“But I was sat here first…!”

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This topic contains 63 replies, has 39 voices, and was last updated by  hueyjudy 25 Jun 2015
at 22:59

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  • Anonymous


    Flew back from South Africa this week and had a really funny and for me unique experience. I am often the last to board a plane so the occasional seat mix up is not unusual but this time it was a new one. I arrived at my business class seat to find a young woman sitting there.

    “Excuse me I think you are in my seat”
    “YOUR seat, I was here first, tough luck”
    “Errr it’s not quite like that, we all have allocated seating on this flight”
    “I said I was here first and I don’t appreciate your attitude just because I’m a woman”

    At this point a crew member arrived and spent about ten minutes patiently explaining the procedure to the passenger who I assume had either never been on a plane before or had perhaps only flown with a low cost airline. She argued, complained and in the end become rather aggressive as it was explained she would not be sitting in Business but rather about half way down the plane in Economy and no British Airways does not recognise “calling shotgun” with airline seats.

    My fellow passengers of course found the entire episode very enjoyable and I had a few good natured comments afterwards from them. The only really sour conclusion was the woman saw me at passport control and spat at the floor in front of me !


    Hi Charles-P, that situation was amusing up to the incident at passport control. How unfortunate, rude, and disgusting.

    This does bring to mind situations I face often on flights from St. Petersburg. As I am still Gold with BA (not for long though with the new tier requirements) I am able to secure my seat at booking. But I have had on a number of occasions Russians who take my seat because their travelling companion is in the seat next to me, and he or she is in another seat, and just assume I will happily change seats. If they ask me in advance, I might consider a move, but when they simply assume and sit in ‘my’ seat giving me the evil look, I insist they go to their own seat. Other than nasty looks, nothing more has ever come of it. What you experienced is simply awful.


    Thanks for the comment but having served in both Northern Ireland and outside the old RAF Greenham Common the vile habits of some women no longer surprise me 🙂

    My wife thinks she is still telling the story to her friends and still saying, “But I was there FIRST !” The generation of expected entitlement maybe.


    Hi Charles,

    She sounds like a bit of a sociopath. I had a similar experience (although not as “amusing” as yours) on a recent flight with BA:



    Hi Graham,

    Again, similar example of people just assuming because they are sat there, you, who reserved the seat, wont trouble them to move. I hate being put in that situation, but like you, will stand my ground, especially when an assumption has been made. Of course, I do think the airlines cause a lot of this problem these days as only those with status can pre-block seats free of charge, so even families travelling together or married couples, if they don’t want to pay to block seats, run the risk of not getting two seats (or more) together. In premium cabins, at a minimum, it should be part of the ticket price allowing you to pre-reserve your seat (guarding the most preferred seats for elite levels). But what about families travelling with children, etc.? Is there not a benefit ensuring they are sat together?


    Having told this story in the office today I am surprised to hear it’s more common than I realised. Our accountant here talked about nearly coming to blows a few years ago with a man on an Air France flight who refused point blank to move and the crew was hesitant to intervene as he was a political figure in France.


    A brilliant topic Charles P,
    I’ve had a few incidents on aircraft that comes down to obstinacy and rudeness. However peoples need to protect their seat, can make a lionesses instinct to protect her territory seem like a kitten playing with a ball of room. I re-call my girlfriend (ex) who ended up sitting in-betweens two burly gents travelling together on a flight from Madrid.
    She suggested she moved to the aisle seat, I was on the other side of the aisle, so it would have helped us,, yet the response was a rude and abrupt NO……….they weren’t prepared to lose out on their preferred window and aisle seat !! I comforted her with the old adage “ Totally fine, if you don’t ask, you don’t get” !!

    Bizarrely, they then spent the rest of the flight indignantly and loudly talking over her shoulder, rasping their salvia into her ears and even worse rebuked her when she put her tray table, they were using it as communal middle table.


    Hi canucklad, maybe she is now your ex as you didn’t offer to switch with her?? 🙂 I doubt the two burly beasts would have done the same with a man between them!


    Easy one. If, after being requested politely to move to her assigned seat, she still refused….ask her to follow the crew member to the front door area with her hand baggage. Now hand her to the ground staff for being a disruptive passenger. Off load her hold bags and then refuse to carry her on that airline! Job done.
    Proved the point when she spat at you!


    I wonder if the seat bagger in the OP’s story was a politician or political activist? They can be particularly militant in South Africa. Perhaps it was Julius Malema’s girlfriend.

    I’ve never experienced a seat-bagger and the nearest I’ve come to rudeness in Africa was, as we waited for passengers to board for Lagos, a Nigerian man who passed through the cabin and exclaimed loudly: “Look at all these whiteys sitting in their nice business class seats!”


    I suffered this on 16 Feb 15… (post at 10.10)..


    The lesson I had was do not try to reason, just politely ask the cabin crew to resolve…


    Well dutchyankee, trust me, if I say I nicknamed her my little Scottish Wildcat, you’ll get the picture. I’m assuming Manuel & Pedro escaped the wrath of her tongue, only because she had exhausted herself shopping for leather boots. Apparently Madrid, is the leather boot shopping capital of the world !!
    And Globalti, I have indeed experienced the very cold and “who the hell do you think you are” stare of disgruntled politicians a couple of times, as I sat back relaxing in seat 1A as I waited for the last of the EDI bound passengers to board.
    Their superiority complex, might go along way to ex[plain why both of their parties lost most of their seats in Scotland recently……but this isn’t a forum for politics so I won’t go any further : )


    Hello, this is my first post after having been a frequent reader for a few years)
    Just couldn’t help sharing a story of my own.

    Football may well be waters as perilous as is politics, however…

    Late November 2012, I was heading to Manchester on one of the last Virgin Trains services from Euston. Arriving a few minutes to the departure, I found my seat occupied by some lady of healthy forms displaced from her original seat by Man City footballers returning from their match. They occupied almost half of that First carriage.

    I didn’t recognise them by face so I walked up to a group of them and requested they return to their original seats, however all I got was stares from managers and the sort of “heey we futbol, Manchester City” in a heavily Latin-accented English…

    The purser was very honest in saying that the only thing he could do is to apologise for powerlessness of his individuum against the Club, but I still don’t believe they had the right to simply sit there and assume control of the seats.
    I would have understood if there had been reasonable explanation from VT that seat arrangements had to be amended due to operational reasons!

    Spent the two hours sitting next to drunk supporters instead of focussing on work.


    Well, I’ve been on the other side, that is the seat bagger! Though it was accidental. Flying George to JNB with Kulula I’d reserved seats 5 ABC. For some reason I took seats 5 DEF by accident, was nicely installed and bags above me.

    On come an Afrikaner couple and child who were looking for their seats. They politely informed me I was in their seats and on checking I realised my mistake. I apologized and suggested as we both had three seats in the same row we swap – in the meantime the impatient queue was rapidly building up. But no, they insisted on their seats and despite the hostess suggesting the same we swapped over. I didn’t understand the Afrikaans but it was not pleasant and directed not to us but to them.

    Still. in fairness they were in the right and i didn’t have a problem with swapping, it just delayed things by a few moments in the scrum to get everyone seated!

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