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The airlines do not give a damn.

John: I thought you might be interested in a problem I had some time ago with flying.

When the airline asked me to book 2 tickets because I had a) an injured knee and b) a weight problem, I didn’t argue. I coughed up. Their argument was that I HAD to take 2 seats so as not to inconvenience other passangers.

Then came the Problems.

Flight 1: 2 seats, aisle and centre, injured leg on aisle side, Excellent.

Flight 2: Same day, Second leg, Different Plane, different seat layout. 2 seats issued - EITHER SIDE OF THE AISLE!

They claimed that they had not been told why I wanted 2 adjacent seats, for one passenger, and these actually counted as adjacent. The cabin crew refused to do ANYTHING to help me - until I smiled and sat down with one arm on an armrest of each of my two seats, actually IN the aisle! Within seconds a pair of seats that were REALLY adjacent were miraculously organised.

On another Flight leg 1: Seriously overbooked flight, before boarding they were begging for volunteers to give up a seat, offering free flights, cash, later upgrades if anyone would give up their seat. I went forward, explained I had a connecting flight with them, but offering to give up both seats for a flight the next day, and an upgrade on the second, longer flight - which was not even full for the next day !

Nope, Nothing doing, so I boarded, with my 2 reserved seats.

On the plane, an announcement was made, begging for volu

nteers Again! This time they were offering a cash refund and TWO free tickets.

I explained my situation again.

Still No.

Finally they offered a refund and two free upgraded tickets, but although one or two volunteered, they still did not have enough seats for demand.

Then the stewardess came towards me, trailed by a man in a suit.

“WHO” she demanded “IS SITTING THERE?” I think she was trying to embarrass me. As a large person with a lifetime of living with it, it didn’t work.

“I AM” I replied in a similar tone and volume.

“Your Airline demanded I bought two seats, and you refused to accept any offer to give up both because you didn’t want to upgrade my seat on the next leg.

She glowered, but forced the poor businessman to sit in my “empty” seat.

I asked about my compensation, and she said I would have to contact the desk on arrival, but because of the boarding delays we were all hustled onto the connecting flight, and I arrived back in the UK to find that they had NO record of my seat having been “stolen”, and even my repeated letters to their Customer Service team and a letter to the MDs WIFE (a sneaky friend found their home address and details!) failed to result in even the return of the price I had paid for my second seat !

No matter WHAT you book and pay for, these Sky Pirates will only let you get what is convenient for them…


John Bellamy answers: I have many friends who are or who have been cabin crew over the years and I can wholely sympathise with the comments made above as many cabin crew do not give a damn for you, it's all about numbers and turn arounds as fast as possible and they are only doing their job as trained and as instructed. But sometimes it does seem as if the human factor is bred out of many and the corporate mindless automatron that have been put in place of the humans who training seem to have no empathy or understanding of the human condition and of needs for the passengers that go beyond doing as they are told, sitting where told, following the safety demo and making as few problems as possible. Chicken or Beef is easy - but for other problems - it seems there is little flexibility.

Mind you, there will always be those difficult passengers and I have see an instance where someone tried to open the cabin door ( which was locked ) and where the passenger was handcuffed in order to restrain her from killing us all. She was given 6 months jail time.

Another friend - drunk and on drugs, threw a tantrum in mid flight and got 6 months also in jail. Air Rage is more common than you think but then, drunks are allowed on board - they sell more and more booze to them throughout the flight and then wonder why some passengers turn agressive.

Airlines take your safety seriously and if and when a passenger causes turmoil - the police will be there to greet you on arrival and it's off to jail with you.

One women would not listen to a cabincrew friend of mine and her husband said -

'My wife does not listen or speak to servants.'

and the reply was -

'Well she had better listen to me if we are forced to make an emergency landing or she will be left on the plane as there are just 8 of us to watch over 200 passangers , and if she is that condescending to me and my fellow cabin crew - then she could be left behind.'

Probably not the best thing to say but it got a round of applause from all of us sitting around and who heard. Naturally, they didn't get the best of service throughout the flight and all of us around were tittering and finding it all quite amusing. On departure, another cabin crew helped with disembarcation and blocked them from being off he flight first and kept them, all innocently of course, until almost the very last. Surpring they were not in first class with that kind of attitude. It pays not to mess with cabin crew. They are in charge.



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