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American Airlines denies 1st class seat to black passenger

notworksafe

Member
Jun 17, 2008
16,510
49
1,085
Insane that you have to complain in order to get a fucking refund for a service you paid for but didn't receive. It should JUST. FUCKING. HAPPEN.

not only complain but complain to four different people, the first three saying it was actually impossible for me to get a refund at all from anyone. the last one took me to a different counter and broke out actual cash, which surprised me.

and this was with me being a united gold member too! i couldn't imagine what a non-club member would have to do
 

hipbabboom

Huh? What did I say? Did I screw up again? :(
Aug 22, 2013
7,828
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Not to defend the airline, but how would she know who the stewardess said this to and who she didn't? Maybe she'd overhear a row or two away, but surely not the whole plane, especially considering how not quite a plane is. I just had a flight where there were a bunch of empty seats and we were told that we could move if we wanted. I don't know if she said this to the people in front of me or behind me.

I'm also not sure how the airline knew one lady was black and the other was white when making the seat assignments.

I'm ready to pounce on these dumb airlines for all the nonsense they do, but I feel like there's something to this story I'm not getting.

I totally agree. There's gotta be a much more complex, convoluted and non-racist explaination for this. I'm so sick people jump to racism without knowing how much pain it causes the accused. Also we can all agree airlines are bad.
 

____

Member
Mar 10, 2008
3,498
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0
33
Miami, FL
All I am left with is maniacally laughing every time I read the news.

 

EGM1966

Member
Aug 5, 2011
10,350
0
0
UK
Jesus Christ is every airline in some hate competition right now?

US one's maybe. I've never had nor really heard of issues like this with most major Eurpean airlines.

Don't get me wrong I'm sure they screw up too but they seem to be able to operate without the high degree of uncertainty of US arilines see to (which seems due to overbooking practices and more frequent changes of plane resulting in changes to seating configuraiton).

I mean there should have, minimum, been a very clear and apologetic explanation at boarding, clear instructions on how to get redund due to unforseen seat move and you know not conspicously moving the black passanger but not the white.

I'm so wary of flying internally with US airlines anyway due to bad experiences but seems like its getting worse (or better reported).
 

Bubba T

Member
Nov 22, 2014
2,230
0
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I totally agree. There's gotta be a much more complex, convoluted and non-racist explaination for this. I'm so sick people jump to racism without knowing how much pain it causes the accused. Also we can all agree airlines are bad.

A lot of us are sick of racism and how much pain it causes in our lives.
 

paragonpro

Banned
Nov 6, 2014
5,400
0
0
Fuck all these airlines, i hate the power trips these pilots, flight attendants and air marshals get to go on, and they treat people like shit, well fuck that.
 

Nepenthe

Member
Mar 14, 2016
4,277
1
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It'd be one thing if it was coincidence that Baldwin's ticket was reassigned. Okay. Like, shit happens.

But to offer the white lady more comfortable seating because she sat next to her black friend?

C'mon son.
 

commish

Jason Kidd murdered my dog in cold blood!
Aug 3, 2004
26,509
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I totally agree. There's gotta be a much more complex, convoluted and non-racist explaination for this. I'm so sick people jump to racism without knowing how much pain it causes the accused. Also we can all agree airlines are bad.

If you want to say that one person (white) was treated better than another (black) on a plane, sure, I can certainly believe that. But it's hard for me to think that American decided to give the white woman a first class seat over the black woman when they couldn't have known the races of either. I mean, I don't think the women themselves are even claiming this. Subject of this thread is pretty misleading.
 
Mar 3, 2011
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I totally agree. There's gotta be a much more complex, convoluted and non-racist explaination for this. I'm so sick people jump to racism without knowing how much pain it causes the accused. Also we can all agree airlines are bad.

Don't jump to racism. Jump to it can't be racism.
 

therealist

Member
Feb 18, 2016
1,161
0
0
If there are less first class seats, then someone is going to get screwed at random. This just so happened that it was the black person at random who got screwed.
 

SMattera

Member
Jan 30, 2014
2,137
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This has happened to me several times. Buy a seat upgrade, don't get it for whatever reason, have to complain to get my money back. I've stopped buying seat upgrades.

This is a non-story. But the airline industry is terrible.
 

Violence Jack

Member
Jun 20, 2013
13,177
0
0
This has happened to me several times. Buy a seat upgrade, don't get it for whatever reason, have to complain to get my money back. I've stopped buying seat upgrades.

This is a non-story. But the airline industry is terrible.

They could have at least informed her about the seat change before they scanned her boarding pass.
 

ShyMel

Member
Oct 25, 2014
1,115
0
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If there are less first class seats, then someone is going to get screwed at random. This just so happened that it was the black person at random who got screwed.

But then when her friend went back to sit with her, only the friend out of the other passengers was offered to move to another seat.
 

Apocryphon_

Member
Nov 15, 2006
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388
1,540
But then when her friend went back to sit with her, only the friend out of the other passengers was offered to move to another seat.

Presumably the other passengers were sat in their assigned seats and were not entitled to move anywhere.
 

therealist

Member
Feb 18, 2016
1,161
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But then when her friend went back to sit with her, only the friend out of the other passengers was offered to move to another seat.

That all happened after the random downgrade though. I'm sure that the flight attendants may have some biases, but a systematic way for passengers to get downgraded seats due to not having enough first class spaces available isn't racist.
 

hipbabboom

Huh? What did I say? Did I screw up again? :(
Aug 22, 2013
7,828
1
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I just hope the flight crew doesn't read this thread or the blood will be on GAFs hand for pushing yet more people into racism.

OT: I feel like we're not all reading the same article. Did OP change or something? I don't understand how the boarding agent can change sets when the people boarding are clearly ghosts until they're on the plane. That's how this works right?
 

Greddleok

Member
Mar 13, 2015
6,300
1
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I don't understand what's so bad about the attendant saying "there was plenty of room" and to "spread out." Surely the implication was that the room was in economy class, not first class, and they can spread out...but not across the curtain to the Patricians in 1st class.
 

Tall4Life

Member
Apr 20, 2016
6,075
0
255
Ohio
Don't you understand OP, this is probably all in the name of lower prices for everyone. So stop your bitching.
/s
 

MikeHattsu

Member
Nov 5, 2013
23,462
1
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Norway
US one's maybe. I've never had nor really heard of issues like this with most major Eurpean airlines.

Don't get me wrong I'm sure they screw up too but they seem to be able to operate without the high degree of uncertainty of US arilines see to (which seems due to overbooking practices and more frequent changes of plane resulting in changes to seating configuraiton).

Well, overbooking happens in Europe too:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news-1...thousands-and-flouting-eu-rules-10407684.html
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/jul/16/british-airways-overbooked-flight-no-compensation

Leading to denial of boarding:
http://www.independent.co.uk/travel...engers-denied-boarding-aviation-a7678311.html
 

PSqueak

Banned
Jan 31, 2015
14,161
1
0
What the hell are you talking about?

The stupid myth that racist people do diet racism things, get backlash and react "the fuck is this? fucking left snowflakes, i will not learn anything an be even more racist because i got called out!" and this is somehow the left's problem and not the fact that racist people are racist.
 

perineumlick

Member
Nov 12, 2007
3,752
0
0
Jersey City, NJ
You read it here first black people; some of you don't even know what racism is, and if you keep crying wolf you gonna get the white man upset, then he's gonna REALLY get racist at you!
 

Apocryphon_

Member
Nov 15, 2006
2,339
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You read it here first black people; some of you don't even know what racism is, and if you keep crying wolf you gonna get the white man upset, then he's gonna REALLY get racist at you!

What do we call it when non-black passengers get bumped from first-class and treated in a shitty way by airline staff?
 

evilromero

Member
Jun 15, 2004
18,259
1
1,450
What do we call it when non-black passengers get bumped from first-class and treated in a shitty way by airline staff?
Are you really arguing this? The story identifies that the staff extended a clear preference for her while friend. Listen, white people have to go to put their fragile ego aside to understand that yes, racism is alive and kicking.
 

Brewmont

Banned
Sep 29, 2014
258
0
0
What do we call it when non-black passengers get bumped from first-class and treated in a shitty way by airline staff?

lol this thread.

A. They have no idea who is who when they have to bump people. The gate person most likely saw that someone needed to be moved and picked them at random. Then the main cabin could have shown full except for the back, but then those people at the front didn't show up.

B. As another poster stated, how the hell would she know if the back of the plain was not offered to spread out as well if she is no toward the front?

So many assumptions are being made, and my assumptions above could be equally as true.
 

Two Words

Member
May 8, 2014
17,043
4
505
This reminds me when my high school teacher wrote on my homework that he knew I copied my friend. In truth, I helped my friend out on the homework. I'm black, my friend is white.
 

Apocryphon_

Member
Nov 15, 2006
2,339
388
1,540
I dunno; did their black friends get offered better seats?

Nobody was offered a "better" seat. Fewer first class seats were available on this plane and people were bumped to coach. One of those people happened to be a black woman. Now how the choice to bump passengers was made isn't clear, but I'm fairly certain that there is a ranking the separates people who upgraded using point's or miles and people who paid for the seat outright. Regardless, she gets bumped and her friend doesn't, ... we don't know why. So far, I don't see anything racist.

The woman who was bumped to coach is assigned a seat at the back of the plane. Some people seems to thing this is racist and have drawn comparisons with buses in the 50's that had a section for black passengers at the back. I can see how this may be interpreted as racist but I find it unlikely as it was probably automated.

The passenger that was bumped asks whether she can wait at the front of the plane until boarding is complete to see whether all of the first class passengers actually turn up or not. She's refused and asked to take her seat. I don't see a problem with her request, but I also don't see a problem with the response either. What we don't know is the tone that either party was using during this discussion. Airline staff can be super shitty and passengers can be super shitty. So far, probably not racism.

At some point it becomes clear that people in the front coach row or rows didn't show so she moves to take one of those seat and her friend moves from first class to join her. The white friend describes the staff as being confused as to why she would leave first class, but we don't know much else. She, or they, are told that there is plenty of room in that row because people didn't show so they can spread out. It sounds like they were sat in connecting seats in a row of 4 so there was still at least 2 empty seats in that row. Now even if I was travelling with my girlfriend, if there was 4 free seats you can be sure that I would move over and "spread out". The insinuation appears to be that the white women might want to move away from black woman, and again, I can see how it could be interpreted that way but it could easily not be.

People get bumped from first class all the time and airline staff are shitty all the time. Maybe this was racism, but maybe it wasn't. I wasn't there and we have only anecdotal evidence from the two women. I learned long ago not to take things at face value and to continually ask questions. Let's see what American does or whether anybody comes forward to corroborate it. We've had plenty of shitty airline stories in recent months which lends credence to the belief that airline staff are shitty, but few of those stories have involved black people. Airline staff can be shitty to black people with it being racism.
 

Alienfan

Member
Mar 8, 2014
3,657
2
340
Over booking flights is a pretty normal part of how airlines operate, and why your tickets are cheap - they should have delt with the situation better (offered her a refund, which most airlines in the world would do as its a loss they eat it up with the overbooking thing, but American Airlines are shit), I don't think they're choosing who to move based on race
 

Swig_

Member
Sep 7, 2010
1,761
1
765
If they're anything like Delta, the seat changes are automated. They don't know your race, so it sounds like they're blowing this out of proportion or the passengers don't understand how the system works. It was coincidence and bad luck. It's not like they employ someone to watch the boarding area with a camera and bump minority passengers to worse seats.
 

timetokill

Banned
Oct 19, 2004
32,836
0
0
Los Angeles, CA
Hey if there are any black people that want to take a trip and need a white person to tag along to help them out in situations like this, I'm available and affordable, just pay my airfare and we're good
 

low-G

Member
May 6, 2010
6,260
1
0
Over booking flights is a pretty normal part of how airlines operate, and why your tickets are cheap - they should have delt with the situation better (offered her a refund, which most airlines in the world would do as its a loss they eat it up with the overbooking thing, but American Airlines are shit), I don't think they're choosing who to move based on race

Wait, you can pay the $30,000 for a first class seat and they just say "lol nope we keep money enjoy coach"?
 

EGM1966

Member
Aug 5, 2011
10,350
0
0
UK
As I noted it happens but it happens less in my experience as a regular business traveller and is far better regulated in EU particularly in terms of recompense and procedures for handling it.

If someone in first or business has an issue the airline typically goes out of its way to recompense you, apologise or put you on a competitors plane if required to suit your schedule.

The practice if properly aligned to expected demand and fairly executed should mostly result in savings and full flights and those with freedom travelling with regard to timeframes getting s nice reward for waiting for another flight.

US situation has gotten pretty grim for a while. It surprises me to an extent given US reputation for service culture but perhaps it form to internal flights being like getting a bus vs Europe where flying stil seems to be regarded as a bit more than that.

For sure my last US internal flights were dismal compared to similar European based flights.