A United Airlines elite frequent flyer was threatened by a flight attendant after an incident relating to an extra serving of Manicotti.
On Friday, a United 1K Premier member by the name of Sam was traveling from New Orleans, LA to Seattle, WA, via a stop in Denver, CO. By coincidence, the aircraft and crew were the same for both flights.
As a Premier 1K member, Sam gets complimentary upgrades to First Class when available. On the day in question, Sam’s upgrade cleared for the first flight but not the second.
On the first flight — the 2.5-hour hop from New Orleans to Denver — Sam was seated in First Class and had pre-ordered his meal to be served during the flight. However, catering problems meant that the meal never made it onto the aircraft and that Sam did not get fed.
Furthermore, since Sam was seated in Economy Plus for his second flight, he would not receive a meal.
As he was deplaning in Denver for the Layover, Sam casually asked whether there would be a way for him to have one of the leftover meals from First on his second flight. The flight attendant told him that she would see what she could do.
When Sam boarded again 45 minutes later, he half-heartedly told the same flight attendant, "don't forget me now" on his way to his seat, reminding her of the inquiry he had made not long earlier.
Sam shared his recollection from the exchange: "She did not promise or guarantee anything nor did I expect something in return. Again, it was just small talk and the kind of connection and bond that you make when it’s the rare occasion of having the same FA on both legs of your trip."
Obviously, this small talk was noticed by the purser (lead flight attendant) who turned to her colleague and asked what was going on and what the interaction was about.
It seems as though the flight attendant had managed to get Sam a meal, as she winked at him. Approximately five minutes later, the purser came to Sam's seat and, in a disrespectful and condescending manner, said to him that it was forbidden to eat a first class meal in the Economy cabin. Sam told her that that was fine and that he was not going to cause any issues.
All of this made Sam think nothing up until 90 minutes into the flight when the first class meal service had ended. The same flight attendant who had joked with Sam earlier about a meal now came to his seat and discreetly handed him the Manicotti he asked for a couple of hours prior.
He thanked her, but unfortunately the good deed did not go unpunished. The purser saw what had happened and walked over to Sam's seat, telling him that he had some sort of "legal obligation" to decline the meal and that she would be writing him up for accepting it when expressly told not to. She even went as for as to say that the captain was angry at him and that he could be placed on the no-fly list for this.
While it is understandable that mistakes can happen, it could come across as very unreasonable to discipline a loyal customer or a generous kind-hearted flight attendant simply because of an attitude or for the discreet meal service she provided to him.
What do you think about the altercation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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