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united gets into a twitter dispute over passenger seeking free upgrade to E+

united gets into a twitter dispute over passenger seeking free upgrade to E+

Old Sep 18, 19, 6:44 pm
  #16  
 
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The article says,
Originally Posted by article
Airlines carved up the economy cabin for two reasons: to create a perk for frequent fliers, who are upgraded to the more plush economy seats for free when available, and to cash in on travelers who want something comfier than a standard economy seat.
That is wrong. They are just as thin and hard as the rest of economy.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 6:45 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Sure, that works great. When you have record profits.

The next downturn in the business cycle is always coming.

And of course, it speaks to the purpose of this or any other business. Is it to go for the best possible experience, or just vacuum up the bucks while the gettin's good?

(And yes, I agree, the pax in this instance was in the wrong.)
Part of "the best possible experience" is never upgrading this sort of person. Not only because it crowds E+ and devalues the experience for the other passengers, but also because the FA's have to deal with this person's shenanigans when they could be attending to safety or serving other customers, and because it's kind of an insult to paying customers when you let a cheap, entitled customer bully or sweet-talk you into giving him something others paid for.

I agree with the general principle of being nice to customers, but you don't have to be nice to this type of person. Years ago, I watched a United gate agent at LHR blow up at one of those guys who gave her "the speech", trying to get a free upgrade when she had 15 people on the flight whom she was trying to find seats for. I didn't think "how terrible, the airline may alienate that customer". I thought "how dare he even think that he should be up there doing that?".
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Old Sep 18, 19, 6:56 pm
  #18  
 
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Yeah,the analogy is a quite a stretch, but UA is correct.

Also, this happened on September 7, 2019, and was all over the internet then.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:06 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
https://www.yahoo.com/news/no-cant-move-empty-extra-162754552.html

United pushed back hard against this passenger, who tried to shame the airline for not allowing him to move into empty E+ seats for free.

I think UA is right and the passenger is wrong.
The link doesn't work for me, so I'm going to try my quote trick, which did not work this time.

Can someone give a valid link please? Thanks.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:12 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
Part of "the best possible experience" is never upgrading this sort of person.
He asked to move up; he was denied; he posted a single tweet, retweeted a whopping 22 times, and his worst "crime" seems to be saying "BS" in the tweet. I don't think Soup Nazi tactics are the right way to go here; but what do I know, I'm from a square state.

He was definitely wrong. UA could have snuffed this immediately with a more positive "no." Now it's being seen by lots of FTers - admittedly a group more prone to "I'll provide that guy service, but he has to be nice to ME first!" than the general population.

Let's just say Nordstrom would not handle the response in this way.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 18, 19 at 8:11 pm Reason: Discuss the issue; not the poster(s)
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:22 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
I just hope you're not in a customer-facing service business. He asked to move up; he was denied; he posted a single tweet, retweeted a whopping 22 times, and his worst "crime" seems to be saying "BS" in the tweet. I don't think Soup Nazi tactics are the right way to go here; but what do I know, I'm from a square state.

Let's just say Nordstrom would not handle the response in this way.
If you tried to walk out of Nordstrom with something for free, say something that they were having trouble selling. Do you think Nordstrom would say, "as a customer service gesture, please keep the item you tried to steal."?

I 100% guarantee Nordstrom would "soup nazi" in this case and deny the person trying to take the item from thier store for free.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:23 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by scracer14 View Post
If you tried to walk out of Nordstrom with something for free, say something that they were having trouble selling. Do you think Nordstrom would say, "as a customer service gesture, please keep the item you tried to steal."?

I 100% guarantee Nordstrom would "soup nazi" in this case and deny the person trying to take the item from thier store for free.
Again, he asked permission and was denied. [Moderator edit.]

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Sep 20, 19 at 9:38 pm Reason: Per FT Rule 12 to avoid undue personalization.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:37 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Again, he asked permission and was denied. But do keep up the false analogies.
Fine..What if he asked to take an item for sale at Nordstrom without paying, thereby diverting Nordstrom employees from paying customers, was told no, and then went on to social media to complain about it. You really think Nordstrom would say "we can't offend this valuable customer!"?
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:42 pm
  #24  
 
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It's one thing to ask for something ridiculous and then drop it once you're told no, but to push it further just shows how out of touch this person is. United's response was perfectly appropriate.

"The company doesn't lose money by letting passengers move up. They can only win in customer satisfaction.''

I mean tell that to the perfectly satisfied customer who paid $200+ to be in E+, while someone waltzes up for free just for asking.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 7:54 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp View Post
Fine..What if he asked to take an item for sale at Nordstrom without paying, thereby diverting Nordstrom employees from paying customers, was told no, and then went on to social media to complain about it. You really think Nordstrom would say "we can't offend this valuable customer!"?
When did I ever say the only alternative was "we can't offend this valuable customer?"

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Sep 18, 19 at 8:04 pm Reason: Discuss the issue, not the poster(s)
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Old Sep 18, 19, 11:15 pm
  #26  
 
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UA should have reached out to the FA on his flight and had them upgrade an economy passenger. Anyone but him.

"Thanks for your suggestion about giving someone a better 'flight experience'. We did."

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Old Sep 19, 19, 12:06 am
  #27  
 
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The question I have is there isn't a plane-load worth of E+, if as he describes, how should UA pick them. They've already upgraded all the elites there. Should it be by spend, when you booked the ticket, or just a mad scrum and fight to tap out to determine who is worthy. Regardless of what it is, expect unhappy people.
Also, I want my empty middle seat if I can, and paid for seats tend to make it less likely that no one sits there if the plane isn't full, as no one is paying for middle seats.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 12:11 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by malgudi View Post
Indeed. Some guy with more free time than grey cells ...
The UA tweeter also falls into the bucket with his response, LOL.

Agreed as much as I think UA E+ is a terrible product, the concept of asking for something for fee because it can't be sold is simply stupid logic from the passenger.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 1:21 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
That's a good reason not to allow free upgrades to E+, but what the airline misses out on are the customers who would become loyal (read: eventually spend more on UA) if only they were allowed to "sample" a benefit.

Upgrades into F also devalue the experience of paid F but US airlines have made a different business decision for that cabin. Foreign airlines generally don't have free upgrades into F either.
Why should this passenger get the better seating, rather than everyone else?
If he flies, he clearly knows they are better seats. He wants the seat, but doesn't want to pay for it, and hasn't qualified for the elite status needed to get it for free.
That is no different than my desire for a first class seat, and no wanting to pay for it.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 4:37 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
That's a good reason not to allow free upgrades to E+, but what the airline misses out on are the customers who would become loyal (read: eventually spend more on UA) if only they were allowed to "sample" a benefit.

Upgrades into F also devalue the experience of paid F but US airlines have made a different business decision for that cabin. Foreign airlines generally don't have free upgrades into F either.
Have doubt about the free sample approach, the clientele that always tries to find a cheap reason to argue and not pay for the free seat upgrade are the ones who never buy expensive seats in the first place. Giving these upgrades creates a precedent for perpetual free upgrade arguments like "you gave me an upgrade last time, why can't you give me an upgrade now. I demand an upgrade and to see your manager", and then you end up with people having instagram-influencer culture that has a huge sense of self-entitlement, twitter wars, and knee-jerk reactions from airlines that either try placate the behaviour (downward spiral), or clamp down hard with collateral damage to other unpublished benefits (FA not being flexible with their discretion in different situations for different pax) .
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