Will.i.am has annoyed a number of Twitter users after ranting about United Airlines. He took to the social media site to complain that his first class seat had been given up 45 minutes before his flight. He admitted that he had arrived at 12:30pm for his 1:15pm flight, and found out that he had lost his seat.
The Black Eyed Peas singer then took to Twitter to express his anger, stating that he had a business meeting to attend. He would need to wait for another flight to get to China. However, his rants have not been met with sympathy. In fact, many users have argued that Will.i.am should not have expected special treatment like that just because of his status.
Airlines and air traffic control have a number of rules and regulations to abide by. There are boarding policies in place to ensure that the flights have the right number of passengers are on, and will allow for standby passengers to get on should someone not make their flight. Passengers are informed to be at the airport two to three hours before a flight, especially when it is a transpacific or transatlantic flight. Will.i.am failed to meet those standards, and it would have been expected that his seat would have been given to someone else.
Will.i.am did not understand why that should happen, and went on a Twitter rant about the airline, annoying a number of users. He used his superiority as a premium passenger as a reason for his seat not to be given away. Many people were angry since non-premium passengers would have been delayed due to waiting around for the celebrity, had the airline done as he expected.
The singer did not initially share the full details of his arrival time. At first, he ranted about the airlines that have never caused a problem for him in an attempt to shame United Airlines. He may have gained some sympathy for his predicament had it not been for admitting that he arrived just 45 minutes before the departure time.
According to United Airlines, passengers should check in at least one hour before the flight. This gives the attendants time to ensure the plane is full and board any standby passengers. The last thing anybody wants is for the departure to be delayed because the attendants were waiting for a possible passenger.
There may be some bias in Will.i.am’s rants. He took to Twitter to share is displeasure of being kicked out of the First Class Lounge earlier this year. United Airlines staff believed that his membership card was a forgery and needed to check that. He pulled a “do you know who I am stunt,” rather than calmly trying to work out the situation. The location of this incident was never confirmed, but he received a mixture of sympathy and annoyance from Twitter users again.
All passengers are treated in the same way when it comes to arrival and departure times. While first class passengers get benefits with priority boarding and while on the flight, they still need to turn up in time. This applies to all airlines and allows them all to stick to the rules and regulations set by the relevant authorities. However, that did not stop Will.i.am annoying a number of Twitter users due to his rants over his treatment by United Airlines.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham
Photo credit: CC-2.0 Intel Free Press