Last night’s redeye from Seattle to Washington Dulles was supposed to be in First Class. That was part of the agreement I made earlier in the day in Chicago when I agreed to be bumped to a later flight. About twenty minutes before boarding I am asked to “approach the podium” and am told that there has been a substitution of aircraft from a 320 t0 a 319 and as such the number of first class seats has been reduced from 12 to 8. The computer picked me as one of the lucky four to lose my first class seat. Here was the response from two separate agents:
The first one says to me, ” You should be grateful you are leaving period. If we didn’t find a substitute aircraft you would have spent the night here in Seattle” Okay, point well taken.
The second agent, when told of my magnanimous gesture of volunteering to help United out and how I was promised a First Class seat, was more gracious.
” Mr. Ingersoll, we don’t decide who gets downgraded, a computer does. And I’m sorry you got picked even though you helped us out earlier today by volunteering. Let me find you the best coach seat I can. Here is an exit row seat with no seat in front of it so you’ll have lots of legroom, and I’m going to deposit 5-500 mile upgrades in your account for the inconvenience”
I liked agent #2 better. It always pays to get a second opinion.