Old Aug 7, 2007, 9:53 PM
bun bun is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1
Default Discriminated by flight attendant among other issues

Last year, SW was actively marketing to repeal the Wright Amendment. I was very excited when a compromise was signed at the end of last year, and for the first time, we were able to fly round trip from Dallas to Orlando.

On Friday February 2nd, we took Flight 21 from Dallas to Houston. Then we took Flight 1172 from Houston to Orlando. We checked in online so we got the A boarding cards. On Flight 1172, the flight was completely full, and a gentleman with a young son came on board with C boarding cards and could not find 2 seats together.
A flight attendant announced, would anyone give up a seat(s) so that the father and son could sit together. No one volunteered. She announced again that if they could not find a seat together, then the crew would delay the whole flight. So, I thought the nice thing would be to give up our seats. I took a window seat, couple of rows in front of my original seat. My finance took a middle seat, 2 rows behind me, on the other side.

As soon as we were in the air, the guy in front of me, leaned his seat all the way back.
I ordered some water from the flight attendant, Debbie, and when she delivered it, I asked her if she could ask the gentleman in front of me to move his seat up until I could finish my drink and snacks. She said that “it was against regulations” to ask someone to move the seat up. I told her that every flight I’ve ever been on, the flight attendant asks the person in front, without me ever mentioning it, to move the seat up when you are eating. She said that “she was not serving food”, and she would not ask him to move the seat. I told her that I could not put my drink down with the seat all the way back. (I’m only 5’1” and weigh 108lbs and even I was cramped) She asks the gentleman in front to move the seat up with a “you don’t have to”. Then she rolls her eyes. My fiancé is watching her roll her eyes and argue with me over something extremely trivial. When we got off the plane, we asked to speak to the captain. He did not want to deal with it and would not talk to us. So, we asked for a supervisor, after waiting 20 minutes, a guy comes to talk to us. He tells us that there are no regulations to do with seats and was sorry about the whole situation.

We thought that the bad customer service ordeal was over.

We took Flight 1702 on Sunday from Orlando to Houston. We sat in Exit seats because my fiancé is 6 foot and 3 inches. This flight was not full, so I took the aisle seat and left the middle seat for us to put our books. We stopped in Jackson, Miss to add more passengers. This flight was full, so I sat in the middle seat to give another gentleman the aisle seat.

We get to our next flight, 54, from Houston to Dallas. Because it was a Super Bowl night, there were very few passengers. We were 5th on board, and we took the Exit seats.
We had a flight attendant in our aisle, J. Wilson, #81562, and we told her that we were sitting in those seats. As I was putting away my bag, I put my purse in the middle seat. I asked her if this flight was full, and she said that I was not allowed to put my purse in the middle seat. (My purse is a small purse). I told her that I was taking out some lotion because my hands were dry. She repeated again in a very condescending tone that I was not allowed to put my purse in the middle seat. She watched me as I took the lotion out and put some on my hands and then put the purse underneath the seat.
I guess she didn’t trust me. My fiancé was watching this whole incident and was getting upset.

As people started boarding, we had a guy who also sat in an exit row and put his computer bag in the seat next to him. She greets him and talks to him and never demands that he move the computer bag. She asks him very politely if he wanted her to move the bag up in the overhead storage for him. I was upset by that time, and I decided that I needed to get her name so that I could report her for discrimination. I was not sure if it was because I was female or Asian.

She comes in front of us to tell us about our responsibilities since we are sitting in Exit aisles. We flew on SW and sat in Exit row for every flight, and we did not have any problem with anyone demanding responses. (I’ve flown for 18 years and sat in Exit seats numerous times and never had been treated so badly)
I leaned over to get my purse so that I could have something to write her name. She immediately yells at me to pay attention. Then she remarks, “it’s the school teacher in me”. By that time, my fiancé is extremely upset. She asked us if we understood her instructions, and my fiancé nodded his head. In her extremely condescending tone, she says,”sir, you need to say Yes”. My fiancé told her that he did not like her tone and wanted to speak to a supervisor. She said that she was the supervisor. So, he asked her if he could talk to the Captain. She yells, IF YOU TALK TO THE CAPTAIN THEN WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DELAY THE FLIGHT! Then, she yells, “IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT!”. I told my fiancé that we’ll take care of the situation on Monday; just let it go for now. We had been on the plane all day, and all I wanted to do was to go home.

The flight attendant went to the front of the plane and talked to a TSA agent and the captain and treated us as if we were terrorists. They were staring at us as if they were going to throw us out.

My fiancé is asthmatic; he was so upset that he had an asthma attack. He was shaking and could not breathe. I was EXTREMELY concerned and upset!

When we got off the plane, we asked to see the captain, Billy Bostic. I told him that what my fiancé was upset about was her behavior towards me. She discriminated against me. She was extremely condescending. She knew she was in trouble; she needed witnesses. She asked the guy who was in the exit seat to write a note about what happened. What he didn’t know was what happened before he came on board. She was extremely nice to this Caucasian man.

We sent this letter to SW. After a few months, they called me back to tell me that they didn't do anything wrong and started justifying the flight attendants' behaviors!

We will NEVER fly Southwest again!!
Old Aug 10, 2010, 4:01 AM
makinsense32 makinsense32 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1

You had absolutely no right to expect the person in front of you to put his or her seat up. That person paid for that space. It is often necessary for basic comfort. You did not pay for it. The flight attendants are not discriminating against you. They treated you properly. Stop being a jerk.
Old Aug 10, 2010, 4:29 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,109

I highly doubt 'bun' is still around. The original post is over 3 years old.
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
Old Aug 10, 2010, 3:28 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 745

The seat-back thing is dear to my heart. I wish all seats were restricted to about 5º of travel, and that's it. They may have paid for their seat, but it doesn't include pushing their seat into my knees. Being 6'7", that used to happen a lot. One jerk kept trying to push his seat back, smacking my knees (hoping I would move them) and I quietly told him that if he did that one more time I would file assault changes when we landed. He called the FA who came over, saw the situation, and told the other guy that there wasn't room behind him to recline, and that was that. Now I make sure I get a bulkhead or emergency row seat.

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