June 3, 2023

The name of the company may be United, but this couple says the airline has left them to fend for themselves.

A woman has claimed that her fiancé was booted out of his first class seat to coach on a United Airlines international flight – only to have a crew member sit there instead.

Danielle Schwab and her fiancé Mikey were reportedly traveling with her parents from London’s Heathrow Airport to Chicago when the incident occurred, calling it “ridiculous”.

“Okay, I’m including this now because we’re going from Heathrow to Chicago on United Airlines and we’ve booked these seats, we’re in first class, we’ve booked these seats fair and square,” Schwab said, retelling her story in a TikTok that has now been viewed over 5.6 million times. “And all of a sudden my fiancée (we just got engaged) was moved to coach.”

According to the furious woman, her fiancé and three other people were transferred from first class to sitting economy.

“I understand that the crew works very hard, but we booked these seats in advance and this is not fair,” she said indignantly. “This is not customer service. I’m sorry, it’s just not customer service. For example, this is ridiculous.

Screenshot of TikTok couple.
The pair were appalled by the way the airlines treated them.

In a follow-up video, Schwab said that as soon as they disembarked for their layover, a United representative greeted them, but claimed he did little to help, offering only a “glorified fast pass” through the airport as consolation.

“He gave us a business card and said we could contact him anytime,” Mikey recalls, adding that the man offered to take them through customs before their next flight, but nothing else.

“He actually kicked us to the curb,” Schwab added.

Screenshot of TikTok couple with plane ticket.
They said Mikey had started up to make room for a crew member.

The couple also claimed another passenger who was also downgraded was quickly compensated, while airline staff told them there was “nothing they could do” and encouraged them to “file a claim online”.

According to the couple, they were told that passengers need to be moved from time to time so that crew members can be seated if their specialized seats are not working or available.

“Basically, what we were told is, this is how it works. Flight attendants take turns napping in the back of the plane, usually there are cages or seats that open into a bed,” she said. “So [if] one chair doesn’t work… what they did instead was they went ahead and started four first class people including Mikey.

A spokesman for United Airlines confirms this to The Post and says that the affected customers have been compensated.

“The seats we normally reserve for crew members to take their required rest breaks did not work on this flight, so unfortunately we had to reassign two customers to Premium Plus instead of canceling the flight,” the spokesperson said via email. . “We understand the customer’s frustration and will refund the price difference for their seats and give them each a $1,500 certificate for future travel.”

The Post has also contacted Schwab.

However, TikTok users were shocked by the newly engaged couple’s story.

“A flight attendant should never be given priority over a paying customer,” one shocked user wrote.

“No no no. you paid first class!!! they should sort this out!” agreed another.