To be clear, I did not take any more pictures—not a single one. There were whispers throughout the business class and Economy Plus cabins as I made the walk of shame down the aisle.
Meanwhile, another passenger was taking pictures behind the curtain and the FA ran over to him and demanded that he stop as well. Again, I was asked to step off the aircraft and said, "Just as soon as I get my coat back." The only FA who knew which coat was mine was still hiding somewhere, so she had to be found in order to retrieve my coat. As I walked down the jetway and back into the terminal, I remarked, "I want you to note that I was cooperative in your report and that the FA lied about me taking further pictures." The GS rep was very understanding, said he sided with me and claimed that he had done his best to make my case to the flight crew, but they "jointly decided" I would not fly.
When I held the phone at forehead level to take the picture below, a flight attendant came running over and told me that I could not take any pictures of the cabin.
She referenced this section of the magazine: The allegedly off-limits picture: I looked at the FA, smiled, but said nothing, putting my i Phone away. Captain: I don't have any, but United will have no trouble finding me. With that, he turned and retreated back into the flight deck, with the female first officer looking on. I walked back to my seat, opened the overhead bin, and retrieved my garment bag and rollerboard.
has been silent the last three days as I weighed how I wanted to cover what happened to me on a United Airlines flight from Newark to Istanbul last week.
The situation was both traumatizing and highly embarrassing and I wanted to ensure that I had ample time to consider what transpired before hurling any accusations or failing to understand the other side.
The 767-300 was outfitted in a two-cabin configuration, staffed by a legacy United crew, and I had been upgraded to business class.
It was my first time on this reconfigured aircraft and my first longhaul in the Continental Business First seat. As I settled into my seat, I pulled out my i Phone to take a few pictures of the seat.
But frankly, the more I replay the incident in my mind, the more certain I become that I was wronged.
Here's my story: Last Thursday I was scheduled to fly from Newark to Istanbul on United's direct flight.
I signaled for her to come back and asked her to hang my coat. I write about United Airlines on an almost-daily basis and the folks at United in Chicago are even aware of my blog." She took my jacket but refused to take my business card saying, "No, that's okay," then saying, "I did not know that" after I explained my reason for taking pictures. A few minutes later a Global Services rep came onboard and asked to have a word with me, motioning for me to follow him. Because of the sold-out cabins on many routes and my desire to have a decent rest (i.e., not just fly to London or Barcelona with five hours of sleep), I was ultimately rebooked to fly to Istanbul via Washington and Kuwait City, with the final segment on Turkish Airlines in economy class.
I then said this verbatim— "I want you to understand why I was taking pictures. As I walked up front, I noticed the FA who had reprimanded me earlier ducked into the front galley and out of sight. Your FA is lying—I did not disobey any crewmember instruction. But I had to buy a new ticket to Baku, which set me back another 5.
This passenger had a lively discussion with the FA, though I did not hear the resolution. I had a connection in Istanbul that I would now miss—there was no way to get me into Istanbul in time to make my connecting flight to Baku on a separate ticket.Naturally, the FA's warning bothered me and I felt the need to explain myself. We began working on alternative arrangements that would preserve my upgrade to business class to Istanbul.