They Are First-Class Jerks

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2019

(I am required to travel from the US to one of my company’s offices in London the week before Christmas, in order to train people on a new system we were going to implement after New Years. I am annoyed with having to leave my wife alone with our two young children and that I am having to travel so close to the holidays. At least my managers understand that someone in my position would be frustrated, so they arrange for me to fly first class on both the flight to London and the returning one. I am one of the last people to board my flight to London, and I am greeted by a man sitting in my seat, kissing the female passenger next to him. They realize I am standing there and start talking.)

Guy: “Is this your seat? We have been waiting for you.”

Me: *with a confused look* “Excuse me?”

Guy: “Well, me and my wife here are going on our honeymoon, and we got an upgrade to first class, but we are not sitting together. We were wondering if you would be willing to switch seats with me so I can sit next to her?”

Me: “Where is your seat?”

Guy: “It’s [seat that is not only in economy, but is also a middle seat]. Thanks so much for this buddy. Really appreciate it.” *immediately goes back to talking to his wife*

Me: *as I start putting my bags in the overhead bin* “Sir, I’m sorry, but I did not say I would switch with you; I was asking where your seat was to see if I would switch. Can you please move from my seat?”

Guy: “You just said you would switch with me, and now you’re taking it back. Are you really going to be like this?”

Me: “As I said, I was asking where your seat was before I agreed to change seats. No offense, but while it is your honeymoon, I am not comfortable trading my first class seat for one in economy.”

Guy: “Come on, man. I really want to sit with my wife. We could only get one upgrade from the lady at the desk because first class is full. I really would like to sit with her.”

Me: *trying to be nice, but not caving in to his idea to switch* “Again, I understand that, but I would like to sit in my seat. Maybe someone else here is willing to switch, but it is not me. Or maybe you could ask one of the people sitting next to you in economy if they will switch so you and your wife can sit together back there.”

Guy: *with a look like I just pissed in his coffee* “Listen to me. I want to sit with my wife, here in first class. Just stop making this difficult. It is our honeymoon. Maybe have some kindness.”

Me: “Sir, you are asking a complete stranger to take a downgraded seat and give you their better seat for free. I am kind of shocked that you thought anyone would take that agreement. I did not pay for you to sit in my seat, so please move.”

(I notice the wife has pressed her button for the flight attendant and she shows up soon.)

Attendant: “Is everything okay here?”

(I try to talk but the wife immediately starts speaking.)

Woman: “This man has been harassing my husband and me since he boarded. He keeps claiming I am sitting in his seat, but this seat is mine.” *shows her ticket* “Can you please move him away from us?”

(The attendant is about to speak with me when the passenger sitting behind the man and woman speaks up.)

Passenger: “This woman is lying through her teeth. The husband is sitting in that man’s seat and he refused to move, and pretty much threatened him to switch seats and go to economy.”

(The flight attendant asks to see my ticket and then the husband’s. She then asks me to come with her to the front of the plane and have me wait while she talks to the captain. I can see how she is getting frustrated, since the plane is about ready to take off and this whole mishap is causing a delay. After she is done talking, she goes back with me to my seat and talks to the couple.)

Attendant: “So, I have spoken with the pilot about this issue. We have called the desk agents and determined this man has paid for his ticket while you—“ *pointing at the wife* “—were given a free upgrade. Now that the two of you treated a passenger terribly and then lied, we have two options for you. A: both of you get up and sit in economy, since there are still plenty of seats back there, or B: you two leave this plane, either by your free will or by security.”

Woman: *suddenly looking a bit panicked* “Oh, don’t worry. My husband will move back to his seat, and I promise I will be on my best behavior up here.”

Attendant: “Sorry, miss, but that is no longer an option, because you used an opportunity to sit in first class to harass another passenger. I have told you what your two options are, and I will need your decision immediately. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have even given you two the option to go back to economy if the pilot didn’t feel bad it was your honeymoon.”

(The husband and wife then got up, while glaring at me, and moved back to economy. I was feeling good after that, because I not only had room in first class, but an empty seat next to me, as well. The flight attendant also talked to me and said that she was sorry for how that couple had treated me, and that the pilot requested a flag be put on the couple’s names so that they would not receive any other upgrades when flying with the airline.)

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