United Airlines Flyer rages over allocation of first-class seats to crew members


Two United Airlines passengers are being compensated after a woman says her fiancé was ‘bumped’ into an economy class seat so ‘some of the crew could sit in first class instead’ .

The incident was the subject of a viral TikTok video shared by Danielle Schwab (@watergirl8296). In the clip, the woman, “who just got engaged”, said she and her fiancé were on a flight from London Heathrow to Chicago when the fiancé was “kicked” out of first class.

A United spokesperson said Newsweek“The seats we normally reserve for crew members to take their necessary breaks were not working on this flight, so we unfortunately had to reassign two customers to Premium Plus rather than cancel the flight.

“We understand customer frustration and are refunding the price difference for their seats and giving them each a $1,500 certificate for future travel,” the spokesperson said.

Premium Plus seats are “closer to the front of the plane and offer more legroom, elbow room and recline,” according to the airline’s website.

In a later video shared by the poster, the woman said four passengers were “kicked out” of first class, including her fiancé.

According to her fiancé, “there was another person who was sent back to the coach and she received compensation”.

Later, the couple were reportedly told, “There’s nothing we can do,” the woman said. They were asked to “submit a complaint online” and “nobody wanted to talk to us,” she explained in the following video.

In March, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) received 15,545 complaints (22.3 complaints per 100,000 passengers) from the public by phone or email, according to the latest Air Travel Consumer Report from the Ministry of Transport, published in May.

The report also states that the TSA received 38 airline-related complaints in March regarding issues such as baggage requirements, lost baggage, policies/regulations and wheelchair assistance.

Dan Bubb, a professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, historian and former airline pilot, said Newsweek in January that pilots and flight attendants have “a secret compartment at the top of the aircraft which is inaccessible and invisible to passengers” where they can retreat.

Patrick Smith, airline pilot and author of confidential cockpit, already said Newsweek that on aircraft that do not have these berths, a designated first or business class seat is used instead, often cordoned off by a curtain.

A file image shows two plane passengers, with a flight attendant in the background. A woman says in a TikTok video that her fiancé was ‘kicked out’ of first class on a flight so that ‘some of the crew could sit in first class instead’.
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The woman in the TikTok clip said, “We’re in first class, we booked those seats right and bluntly… All of a sudden my fiancé was moved to the coach.”

She alleged that flight attendants ‘bumped’ her into the economy class seat because they wanted ‘some of the crew to sit in first class instead’.

She continued, “I understand that the crew works very hard. However, we pre-booked these seats. It’s not fair…it’s not customer service…it’s ridiculous.”

In the following video shared by the poster, the woman said she and her fiancé, Mikey, learned that flight attendants were “taking turns taking naps in the back of the plane” and “there usually has berths or seats that pull out into a bed. …Four seats must open.”

She continued: “I guess what happened [on this flight] was that that wasn’t an option… so what they did instead was kick four people out of first class, including Mikey.

According to the woman, the flight attendants said “it’s not supposed to happen” and it’s not “common practice”.

She added: “What you’re supposed to do is take the plane out of service if you don’t have enough seats.”

Several TikTok users were sympathetic to the poster.

User @bisouhes said, “You paid for first class! Get a refund,” while user6152409168575 said, “A flight attendant should never get priority over a paying customer.”

Shannon Cooney wrote: “Get your full ticket refunded…”

ExecuteOrder69 said, “Coach is fine for the rest of us plebs, so it’s pretty good for them too.”

User Alli83 wrote: “Everyone sleeps well in the main cabin, why not the crew?”

Newsweek contacted the original poster via TikTok for comment. This video has not been independently verified.

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