Strange seat change request from purser

Old Sep 6, 19, 12:18 am
  #1  
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Strange seat change request from purser

I'm flying SFO-FRA. I'm gold and my mileage upgrade cleared at the gate (from premium economy) so I got one of the last couple of polaris seats.

About an hour into the flight someone (I think the purser) comes up to me and says that her app isn't updated and asked to see my BP. I mentioned that I was upgraded at the gate, and showed her my new BP. Then she asked if I could do her a favor, so I asked her what it was.

She told me that there was a GS passenger who had paid $12k for his ticket and his seat would not recline all the way, and asked if I'd switch with him. It was clearly a request (not an instruction) and very polite. I just said "I'd rather not". She didn't push the issue so I never had the chance to explain my reasoning to her, but, basically:

1. My upgrade was not free, and, more importantly,
2. It's not like he paid me $12k.

Does anyone else think that this is a strange request? Is anyone really going to volunteer to move into a broken seat (in exchange for nothing -- no compensation was offered) just because the guy in the seat has high status and bought a full fare ticket? I hope UA compensates him well, but that has to come out of their pocket, not mine.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:21 am
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It would be proper to ask a NONREV to switch seats with a (any, regardless of status or ticket price) revenue passenger in a broken seat and the nonrev is obligated to move without argument.

Unless the purser thought that you were NRSA (and your boarding passs would show otherwise, as would the passenger manifest), the request was improper.

BTW, that same manifest would show GS status, but it sounds like the purser believed what the GS said about ticket price. That information is not on the manifest, nor should cabin crew know or consider such information. For all we know, the GS was traveling on a saver award ticket or had upgraded with SWU/miles/money from a cheap ticket. [Note that cabin crew can see booking class or fare class on some carriers; I would assume UA does this as it would be on the boarding pass anyway, but this is only very loosely correlated with fare paid.]
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:23 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post

(in exchange for nothing -- no compensation was offered)
How do you gamble if you don't know the odds? Did you ask what they were offering to take care of their whale?
My utility to accept the change would be more favorable FRA-SFO than SFO-FRA. Really need the sleep heading east.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:23 am
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Bizarre!

This ALMOST sounds like the FA was unable to lie to the GS, when she knew she was going to go back and now could with all honesty say: "Sorry, I tried to get someone to switch seats, but they declined."
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Bizarre!

This ALMOST sounds like the FA was unable to lie to the GS, when she knew she was going to go back and now could with all honesty say: "Sorry, I tried to get someone to switch seats, but they declined."
It sounds a lot like the FA who convinced someone to move from a exit row Y+ seat to the back row on the long TPAC flight. This was because the nonrev (the OP thought) or FA's friend or local HKG airport employee was uncomfortable in that middle seat in the back row and might have been handicapped too, which of course it a great choice for someone to sit in an exit row.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:33 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
It sounds a lot like the FA who convinced someone to move from a exit row Y+ seat to the back row on the long TPAC flight. This was because the nonrev (the OP thought) or FA's friend or local HKG airport employee was uncomfortable in that middle seat in the back row and might have been handicapped too, which of course it a great choice for someone to sit in an exit row.
Funny if it's the same one, indeed. She's making quite a name of herself on FT and getting rather infamous!
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by #10 View Post
How do you gamble if you don't know the odds? Did you ask what they were offering to take care of their whale?
My utility to accept the change would be more favorable FRA-SFO than SFO-FRA. Really need the sleep heading east.
It's not like I said "absolutely not". I said "I'd prefer not to". If she was going to offer me compensation she could have. Instead she just wandered off. She did not seem that interested in making this deal happen.

Are FAs empowered to give large amounts of compensation?

Anyway, I slept really well; probably for 7 or 8 hours total, so I'm happy with the result. For westbound I'm not going to sleep much anyway but on the eastbound flight the flat bed is great.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
It's not like I said "absolutely not". I said "I'd prefer not to". If she was going to offer me compensation she could have. Instead she just wandered off. She did not seem that interested in making this deal happen.

Are FAs empowered to give large amounts of compensation?

Anyway, I slept really well; probably for 7 or 8 hours total, so I'm happy with the result. For westbound I'm not going to sleep much anyway but on the eastbound flight the flat bed is great.
Not much, maybe 10,000 miles or so.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
1. My upgrade was not free, and, more importantly,
2. It's not like he paid me $12k.
Indeed, a strange request. And SFO-FRA is a long, overnight flight. I'm surprised no compensation was offered. Are FAs not authorized to offer compensation in flight? One could understand that someone paying $12K would not be happy.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post
Indeed, a strange request. And SFO-FRA is a long, overnight flight. I'm surprised no compensation was offered. Are FAs not authorized to offer compensation in flight? One could understand that someone paying $12K would not be happy.
The unhappy GS should solve the problem with UA, which is likely to be reasonably generous if contacted after the flight. It's not the OP's responsibility to make a GS happy.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:48 am
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Funny if it's the same one, indeed. She's making quite a name of herself on FT and getting rather infamous!
I have to say that her tone was extremely polite -- she did not try to make it seem like I had no choice or anything. And when I said "I'd rather not" she did not press the issue. I'm not sure if she asked any other passengers but that guy did not end up switching seats.

This is not something that I'm upset about -- I just thought it was strange
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:48 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The unhappy GS should solve the problem with UA, which is likely to be reasonably generous if contacted after the flight. It's not the OP's responsibility to make a GS happy.
I agree, of course.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:49 am
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Does not sound bizarre, a request was made and you declined. And that was the end.

I was once asked by a GS agent to switch seats for GS on an A320 First Class transcon -- from my preferred aisle bulkhead seat to a window seat a row back. So he could sit with his wife. Normally I'm not keen to switch but for some reason I did. After the switch the GS agent came back and said "thank you" and that they would be depositing 10,000 miles in my account.

As long as it was politely done and no pressure or difficult for refusing, I would let it pass.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:13 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post

I was once asked by a GS agent to switch seats for GS on an A320 First Class transcon -- from my preferred aisle bulkhead seat to a window seat a row back. So he could sit with his wife. Normally I'm not keen to switch but for some reason I did. After the switch the GS agent came back and said "thank you" and that they would be depositing 10,000 miles in my account.
Not really the the same though.
A request to sit next to a loved one is quite different than someone wanting to swap because their seat is broken.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Does not sound bizarre, a request was made and you declined. And that was the end.

I was once asked by a GS agent to switch seats for GS on an A320 First Class transcon -- from my preferred aisle bulkhead seat to a window seat a row back. So he could sit with his wife. Normally I'm not keen to switch but for some reason I did. After the switch the GS agent came back and said "thank you" and that they would be depositing 10,000 miles in my account.

As long as it was politely done and no pressure or difficult for refusing, I would let it pass.
Why couldn't the wife have swapped so that the GS couple would be seated side by side in the second row? That way you would keep your seat, aisle bulkhead.
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