad day is one thing--and it should never be evident to customers, which could be a training issue--but lying and attempting to get the passenger kicked off the flight is beyond unacceptable behavior and seems to indicate attitudes/problems/character that cannot be removed by training.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 9:18 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1K + 1MM; HHonors Gold; Marriott Gold
Posts: 724
Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Ancillary thoughts: 6150 is served by UAX E175. UAX tends to have 'less polished' attendants ó sometimes that's fine, and they're prone to more amusing banter, etc., but sometimes they aren't yet up with the finer points of service. Additionally, E175 bins, which although adequately sized for rollaboards, are not capacious enough for mainline-style carrying on, especially in F; if you're not first aboard, you may have trouble finding space. When I think an overhead can be rearranged to accommodate additional bags, I ask the other passengers rather than the FA and usually receive no argument.

Again, not questioning that you received bad service, but these are things I keep in mind to make my own travel smoother.
I personally see no difference in the professionalism of UX vs mainline UA. They both have people all over the spectrum. The UX FAs do tend to be less experienced and hence 'unpolished' but usually they are usually less stuck up
notquiteaff likes this.
sharmaintl is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 9:20 am
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1MM; AS 75K; Marriott Ambassador; Hilton Diamond (Aspire); Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 43,450
Originally Posted by sharmaintl View Post
asking (without making a scene) if bags could be re-arranged in a bin if not an offense one should be deplaned for.
True enough.

The issue would be the amount of arguing by the passenger once the FA has declined. It's generally best to avoid confrontations with flight crew. I'm not defending the FA here, but there are places it's fine to assert your rights with cs personnel, and places it's not. Onboard an aircraft being a "not."
Kacee is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 9:27 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: United Premier 1K 1MM; AA Plat; Hyatt Discoverist; Marriott Titanium; Hertz Pres Cirlce
Posts: 2,334
Originally Posted by sharmaintl View Post
When I boarded UA6150 yesterday, all the first class overhead bins were closed. I was in 2C. I asked the flight attendant if they were full. He said yes. I proceeded to open the bin anyways to see if my small carry-on could be fitted in by adjusting bags. I saw a small backpack and asked the FA if he could ask a passenger to place it under the seat in front of them as is announced on United flights. This made the FA very upset. He started speaking in a vey loud voice that he could not do that as it would take away leg room from the passenger and make them uncomfortable. I said that this was United policy to put small bags under the seat, and that way I could get my bag in (I never personally touched the backpack - I would never touch someone else's bag). He got even more upset and started repeatedly saying very loudly 'what do you want me to do, the bins are full'. I placed my bag in economy and came sat at my seat. After a few minutes, the FA had stopped the boarding and has brought the captain to my seat. He told the captain that I was being disruptive and was escalating the situation and needed to be removed from the flight. Fortunately for me a passenger sitting behind me stepped in and said that the FA was the one abusing me and I had not even spoken a word since he became upset and started screaming at me. The Captain apologized, said there must have been some miscommunication and left. The FA then suddenly moved the backpack and made space for my bag, which he should have done in the 1st place.

I got to stay on the flight because of a helpful passenger. The Captain may have had no option but to deplane me on the false word of the FA that I was disrupting the flight.

This is unacceptable behavior and as a long term UA customer, I am shocked to see such lack of respect and abusive behavior one hears of, in person. I have filed a complaint with the ground supervisor at the destination airport and on united.com (awaiting response). Not really sure how to far to push this. I am thinking of writing a blog post about this on my blog on BoardingArea and even going to the press. I would have let the verbal abuse go, but asking the captain to remove me was crossing the line.
Sorry to hear about that experience. Sounds like this was a UA Express flight and those FAs can really stink. I would write to UA about the situation so they can take appropriate action against the FA.

However, the pilot is not required to do anything. They are the ultimate decisionmaker on the flight. They can hear out the FA but they don't have to act on what the FA says. Good pilots will truly assess the situation for themselves.
mh3265a is offline  
Old Sep 21, 18, 9:29 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,161
Originally Posted by sharmaintl View Post
I personally see no difference in the professionalism of UX vs mainline UA. They both have people all over the spectrum. The UX FAs do tend to be less experienced and hence 'unpolished' but usually they are usually less stuck up
Certainly I wouldn't say / didn't intend to imply there's generally lower professionalism. What I mean is that in my impression when it's good, sometimes it's better than mainline, but when it's bad, it can be much worse. 'Larger tails' if you will.
fumje is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: