The $75 Downgrade

June 11, 2016

in Seat Stories

On my return flight home from DFW to SEA on American Airlines, I ended up upgrading my middle seat to an exit row for $75. I’m a tall guy at 6’2, 200lbs, and could really use the extra leg room on the four hour flight. After settling in before takeoff and falling asleep, someone bumped my feet. An American Airlines crew member was sitting jump seat – facing me. AWKWARD.

Now – I understand crew members need to commute and have to sit jump seat on booked flights. Totally okay. But charging me 75 bucks for “extra” leg room on an exit row is not okay! American should have refunded me my money or put me in an exit row. Sitting four hours staring and playing footsie with a stranger is not what I call an upgrade.

So I reached out to American and provided them with feedback. I didn’t ask for a refund – only feedback. Their response: an automated letter apologizing for any inconvenience and deny my request for a refund. WTF??? I never asked for a refund in the first place and not once did they mention anything specific about my situation. C’mon. Instead of trying to nickel and dime and up-sell each of your loyal customers – how about treating people fairly and with respect. I’m really disappointed on how American handled my situation and simply brushed me aside after I paid an extra 75 bucks.

Maybe I’m an idiot for paying – but nowhere did I see in the fine print that my 75 dollars may include a crew member sharing my space.

– David

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

prp June 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I recently paid for an upgrade on Spirit for exit row seating dtw to mco.
Before take off they said sit in your assigned seat and after departure you can move around.
O f course everybody ran to my section to get extra leg room, without paying any extra.
I feel for the OP, sometimes the airlines don't think.


FF88 September 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Your troubles could easily have been avoided by looking at SeatGuru. Now you know for next time!


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