Justin Ross Lee is known for playing Robin Hood and taking bottles of first class champagne and running through the economy cabin and pouring it for passengers.
But don’t try this at home kids. Katie Genter writes that on American Airlines flight 1862 from Philadelphia to Atlanta on Saturday a first class passenger was kicked off the plane for sending too many predeparture beverages back to coach.
The flight is operated by an Airbus A319 with just 8 first class seats (far too few for the route!) and this passenger was sitting in bulkhead window seat 1A. It’s a flight out of a legacy US Airways hub so predeparture beverages are possible.
The man ordered a drink. Then as boarding was finishing he asked for two more. The flight attendant refused, saying he could “only order one drink at a time” — so he ordered a double for himself and also for the woman sitting beside him whom he did not know.
Both drinks were delivered. He headed back to coach with two cocktails, but the first class flight attendant stopped him. He argued he should be able to leave his ticketed cabin to go to the bathroom, she told him to use the one in First. Then he tried to have his friends in coach come up to collect their drinks. That didn’t work either.
And the man was kicked off the flight, while his friends were allowed to remain.
The 12:54pm departure time passed with the boarding door still open. Ten minutes after scheduled departure an American Airlines representative boarded the plane with a printout and asked to speak with 1A in the jetway. I couldn’t hear the discussion, but 1A returned to get his carry-on baggage and left the plane with no further comments.
Katie Genter says ordering drinks and sending them back to coach “can and should get you removed from a flight.” I’m not so sure.
Some airlines — like American’s anti-trust immunized revenue-sharing joint venture partner British Airways even — will allow passengers to come up to your cabin to share a drink with you. I’ve flown up front while a work colleague road in back and I sent my ice cream sundae dessert back out of guilt.
As a coach passenger on American I’ve used my Executive Platinum status to get a free drink and snack, even when I didn’t want either, to make the day of a neighbor in my row just a little bit better.
In my view it’s always a good idea to bring the flight attendant in on the plot though, not try to sneak something by them. What do you think?