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United denies track suit wearing exec seat in F

jonjuan

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http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/man-kicked-out-of-first-class-united-110309

Man Denied First Class Seat on United
Best Buy exec told his outfit was too casual
Will
Thomas
By WILL THOMAS/myfoxdc

GAITHERSBURG, Md. - A corporate executive with electronic retail giant Best Buy says a United Airlines gate agent denied him a seat in the first class cabin because he was wearing a track suit.

In an exclusive interview with FOX 5's Will Thomas, Armando Alvarez recalled his experience Monday, October 26. He said he used his miles to upgrade to first class on a flight from Dulles to Connecticut.

Alvarez said the gate agent called his name and when he walked up to the counter for his upgrade, the agent said he was dressed too casually for first class.

"I was humiliated and embarrassed," Alvarez said.

The Best Buy vice president who lives in Gaithersburg, sent e-mails to United Airlines Customer Service Department and the airline's board of directors. Alvarez said he hasn't received a response several days later.

FOX 5 contacted United's Media Relations Department in Chicago three times Tuesday. No one authorized to speak on behalf of the airline returned the calls.

Alvarez said he is not seeking compensation.

"If this happened to me and I'm a United Airlines Red Carpet Club member then I believe it's happening to other people and this must stop," Alvarez said.

Alvarez was allowed to fly to his destination aboard the flight, but he had to fly coach using his original ticket.
 

Beetle007

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If United has a policy on dress code for first class....then it sounds like the gate agent did the right thing. I don't think it matters if someone is an executive or crawled out of the trailer park.

In the past, executives (and regular passengers) dressed properly. Now they treat first class on an airline like a greyhound bus and are surprised when they are denied service.
 

skypine69

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UAL does not have a dress code for revenue pax in First class. A big thumbs down to the gate agent. Just another UAL agent making sh!t up.
 

Hamburger

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If the tracksuit wearing cheapskate had actually bought a First Class ticket, he wouldn't have had a problem.

Halloween was last week. Put the Russian Mafia costume away.
 

Raoul Duke

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United should have stood up for a dress code for first class. It would have been a nice opportunity to remind people that traveling first class comes with certain expectations. I don't hear complaints from execs when a night club enforces a dress code.
 

skypine69

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Nevermind...I found it. You have to wear shoes (or more specifically, not be barefoot). Maybe you can find something I can't.

(*)REFUSAL TO TRANSPORT UA RULE: 0035

UA WILL REFUSE TO TRANSPORT OR WILL REMOVE AT ANY POINT, ANY PASSENGER:

GOVERNMENT REQUEST -
A) GOVERNMENT REQUEST OR REGULATIONS--WHENEVER SUCH ACTION IS
NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH ANY GOVERNMENT REGULATION, OR TO COMPLY WITH
ANY GOVERNMENTAL REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY TRANSPORTATION IN CONNECTION
WITH THE NATIONAL DEFENSE, OR WHENEVER SUCH ACTION IS NECESSARY OR
ADVISABLE BY REASON OF WEATHER OR OTHER CONDITIONS BEYOND ITS CONTROL
(INCLUDING, BUT WITHOUT LIMITATION, ACTS OF GOD, FORCE MAJEURE,
STRIKES, CIVIL COMMOTIONS, EMBARGOES, WARS, HOSTILITIES, OR
DISTURBANCES) ACTUAL, THREATENED, OR REPORTED.

SEARCH OF PASSENGER -
B) SEARCH OF PASSENGER OR PROPERTY--WHO REFUSES TO PERMIT SEARCH OF
HIS/HER PERSON OR PROPERTY FOR EXPLOSIVES OR A CONCEALED, DEADLY, OR
DANGEROUS WEAPON OR ARTICLE.

PROOF OF IDENTITY -
C) PROOF OF IDENTITY--WHO REFUSES ON REQUEST TO PRODUCE
IDENTIFICATION WHICH REFLECTS THE SAME FULL NAME INFORMATION DISPLAYED
ON THE TICKETS(S).

NOTE: UA SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT, BUT SHALL NOT BE OBLIGATED, TO REQUIRE
IDENTIFICATION OF PERSONS PURCHASING TICKETS AND/OR PRESENTING A
TICKET(S) FOR THE PURPOSE OF BOARDING THE AIRCRAFT.

ACROSS INT'L BOUNDARIES -
D) ACROSS INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARIES--WHO IS TRAVELING ACROSS ANY
INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY IF:
1) THE TRAVEL DOCUMENTS OF SUCH PASSENGER ARE NOT IN ORDER;
2) FOR ANY REASON, SUCH PASSENGER'S EMBARKATION FROM, TRANSIT
THROUGH, OR ENTRY INTO ANY COUNTRY FROM, THROUGH, OR TO WHICH SUCH
PASSENGER DESIRES TRANSPORTATION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL;
3) SUCH PASSENGER FAILS OR REFUSES TO COMPLY WITH THE RULES AND
REGULATIONS OF UA.

E) SAFETY
1) IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES WHERE REFUSAL TO BOARD OR REMOVAL
FROM THE AIRCRAFT MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE SAFETY OR COMFORT OF
THEMSELVES AND OTHER PASSENGERS:
A) PERSONS WHOSE CONDUCT IS OR HAS KNOWN TO BE DISORDERLY,
ABUSIVE, OR VIOLENT (NOTE: UA WILL NOT REFUSE TO PROVIDE
TRANSPORTATION TO A QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY SOLELY
BECAUSE THE DISABILITY RESULTS IN APPEARANCE OR INVOLUNTARY BEHAVIOR
THAT MAY OFFEND, ANNOY, OR INCONVENIENCE CREW MEMBERS OR THEIR
PASSENGER).
B) PASSENGERS WHO ARE BAREFOOT.
C) ANY CUSTOMER TICKETED ON A UNITED OR UNITED EXPRESS FLIGHT
AND MEETING ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA MUST EITHER PURCHASE
A TICKET FOR AN ADDITIONAL SEAT, OR PURCHASE AN UPGRADE TO A CABIN WITH SEATS THAT ADDRESS THE BELOW-LISTED SCENARIOS.

-ARE UNABLE TO FIT INTO A SINGLE SEAT IN THE TICKETED CABIN;
-ARE UNABLE TO PROPERLY BUCKLE THE SEATBELT USING A SINGLE
SEATBELT EXTENDER; AND/OR
-ARE UNABLE TO PUT THE SEAT’S ARMRESTS DOWN WHEN SEATED.
THE SEAT PURCHASE OR UPGRADE MUST BE COMPLETED FOR EACH LEG OF THE
ITINERARY. IF A CUSTOMER MEETING ANY OF THE ABOVE-LISTED CRITERIA
DECIDES NOT TO UPGRADE OR PURCHASE A TICKET FOR AN ADDITIONAL SEAT, HE
OR SHE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO BOARD THE FLIGHT.

D) PERSONS WHO APPEAR TO BE INTOXICATED OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE
OF DRUGS. (OTHER THAN A QUALIFIED DISABLED INDIVIDUAL WHOSE APPEARANCE
OR INVOLUNTARY BEHAVIOR MAY MAKE THEM APPEAR TO BE INTOXICATED OR UNDER
THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS.)
E) PERSONS KNOWN TO HAVE A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE OR INFECTION
WHICH HAS BEEN DETERMINED, BY THE U.S. SURGEON GENERAL, THE CENTER FOR
DISEASE CONTROL, OR OTHER FEDERAL PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY KNOWLEDGEABLE
ABOUT THE DISEASE OR INFECTION, TO BE TRANSMISSIBLE TO OTHER PERSONS IN
THE NORMAL COURSE OF THE FLIGHT. IF THE PASSENGER WITH THE
COMMUNICABLE DISEASE OR INFECTION PRESENTS A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE GIVING
APPROVAL TO TRAVEL AND STATING ANY CONDITIONS FOR TRAVEL, UA SHALL
PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO THE PASSENGER UNLESS IT IS NOT FEASIBLE TO
IMPLEMENT THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE MEDICAL CERTIFICATE AS
NECESSARY TO PREVENT THE TRANSMISSION OF THE DISEASE OR INFECTION TO
OTHER PERSONS IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF THE FLIGHT.
F) PERSONS WHO HAVE A MALODOROUS CONDITION (OTHER THAN
INDIVIDUALS QUALIFYING AS DISABLED).
G) PERSONS WHO ATTEMPT OR HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO INTERFERE OR
ATTEMPT TO INTERFERE WITH ANY MEMBER OF THE FLIGHT CREW IN THE PURSUIT
OF THEIR DUTIES.
H) PERSONS WHO ARE MENTALLY DERANGED OR MENTALLY INCAPACITATED
WHOSE BEHAVIOR MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO HIMSELF/HERSELF, THE CREW, OR OTHER
PASSENGERS. HOWEVER, UA WILL ACCEPT ESCORTED MENTAL PATIENTS IF THE
REQUESTING MEDICAL AUTHORITY FURNISHES A MEDICAL CERTIFICATE WHICH
STATES THAT THE MENTAL PATIENT MAY BE TRANSPORTED SAFELY. THE ESCORT
MUST ACCOMPANY THE ESCORTED PASSENGER AT ALL TIMES.
I) PERSONS WHO ARE SERIOUSLY ILL, WHO CANNOT OR REFUSE TO
PROVIDE A PHYSICIAN'S WRITTEN PERMISSION TO FLY.
J) PERSONS WHO WEAR OR HAVE ON OR ABOUT THEIR PERSONS
CONCEALED OR UNCONCEALED DEADLY OR DANGEROUS WEAPONS; PROVIDED HOWEVER,
THAT UA WILL CARRY PASSENGERS WHO MEET THE QUALIFICATIONS AND
CONDITIONS ESTABLISHED IN F.A.R. 108.219.
K) MANACLED PERSONS IN CUSTODY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL,
OR PERSONS WHO HAVE RESISTED OR MAY REASONABLE BE BELIEVED TO BE
CAPABLE OF RESISTING ESCORTS.
L) UNACCOMPANIED PASSENGERS WHO ARE BOTH BLIND AND DEAF, UNLESS
SUCH PASSENGER IS ABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF UA BY
EITHER PHYSICAL, MECHANICAL, ELECTRONIC, OR OTHER MEANS. SUCH
PASSENGER MUST INFORM UA OF THE METHOD OF COMMUNICATION TO BE USED.
M) PERSONS WHO WOULD REQUIRE UNUSUAL OR UNREASONABLE TYPE OF
ASSISTANCE OR MEDICAL TREATMENT ENROUTE, CONFIRMED BY A UA PHYSICIAN,
UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A TICKETED PASSENGER CAPABLE OF GIVING NECESSARY
ASSISTANCE. UNITED AIRLINES PERSONNEL ARE NOT PERMITTED TO GIVE
HYPODERMIC INJECTIONS.
N) PERSONS WHO ARE UNWILLING/UNABLE TO ABIDE WITH NO-SMOKING REQUIREMENTS.
F) PASSENGER'S CONDUCT OR CONDITION
1) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN RULE 90 (OXYGEN SERVICE), AND
ELSEWHERE IN THIS RULE, UA MAY REQUIRE AN ATTENDANT TO ACCOMPANY A
DISABLED PASSENGER ONLY FOR SAFETY-RELATED REASONS AS OUTLINED BELOW.
A) WHO IS TRAVELING IN AN INCUBATOR;
B) WHO BECAUSE OF A MENTAL DISABILITY IS UNABLE TO
COMPREHEND OR RESPOND TO SAFETY RELATED INSTRUCTIONS;
C) WHO HAS BOTH A SEVERE HEARING AND VISION IMPAIRMENT
AND WHO IS UNABLE TO ESTABLISH A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION WITH UA
PERSONNEL SUFFICIENT TO RECEIVE THE SAFETY BRIEFING;
D) WHO HAS A MOBILITY IMPAIRMENT SO SEVERE AS TO BE
UNABLE TO ASSIST IN HIS/HER OWN EVACUATION.

2) CONDITIONS FOR ACCEPTANCE
UA WILL REQUIRE 48 HOUR ADVANCE NOTICE AND TWO HOUR ADVANCE CHECK IN
CONCERNING QUALIFIED DISABLED INDIVIDUALS WHO WISH TO RECEIVE ANY ONE
OF THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:

A) MEDICAL OR THERAPEUTIC OXYGEN;
B) CARRIAGE OF AN INCUBATOR
C) HOOK-UP OF A RESPIRATOR/VENTILATOR/KIDNEY TRANSPORT
MODULE TO THE AIRCRAFT ELECTRICAL POWER SUPPLY
D) ACCOMMODATION OF A GROUP OF 10 OR MORE DISABLED
INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TRAVELING AS A GROUP;
E) TRANSPORTATION OF ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR OR OTHER BATTERY
POWERED ASSISTIVE DEVICE;
NOTE: THE 48 HOUR ADVANCE NOTICE PROVISION IS REQUIRED ONLY ON
FLIGHTS SCHEDULED TO BE MADE WITH AN AIRCRAFT OF LESS THAN 60 SEATS FOR
WHICH THE DEVICE MIGHT HAVE TO BE COLLAPSED AND SEPARATE DANGEROUS
GOODS PACKAGING FOR THE BATTERY MAY BE REQUIRED;
F) REQUEST FOR ON BOARD WHEELCHAIR ON AN AIRCRAFT THAT
DOES NOT HAVE AN ACCESSIBLE LAVATORY.

THESE SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE ON UNITED OPERATED FLIGHTS AND MAY NOT BE
AVAILABLE ON UNITED EXPRESS FLIGHTS. PLEASE CONTACT A UNITED
REPRESENTATIVE TO RESERVE THESE SERVICES OR FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AT
1-800-UNITED-1 OR VISIT THE WEBSITE AT WWW.UNITED.COM.

G) LIABILITY
UA IS NOT LIABLE FOR ITS REFUSAL TO TRANSPORT ANY PASSENGER OR FOR ITS
REMOVAL OF ANY PASSENGER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRECEDING PARAGRAPHS OF
THIS RULE, BUT UA WILL, AT THE REQUEST OF THE PASSENGER, PROVIDE A
REFUND IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULE 260 (INVOLUNTARY REFUNDS). AS AN EXPRESS
PRECONDITION TO ISSUANCE OF ANY REFUND, UA SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR
DAMAGES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER. THE PASSENGER'S SALE AND EXCLUSIVE
REMEDY SHALL BE RULE 260 (INVOLUNTARY REFUNDS).
 

ualdriver

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From the video, it looks like he was trying to get on 7725, which is an Express flight. Who are the CSR's for Express out of IAD? Are they UA mainline people or UA Express people? Probably doesn't matter either way but just curious.
 

chqflyer

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From the video, it looks like he was trying to get on 7725, which is an Express flight. Who are the CSR's for Express out of IAD? Are they UA mainline people or UA Express people? Probably doesn't matter either way but just curious.

Express flight out of IAD explains it all. That is beyond a third world operation. I cringe anytime I have to deal with that Fu***d up mess at the A gates. Gate agent HAD to be at fault for this incident. Case closed.
:(
 

bubbers44

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Nick Nolte flies first class in his Pajamas at AA with no problems. The agent was making up his own rules.
 

AWACoff

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If somebody would simply quote the rules for an "upgrade", we would know whether or not the agent made something up.

This exec (soon to be ex-exec possibly after this publicity) bought a COACH ticket and was trying to score a FREE upgrade. The agent determined that he was dressed like a COACH (aka steerage) passenger and wasn't fit to fly in First for FREE.

Nick Nolte buys a first class ticket, not a coach ticket.
 

spitfire1500

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If somebody would simply quote the rules for an "upgrade", we would know whether or not the agent made something up.

This exec (soon to be ex-exec possibly after this publicity) bought a COACH ticket and was trying to score a FREE upgrade. The agent determined that he was dressed like a COACH (aka steerage) passenger and wasn't fit to fly in First for FREE.

Nick Nolte buys a first class ticket, not a coach ticket.

A free upgrade using points accumulated from frequent travel...which if someone is a frequent traveler I think United would do anything they could to accommodate!! Maybe this is why they're shrinking and almost gone!
 

Amish RakeFight

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If somebody would simply quote the rules for an "upgrade", we would know whether or not the agent made something up.

This exec (soon to be ex-exec possibly after this publicity) bought a COACH ticket and was trying to score a FREE upgrade. The agent determined that he was dressed like a COACH (aka steerage) passenger and wasn't fit to fly in First for FREE.

Nick Nolte buys a first class ticket, not a coach ticket.

It was well within his rights to request an upgrade per the ticket policy. He may not have paid for this particular seat, but as a LOYAL customer who has accrued miles, he is entitled to this upgrade.
 

crxpilot

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first·-class (fʉrstklas)
adjective
  1. of the highest class, rank, excellence, etc.; of the best quality
  2. designating or of the most expensive accommodations a first-class cabin on a ship
Its First Class,,,,,,,,,,,,,not NO Class
 

jonjuan

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He paid for the upgrade using miles which he earned. A defined benefit in the UA FF program. He was given the upgrade after he paid for it. He then had his seat in F taken away because the GA didn't like the way he was dressed.
No different than someone using earned hotel points to pay for an upgrade to a better/nicer room. You pay for it over the phone and when you check in, the counter clerk takes it away because of the way your family looks.
 

Coool Hand Luke

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Maybe this is why they're shrinking and almost gone!

And airline executives keep wondering why they are losing high end passengers to corporate aviation. Actually, I don't blame the airlines per se, but the mall cop mentatility they bestow upon their gate agents. Somehow gate agents have become the rules police for all commercial aviation. There's nothing worse than a know-it-all gate agent pre-loaded to show everyone who's really in charge (and they ain't thinking it's the Captain).
 
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