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

UA Seat Poaching Attempt Experiences [Consolidated]

UA Seat Poaching Attempt Experiences [Consolidated]

Old Dec 7, 2018, 11:21 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 5,065
UA Seat Poaching Attempt Experiences [Consolidated]

On my NRT flight earlier in the week, I was in row 9 as usual on the 77W, and I saw a very fashionably-dressed young man of about 35 walk confidently to 9L, without looking around surreptitiously or otherwise acting suspiciously, sit down and settle-in. Near the end of boarding, another pax walked-up, looked at the young guy and asked him if he was in the right seat. The young man immediately apologized and packed-up his things but asked the rightful occupant of the seat if he could leave his iPhone charging at the seat because there was no charger at his seat. The man, obviously an experienced J-Class flyer, asked the young guy if the charger was broken at his presumed J-Class seat, to which the young guy replied, "No, there is no charger at my seat". The rightful occupant then asked the young guy where he was seated and was incredulous when he replied, "Back there", pointing at the Y cabin.

All of this seemed surrealistic to me since I've seen nothing like this in many years, with FAs now checking the cabin loads closely, etc.
This prompts me to ask a few questions of the very experienced pool of flyers here:

1. Could this poach have possibly succeeded if the seat hadn't been taken?
2. Has anyone else seen any J poaching attempts recently?
3. Has anyone heard such a lame excuse before? I've had older, supposedly handicapped, people try to poach my seat before by begging for it when I confronted them about being in my seat, but I've never heard anything like this.

One of the oddest things about this is that the young guy had all the trappings of wealth; $1,500- designer sneakers, a $5,000- designer leather jacket, a Blancpain tourbillon watch, etc. So, from appearances, he could have afforded to buy a J ticket-Very strange.
Boraxo and leftysauce like this.
zombietooth is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 12:04 am
  #2  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,287
Originally Posted by zombietooth
....
1. Could this poach have possibly succeeded if the seat hadn't been taken?
Beleive the FAs have a cabin count. And in the premium cabin, they have the names of each passenger.

There are websites that promote these stunts - getting a premium cabin seat by tricks like this -- I think the success ratio is essentially zero,

Poaching E+,, that might be possible with such a stunt.
Originally Posted by zombietooth
.... One of the oddest things about this is that the young guy had all the trappings of wealth; $1,500- designer sneakers, a $5,000- designer leather jacket, a Blancpain tourbillon watch, etc. So, from appearances, he could have afforded to buy a J ticket-Very strange.
What's the chance those were knock-offs?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Dec 8, 2018 at 12:09 am
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 1:15 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton ♦ , Hyatt Carbonado, Wyndham ♦, Marriott PE, "Stinking Bum" elsewhere.
Posts: 5,065
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
What's the chance those were knock-offs?
That's the problem these days; counterfeits are ubiquitous. There would be no way to know without handling the goods.
zombietooth is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 2:01 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Something, IHG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis PC
Posts: 8,179
Originally Posted by zombietooth
1. Could this poach have possibly succeeded if the seat hadn't been taken?
Zero chance this was going to work on an international flight (or likely even a domestic one).

Poaching E+ from E is certainly possible and does happen, but with the level of service provided in J there's no chance a flight attendant isn't going to notice that a person isn't on their manifest and ask to see their ticket. "What you you like for dinner Mr... umm.. who are you?!?"

Do you know if the real 9L was an upgrade? It's possible the poacher had been watching the seat map (either at the gate or on their phone) and seen that 9L was free, only to have it given to an upgrade after they looked... Given it's 9L and thus one of the best seats on the plane I'd say that's unlikely, but possible.

Plus then there's the fact that all seats on 77W's have power, not just those in business...

Originally Posted by zombietooth
2. Has anyone else seen any J poaching attempts recently?
I saw one about 6 months ago on a domestic flight. Older lady who I guess normally flies Southwest walked onto the plane, saw an empty seat she obviously liked the look off, and took it. When the real passenger from 1B came along the flight attendant pointed out that her seat number was on her boarding pass, and that this wasn't row 30-something....
docbert is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 2:40 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 279
Who leaves there iPhone with a random person to charge?
NeedstoFly is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 3:01 am
  #6  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Programs: Hyatt Globalist | Jumpseat Platinum
Posts: 546
I've been conned into serving PDBs more often than I'd care to admit, though it's generally domestic F. I don't confirm names until the time I take meal orders, as the seatmap changes much too often during boarding and our apps don't refresh fast enough sometimes.

I did once have a "pilot's mistress" (her words, not mine) try to poach the crew rest seat on a 757 (4A? 5A?). That was a fun way to start an extended trip.
fezzington is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 4:43 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ORD
Programs: United Plat 2MM, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,727
Originally Posted by fezzington
I did once have a "pilot's mistress" (her words, not mine) try to poach the crew rest seat
How does this work? Do you have to be the mistress of the pilot flying the plane? Or does it work for any pilot's mistress?
Miles Ahead is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 5:41 am
  #8  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 50,262
There are hundreds of tries at this.

Just because someone happens to be well-dressed doesn't make them honest !
Often1 is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 7:01 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K MM SK EBG LATAM BL
Posts: 23,391
Originally Posted by zombietooth
<br />One of the oddest things about this is that the young guy had all the trappings of wealth; $1,500- designer sneakers, a $5,000- designer leather jacket, a Blancpain tourbillon watch, etc. So, from appearances, he could have afforded to buy a J ticket-Very strange.
Was it this d-bag?
https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/terrible-person-reveals-how-he-hacks-the-travel-industry.html

Also, on behalf of all thirty-somethings, thanks for considering us young

Last edited by rankourabu; Dec 8, 2018 at 7:31 am
rankourabu is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 7:59 am
  #10  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.7MM UC | AA CK 0.7MM AC | Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist | Hertz PC
Posts: 1,059
Originally Posted by fezzington
I've been conned into serving PDBs more often than I'd care to admit, though it's generally domestic F. I don't confirm names until the time I take meal orders, as the seatmap changes much too often during boarding and our apps don't refresh fast enough sometimes.

I did once have a "pilot's mistress" (her words, not mine) try to poach the crew rest seat on a 757 (4A? 5A?). That was a fun way to start an extended trip.
Saw this once on an LIH > LAX flight as some 20-something (who looked pretty high) sat down in 3A and successfully had a beer before he was found out.
LIH is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 8:15 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K 1.9MM
Posts: 6,546
Originally Posted by rankourabu
Was it this d-bag?
https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/terrible-person-reveals-how-he-hacks-the-travel-industry.html

Also, on behalf of all thirty-somethings, thanks for considering us young
Apparently not old enough to get the link right, though!

Corrected link
chavala likes this.
narvik is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 8:59 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: New York City, United States.
Posts: 2,639
Originally Posted by NeedstoFly
Who leaves there iPhone with a random person to charge?
Where is the legitimate occupant seat going to go with the phone ?
writetorich is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 9:26 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: IAD, DEL, IXC, BWI, DCA, YYZ
Programs: UA 1K, Amex Plat, UA Club Card, National EE, Global Entry, TSA Pre✓
Posts: 275
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
What's the chance those were knock-offs?
This is so common! I knew a fella once who bought knock-offs in Dubai and claimed to have pulled off this J-seat stunt with Emirates a few times. Ironically, he was late on rent and asked me for borrowing car, watch, sunglasses. Thankfully, that was my first and only such interaction in life. There are plenty of pretending-to-be-wealthy gents and ladies in circulation! In 2009-2011 timeframe when I was scouting rental properties, me and my realtor often saw common theme among all short sales. About 70%+ houses we saw had a BMW or Audi parked in garage. Those images are so etched in my mind that whenever I see a BMW or Audi my subconscious thought is that person might be in a risky financial situation (obviously, that's not true)!
hokiebuy is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 9:31 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 102
Originally Posted by zombietooth

1. Could this poach have possibly succeeded if the seat hadn't been taken?
I had a coworker fly from MEX-SFO in first in a seat that was not his. He was booked MEX-IAH, boarded the wrong flight because he was an idiot and the FA didn't say anything despite being in a seat that was not his (or booked). He even went through a secondary screening at the gate that they did to all flights to the US (not sure if they still do this, but they were when this happened about 4-5 years ago). He said first was about half full. It wasn't until he heard the announcement of the flight time soon after takeoff that he realized something was not right as the flight to Houston isn't that long. So is it possible someone could sit in first when they shouldn't? Apparently so...
jbone9877 is offline  
Old Dec 8, 2018, 10:28 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: MFR
Programs: UA 1K 1.9MM, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,907
There are all sorts of stories about ways people try to sneak into FC. Apparently many people try hiding under a blanket as if it's a cloak of invisibility. I would love to see someone try that one day!
chavala is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.