News, United Airlines

United Smacks Down Self-Entitled Passenger on Social Media

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Not all heroes wear capes… some man United’s social media account

United, like American and Delta, offer extra-legroom seats called Economy Plus. They cost extra and, while the price fluctuates by flight, there is always a price unless you are on a full fare ticket or are an elite passenger (which generally means you fly that airline a lot.

When a self-entitled customer asked to move to one after boarding because it was empty, he was told no.

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When he took to social media to complain, the exchange went something like this:

In fairness, the “zing” given was lame on the surface…

The Lexus to Toyota analogy would more equate to buying a ticket on United Airlines and then expecting to fly on Singapore Airlines (a much nicer ride) just because there was an empty seat.

On this flight, the empty seat is just that, empty – perishable in retail parlance.

Still, I agree with United here (I know, I know) and here’s why:

Every other passenger on the plane would surely enjoy extra legroom. They know they don’t have a seat in the extra legroom section and don’t ask. He does. If he moves, someone else will want to. And someone else. And then the spare extra legroom seats all get taken and the rest of the passengers can’t move.

Fair Play

As a pure matter of fairness, if the seats weren’t filled by paying passengers and elite passengers (all of whom would get the “upgrade” for free in exchange for past loyalty) then they should fly empty.

Surely he wouldn’t expect a free upgrade to Business Class just because there was an unfilled seat? Or would he?

The point is, if you charge for something, giving it away for free for no reason waters down the value of it. Sure, if the regular economy section if oversold, you’ll upgrade to Economy Plus and even to Business Class to fill all the seats. And sometimes that might actually get the person to pay the next time if they enjoyed the experience.

If the flight attendant had let him move, it really wouldn’t have been a big deal as a one off.

But taking to complaining on social media that you weren’t given something you didn’t pay for nor earn?

United was 100% right here. 

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