No “comfort” seat on TAM — and no refund

Chris Parypa Photography / Shutterstock.com
Chris Parypa Photography / Shutterstock.com
Nathan Pearson and his son are bumped into two uncomfortable airline seats on a 10-hour flight from Brazil back to the United States. And now the upgrade fee they paid is missing in action. Will they ever see that money again?

Question: I recently flew from Sao Paolo to New York on TAM with my son. We had purchased “comfort seats” for this flight, for $75 each, and were assigned seats 27C and 27A. When we boarded the flight, we found that these seats had been double booked, and other passengers were already in those seats, with valid tickets.

There were no other comfort seats available, although both business and first class were mostly empty.

Following very long discussions with a flight attendant, we were informed that we were to accept “regular” coach seats far back in the plane, and that we would receive a refund for the $150 we paid for the comfort seats.
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What to do when your lie-flat seat doesn’t lie flat

Peter Zvonar/Shutterstock
Peter Zvonar/Shutterstock

OK, I’ll admit that I poke fun at the “entitleds” behind the curtain as much as the next guy wedged into one of those sardine-class airline seats.

Oh, those elites whining about the temperature of their Chardonnay or the service that isn’t sufficiently obsequious. To have their problems!

And honestly, I wouldn’t even mention the following case unless the airline in question had started making so much noise about its superior comfort and friendliness, especially in the front of the cabin.

No need to sit through the entire video. Take it from me: It’s slick, it’s inspiring and there’s absolutely no way they filmed that in actual economy class seats.
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Kicked off the plane for having a few pre-flight G&Ts

Pembia/Shutterstock
Pembia/Shutterstock
While Mike Murray waited with his two nephews and cousin in the first-class lounge to board his United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Washington, he consumed three gin and tonics in two hours.

And why wouldn’t he? The drinks in the lounge are included in your membership, and it’s almost a six-hour flight. Nothing like a G&T or two to make you fall asleep, right?

That’s exactly what happened to Murray, who’d given up 40,000 miles and $1,200 for his upgrade to first class. It wasn’t the only thing he would give up that day.

After Murray fell asleep shortly before takeoff, he felt a tap on his shoulder.
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Looking for a better airline seat? There’s a site for that

Vaclav/Shutterstock
Vaclav/Shutterstock
If you fly, chances are you have a story to tell about an uncomfortable airline seat.

Vicki Morwitz does. Hers involves a long-haul plane trip, a minuscule economy-class enclosure and a circuitous routing that deposited her at her destination feeling exhausted and irritated.

So when a friend invited her to test a new online booking site that evaluates airline seats for their comfort, she had to try it. “I care about fares,” says Morwitz, a business professor who lives in New York. “But I also care a lot about the travel experience.”
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Airline seat fees separate mom from five-year-old twins

Ever since airlines added new economy-class seat reservation fees, they’ve insisted that the new charges would not lead to families with young kids being separated.

And I believed it — until I heard from Vicki Wallace.

Wallace was flying from Philadelphia to San Diego on US Airways recently, when the fees led to her being separated from her five-year-old twins, she says.
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