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Is This BA Story A Truth Or A Myth?  
User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4188 posts, RR: 36
Posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21347 times:

A few weeks ago I recieved an email about BA's excellent attiude.
It went like this

This scene took place on a BA flight between Johannesburg, South Africa and London, England.
A white woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a black man. Obviously disturbed by this, she called the air hostess.
"You obviously do not see it then?" she responded.
"You placed me next to a black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat."
"Be calm please," the hostess replied.
"Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another place is available."

The hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later.
"Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the Economy Class. I spoke to the captain and he informed me that there is also no seats in the Business Class. All the same, we still have one place in the First Class."
Before the woman could say anything, the hostess continued. "It is not usual for our company to permit someone from the Economy Class to sit in the First Class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone sooooo disgusting."
She turned to the black guy, and said, "Therefore, Sir, if you would like to please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First Class."

At that moment, the other passengers, who'd been shocked by what they had just witnessed, stood up and applauded.
This is a true story.

Is this a true story or just a promotion for BA

BM  airplane  wave 

A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineJamman From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21331 times:

Heheh pure class, I hope any airline would do that under the same situation.

Phoning it in from a place with no phones.
User currently offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21322 times:

True story.  Smile And well done for the stewardess!

User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21278 times:

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 2):

...and your source is?

This has been around for many years with various US and European airlines taking the starring role.

User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4188 posts, RR: 36
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21262 times:

Well I was just able to find the story on this website so as to make it more credible.... Then again I wonder if its true !


 airplane  wave 

A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
User currently offlineBDKLEZ From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 1735 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21228 times:

Even if it's not true, the greater message in the story is what the story itself is all about.
Good all the same, even if a little bit predictable.


Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
User currently offlineBaexecutive From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21228 times:

What a load of Cr@p my sides are splitting HAHAHA

User currently offlineSkidMarque From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21185 times:

Urban myth, all the way

User currently offlineStandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21152 times:

I was told a slight veriant on that story by a fellow BA staff member - and that was in 1992!

But I suspect there is an element of truth in it...

User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 9187 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21103 times:

Both passengers must have been shocked.  Wink


User currently offlineAlanUK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21077 times:

Quoting Philb (Reply 3):
Quoting AlanUK (Reply 2):

...and your source is?

Source is first hand on a flight from South Africa. The white passenger didn't quite say the words quoted in the article, but discretely said to the my colleague that she didn't want to be seated next to a black "smelly" man, and she should be upgraded for the trauma!

The crew member proceeded to speak to the CSD and upgraded the black man, to the total shock of the white woman. Oh, and it was a Club World upgrade, not First...

This flight was in January 2005. Whilst I can't certify the story of this thread refers to this example, I can tell you my example a true story. I'm sure this kind of stories can be found all around the world, from all airlines!

User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21061 times:

A case, then, of life following urban myth - and quite right too.

User currently offlineLaPaige From Sweden, joined May 2007, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 21025 times:

Fantastic respond by the cabin crew member! Way to go!

La Paige
User currently offlineB707Stu From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 918 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 20948 times:

I'm not sure this is a true story but I can tell you one similar from a TWA LHR-JFK flight I was on in 1980 that was very similar. There was a group of South African men in economy. I was in "Ambassador Class." There was a black flight attendant serving economy. The South African men refused to be served by her, who, by the way, was not only beautiful but a charming young lady.

I heard a commotion in the back of the plane. The purser went to the rear and told the "gentlemen" that they were now in the "USA" as a result of being on board TWA (RIP) and their behavior was unacceptable. The purser had the flight attendant moved to first class so she wouldn't receive any further harassment. I'm not sure if the "gentlemen" ended up eating or not but it got loud back there.

I was proud to be American that day because the Ambassador and First Class cabins applauded the flight attendant when she came up. I couldn't believe what I witnessed. Oh, police met the 747 at JFK.

User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5898 posts, RR: 38
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 20577 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Sorry AlanUK,
I am going with the urban myth on this one, I have been hearing this story almost word perfect except for the airline name periodically in emails or humour websites for at least as long as I have had internet access and that would be early 1993... perhaps even earlier on CompuServe

Perhaps similar things occour but this story as written has been around for many years....

A bit like the USN Aircraft carrier and the light house..


[Edited 2007-05-18 14:55:55]

If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 993 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 20334 times:


Rex Kramer: Get that finger out of your ear! You don't know where that finger's been!
User currently offlineEmbajador3 From Spain, joined Aug 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 20301 times:

True or not, i completely support crew's response to the woman's behaviour.
Well done!!!

Flying Together

Flying Together
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1370 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 19250 times:

Or how about this one, possibly apocryphal, and certainly offensive, but kind of funny just the same.....

BA flight lands in Riyadh, and as the plane clears the runway, a flight attendant begins his welcome speech.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Riyadh," he begins. "For the correct local time, please set your watch back three-hundred years."

- PS

Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineBeechNut From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 789 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 18878 times:

Sounds like urban legend to me.

But I did have a similar experience, that happened to me and my wife (who at the time was my GF, this is 20+ years ago).

We were flying home from a holiday in the UK. I was travelling on points and she on a paid ticket. I could only get a seat in business class, she obviously paid for a cheapo ticket. This was on Air Canada, on a 747 Combi. Anyway, when boarding I politely asked the steward if it would at all be possible for my wife to upgrade to business, and if not, would he mind if I put my wife up in business and I took her seat in coach? It had worked on the outbound flight, and my wife was upgraded.

The steward was very brusque and busy and more or less brushed me off. Meanwhile, once off the ground, a very haughty & arrogant businessman from shall we say one of the Old World countries, came up and demanded that the steward upgrade him to business class immediately as it was beneath his station to sit in coach.

At which point the steward informed the gentleman that business class was full, then he came up to me and said, very politely: "sir, remind me again which seat your wife is occupying in coach?" I gave him her seat number, and he made a very splashy show of walking back to coach, asking my wife to retrieve her belongings, and walking her up to business class right under the nose of Mr. Special. Full indeed!

I have always held, that even in the most extenuating circumstances, treat cabin crew and gate attendants in the manner you would like to be treated. The result for me has often been a treat! I have had free upgrades, cockpit rides (back in the pre-9-11 days), during weather delays been bumped up past complainers on the standby list, etc. I remember one occasion when a potent line of thunderstorms through YYZ and Rapidair flights into chaos.

One very irate man was demanding that the airline fly immediately and that he have the first seat on the next flight. I was behind him in line while he berated the gate agent and the gate agent patiently explained that the backlog would be cleared on a first-come, first-served basis (or rather in the same order sequence as his original flight) as soon as aircraft became available. I intervened and said that there was no need to abuse the gate agent for the status of the weather, and that I myself was a pilot and that indeed the conditions were too dangerous to fly, so he should just be patient like the rest of us. Then when it was my turn I said smilingly and jokingly to the agent "I guess I'll be here for a while, just let me know my standby number and I'll go grab a bite to eat", and the reply was "you're confirmed on the next flight out, sir, should be leaving momentarily we're just resuming ops".


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 9248 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 18648 times:

FAs understand people more than we realize.

I was an enlisted man in the Navy in the 60s (and low on even that scale - just a 3 stripe seaman at the time) when I got a standby seat on a flight home for leave. After sitting down a Naval officer came and (clearly unhappy) sat down next to me. When I smiled and said "good afternoon, Sir" he wouldn't even speak - just a nod of his head. I had dreams of keeping the SOB miserable the entire flight when the FA came to me and said "the passenger whose seat you filled has arrived - would YOU mind moving to First?" No hesitation on my part, but I did smile at the SOB and told him to have a nice flight.

No doubt in my mind that the FA saw the situation I was in and took as much pleasure in moving me up as I did in the upgrade.

User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 18623 times:

Have a heard a few airlines mentioned like this, BA, Air New Zealand and SAA used. It's a bit like the story where someone asks the airline staff 'do you know who I am?', followed by the response 'we have a gentleman who does not know who he is!'

User currently offlineChiGB1973 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1626 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18391 times:

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 10):
The white passenger didn't quite say the words quoted in the article, but discretely said to the my colleague that she didn't want to be seated next to a black "smelly" man, and she should be upgraded for the trauma!

If the white person had just left out the "black." What a moron.

I would have wanted to change seats if someone beside me smelled.


User currently offlineAirtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1564 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 18222 times:

It has been discussed a few times on the forum, but I thought it was on a SA flight... I don't know if this story is true but it has to be the best aviation story I've heard, hats off for the F/A and the captain !!!

Life is short : eat dessert first !
User currently offlineHangarRat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 633 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 17631 times:

Last summer on a DL flight from Sao Paulo to JFK, I witnessed a little bit of theatre similar to that described in the BA story at the start of the thread, although, without the racial overtones.

My fiancee and I had snagged a pair of overwing exit seats on the 763 and were settling in for the flight. I was watching a gentleman obviously pleased that he had a center row of three seats to himself adjusting the arm rests and trying to figure out how he could get comfortable lying down. The FA showed up with a young Brazilian woman to seat her in that row and the man sitting there started making a loud fuss, acting as though he was entitled to three seats just because they were empty when he sat down.

The FA took the young woman up to business or first, and everyone around us gave a little cheer.

Spell check is a false dog
User currently offlineSDWranglers From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 17423 times:

I didn't see anyone post this URL. It's from Snopes.com which seems to have a good handle on urban legends. The article neither confirms or denies the accuracy of this story.


25 LTU932 : I heard the story before, and if this is true, then my compliments to the crew for publically humiliating that racist woman. EDIT: Typo[Edited 2007-05
26 Post contains images Aviationnut12 : I would have loved to see the womans jaw hit the floor. I bet the guy was shocked as well as pleased for getting an upgrade on such a long flight.
27 RB211 : Now if only they could do that on Greyhound!!
28 Rdwootty : I have a memory from the Fifties when I worked for British Eagle and we ran a transatlantic flight. We got bookings from the US and we had to ask the
29 Pfletch1228 : what a load of rubbish. pure urban myth that plays straight into the hands of insecure 1st world citizens that like to believe if you are white and so
30 Post contains images 6YJJK : Checking in at MAN last year for a flight to KUL on Qatar, the guy in front of me was bitching because there were no window seats left. He was really
31 Rdwootty : Just a comment that Pfletch1228 was not even born when the South African comment applies.
32 Post contains images ManchesterMAN : Wow a thread on this story hasn't come up for a few months now Fact or fiction, its been done to death on this site.
33 ZakHH : Check this hilarious (Oscar winning) short movie. 10 mins, German with English subtitles. Kind of similar story. Priceless...
34 Post contains images Pfletch1228 : Whatever fella, whatever how do you know when I was born or when this urban myth allegedly occured??
35 Jfk777 : Probably true given atitudes in South Africa at the time. If it bothered the lady so much then she should have flown SAA.
36 Post contains images Avatordon : This may not be that tall a tail. I know - I did the same thing once (as a gate agent). We had a full flight to DEN from EWR, and were soliciting for
37 Don : I have witnessed a situation somewhat in contrast to the basis of this story. On a fairly full Emirates flight within asia, a caucasian gentleman who
38 1stfl94 : Your profile gives a very approxmite dob (sometime between 1971 and 1981), and the story first dates back to around 1992
39 B707Stu : I'm not sure which story you're refering to but I can guarantee you the story I recounted happened as I was sitting in Business Class and observed th
40 N710PS : Ha ha ha thats funny but certainly grounds for immediate suspesion I would say.
41 Embajador3 : True! be nice to us and you will get whatever you want, do otherwise and you'll probably end up in Y class... . Flying Together Embajador3
42 Flyorski : That is a great clip!! Very funny. I can completely understand that the story could really happen.
43 Philb : Your memory is slipping - like me, you're getting a little long in the tooth!! British Eagle was formed on August 9 1963 when the name Cunard-Eagle w
44 BigTom : I'm not surprised this kind of thing is very frequent not only on EK but in the UAE as well, with South Asians bearing the brunt of it. Once a close
45 Jasond : There is an Australian version of this. Flying from PER via Uluru and Alice Springs over the border into Queensland headed for Mt Isa in the period j
46 Post contains images Manni : I have asked a cabincrew member to change seats for that very reason (discretely so the passenger wouldn't be embarrased). I was seated next to a hea
47 GDB : Like StealthZ, I heard this one in the early 1990's, certainly BEFORE Mandela and the ANC gained power in 1994. Maybe around 1991/2. I heard it intern
48 TeamAmerica : I'm with you on this, Pfletch1228. This story has been circulating in e-mail and such for years, and yet nobody (including snopes.com) can point to a
49 Post contains images Jasond : Why disturbing? Whether it occurred or not, its great that so many believe that it could have happened, that decent behaviour is still possible in th
50 Rlwynn : I was told the South African story by a Pan Am flight attendant back in 1987. Abit different but the same.
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