American Airlines domestic first class
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

How NOT to Sneak Into the Premium Class Cabin and Steal a Seat

Over the years, some passengers who have longed to experience sitting in a seat in the premium class cabin aboard an airplane would sneak into a seat from their assigned seats in the economy class cabin instead of simply being willing to pay for it — and the practice of upgrading oneself without paying for the privilege is considered stealing by many people

How NOT to Sneak Into the Premium Class Cabin and Steal a Seat

American Airlines domestic first class
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but if you are going to do it, do not follow this example as imparted by FlyerTalk member MiamiAirport Formerly NY George: “The flight was 100% full but the FAs noticed on the taxi out that one Y seat was empty and there was a purse sitting in the seat. Paxs around that seat said the woman just got up and left. So there’s an announcement for this pax to identify herself or we can’t take off. At that point I realize that she’s hiding under her friend’s J seat. I can tell the a/c is pulling off the taxiway to park and as soon as it’s parked my intention is to ring the call button if this woman doesn’t give herself up. She does and tries to sneak back into Y but is immediately busted by the FAs.”

The incident allegedly occurred on Friday, October 30, 2020 during the boarding process aboard an airplane which was operated by American Airlines from its hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Miami International Airport, which is another hub airport of the airline and explains one reason why the flight was completely full — and the reason for this stunt was apparently to drive viewers to the YouTube channel of a woman and her friend…

…but instead of taking off for Miami, the airplane instead returned to the gate, where the woman who was seated in the business class seat was forced to leave the airplane. No definitive information was given as to the fate of her friend — who by that time had returned to her seat in the economy class cabin — but the captain of the airplane said that they already had “a couple more security concerns”. What exactly were those security concerns had supposedly not been released.

If the women somehow recorded the entire incident and posted it to YouTube, they might actually get more viewers than had they succeeded with their originally intended goal.


American Airlines International Business Class between Bogota and Miami
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Who would not want to indulge in a wider seat with room to stretch out the legs, dine on food served on actual plates with real silverware and cloth napkins, drink unlimited beverages, enjoy additional entertainment options, and receive upgraded service?

If you are going to sneak into the premium class cabin aboard an airplane and steal a seat for the entire flight — and you should absolutely suffer the repercussions if you decide to attempt this whether you are successful or not — do not:

  • Do it when the entire economy class cabin is supposed to be completely full, as members of the flight crew will know that something is wrong when one seat is suddenly empty
  • Choose a flight between two hub airports of the airline, as it will likely be full
  • Attempt it until after the airplane has already taken off from the runway and the fasten seat belt sign is no longer illuminated
  • Already have any additional security concerns linked to you

All photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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