SInGAPORE_AIR
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Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:42 am

Pigs fly in cattle class
October 12, 2006

RAZORBACKS coach Mark Watkins will make a formal written complaint to the NBL today after their Singapore swing turned into the road trip from hell.

Watkins is upset that the NBL weren't able to secure exit row seats on the Pigs' flight to Singapore forcing his players with an average height of 200cm to endure the big squeeze for eight hours.

Although the Razors mentor isn't blaming Monday night's 35-point loss to the Slingers on travelling in economy, it didn't help the struggling Pigs' preparation.

"We weren't treated very well by Singapore Airlines; it's pretty disappointing," Watkins said.

"You've got all these little people and average sized people sitting in exit rows and my boys are all squashed in together.

More at The Australian




Background:

  • The Singapore Slingers is a Singaporean basketball team that was inaugurated into Australia's basketball league (NBL)


  • The Razorbacks are an Australian basketball team that seem to be based in West Sydney, Australia


  • Australia-based teams who play the Singapore Slingers at home (at the Singapore Indoor Stadium) have to fly to Singapore on every occasion


  • At least they experienced inflight service that even other airlines talk about Big grin
    Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
     
    futurecaptain
    Posts: 1918
    Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:54 am

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:51 am

    Um, I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for the basketball team. Buy first class tickets if you need room, or deal with economy like the rest of us.

    In the US alot of teams have their own planes so they dont have to deal with econ on airlines. Maybe they should do this?
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    TPAPDX
    Posts: 60
    Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:07 am

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:52 am

    This situation certainly has nothing to do with SQ. It has to do with the bad planning of the coach.

    As an airline, I'm not going to force my "elite" frequent flyer members, who have used their status to obtain those seats in advance, to move so that I can accommodate a one-off trip by a basketball team.

    The coach should have insured that they: a) Chose an airline/flight that they could have gotten pre-assigned exit row seats on, or b) Paid for business class for the extra room, or c) Buy an extra seat for every two players to have the space between them to stretch out.

    Just because your tall, or "calorically challenged", doesn't require the airline to do anything special for you. If I, as a passenger, wan't to be comfortable, I'll need to make my own arrangements to insure I am - like tolerating coach, or paying the upgrade to business or first.

    It would be like being tall, then renting an economy car, then expecting the rental car company to give me a free upgrade because I'm tall. Give me a break.
     
    afrikaskyes
    Posts: 118
    Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:56 am

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:55 am

    Um, I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for the basketball team. Buy first class tickets if you need room, or deal with economy like the rest of us

    Another case of entitlement. You're absolutely right. Since when are 'emergency' exit rows designated for tall people, anyway? If I'm on an airplane, I care more "little people and average sized people" who are going to assist others in an emergency, rather than some jocks comfort.
     
    Elite
    Posts: 2296
    Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:01 pm

    Only the NBA teams would probably be rich enough to fly their players/staff in Business. But really, I'd hate to imagine the experience of their height and size in economy.
     
    aussieindc
    Posts: 287
    Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:16 am

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:58 pm

    Hmmmm, I think that if the NBL (National Basketball League) in Australia wanted to expand to incorporate a team from Singapore playing in the League, they should be footing some of the bill to transport the team up to Singapore and back.

    If I were the coach or owner, I'd be directing the question to the governing body. Afterall, it is them who effectively make the teams travel up to SIN in the first place.
     
    CPHGuard
    Posts: 249
    Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:58 pm

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:08 am

    Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 1):
    Um, I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for the basketball team. Buy first class tickets if you need room, or deal with economy like the rest of us.

    I disagree VERY much.

    I'm 6"8' myself, and it is a big problem for me when i fly.

    You suggest, that because i was born with a tall body, i should purchase first class tickets.
    There is no chance that i can afford that.
    But according to your logic, i should be rich because i'm tall ????

    I think it is common sense, that the emergency exits should be given to the people that cannot fit into the other seats.

    Quoting Afrikaskyes (Reply 3):
    I care more "little people and average sized people" who are going to assist others in an emergency, rather than some jocks comfort.

    Please explain the logic here!

    Why shouldn't the tall persons be able to assist in the case of an emergency?

    Thomas
     
    Carfield
    Posts: 2027
    Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Sea

    Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:29 am

    Can't help to ask this question:
    When do exit row seats become "seats" for tall people?
    Well, most airlines actually keep their exit row seats to their elite flyers, and airlines like United will sell you those seats, only if you pay the fee to "upgrade" to Economy Plus.
    I guess most agents will try to accomodate "tall" people by giving them the exit row seats when permitted, which is a nice thing to do. it is perhaps "common sense" in that way, but you cannot expect those seats reserved for the tall people. Then how do you define "tall"?
    However for a whole basketball team, there may not even be that many exit row seats, and those seats may have preassigned to elite flyers, which SQ cannot ask them to deplane.
    It is an unfortunately situation and I really don't know if there is a correct solution to it. The most I can think of is that most airlines adopt the United's Y Plus seating and allow more comfortable saeting at a nominal fee, and/or like Northwest, keep those exit row seats open to all passengers in a first come first serve basis, and once again, have those seats available as a nominal fee.
    But I agree that it is an "entitlement" issue. You just cannot expect the agent to give you an "exit" row seat automatically, when you are taller than average. A Y ticket really just composes of getting you from Point A to Point B with some food and drinks, some amenities, and a seat. I really don't know if one can file a complaint when they can't get an exit row seat and they are tall.
    It is "common sense" to try to accommodate a tall person to the exit row, but is also "common sense" to take care of your elite flyers first and make sure your most loyal customers are well taken care of. But as the original case, if the basketball team is traveling on a Boeing 777 flight, will there be enough exit row seats available in the first place? I still think if they care so much about their basketball players, they should fly J and work out a deal with one of the airlines (I am sure some discounts can be worked out), who fly between those two cities? Or call the airline early in advance and work out a solution? I am sure airlines like SQ will try to accommodate, as well as Qantas, its hometown airline? or fly airlines like Gulf Air, who offers very affordable J fare between SIN and SYD?
    I still think the best solution is like NW or UA, and save the exit row seats for elites and/or have them available in a first come first serve basis with a nominal fee surcharge. So for those tall folks, there are at least an option. But I just think it is unreasonable to expect the airline to automatically assign and reserve those exit row seats for the tall.
    Carfield
     
    N1120A
    Posts: 26467
    Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:34 am

    Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 1):
    In the US alot of teams have their own planes so they dont have to deal with econ on airlines. Maybe they should do this?

    There is no way NBL teams have the kind of money NBA teams have.
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    TPAPDX
    Posts: 60
    Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:07 am

    RE: Basketball Players Complain Of No Exit Row Seating

    Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:23 am

    Qouting CPHGuard:

    You suggest, that because i was born with a tall body, i should purchase first class tickets. There is no chance that i can afford that. But according to your logic, i should be rich because i'm tall ????

    I don't think anyone expects that just because your tall, or for that matter, fat, that your rich. However, just as if were say 5'6" and 350lbs, when I travel I have four choices: Tolerate coach (if I can still fit in one seat), buy an extra seat, upgrade to business/first class, or find an alternate mode of transportation.

    The airlines configure the aircraft for the "average" passenger. Unfortuneately, some passengers simply don't fit that category - however, because of simple economics, its not practical for airlines to configure it any other way.

    Regarding the coach, he should have thought of that in advance, and not simply expected the airline to jump at his demands to displace anyone in an exit row seat and give them to his players. He is simply out-of-line.