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United Airlines Kicks Elderly Professor Couple Off Late-Night Flight

United Airlines Kicks Elderly Professor Couple Off Late-Night Flight

Old Sep 17, 19, 1:20 pm
  #211  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
I am nearing a massive headache sifting through the information of this thread, but weren't there two distinctive and separate "You're getting kicked off this flight!" episodes?
In this incident that I am referring to in post number 193, I suspect the FA made the threat, then left to discuss the issue with the pilot (or other FAs) up front. It was at this time, or close-thereto, when 21C got up and followed the FA with assistant camera operator 21A in tow.
The Forbes article indicates that there was only one threat to throw them off the flight. If there were two separate incidents, what was the chronology?
Having witnessed several of these FA power trips, I've never seen an FA lose on appeal once they decide to remove you-the captain always backs-up his crew.

Here are some other examples of FAs on power trips:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28289730-post59.html

This one happened to me in DEC 17:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/29241961-post29.html

Last edited by zombietooth; Sep 17, 19 at 1:26 pm
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Old Sep 17, 19, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by seenitall View Post
I do not know which of the pax in this situation had the latest (i.e., most correct) BP. Giving the BP to the FA can only be for the purpose of demonstrating that your claim to the seat is not ridiculous. It is not a demonstration that your claim to the seat is correct.
Exactly; having a boarding pass showing your seat is pretty good evidence you are not seat poaching (which could be an issue for exit row seats).

I'm not a GA but I imagine that in most cases of double-assigned seats, I'd resolve them in favor of the first-boarded, currently-sitting passenger holding a boarding pass with that seat printed on it, unless there were compelling reasons to favor the person standing in the aisle (medical issue, small children near guardian, etc.). But I would not resolve seat-poaching by giving the poached seat to the poacher. So having a boarding pass showing that seat is actually an important part of the story, and having the FA take it and then claim not to have it would be distressing.

The additional complication of switching to the middle seat assigned to a non-rev is important; it's possible at some point the FA or GA though you were a non-rev refusing to move, because one of the party was in the non-rev's assigned seat. So that could have been a contributing factor.

I wasn't there so I don't have much to say about the rest of the story. I've seen stressed-out under-rested jet-lagged hangry FAs go off for no reason and I've seen passengers be extremely belligerent and abusive towards staff and then claim to have done nothing wrong. So just a case of he said / she said, except it's pax said / UA won't comment.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 1:59 pm
  #213  
 
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
It doesn't matter what actually happened, it matters how the FA perceived it. This is the same situation with sexual harassment these days; you should never touch anybody unless you know the person very well. Also, you'll note that I said you shouldn't argue with a FA either. There was no de-escalation here by either party and, in the end, the FA is always going to win. Being right doesn't get you anything.
I don't disagree with any of this. But nor do I agree that this was a standard "two pax with same seat assignment" scenario that got out of hand because of a "belligerent pax".
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
I don't disagree with any of this. But nor do I agree that this was a standard "two pax with same seat assignment" scenario that got out of hand because of a "belligerent pax".
I agree completely.
You can see in some of my other posts where I have documented power-tripping FAs. But, perhaps due to their inexperience with the powers of flight crews these days, the OPs were trying to prove their innocence and/or get an apology, which was a losing strategy. Once the FA became irritated by OP's actions, there was literally nothing they could do to improve their situation.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
I wasn't there so I don't have much to say about the rest of the story. I've seen stressed-out under-rested jet-lagged hangry FAs go off for no reason and I've seen passengers be extremely belligerent and abusive towards staff and then claim to have done nothing wrong. So just a case of he said / she said, except it's pax said / UA won't comment.
So how long before they start installing cameras on planes? I presume airports already have them ...
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:15 pm
  #216  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
I agree completely.
You can see in some of my other posts where I have documented power-tripping FAs. But, perhaps due to their inexperience with the powers of flight crews these days, the OPs were trying to prove their innocence and/or get an apology, which was a losing strategy. Once the FA became irritated by OP's actions, there was literally nothing they could do to improve their situation.
These are customer service positions. It's inappropriate to relatiate because the employee is irritated by a customer. It's also inappropriate to punish a traveling companion who doesn't seem to be accused of anything wrong (except swapping with someone to take a middle seat, which most people would consider to be a generous gesture toward someone else).
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
These are customer service positions. It's inappropriate to relatiate because the employee is irritated by a customer. It's also inappropriate to punish a traveling companion who doesn't seem to be accused of anything wrong (except swapping with someone to take a middle seat, which most people would consider to be a generous gesture toward someone else).
It's also inappropriate for mechanics to sabotage planes or write-up fake maintenance orders due to a union dispute but it happens all the time.
FAs continually point out via announcements that their primary job is safety. I don't see much evidence that they are interested in providing good onboard customer service at UA.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:31 pm
  #218  
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Mechanics who sabotage planes are arrested (and suspended without pay).

If a FA is uninterested in providing good customer service, he/she should be forced to seek other employment. The same for anyone faking maintenance orders to cause delays.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
I'm leaning toward a bad apple UA FA.
...

We do have first time posters with some crazy stories and conspiracy theories, then never return to explain. You haven't done that despite what has been said. Stick around, as this will go away at some point.
Agree with this and this is where I come down in this particular instance as well. I probably go 50:1 the other way with these. Roulette hit 0.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
I agree completely.
You can see in some of my other posts where I have documented power-tripping FAs. But, perhaps due to their inexperience with the powers of flight crews these days, the OPs were trying to prove their innocence and/or get an apology, which was a losing strategy. Once the FA became irritated by OP's actions, there was literally nothing they could do to improve their situation.
The thing I'm still confused about in terms of the fact pattern is whether they were trying to prove their innocence by displaying the lost-then-found BP in order to not get thrown off the plane, or if the incident had ended and they were trying to prove their innocence purely gratuitously. If the former, then I suppose it makes sense to at least try to not get thrown off the plane, if that's impending. If the latter, then absolutely, just suck it up until the flight is over.

Did we get any clarity on this?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:44 pm
  #221  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Mechanics who sabotage planes are arrested (and suspended without pay).

If a FA is uninterested in providing good customer service, he/she should be forced to seek other employment. The same for anyone faking maintenance orders to cause delays.
"Should"?
Reality is that nothing will happen. The union would fight tooth and nail to defend their FAs in this sort of situation.

Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
The thing I'm still confused about in terms of the fact pattern is whether they were trying to prove their innocence by displaying the lost-then-found BP in order to not get thrown off the plane, or if the incident had ended and they were trying to prove their innocence purely gratuitously. If the former, then I suppose it makes sense to at least try to not get thrown off the plane, if that's impending. If the latter, then absolutely, just suck it up until the flight is over.

Did we get any clarity on this?
I am still waiting for an answer on this as well.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:47 pm
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See posting #200
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:48 pm
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
I am nearing a massive headache sifting through the information of this thread, but weren't there two distinctive and separate "You're getting kicked off this flight!" episodes?
In this incident that I am referring to in post number 193, I suspect the FA made the threat, then left to discuss the issue with the pilot (or other FAs) up front. It was at this time, or close-thereto, when 21C got up and followed the FA with assistant camera operator 21A in tow.
Is this the post you mean? It's #200 in this thread.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:58 pm
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yes on both points
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Old Sep 17, 19, 2:59 pm
  #225  
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Originally Posted by Jessie and Guill View Post
After 10-15 minutes, a passenger who was an off-duty UA crew member took the 21B seat. After chatting for a few minutes about her upcoming assignment xxx, my husband asked if it would be acceptable to switch seat with her. She concurred. After the switch, my husband sat in 21B.

A few minutes later, another passenger (xxx, BG5 and BE) showed up with a boarding pass for my husbandís original seat (21A). I explained there must have been a mistake as my husband had the 21A seat assignment for several days.
Wait, what? I just re-read this, and I realized that you were fighting for the provenance of a seat that you'd already traded away. If there was an off-duty UA employee in 21A, and then someone arrived with a boarding pass for 21A... why did you care? Let the two of them figure things out.
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