My American Airlines upgrade failed to clear yesterday afternoon. I was second on the upgrade list with one open seat. I made my way back to 8B on the MD80 for the two hour flight in Main Cabin Extra, which was fine.
I expected to clear the upgrade on a noon flight on a route which isn’t super business travel heavy for American. But the upside was a light business flight meant few gogo internet users. Even though it was an old install, my internet worked great.
When your upgrade doesn’t clear, you sit in back. That’s just how it works. You do not decide to take matters into your own hands.
Two male passengers on a Hainan Airlines flight from Taiyuan to Chongqing “assaulted four crew members and an air marshal after they were denied an upgrade”
The aircraft, which was taxiing to the runway, returned to the gate to offload the passengers and took a couple hour delay.
Apparently the self-upgraders were offered a paid buy up to business class. Hainan Airlines, however, doesn’t operate a cashless cabin. They had no way to take credit cards. (Perhaps a true ‘cash buy up’ is the same thing as a ‘bribe’.) The men didn’t have enough cash.
When the air hostess asked the men to leave business class again, the men reportedly assaulted her.
She asked for help from the captain and an air marshal, who were both assaulted as well according to the report.
The air marshal is said to have had a nose bleed as a result of the scuffle.
A mere 3 days earlier a China Southern passenger was tied to his seat before being removed from a flight after throwing money on the floor and shouting “Someone is trying to get me, I want to go into the sky, I opened the sky eye” and trying to rush the cockpit.
Last year a Chinese man was caught multiple times on a United flight departing Shanghai trying to seat himself in business class, stole champagne from up front and drank it walking through the aisles. A veritable Chinese Justin Ross Lee. (At least he didn’t pop the aircraft’s slide looking for the lavatory.)
In this case, Hainan Airlines has taken the step not just of banning the two self-upgraders from their own flights, but has even applied to the Chinese government to ban them from travel.