December 24, 2017

"A passenger on a flight from Houston to Washington D.C. has accused United Airlines of giving her first-class seat to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee..."

"... and then threatening to remove her from the plane for complaining and snapping a photo of the Houston congresswoman," the Houston Chronicle reports.
"It was just so completely humiliating," said Jean-Marie Simon, a 63-year-old attorney and private school teacher who used 140,000 miles on Dec. 3 to purchase the first-class tickets to take her from Washington D.C. to Guatemala and back home. When it came time to board the last leg of her flight home from George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Dec. 18, after a roughly hour-long weather delay, Simon said the gate attendant scanned her paper ticket and told her it was not in the system.... Her seat, 1A, was taken, she was told. Simon was given a $500 voucher and reseated in row 11, Economy Plus. Simon later learned that Jackson Lee was in her pre-purchased seat and has alleged that the congresswoman received preferential treatment, which United denies....
I don't know whether Simon or United is telling the truth, but: 1. Don't take a photograph of another passenger without permission, and 2. That's what first class looks like on United?!

Jackson Lee's response is classic. This is just great if you are — like me — a fan of biting sarcasm enclosed in ludicrous faux-niceness:
"Since this was not any fault of mine, the way the individual continued to act appeared to be, upon reflection, because I was an African American woman, seemingly an easy target along with the African American flight attendant who was very, very nice.... This saddens me, especially at this time of year given all of the things we have to work on to help people. But in the spirit of this season and out of the sincerity of my heart, if it is perceived that I had anything to do with this, I am kind enough to simply say sorry."

137 comments:

Fabi said...

Sheila Jackson Lee is the answer to the question "Can you be too stupid to breathe?".

320Busdriver said...

Is SJL friends with Gwen Moore? I bet they're besties.

rehajm said...

Can Rene Boucher attack Representatives with impunity too?

David Begley said...

SJL has to play the race card as that’s all she’s got.

United should pay a social media price. How does United do this after dragging that guy off the plane?

320Busdriver said...

Sheila Jackson Lee is the answer to the question "Are term limits a good thing"

22 years?

320Busdriver said...

"Don't take a photograph of another passenger without permission"

As soon as anything out of the ordinary happens on the jet cell phones appear in unison, mostly in record mode.

DanTheMan said...

>>if it is perceived

Translation: I'm blameless, you racist!



Xmas said...

That's a small plane. I see only two rows of business class seating. Maybe it's an Embraer regional jet, which doesn't seem right for a Houston to DC flight.
https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/United_Airlines/United_Airlines_Embraer_EMB-170.php#

Jersey Fled said...

I notice Ms. Jackson Lee wasn't "kind enough" to give up her 1st class seat to the woman. Not when a no cost, after the fact "apology" was sufficient. Along with gratuitously implying that the woman was a racist.

Thought exercise: what do you think GWB would have done in that situation.

iowan2 said...

Seems the most logical is SJL needed a seat, and demanded the bump a white woman to get her seat. SJL is a flaming racist.

tim in vermont said...

You do have to look at SJL’s history, I think, before judging her. I don’t think one need be racist to get upset at being taken from their seat on an airplane to make room for a powerful politician. Especially right around Christmas.

Michael K said...

United needs another story like this badly. It will add to the NFL-level PR triumphs of the year.

The Elder said...

That has to rank near the top of the list of fake, self-congratulatory, non-apology apologies ever made!

But pointing that out undoubtedly makes me a racist in her opinion.

Quaestor said...

While its true that one shouldn't take anyone's photograph without permission, the plain fact is that without the picture the ultra-corrupt congresscritter wouldn't have even bothered to offer that insult veiled in an apology.

Leslie Graves said...

I am kind enough to simply say sorry.

stlcdr said...

Since it’s at the gate, that’s a boarding pass. A computer system won’t issue a boarding pass for a specific seat, unless the seat is open. If two boarding passes are issued, somehow, then the person who gets on first will have the ticket scanned and allowed to board. The boarding system will not say the ticket isn’t in the system, but will indicate that the seat is already taken.

For this to happen, there has to be human intervention. If this was a fluke situation, it most likely wouldn’t be with a major government representative, the coincidence is simply too much.

As a side note, I was on a plane from Charleston to Detroit, when Nikki Haley (then governor of SC) got on - she was in economy class, not business class. I don’t know whether it was seat availability, or fiscal responsibility, but it’s definately a better class of representative.

Tank said...

Ms. Simon, it was mighty white of you to give up your seat for SJL.

stlcdr said...

Oh, and someone who uses ‘it’s because i’m black’ can go FOAD.

Humperdink said...

SJL: "Get to the back of the bus ...er.... plane, you honkie. It's our turn."

tim in vermont said...

But pointing that out undoubtedly makes me a racist in her opinion.

Back in school, while studying digital logic, we used to make these things called, IIRC, K-Maps. Basically, what you would use them for was to reduce complex logic to the simplest form that produces the identical result of the complicated form. A K-Map of SJL’s mental processes would simplify to “IF you disagree with me on any point, AND white, THEN racist.”

Saves a lot of needless logical processing.

Humperdink said...

No clandestine pics on an airplane? Isn't that why they made the iPhone?

tim in vermont said...

You can take anybody’s picture in a public place. You just can’t use it for commercial purposes without their permission.

Michael K said...

I don’t know whether it was seat availability, or fiscal responsibility, but it’s definately a better class of representative.

SJL is the most self important member of a body that is second to none in self importance. She will take a limousine three blocks.

She is well known as an idiot in DC.

Tom from Virginia said...

The lesson is clear: if you don't want to get bumped for someone higher up on the food chain, don't fly first class.

Tommy Duncan said...

"But in the spirit of this season and out of the sincerity of my heart, if it is perceived that I had anything to do with this, I am kind enough to simply say sorry."

They left out Ms. Lee's next statement:

"Hand me my cellphone. The FBI's goin' to be 'vestigating that sorry honky's white ass!" She don't know who she's talkin' to.

traditionalguy said...

Reparations are alive and well. Affirmative seating is done so the peasants get a better life experience in going to the back of the plane. And since her luggage was not tossed off on the tarmac to make room for the Congress woman’s extra cases carryng Donor loot, she is lucky.

n said...

Xmas said...
That's a small plane. I see only two rows of business class seating. Maybe it's an Embraer regional jet, which doesn't seem right for a Houston to DC flight.
https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/United_Airlines/United_Airlines_Embraer_EMB-170.php#
United uses Airbus 319, Boeing 737 and Embraer RJ on Houston to DC.

Quaestor said...

Karnaugh map.

brylun said...

You can take anybody’s picture in a public place. You just can’t use it for commercial purposes without their permission.

I agree with the general statement that you can take anybody's picture in a public place.

Questions: Is the airplane cabin a "public place?" Is an airline a "public carrier?" Or is the airplane cabin a "private space?" If it is a "public place" is there some kind of "fire in the crowded theater" argument working against photos in an airplane cabin?

Any legal opinions?

Quaestor said...

The Embraer RJ doesn't look wide enough to seat four abreast or even 2/1 with a center aisle.

Steven Wilson said...

Another version of this story included the added detail that she had spent 140,000 miles to get the first class seat. $500 next to that is not adequate compensation. Whilst I have never had a bad experience with United, which I fly frequently, it seems this airline has tone deaf at times approach to customer service and public relations. Which, come to think of it, makes it the perfect airline of choice for the mandarins of DC.

If the bumped passenger is a lawyer and living in DC there's about a 9 to 1 chance she votes thoroughly and reflexively Democrat. I wonder if this will give her pause come her next trip to the ballot box, or will she conclude that SJL is an outlier rather than the archetype for that party.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Corruptocrats are royalty. Bow down.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Black corruptocrats are gods. Bow down, and stop looking at her, you racist.

Quaestor said...

I wonder if this will give her pause come her next trip to the ballot box, or will she conclude that SJL is an outlier rather than the archetype for that party.

The immediate and obvious answer is no. Democratic politicians have been routinely abusing Democratic voters as serfs and chattels since Franklin Pierce without consequence at the ballot box. Erich Fromm explained the continued existence of the Democratic Party in 1941. SJL has almost certainly not read anything by Fromm, but she understands the principles intuitively.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I don't know whether Simon or United is telling the truth, but: 1. Don't take a photograph of another passenger without permission,

Nonsense, Althouse, your thinker needs more coffee. Explain, if you will, how the victim's outcome would have been improved minus the photo.

I daresay nobody asked permission of either the Vietnamese doctor, or the cops who dragged him off that other United flight leaving a blood trail, to film that.

I suppose Monica shouldn't have saved the blue dress, either.

How often, meanwhile, does this sort of foolery happen, that the airline hasn't the sense to compensate generously, in excess of the utilitarian value of the deprivation of service? Not that a United flight reservation is worth a million bucks, but oughtn't they want their passengers to feel as if it were?

Paco Wové said...

"The Embraer RJ doesn't look wide enough to seat four abreast or even 2/1 with a center aisle."

Don't worry, the airlines find a way.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

United sucks. If I can fly another airline, I do. Sadly, they are often the only option.

I hope the woman who was bumped so the racist corruptocrat could sit in United's over-priced "luxury" seat, got her miles credited back to her account. Not just a worthless 500 voucher.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

without the photo, SJL would lie like a Clinton or a McCabe, and say it never happened. Democratics know the sky is clear for their lies.

Unknown said...

We're sorry we only delivered to you breadsticks, instead of the two pizzas you ordered.

Please accept our voucher for a free order of breadsticks.

- james james

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Shorter SJL: "If you get kicked out of your first class seat by a black democrat, and you complain about it, you are a racist."


A descent normal politician would have swapped seats.

Fernandinande said...

Jackson Lee's response is classic.

Yes, it's "classic" for blacks to accuse everyone of racism while practicing racism.

It's so cute!

Bruce Hayden said...

I too don’t see the problem with taking the picture. What we are talking about is a privacy interest, and I would argue that you implicitly waive that for the people on the plane when you board such. Which may be one reason that 1st Class often gets a curtain for separation from the lower classes. The idea being, maybe, that with all the extra that you are spending for the seat, that you should get some privacy from the riff raff. In this case, there is also the news angle. SJL has apparently been a butt head (and likely had United preempt the seat for her). Documenting that is probably more than sufficient justification for the photo, even if SJL had had a legitimate privacy interest in preventing the photo of her.

AllenS said...

The reason why it's ok to take pictures of people --

LINK TEXT

AllenS, Deplorable Lawyer

Michael said...

As noted, you cannot get to the gate without a boarding pass and the boarding pass has on it your assigned seat. The answer that it is not "in the system" is a bullshit answer more commonly known as a lie.

And, yes, race was involved likely at the moment SJL demanded a first class seat.

Wince said...

"This should be open, because it's civil rights... This is the 90s."

Bad Lieutenant said...

Racism, racism, racism. I wonder when was the last time any of these Congresscritters was ever whipped or sold south. Oh, never? I wonder if any of them ever met anyone who was whipped or sold south.

This Lee person has very poor values and it is sad to think that she may adequately represent her district. Adding insult to injury. This level of viciousness would seem more appropriate, if still excessive, to someone freshly liberated from a gulag, laogai, DPRK, etc. I think of Auden:

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Danno said...

SJL said"... This saddens me, especially at this time of year given all of the things we have to work on to help people..."

I call bullshit. As she is part of the resistance, she hasn't done fucking anything for the better part of a year now!

AllenS said...

If you think that Sheila Jackson Lee is a piece of shit, just imagine what people in her district that keep electing her are like.

David Baker said...

And the rest of the passengers remind me of a herd of wildebeest passively watching one of their own get slaughtered.

mockturtle said...

In spite of Jackson's ignoble reaction, United gets the green weenie here. A $500 compensation for 140,000 flying miles? The least they could have done is to award her two first-class passages to the destination of her choice. I've never liked United.

Freeman Hunt said...

Had to have the photo to prove the story. Government people acting like lords over us is a real story.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I was an African American woman, seemingly an easy target along with the African American flight attendant who was very, very nice.

The woman's job and social status is being threatened. She is looking at complete social ostracism because someone called her a racist on the Internet.

Saint Croix said...

I don't know whether Simon or United is telling the truth

You don't know? Seriously?

1. Why did they give her $500 if it was an innocent mistake?

2. And if it was an innocent mistake, how did it happen that a commoner was bumped for a royal?

320Busdriver said...

It is an Airbus 319. Flightaware confirms it.

Lem Ozuna from the Braves said...

Ok I’m going to be the annoying commenter who says if this was a GOP congressperson it would lead all the News everywhere around the globe ;)

Mark said...

I don't know whether Simon or United is telling the truth

Well, either the ticket was authentic and she was (had been) in the system when it was printed, or she forged it. And the likelihood of someone thinking that they could get away with forging a front row seat in first class is zero.

Kevin said...

Sheila Jackson Lee: There must be some mistake, this is a middle seat in coach.

United Agent: (after typing furiously) Yes, ma'am that's exactly what was booked.

Sheila Jackson Lee: Don't you think I realize what's going on here, miss? Who do you think I am, huh? Don't you think I know that if I was some US Senator that pulled inside here and you guys made a reservation mistake, I'd be the first one to get a First Class seat and I'd be upstairs in the private club relaxing right now. But I'm not some Senator, I'm a Congresswoman from Houston that's been fighting hard to stop Donald Trump and just wrapped up taping the Sunday talk shows. I was gonna call my next appearance "Barack Obama Is Still Sitting On Top of the World," but now I think I might as well just call it "Barack Obama Can Sit On Top of the World Just As Long As He Doesn't Sit in First Class on United Airlines 'Cause There's No NIGGERS Allowed in There!"

United Manager: (comes running over) Let me see what I can do.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Exactly, the woman who had her seat stolen by a spoiled brat(D), will now be destroyed by an army of fascist leftwing a-holes.

Kevin said...

1. Don't take a photograph of another passenger without permission

You can record a cop doing his duty, which is all the time since they're always on duty. I don't see why this doesn't apply to people in all positions of government to ensure they're exercising their power responsibly.

After all, the government has absolutely no problem photographing us any time they wish.

Darrell said...

The Commissar wants a seat. Why are you still here?
Impeach SJL!

madAsHell said...

I refuse to use apps generated by corporations trying to be customer oriented.

mockturtle said...

I read of an incident where an adult Caroline Kennedy was waiting in a line at the bank. Outraged that she was being treated like a commoner, she asked the teller, 'Do you know who I am?'

Teller: 'Yes, Ms. Kennedy, and you will wait your turn like everyone else.'

There was a similar story regarding John Kerry at a ski lift, IIRC.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Race baiters gonna race bait. Sheila Jackson Lee and everyone in her district that voted for her can consume a satchel of phalli.

Big Mike said...

I interpret the text of Althouse’s post as being sympathetic to Sheila Jackson Lee, as though the “honorable” Sheila Jackson Lrr was the innocent beneficiary of a computer glitch. Perhaps I am misunderstanding. Nevertheless I do not for a minute believe that anything happening anyplace around Sheila Jackson Lee occurred without one of her trademark screeching hissy fits to get her way.

Saint Croix said...

I don't think she was being sarcastic, by the way.

She decided that the person was a racist as a defense mechanism because she felt guilty.

And she felt guilty because she took her seat.

Very likely she knew that somebody had been bumped, because she didn't react like an innocent person, she acted like a guilty person who was trying not to feel guilty.

This is also why she mentioned the African-American flight attendant, who was very nice, because of her dim self-awareness that maybe she herself was not very nice. "I'm keeping my special seat! I've earned my special seat!" She needs an innocent person with black skin to play the victim because she herself is obviously not a victim of anything.

She's not being sarcastic when she brings up Christmas. She's just being dishonest.

She brings up Christmas twice.

this saddens me, especially at this time of year

in the spirit of this season

She's not being sarcastic there. She has many Christian voters. She probably goes to church herself. Being sarcastic about Christianity is not something politicians do, even stupid ones.

out of the sincerity of my heart, if it is perceived that I had anything to do with this, I am kind enough to simply say sorry.

Possibly she is being sarcastic here. She knows she's insincere and unkind, but she doesn't care because she has denounced this woman as a white racist.

It's entirely possible she actually thinks of herself as sincere and kind.

chickelit said...

I get the distinct impression that Althouse feels some white guilt for Jackson.

rhhardin said...

The Onion had a picture of a naked lady with a golden retriever, and the golden retriever has its eyes concealed by a black rectangle.

MikeR said...

"Whilst I have never had a bad experience with United, which I fly frequently" Lucky you. My family has never had a good experience with them, to the extent that most of us have sworn never to fly them for any reason. They cancelled my daughter's connecting flight with no warning, refused to help her get a flight with any other carrier, and left her overnight in an airport instead of getting her a hotel. They refused to refund a cancelled international connecting flight for my son, on the theory that "It was Swiss Air's overall flight." Or something. We have more stories, and in each case appealing to higher-ups was completely fruitless. No more.

chickelit said...

BTW, I agree with commenters remarking on the poor service provided by United. Years ago, they messed up a carefully planned family trip to Hawaii by not allowing my whole family to sit together but rather in pairs separated by several rows. This was a last-minute seating change. We resonded by consciously avoiding United thereafter.

Tim said...

Don't forget Sheila Jackson Lee is a YALE graduate and UVA law grad. Only the best people get ot go there. Don'tcha know.

Pettifogger said...

The displaced passenger was unhappy only because of the race of the person for whom she was displaced? Would not Lee be livid to be displaced by another black person?

It used to be said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels. Now it seems accusations of racism are the first and only refuge for many scoundrels.

Pettifogger said...

The displaced passenger was unhappy only because of the race of the person for whom she was displaced? Would not Lee be livid to be displaced by another black person?

It used to be said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels. Now it seems accusations of racism are the first and only refuge for many scoundrels.

Pettifogger said...

The displaced passenger was unhappy only because of the race of the person for whom she was displaced? Would not Lee be livid to be displaced by another black person?

It used to be said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels. Now it seems accusations of racism are the first and only refuge for many scoundrels.

Anonymous said...

But Lee didn't change seats with the lady, did she?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Come the hell on. Do any Althousians fly or have the foggiest idea how airlines dole out status-related perks?

I'm no fan of Sheila Jackson Lee, but this has nothing to do with her race or her job or her attitude. It is simply the computer seeing that she has a high level of status, probably Premier 1K, based on the number of miles she flies. She would probably have Global Services but she flies on government rates so she wouldn't hit the dollar amount required for that. She probably had no idea that someone on an award ticket was bumped for her, and if she did, well sorry, she's entitled to that and the award ticketholder should read her contract of carriage more carefully.

Source: husband flies weekly on United, closes out this year with 230k+ miles under his belt, and is often seated in first class beside our own Congressman as he commutes between our city and Washington. He has people bumped from first class to free a seat for him, in exactly this fashion, all the time, simply due to the amount of money he spends on airfare yearly. He's had planes held for him when he's had a tight connection. Sucks for everyone else but it's a business strategy for the airlines.

Stan Smith said...

I will never fly United again, even if it's the only airline that goes where I want. This is not because of this incident or the "dragging the man off incident" (though those are reasons enough), but rather because I witnessed one of the most egregious examples of heartless humanity at Dulles Airport. A Japanese woman, who had a connection to make with another airline, was bumped from a flight because the flight was overbooked. Her connection was to another flight that only flew once a week (I don't know where she was going, but it was obviously "out of the way"). The United agent refused to deal with the woman, offering NO voucher, NO kind of hotel, NO refund, NO assistance of any kind. The woman was left crying at the gate, with NO kind of sympathy or empathy AT ALL.

Apparently, this is the kind of "service" you get from the "employee-owned" "friendly skies." Nope. Not flying United ever again.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Sheila Jackson Lee has a long history of problems with airlines.

From 2002:

For years, Jackson Lee tormented the airline's office in Washington that handles VIP booking. When Congress was in session, her staff would make several reservations early in the week for return flights to Houston. After the House finished its business that week, she would grab whichever flight was most convenient and scrap the others. But this kind of rule-bending put the carrier in a difficult position. Not only was Jackson Lee only paying coach fare (she was routinely bumped up to first class), but Continental was unable to sell the premier seats she didn't use. Meanwhile, airline crew regularly complained about Jackson Lee's rudeness. Continental managers, however, feared reprisal and saw little they could do.

From 1998:

She then described an incident the previous month when Lee boarded a flight at National, and found the menu did not include a seafood special she had wanted.

"She screamed at the top of her lungs at least a minute," Burruss quotes Cox as telling her. "She embarrassed the flight attendants and the passengers in first class. And she embarrassed herself."

According to Burruss, Cox claimed Lee declared, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Where is my seafood meal? I know it was ordered!"

When Burruss asked Cox what could be done, Cox asked that her message be relayed directly to Lee, and then joked, "We have already given her the Delta Airlines schedule."


Personally, I'm inclined to believe Ms. Simon's version of the story.

chickelit said...

@Pants: So why did the Congresswoman have to throw in the racebaiting?

Stan Smith said...

Sucks for everyone else but it's a business strategy for the airlines.

Yeah, well it's a strategy that lost this customer forever. And whether your husband flies a trillion miles a year or not, it's something that he shouldn't be proud of or tolerate if he "has people bumped from first class to free a seat for him, in exactly this fashion, all the time".

He's no better than Ms. Jackson-Lee.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

@Pants: So why did the Congresswoman have to throw in the racebaiting?

Because she sucks and is dumb and that's what she does. But that's a separate issue from United policies.

Ken B said...

What a hypocritical post. Althouse takes pictures of people without permission all the time, and posts them. She has in the past posted video taken on an airplane. But SJL gets special coddling.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Sorry, the first link in my above comment didn't take.

Link

rhhardin said...

I have a personalized United 100,000 mile club luggage tag from the 60s somewhere.

That ought to be good to bump somebody.

chickelit said...

"What a hypocritical post. Althouse takes pictures of people without permission all the time, and posts them. She has in the past posted video taken on an airplane. But SJL gets special coddling."

In the future, I'm sure that Althouse will blur out the faces of people in her published photos.

bleh said...

Other passengers on that route have said that SJL regularly pulls rank and takes a first class seat. United won’t do anything to stop her because she’ll just play the race card, which is exactly what she’s done here. Basically, SJL is an extortionist. You really liked her statement, Althouse?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Yeah, well it's a strategy that lost this customer forever. And whether your husband flies a trillion miles a year or not, it's something that he shouldn't be proud of or tolerate if he "has people bumped from first class to free a seat for him, in exactly this fashion, all the time"

I hate to be blunt but United cares way more about the huge-ass fares that last minute businessmen pay than about what Joe Schmoe scrapes together for Aunt Mabel's funeral. But yes, I agree that it's jerky and he is often uncomfortable with it. Just trying to help people understand how and why these things happen, not argue that they are lovely and heartwarming.

bleh said...

Honestly I would think this sort of thing would be of interest to the House Ethics Committee, or whoever it is that investigates members for abusing their position. But her statement has biting sarcasm in it, so all is forgiven.

Ken B said...

Pants
If you are right the SJL's accusation is bullshit, and so is Althouse’s apologia for it.
The computer might know about powerful people in government. In a regulated industry that can be good business too.
Your story also has United as the liar too of course.

Greg Hlatky said...

My wife took the same flight on Southwest out of Houston with Ted Cruz. She said he was as friendly and approachable as could be. He also waited in line like everyone else.

Mark said...

He has people bumped from first class to free a seat for him, in exactly this fashion, all the time, simply due to the amount of money he spends on airfare yearly. He's had planes held for him when he's had a tight connection. Sucks for everyone else but it's a business strategy for the airlines.

And he and you are OK with that? As if he is simply an innocent bystander having no role in this?

You got it right in the first line -- "HE has people bumped . . ." Screwing over innocent people are on him and the mentality of privilege and entitlement. He could always make the humble and decent choice of NOT putting people out.

Earnest Prole said...

Members of Congress work for me, not the other way around, so I’ll photograph them wherever I damn well please — and if they don’t like it they can get into another line of work.

chickelit said...

Pants gets the 2017 commenter of the year award for most ostentatious display of wealth.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...


And he and you are OK with that? As if he is simply an innocent bystander having no role in this?

You got it right in the first line -- "HE has people bumped . . ." Screwing over innocent people are on him and the mentality of privilege and entitlement. He could always make the humble and decent choice of NOT putting people out.


Apologies; it should have read *he has had*, as in United flight service coordinators do it of their own accord.

Sometimes he doesn't know until it's too late to do anything about it, sometimes he declines it, sometimes he accepts it. If it's a couple traveling together he always declines it. Lots of times he's offered his confirmed seat in first to half of a couple traveling together if one but not both of them is offered an upgrade, and will go sit in coach so they can sit together in first. Sometime he will accept an upgrade that someone else is bumped for based on which aircraft it is, seat configuration etc because he has back and knee problems and sometimes, especially after an intercontinental flight, he would be in agony in coach on a regional connection, and well he's only human. Just depends on the situation.

Keep in mind that a lot of the people in first haven't paid for it; they are fellow status upgrades who know how the game is played. Sometimes they benefit from it; sometimes a bigger fish comes along. Really, it's not that big a deal to get moved back to Economy Plus. It's not like they're left standing on the tarmac with their luggage at their feet.

Greg Hlatky said...

Very illuminating post and comments. It seems that if you're a little person who scrapes up enough for the luxury (such as it is) of flying first class you can always be banished to steerage by any braying celeb, privileged legislator or special-account frequent flyer. Useful to know when choosing airlines.

Greg Hlatky said...

It's not like they're left standing on the tarmac with their luggage at their feet.

But, if necessary, that's just what will happen.

Stan Smith said...

It's not like they're left standing on the tarmac with their luggage at their feet.

Like the Japanese woman my original post referenced. The fact is, United is notorious for horrible customer service. This is just another example. And ANY airline that routinely bumps paying passengers for the "more entitled" should suffer loss of business. The ticket is a CONTRACT and should be honored.

Yancey Ward said...

I guess from a statistical standpoint, one would have to ask how often such a situation arises between two flyers? The very fact that it was a Congresswoman who benefited from the "mistake" is pretty strong evidence that someone at United cancelled the original boarding pass. The case is even stronger if Jackson was personally escorted onto the flight first- that was to ensure that the other passenger didn't get to the boarding agent first.

On balance, I find for the plaintiff.

Hyphenated American said...

What Sheila did here - isn’t it as bad as sexual harassment by Al Franken? ... She routinely abuses American people, and then brings up her black privilege and falsely accuses taxpayers of racism. Republicans need to investigate this case and use it to beat up democrats....

Imagine a simple cartoon, with a dnc representative, looking like Sheila “bad manners” Lee taking a sit from a regular taxpayer....

Hyphenated American said...

Note by the way, that Sheila “black privilege” Lee was seated before any other passenger.
Shouldn’t she be investigated for abusing her position of power?

Yancey Ward said...

And someone enterprising might look deeper into why the flight was delayed. Can one even be sure there was a mechanical problem that wasn't just Jackson Lee being late for her flight?

JAORE said...

Let 'em eat (the crappy, formerly frozen) cake (that is served in coach).

"...he has back and knee problems...".

I'm sure he asks the to-be-bumped peons if they have similar or worse ailments before they are dispatched to the rear, right?

virgil xenophon said...

Tim@10:18am/

Which only confirms the worthlessness of a Yale or UVA degree..

Paul said...

Lesson to learn.... if you always go 'cattle car' class you never have to worry about 'special' people bumping you off.

cubanbob said...

SJL is reason enough to limit the vote to adults in full possession of their civil rights, have a job or are retired and have an IQ above room temperature. That would probably eliminate most of SJL constituents as voters.

Unknown said...

Black Privilege means you always go first class.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

From the link...

About five minutes after Simon took the photo on the plane, Simon said, another flight attendant sat next her and asked if she "was going to be a problem."

Simon said she replied that she just wanted to go home.

She said the plane took off at 12:50 p.m. and she arrived home that night, still upset. Simon wrote a letter to airline's CEO and posted it on Facebook and Twitter. A "resolution manager" called her Saturday morning and apologized at least a half-dozen times, she said.

She said she wants a formal, written apology from United.

"It's just impossible to suspend disbelief and swallow that story that I cancelled my flight," Simon said.



United is saying she cancelled her flight. She is saying -NO, she did not.

I believe her, not United.

walter said...

Wait..
Which one is Rosa Parks?

n.n said...

Which one is Rosa Parks?

The woman standing.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Take the picture. Record the exchange.

Did she make stuff up? Did she provoke the conflict?

Be a journalist. Be the activist.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Lighten up, guys. Good Lord.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

By the way, I assure you that my evil, rich, entitled husband (@@) would much rather be home with his family every night than getting upgrades, but that's what he does to provide for said family. I'm sorry some people are all pissy about the way that airlines manage their customers; I hope you don't start reading about the status shit that goes down at hotels because then you'd really blow a gasket.

walter said...

She needs her space to keep up on the tensions between North and South Vietnam:
"Today we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they're living side by side. "

Seems getting around has been an issue for her.

After ordering her driver to literally park at the front door of the US Treasury against Secret Service orders, and then demanding her driver to not pull over for pursuing Secret Service officers, her driver finally pulled over against her wishes. She then confronted the Secret Service officials.
“I’m Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee! Who do you think you are?”
Sheila Jackson Lee, 2008

Former Capitol office executive assistant and events scheduler Rhiannon Burruss claimed Sheila Jackson Lee was outraged when she found out someone was given a chauffeur to a Selma march anniversary, while she wasn't given one.
“You don't understand. I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen.”
Sheila Jackson Lee, March 1998

According to a former staffer, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee caused a scene when she found out a meal she wanted wasn't available on the type of flight she was on.
“Don't you know who I am? I'm Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Where is my seafood meal? I know it was ordered.”
Sheila Jackson Lee, 1998

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

And, reminder, the original point is that even if SJL is an asshat (which she is) there's no evidence that somehow United screwed over an award ticketholder (which please don't forget that's a freebie and comes with a long list of terms, conditions and exclusions; trust me, gotten the shaft myself when flying on miles many times) because of who she is.

walter said...

Sorry..don't think these are on Amazon:
Trading Races Deck

Race Card Deck

Michael said...

I have misplaced my pants

I have a three million miles on a couple of different airlines ,United not one of them.
If you have a confirmed seat on the airlines I fly you cannot be bumped because someone of higher status arrives.
I think it is unlikely that your husband can have people moved out of first class once they are seated. You may be thinking that his status bumps others before boarding when there are people awaiting upgrades. This happens frequently.

Michael said...

Oh, and on Delta if you are traveling on a "free" ticket you are not going to be bumped because Delta seems to think that you have "earned" that seat.

320Busdriver said...

If you fly first often enough, (US carriers) eventually you will get bumped and the only thing the "airline" can tell you is it's for security reasons. But yes, it happens all the time.

Michael said...

320Busdriver

No, it does not happen "all the time." If you have a first class ticket you will not be bumped unless in the unlikely event there has been a change in equipment that cannot accommodate you. This has happend to me once and I was moved to business class and compensated for the dollar difference.

320Busdriver said...

Michael, I do not think you are getting my drift, but it does happen, and quite often. All that the agents can tell you when this happens is it is for security reasons. The person sitting in your seat will not be a fare paying passenger with a higher "status" than you.

Jim at said...

So why did the Congresswoman have to throw in the racebaiting?

Why does a bear shit in the woods?

Michael said...

320Busdriver

Sky Marshalls don't sit in the front, or haven't in years. And they get assigned seats which they purchase so they are not bumping passengers. In forty five years of very frequent flying, mostly in first class I have never seen a seated passenger asked to relinquish their seat to a Marshall or anybody else.

320Busdriver said...

Michael, I fly 75-85 *hours* a month, every month, for the last 25 years. Plus I ALWAYS have a seat in front of first class and am the one who is notified every time it happens. You may fly frequently, but nothing in your last post is accurate. Sorry.

Michael said...

320Busdriver

Oh, ok Mr. secret pilot man. Glad I haven't ridden on your airline. Sounds like a crap shoot buying a ticket with your firm.

Hope you have checked out on the psych tests.

Kirk Parker said...

Misplaced,

Well, if that's really United's business strategy, the sooner they go to bankruptcy hell the better.

Here, let me paraphrase it for you: "A first class reservation on United is only an entry into a bidding system, and your 'reserved' seat may be pulled from you at any moment up to and including boarding."

And don't be stupid, please: when Joe Schmoe scrapes together his pennies so he can get to Aunt Mabel's funeral, he is not buying a first-class seat. GMAFB.

And and and... you're in a hole, stop digging. I'm as much a free-market person as you--no, scratch that, I'm so much more free-market than you that I would give you the creeps. United can do what they want, I don't have any problem with that. It's the lying to customers that outrages me.


Greg Hlatky,

Re flying with Cruz: I'm not always the biggest fan of Orrin Hatch, but my respect for him went up quite a few notches the day I was hanging around in the entrance area of Arlington National Cemetary and recognized him there, talking to a few people even older than himself, and it was completely obvious that there wasn't a single one of Those Guys™ pulling security for him.

Martin said...

United is run by a-holes and Jackson-Lee is an a-hole. In other words, nothing new here.

Except, that woman who should also be given back her 140,000 miles with no expiration.

Kevin said...

The person sitting in your seat will not be a fare paying passenger with a higher "status" than you.

They will bump you for Air Marshalls, who may be added at the last minute to your flight randomly or due to a specific threat. They will generally bump people first who are last-minute upgrades, not people who paid with money or miles for their seats.

Yes, equipment changes are a bitch and all hell breaks out when there are fewer seats than originally sold. Had United mentioned this, I think we all could have seen the potential issue. But they didn't. They said they didn't know the person with the boarding pass in her hand, who was subsequently put on the plane without going back through the sales process.

So yes, that looks fishy to this long-time flier, even with the crap the airlines pull.

Kevin said...

And I hate United.

Almost as much as US Air, whose reputation was so bad it bought American and changed its name.

0_0 said...

Pants could have used better wording, but this is how ALL airlines handle this.
I have been upgraded or used miles to fly first class, and it does generally say one can be bumped.
The super-frequent fliers get treated better than my 4 flight a year self. This is basic capitalism at work. The "real" first class passengers who pay tens of thousands to the airline aren't generally told someone is being bumped for them.
The U. S. Representative didn't have to be a bitch about it.

Ann Althouse said...

“She has in the past posted video taken on an airplane.”

What, like of clouds out the window?

I would never take a picture of another passenger unless the person was aggressing against me or making a spectacle of himself.

Mike Smith said...

Yes, Ann, that is 'First Class' on United.

And, yes, reservations mean nothing on United. I was booted from First Class on a DEN-DC flight (guessing an air marshall, but who knows) and they wanted to give me no compensation whatsoever. Their attitude seemed to be "tough."

I was one of their highest yielding customers (Premier Executive or 1K) for 19 consecutive years and fired them in 2014. Not a single thing since has made me rethink that decision.

On a much happier topic, Merry Christmas!!!

Guildofcannonballs said...

Steve Martin's character in "Plains, Trains, and Automobiles" gets bumped from from first class by a guy who kisses the stewardess as she swoons. This should have been part of the discussion.

John Hughes was a cinematic genius, IL and all.

Unknown said...

maybe the reservation system has an intersectionality algorithm

+5 for black, +8 for lesbian, +10 for American Indian, -10,000 for white male oppression tool of the patriarchy...

PSM said...

Why are these Congress critters flying first class anyway?

Anonymous said...

"1. Don't take a photograph of another passenger without permission"

1: She's a member of Congress, she doesn't have any privacy rights

2: If she'd stolen my paid for 1st Class seat, i'd have done the same thing

SDN said...

"2. That's what first class looks like on United?!"

That's what First or Business class looks like on every US airline.

320Busdriver said...

Jetblue Mint service on up to 20 routes and AA premium transcons, mostly between lax,sfo and jfk offer true lie flat suite or seats like you find on international flights.

Seat counts

AA a321t 102

JB 321 Mint 159

Spirit 321 228