Bumped from Row 4 at the gate

Daver6

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A couple of my 737 flights earlier this year were about 40% full. The back third was completely empty while the front third was very full. I was actually annoyed because at row 5, I did not have an empty set next to me. I was tempted to move to the back but the announcements not to move seats was very clear.

Anyway, my point is that I don't believe that moving passengers around for the purpose of balancing weight is actually a real thing.

See my earlier posted where I updated directly from a QF FO. Are you implying he is lying to me? Also, it is a factor of both pax and cargo. I bet you didn't have visibility into the cargo situation, but I could be wrong?
 
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RichardMEL

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Weight and balance issues, most specially on smaller aircraft, is absolutely a thing.

This can happen on Dash8's quite a bit for example and I have definitely been on smaller aircraft, usually props, that have had people move for the weight.

I don't recall specifically a 737 but if it really was that lightly loaded it is potentially possible I guess.
 

Dalmunzie

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I had a pre-covid experience of being "bumped" by Qantas on a flight to CNS.
Mrs Dalmunzie and I were booked into seats 2A & 3A respectively (it was on a 330) and after check-in we were called to the desk in the business lounge. The lady on the desk asked if we would like to move to make way for a family that wanted to sit together to which I said "no thanks" we'd prefer to stay where we were. (The seat rows on that aircraft are offset so the family wouldn't have been together as such anyway.) She said ok that's fine.
When we went to board, my boarding pass was rejected at the gate and a fresh one issued for 7A. My immediate thought was "how bloody rude is that !" There were no "operational reasons" involved - despite having been asked if I would change seats and politely declining, the Qantas staff just moved me anyway from 3A to 7A ( where you NEVER get a meal of choice - only what's left over !). As it turned out, the patriarch of the family who had boarded earlier decided that my wife's allocated seat of 2A suited him better, so that's where he sat.
Point of the story is that Qantas (and most other airlines, I suspect), will just do what they want when it comes to seating. It seems that previous loyalty (in my case and at various stages - platinum, gold, lifetime silver) and years of membership mean absolutely zip to them. So be it.
 

Matt_01

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@Dalmunzie so what seat was your wife reallocated to, you stated you were moved from 3A to 7A :( and the "the patriarch of the family who had boarded earlier decided that my wife's allocated seat of 2A suited him better, so that's where he sat."
 
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Happy Trails

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Perhaps Boeing could come up with some sort of automated flight control system for the 737 which could make adjustments for imbalanced loads?
 

milehighclub

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Trim and balance?? Surely you'd just move cargo in the hold
Unfortunately it isn't as simple as that. It also takes 2 seconds to move passengers. It takes much long to move cargo. Also, cargo tends to almost always be full, so there isn't much leeway.

To show how complicated it is, there is a 206 page manual for weight and balance that is generic, plus a 112 page manual, specific for the 737
 

aikman

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lol. Of course it's a real thing.

What basis do can you provide as it not being a real thing?

It was just physical observation. One flight I can understand could be a one off but taking two back to back flights where passenger weight was so clearly concentrated towards the front appeared to me like balancing weight was not really an issue.

Of course for all I know they might have put all the cargo towards the back of the plane to balance it all out.
 

RichardMEL

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I had a pre-covid experience of being "bumped" by Qantas on a flight to CNS.
Mrs Dalmunzie and I were booked into seats 2A & 3A respectively (it was on a 330) and after check-in we were called to the desk in the business lounge. The lady on the desk asked if we would like to move to make way for a family that wanted to sit together to which I said "no thanks" we'd prefer to stay where we were. (The seat rows on that aircraft are offset so the family wouldn't have been together as such anyway.) She said ok that's fine.
When we went to board, my boarding pass was rejected at the gate and a fresh one issued for 7A. My immediate thought was "how bloody rude is that !" There were no "operational reasons" involved - despite having been asked if I would change seats and politely declining, the Qantas staff just moved me anyway from 3A to 7A ( where you NEVER get a meal of choice - only what's left over !). As it turned out, the patriarch of the family who had boarded earlier decided that my wife's allocated seat of 2A suited him better, so that's where he sat.
Point of the story is that Qantas (and most other airlines, I suspect), will just do what they want when it comes to seating. It seems that previous loyalty (in my case and at various stages - platinum, gold, lifetime silver) and years of membership mean absolutely zip to them. So be it.
wow that must have been some sort of DYKWIA type that QF backed down for this entitled SOB to just sit where they wanted?!! I understand this is your view of what happened, and I have no reason to doubt it. That's just wrong in my book.

You were asked if you were willing to move.. you said no thank you. That should have been that.

I would NEVER even consider such an action. Nor would I even ask to change - perhaps on board Imight approach someone and say would you mind? but in general I would accept my seat - Specially if upgraded even when travelling with others - be grateful and happy. Goodness me you don't need to all sit together (unless there's like a small child or something involved) for a few hours.

that is so disappointing.
 

jb747

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Also, non-revs are not weightless, so if trim was the reason, they’d be moved too.
Yep, and perhaps the easiest way to fix the issue is to simply offload them.
Apparently they're only limited to only a few pax movement anyway. So it makes the most sense to move from the front of Y to the back of Y.

However if this flight was say more than 50% full then it would seem that the movement had nothing to do with weight distribution.
It can be evident at all passenger loadings. There are three issues at play here. Passengers, cargo and fuel. And that's exactly the same order as the ease of moving them to correct any issues.
Anyway, my point is that I don't believe that moving passengers around for the purpose of balancing weight is actually a real thing.
Let me know when you become an airline pilot.
Of course for all I know they might have put all the cargo towards the back of the plane to balance it all out.
Moving the cargo around is slow, even with pallet systems. There are many limitations on what cargo can go where, and even its proximity to other cargo and passengers.

An aft CofG is potentially dangerous in that it reduces the stability of the aircraft. Taken to an extreme (a cargo shift) and the aircraft will pitch up, totally out of control. Even a small way outside of the limits, and it will increase any tendency towards pitch oscillations. The aircraft will try to rotate earlier than normal, and tail scrape becomes much more likely. Too far forward, and you'll emulate the 737 MAX.

The margins are nowhere near as wide as you might imagine.
 

Rangalad

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wow that must have been some sort of DYKWIA type that QF backed down for this entitled SOB to just sit where they wanted?!! I understand this is your view of what happened, and I have no reason to doubt it. That's just wrong in my book.

You were asked if you were willing to move.. you said no thank you. That should have been that.

I would NEVER even consider such an action. Nor would I even ask to change - perhaps on board Imight approach someone and say would you mind? but in general I would accept my seat - Specially if upgraded even when travelling with others - be grateful and happy. Goodness me you don't need to all sit together (unless there's like a small child or something involved) for a few hours.

that is so disappointing.


Had a similar experience. Last to board, connecting flight was late. My seat had someone in it. Excused myself and suggested the occupant was in the wrong seat. Response- you can sit anywhere, they’re all the same. Quick word to the cabin crew got it sorted.
 

justinbrett

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In my first year of being a Qantas Club member (nearly 20 years ago now) I was flying SYD-MEL. I was told on check in that my flight had been cancelled and rebooked on a flight an hour later. My original flight was a 767.

In the lounge they called my original flight and I watched it take off - as a 737.

I sent a written complaint that I was lied to, I would have been happy to be told the aircraft was downgraded for operational reasons but they just told me it was cancelled. I ended up getting a $250 flight voucher out of it. Staff really should just give you the facts and not tell white lies to sugar coat it.
 
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Response- you can sit anywhere, they’re all the same

I had that once and was surprisingly quick enough on the draw to reply with, "good, then you won't mind sitting in your assigned seat since they're all the same to you, whereas this is the one I booked and will be sitting in." They still didn't budge but didn't have a comeback (I also had to get cabin crew to move them).
 

jb747

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I once had a passenger who made three attempts to move himself prior to departure. The first was an upgrade, but the others were just different seats. He was obviously trying to snag a group of 3 or 4. We wouldn't have cared if he'd waited until after take off, but, disobeying specific instructions to remain in his assigned seat until after take off resulted in me going back to the gate and having him removed.
 

RichardMEL

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Yep had one of those "they are all the same" seatholes on a UA flight - a LONG one MEL-LAX. I had assigned 1K and 1L (the window) was vacant until late upgrade. Turns out it was Seathole's wife, while SH had been put in the aisle over in row 2. He was a BIG guy and had taken up residence when I borded. He had this DYKWIA type and I thought about it and it was an aisle for an aisle so while I was not happy I did move. The only reason I did not make an issue of it with the crew was that I did not want 15 hours with this SeatHole (and possibly his wife) giving me the evil eye/treatment. And of course not even a thank you from the wife or anything (heck maybe she would rather a break from this oaf! I don't know).

If it had not been like for like I would have brought it up with the crew. It just didn't seem worth the potential agro.

Some people just have that attitude it really irritates me.

And the thing is it would have been no problem if he'd just ASKED. I would have been happy to (I've moved for couples a few times - as long as like for like seat is available). What got up my nose was this sense of ownership and entitlement despite being obvious upgrades.

Fun times on the airways.
 

hmmm

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I’m sorry but I must disagree with you.

The OP did not game the system.

They entered into a business arrangement to with QANTAS, bought ticket and booked a seat in accordance with published rules.
Conversely, I, Contract law, Reality, Qantas and their conditions of carriage disagree with you.

The OP did not book a seat. He booked a flight, which you may also like to know isn’t guaranteed either, as the conditions of carriage make perfectly clear. The airline is technically under NO obligation to actually provide the product you pay for, lay alone a particular seat which they also make clear they can take away from you under the guise of rather obtuse ‘operational reasons’.

The OP very much gamed the system. He would never ordinarily be entitled or able to get row 4 but knew that at T-80 (which is ‘the’ system) he would be able to, even if T-80 was at some ghastly hour and he waited up all night to get it.

Seats are NEVER guaranteed. EVER. And to be frank, as the OP is a bronze member, neither should they be, especially in what is considered a premium seating area.

The false sense of entitlement here is as ridiculous as the OP thinking that he’s somehow special or got special treatment for being seated/allocated/scamming his way in to row 4.
Had he been more ‘realistic’ and chosen something between rows 6-10, it may have stuck, but I am neither concerned nor surprised he was moved from ‘emerald city’.
 

blackcat20

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Conversely, I, Contract law, Reality, Qantas and their conditions of carriage disagree with you.

The OP did not book a seat. He booked a flight, which you may also like to know isn’t guaranteed either, as the conditions of carriage make perfectly clear. The airline is technically under NO obligation to actually provide the product you pay for, lay alone a particular seat which they also make clear they can take away from you under the guise of rather obtuse ‘operational reasons’.

The OP very much gamed the system. He would never ordinarily be entitled or able to get row 4 but knew that at T-80 (which is ‘the’ system) he would be able to, even if T-80 was at some ghastly hour and he waited up all night to get it.

Seats are NEVER guaranteed. EVER. And to be frank, as the OP is a bronze member, neither should they be, especially in what is considered a premium seating area.

The false sense of entitlement here is as ridiculous as the OP thinking that he’s somehow special or got special treatment for being seated/allocated/scamming his way in to row 4.
Had he been more ‘realistic’ and chosen something between rows 6-10, it may have stuck, but I am neither concerned nor surprised he was moved from ‘emerald city’.
Selecting a seat that is available to you is not scamming 🤦‍♀️
 

MEL_Traveller

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Conversely, I, Contract law, Reality, Qantas and their conditions of carriage disagree with you.

The OP did not book a seat. He booked a flight, which you may also like to know isn’t guaranteed either, as the conditions of carriage make perfectly clear. The airline is technically under NO obligation to actually provide the product you pay for, lay alone a particular seat which they also make clear they can take away from you under the guise of rather obtuse ‘operational reasons’.

The OP very much gamed the system. He would never ordinarily be entitled or able to get row 4 but knew that at T-80 (which is ‘the’ system) he would be able to, even if T-80 was at some ghastly hour and he waited up all night to get it.

Seats are NEVER guaranteed. EVER. And to be frank, as the OP is a bronze member, neither should they be, especially in what is considered a premium seating area.

The false sense of entitlement here is as ridiculous as the OP thinking that he’s somehow special or got special treatment for being seated/allocated/scamming his way in to row 4.
Had he been more ‘realistic’ and chosen something between rows 6-10, it may have stuck, but I am neither concerned nor surprised he was moved from ‘emerald city’.

Sure, there's contract law and you're right, no seat is guaranteed.

But beyond operational reasons, moving someone is just bad manners.

It's either bad manners on behalf of the airline for doing it, or bad manners on behalf of the passenger who asks or accepts a prime seat when they know, or ought to know, someone else has to be moved to accommodate them.
 

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