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UA FA Actually Booted Seat Poacher from Economy Plus Seat

UA FA Actually Booted Seat Poacher from Economy Plus Seat

Old Sep 14, 19, 9:49 am
  #1  
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UA FA Actually Booted Seat Poacher from Economy Plus Seat

Just as the title said... I was flying ORD-MSY on September 10 and the flight was about 60% full. Most rows had one (or two if you are lucky) empty seats. A woman boards towards the end (with Group 5) and heads towards her seat in the back of the plane. Decides to walk back towards the front and sat in a window Economy Plus seat (may have been Exit Row or the row in front of Exit Row). FA comes over from the front of the plane to tell her to pay the E+ fee or go back to her own seat.

Poacher reluctantly gets up and heads towards the back of the plane again. Then walks back towards the front and plops down in the empty window seat in my row (preferred seats, not E+). I didnít say anything since the middle was still open (Iím seated in the aisle). Then after takeoff, she starts hogging the middle seat. Took her shoes off and puts her feet (with yellow socks) on the middle seat and stretches out like Iím not even there. I take out my phone to photograph and she moved her feet off the seat. Then she also occasionally rested her feet on my carryon that was under my side of the middle seat. I had to tell her to get her feet off my bag.

Would you have reported the poaching? Not sure what the policy is. Like I said, while it would have been nice to have the entire row, I didnít really mind until she went a bit overboard.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 9:55 am
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Fundamentally the policy is that everyone should be sat in the assigned seat. There are some harmless exceptions made, like when willing parties swap with each other.

It's a little more delicate figuring out how to gracefully invite enforcement of the policy, however. Good FA's are vigilant, and I have seen them spot / confront poachers, but not all do so.

You perhaps could have asked the possible poacher simply if the aisle in your row was her assigned seat, and then gauged the response to decide if you want to call the FA again.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 10:00 am
  #3  
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What the slob did has nothing to do with whether it was her assigned seat. If she was infringing on OP's space or possessions, it either stops with a polite ask or one invovles a FA or one moves on.

The seat poaching issue is entirely different and is fundamentally none of other passenegrs' business. Yes, in a broad-based way it cuts into revenue and thus causes others to pay more for the same PRASM, but that is a bit strained. Unless it affects safety or security and I am getting the service I paid for, I don't play hall monitor.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 10:05 am
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Yes, absolutely. The bad behavior on airplanes will grow if we don't call people on it. Flight attendants want to do the right thing -- they can't police everyone because of the sheer numbers of inconsiderate slobs. While if it doesn't affect me I leave it alone, taking advantage of the airline, the system, good natured people (including me) isn't okay and I ask for FA help if need be. 11 y/o behavior=not okay from an adult.

Last edited by ChicagoUnited; Sep 14, 19 at 10:11 am
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Old Sep 14, 19, 10:51 am
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I've tipped FAs with self up-graders before (who moved to E+ themselves), they simply escorted them back. I'm a firm believer that you get what you paid for.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 1:03 pm
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In the OP's case, I would have discretely said something to the FA in the galley along the lines of "hey, that passenger I saw you escorting back to her seat in the very back after she moved up to C+ at the end of boarding, well she's done it again, and this time she's in 20A. It's annoying to me as she put her feet up on the middle seat and then on my computer bag...." (or whatever). It sounds to me like the seat poacher was trying to drive the OP out of his/her preferred aisle seat in order to have the entire row to herself, assuming that there weren't any empty rows in this section of the aircraft.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 1:06 pm
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Don't be overt

Do something unique like writing in big letters on paper "seat Poacher" then pin it to the middle seat with and arrow toward the window seat. No words need be exchanged
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Old Sep 14, 19, 3:25 pm
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Years back poaching with in same class was more common and seemingly more acceptable. I even knew of at least one person who made an art out of poaching even F seats when assigned coach years back, how he was able to get away with it I really don't know. Now with pricing differential through out even the class cabin it has become very taboo. I have of course slid over to and empty aisle seat when assigned a middle seat and the aisle/window remained open post boarding. Is this poaching? I guess so in the strictest meaning of the word. In the OP case it was more than just poaching, the pax was rude and disrespectful. To me this is far worse.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelLawyer View Post

Would you have reported the poaching? Not sure what the policy is. Like I said, while it would have been nice to have the entire row, I didnít really mind until she went a bit overboard.
With an empty middle where an E- passenger took a different E- seat (even if "preferred", which is a pretty minor distinction) no. But given the slovenly behavior, yes.

And yes, in E+ if it's not an E+ pax looking for a different seat.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 4:34 pm
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You should've indeed called for the FA. If she took the windownseat and stayed in that spot, without bothering you, it'd be just a minor nuisance and you'd forfeit your "poor mans business class bed". However, the way she behaved should land her in the penalty box at the back of the plane.

Something similar happened to me on my UA SCL-IAH flight. 2-3-2 config in y+, I had a window seat and seat next to me was empty when taking off. After dinner, I feel asleep (redeye flight) (with the seat next to me still empty). Low and behold 2 hours later, I wake up and THERE IS ACTUALLY SOMEONE SITTING/SLEEPING NEXT TO ME.
I was too drowsy and dumbfounded to do anything (and eventually fell back asleep), plus I couldn't find the "ring FA button" (apparently they're on the screen, not next to the overhead nozzles), but next time I sure as hell will voice my displeasure, plus boot the pax out of the supposedly empty seat.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Thysk View Post

Something similar happened to me on my UA SCL-IAH flight. 2-3-2 config in y+, I had a window seat and seat next to me was empty when taking off. After dinner, I feel asleep (redeye flight) (with the seat next to me still empty). Low and behold 2 hours later, I wake up and THERE IS ACTUALLY SOMEONE SITTING/SLEEPING NEXT TO ME.
I was too drowsy and dumbfounded to do anything (and eventually fell back asleep), plus I couldn't find the "ring FA button" (apparently they're on the screen, not next to the overhead nozzles), but next time I sure as hell will voice my displeasure, plus boot the pax out of the supposedly empty seat.

Keep in mind, that sometimes the FAs will disperse passengers. Might have been a middle seat pax, that an FA felt sorry for, not necessarily a poacher.
(Although it would be a bit late in the flight, but not impossible.)
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Old Sep 14, 19, 7:06 pm
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If the person next to you is getting into your seating space or has a dog or other animal that you feel is in a p;osition to do harm to you then the flight crew at y our request and before departure should disperse that paassenger. Meanwhile you must be prepared to accept any other empty seat without that problem.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 7:45 pm
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flew in lufthansa premium econ this week, FRA-SJO, in the empty prem ecom seats they had a orange sticker on the top of the headrest saying something (I forget what exactly) ....they make it very clear ..........which seats are supposed to be empty
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Old Sep 14, 19, 8:19 pm
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10/10 would report. If the pax was seated in a economy seat and switched to an empty economy row after take off, I'd be OK with this. But with the product differences it'd be a hard no.

Flying EWR-LHR today in supposedly 'Economy Plus' seat, but after boarding I was surprised to see its actually the new Premium Plus product. I can imagine someone doing the same thing if they manage to see an empty Premium Plus seat.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 8:44 pm
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This thread raises a lot of questions (especially in light of Lexus-gate). Is moving from a middle to a window poaching? What about a window to a middle? What about within one's row? Or section? What if the seats have no extra legroom but are closer to the front? I don't have any answers but clearly the distinction is not as clear as coach vs. first.

Historically, flight attendants would allow passengers to spread out within their "section." But with the advent of preferred seating, that is now impractical. There's no way to identify preferred seats without using the app AFAIK.
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