November 28, 2023 at 8:42 am

‘Sorry, but business class was full.’ Airline Employee Relishes The Opportunity To Stick Trouble Guest In Coach

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA

One thing in life is definitely free, and it’s being nice to the people you interact with every day.

And even though that might be free, sometimes you’ll see some benefit, anyway.

OP works for an airline where business class is a very nice little upgrade.

I used to work at a regional airline. The jet we used for our flight to the “big city” had 6 business class seats.

The business class service was really good for a 2 hour flight. It included a full bar service, a hot meal, warmed bread basket, followed by a trolley with dessert and signature coffee.

The good old days…

They had a regular flyer who was good friends with one of the company’s VPs, which mean that even though he was rude and smarmy and no one liked him, they generally had to give into his requests.

One of our regular travelers was a local business owner who was just… a slimy businessman (SB). He had a reputation for making a lot of money from some pretty shady deals over the years.

We would roll our eyes when we saw him coming to the check-in counter because he would always name drop and ask for special treatment. He always used the business class check-in line even though he was usually in economy. He didn’t have frequent flyer status, but he was buddies with one of the airline executives and always let us know this fact when he checked in by making sure to tell us that he was good friends with Vice President Karen.

He would always ask for free upgrades, extra baggage, not charging a change fee, last-minute discounts, etc.

If he didn’t get what he wanted he immediately called VP Karen, who would usually then call us and approve whatever it was he wanted.

One day, he came with the request to be upgraded for free to business class. When the VP made her expected call supporting this, if room was available.

So one day SB checks in for his flight to the “big city” and of course name drops and asks for a free upgrade to business class because “I’m friends with VP Karen and said it would be ok.” He was traveling on a discounted ticket that was not eligible for upgrade even if he did have an upgrade coupon, which he didn’t.

I informed him that he was not eligible for any upgrade on this ticket and gave him his boarding pass and sent him on his way.

Of course he flips open his cell phone and immediately calls VP Karen. Within 2 minutes the phone at the check-in desk rings and it’s VP Karen authorizing me to override the policy to upgrade SB to business class with no upgrade coupon required “if there is room.”

When OP realized there was room in business class she felt disappointed….until she realized she had the power to upgrade people who did deserve the little boost.

The flight that day wasn’t that busy and only 1 person booked in business class leaving 5 open seats. I was really irritated but I begrudgingly put SB on the upgrade list anyways.

He returned to the check-in counter and picked up his standby boarding card and gave me that smug “told you so” look. But then what VP Karen said clicked with me – “if there is room.”

Like a teacher on her way home for the first time in months.

The next passenger I checked in was a SUPER nice lady, big smile, friendly, please and thank-you, oh thank-you so much for checking my bags to my connecting flight, that’s so nice of you.

I was taking my time and we were chatting a bit since it wasn’t that busy. She was a teacher going on a trip to see her family and it was her first visit with them in over a year and was going to meet her new little nephew for the first time.

She was overjoyed just to have the time off to travel. I typed in a few things into the computer to make it look like I was checking something about her connecting flights and then said “Oh, you have been selected today to receive a free upgrade to business class.”

She was shocked. “I’ve never flown business class in my life! This is so amazing!”

It felt pretty good to tell him there wouldn’t be room after all.

At that time we were rarely questioned if we upgraded someone without a certificate. Over the next 20 minutes I found excuses to upgrade four other passengers – one who worked for one of our top corporate accounts, one who was legitimately a frequent flyer, can’t remember the other reasons, but by the time I went to board the flight I had to tell SB that I was sorry but business class was full and couldn’t offer him an upgrade today.

The teacher I upgraded profusely thanked me again when she boarded with the rest of the business class passengers. Little did she know that it really made my day also!

Reddit’s going to hit her with some feedback!

The top comment says it should have been worth it just to make that teacher’s day.

Source: Reddit/AITA

After all, some of us only dream about being so lucky.

Source: Reddit/AITA

You should never underestimate the power of niceness.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Most of the time, the rewards are worth it.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Sometimes it really is the little things.

Source: Reddit/AITA

I like this story because it shows that being nice is more important than knowing people.

At least, it was that day.