Saturday, November 26, 2011

A travel nightmare: Man stands throughout 7-hour flight

By Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley, CNN
updated 12:45 PM EST, Sat November 26, 2011

Air travelers usually are prepared for the occasional hectic and overcrowded flight. But all are hoping they'll at least be able to sit down.

Arthur Berkowitz, 57, stood for the length of his US Airways flight in July after a fellow passenger occupied half of his seat. The non-stop flight from Anchorage to Philadelphia lasted seven hours.

"I didn't fly from Alaska to Philadelphia," Berkowitz said on consumer advocate Christopher Elliott's blog, "I stood."


He initially had an empty seat next to him on Flight 901, but a late passenger sat there and took more space than he paid for.

"His size required both armrests to be raised up and allowed for his body to cover half of my seat," Berkowitz said.

The man was very polite and expressed regret over the situation, said Berkowitz, who notified the flight crew that he was unable to fasten his seat belt and asked if he could move to business class.

As the flight was filled to capacity, and as passengers are not permitted to sit in the flight attendants' jump seats, Berkowitz found himself strolling through the cabin for hours. Flight attendants apparently asked him to remain seated and fasten his seat belt, but he said the co-passenger was seated on his seat belt fastener, making this impossible.

That meant that, though he did manage to wedge himself into his seat for the takeoff and landing, he was unable to comply with the requirement that his seat belt be fastened at those times.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told CNN that it also is against regulations to stand for an entire flight and that passengers are always encouraged to remain in their seats.


Although US Airways expresses regret over the situation, the airline does feel the matter has been resolved and that Berkowitz's concerns have been noted.

"We have attempted to address this customer's service concerns, but offering increasing amounts of compensation based on a threat of a safety violation isn't really fair -- especially when the passenger himself said he didn't follow the crew members' instructions and fasten his seat belt," US Airways said in a written statement.

[What kind of thinking is this? If the crew couldn't arrange it so that he could fasten his seat belt, why in the world is the passenger to blame? What warped thinking.]



No comments:

Post a Comment