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Shamed out of my seat by a stewardess

New Arrival

Flying home from DC, I got an earlybird seat and came 2 hours early and got a preboard as I have a strained back and was miserable to start. I got on took a seat in front by the window and then 3 people with a large dog got on with no carrier. There stewardess asked me to move so all three could sit together in my row. I refused but said they were welcome to the other 2 seats and the third across the aisle. This was not good enough and she, now most irritated asked me twice more and I relented. Now in the front right seat, back already miserable, I had to sit with my head down and hands between my legs to avoid being hit by all the other folks boarding with their luggage swinging and hitting me in the shoulders and face. After the flight took off and she was seated in her jump seat I could not look forward without out meeting her angry glare. I spent the flight with my elbows on my knees reading my kindle. I admit I glared right back at her but I was furious that I was treated as less worthy than the dog to a comfortable trip.

3 REPLIES 3
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Re: Shamed out of my seat by a stewardess

New Arrival

You really do sound like you are miserable, and it probably is not because of your back.. it sounds like you did what you could to make the trip miserable for yourself.. moving over two seats when you are by yourself to accomodate others is trivial and you could gave had a nice trip if you had a how can I be helpful attitude in the situation. 

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Re: Shamed out of my seat by a stewardess

Active Member

DD,

 

Welcome to SWAC. Sorry you had a less-than-favorable experience. I certainly can't speak for the flight attendant, but perhaps she was thinking more for your safety, and even for the safety of other passengers, than your convenience. A large dog, even a well-trained one, would probably be more comfortable with familiar persons and you, as a total stranger, could place yourself (and others) in a potentially harmful situation due to proximity in the row. It wouldn't be the first time a dog nipped or bit someone new to them.

 

We, as passengers, have a right to expect good conduct and reasonable treatment from the airplane crew and that happens day after day with overwhelming regularity. Being human, stuff happens in their lives, too, and what's percolating on the inside sometimes comes to the surface--especially when they are dealing with hundreds of passengers in the course of a day.

 

But with that said, there are FAA regulations that require passengers like you and me not to interfere with the duties of a flight crew. Some of those forms of interference, like assaulting a crew member, can be criminal acts with some very severe punishment. Others that don't rise to the level of criminality can, indeed, be civil violations with substantial penalties. The courts have upheld the importance of the non-interference regulations. From what you wrote, your refusal to be responsive to what, in the F/A's estimation, was a reasonable request, escalated this toward becoming an interference situation. 

 

For what it's worth, here's just one example of the application of the Interference Rule:

https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=119c6499-257f-4bb6-a5aa-d81ccb20b595

 

As a very frequent flyer, I've found most F/As to be reasonable and accommodating. If you travel with any regularity, the same is probably true for you. If you feel you've been improperly treated in any way, you can speak with the senior F/A on the flight or, if that doesn't satisfy, take a name and contact SWA customer care to plead your case. 

 

Just one other thing not related to the dog incident but, rather, about your back. You indicated you purchased early bird (automatic) check in and you also were okayed for preboarding. That was hedging your bets and assuring the best possible seating opportunity. However, if you knew you were going to use the preboard option at the time of ticketing, you could have saved the $25 or so EBCI fee and just boarded early with a preboard authorization. 

 

I trust your back heals soon and you have a much more comfortable experience on your future flights. Have a restful weekend!

 

 

 

 

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Re: Shamed out of my seat by a stewardess

Active Member

Very Sad, you that is. If you were asked to move, there obviously was a need to do so. It's a shame that you didn't listen to the reasoning behind it, but instead took as a personal attack. Right now, it's you who are doing the shaming of someone that was doing their job, looking at the needs of 100 other passengers.