Airline Twitter Humor: Lexus & Poppers Edition

Filed Under: Humor

I don’t envy those who work in airline social media. I sort of feel like it has become a necessary evil for airlines. Many airlines decide that they need to provide customer service there, though I find that they largely do a poor job:

  • It seems their most important metric is response time, so they’ll respond in a way that doesn’t actually address your concern
  • In general it’s hard to provide good customer service in Tweets and even DMs, since many things are time sensitive, and the service typically doesn’t happen instantly
  • People complain about things on Twitter that they’d never complain about in real life, so the attempt at even providing “service” for those issues can be silly at times

So if you don’t use airline Twitter customer service for anything else, at least it’s sometimes worth a good laugh. There are two things the past few days that have given me a good laugh.

United Economy Plus = Lexus

A Twitter user complained how he was on a flight and the seven rows in front were allegedly completely empty. When he asked if he could move forward, he was told he’d have to pay.

United explained those seats carried an extra charge, and asked why they wouldn’t let him have a better experience after the door closed. United’s answer?

If you were to purchase a Toyota, you would not be able to drive off with a Lexus, because it was empty.

LOL! The Twitter user then calls the United representative a “wise ass” and says he won’t fly with United again.

In this case the United representative is giving the right answer, but the logic is terrible:

  • The Twitter user was making the point that once the door closed it was spoiled inventory, so if not like they would have been able to sell it otherwise
  • Cars aren’t similar commodities to airline seats, since you could still sell a Lexus at a premium over a Toyota to someone in the future

But the point remains, the reason you can’t move up is because if you are given it for free this time, you’re less likely to pay for it next time. Airlines reckon that if you see all these empty rows you’d be more likely to pay for those extra legroom seats since you’re not just getting more legroom, but also a lot more space otherwise.

It’s the same reason you can’t move up to an empty first or business class seat.

Generally airlines would rather let a premium seat go out empty than give someone a better experience for free, and that’s true almost across the board.

The Southwest Poppers Saga Continues…

A couple of weeks ago a Twitter user asked if he could put poppers in his carry-on. Southwest’s response?

Mind clarifying what you mean by “poppers”?


Well, it gets better, though the Tweet has been deleted since. Someone followed up about this question, and then this happened:

  1. I assume the United flyer understood he couldn’t move up to first if there were empty seats. Same logic.

  2. Poppers have been historically used for sexual encounters within the gay community. Forbidding them in carry-on luggage would amount to discrimination.

  3. Cole from Southwest making laugh so hard! Although I am surprised the first tweet was deleted; seems like a perfectly legitimate question but I would love more is to see him explain poppers to a TSA agent

  4. @krunasty is being a dick and makes millennials look bad, you entitled narcissist.

    P.S. @krunasty also makes Gujarati look bad, a disgrace to Modi and his missing lunar lander.

  5. It is good that United enforces E+. AA doesn’t and people self upgrade from Basic Economy to MCE without a response.

    United has maintained more E+ seats than AA has. AA has reduced the number of MCE seats as it has compressed the aircraft. United can maintain a large number of E+ seats, because they charge for it and enforce it. Many people pay extra for E+ on international flights and the large number of E+ is justified on UA.

    AA mostly eliminated MCE seats when it added Premium Economy. MCE is now mostly Exit and bulkhead only.

  6. The logic on the UA side isn’t as bad as you make it out to be. Once the door is closed, the inventory is not spoiled. The FAs have the ability to charge for the upgrade onboard. Glad to see the crew enforced it.

  7. Yes – I am sure F had empty seats so why not go all the way. Picky little muppet and I wonder what fare he paid.

  8. UA is protecting the integrity of its product. If you let someone self upgrade themselves, how does that look to the passengers who actually paid the extra fee?? It’s a slap in the face. You can’t get for free what others paid for just because you want it.
    Your argument is completely off base. You report more of an opinion than a factual point. Poor reporting honestly.

  9. Poppers are definitely not allowed in carry-on or checked luggage. They are a highly flammable solvent. I thought this would be obvious, but I asked the TSA’s official twitter anyway.

    “Flammable solvent cleaners aren’t allowed in carry-on or checked bags. Have a safe flight.”

  10. For the United customer – Why bother to ask? I flew 10+ times every year though just on Y and every time I deliberately choose the seats after the exit row, and I sit there after the door closes.

    For four every five flights the FAs don’t even notice.

    You can do it with no harm to anybody but if you asked, of course you get the reply based on the black and white rules

  11. Regarding the UA, I’ve paid for E+ and thought “SWEET” got the whole row for myself. Then 2 obnoxious loud BFFs decided to self upgrade because of extra legroom and ruined my flight. So why did I have to pay for this? Now the question is should I get a refund because they got E+ for free?

  12. The United passenger who wanted to sit in an empty Economy Plus seat to get more legroom could have said “Yes ,i ll be happy to pay extra to get some extra legroom” because United at least was willing to let him benefit from one for a price.
    At a Theater ,Opera or Concert hall if you see an empty seat in front of the stage and would like to move there even offering to pay extra for it ,they ll say NO.
    Once theater tickets are paid and assigned one can’t change theater seats for a price let alone for free.

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