United Gave a Passenger Duct Tape to Repair His Seat

by Anthony Losanno
United Airlines Plane

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View from the Wing highlighted a tweet posted on Monday from a United Airlines’ passenger with a broken seat. Apparently, the flight attendant working the flight had him duct tape his tray table back together. I wish I could say that this was a unique scenario, but I experienced something similar last week.

Things break all the time and hopefully the flight attendant wrote this up so that it could be fixed before future passengers encountered it. Airlines should be proactive in fixing these issues and giving the passengers some miles or other compensation.

When I flew on May 1st, a piece against the overhead bin above my seat fell down and was swinging in front of my screen. I asked the flight attendant in the galley in front of me if she could fix it. She pushed it back up. It fell down again a few moments later. She stuffed it back and added a napkin in there. It stayed put after that and she told me not to worry because it dampened sound, but had no structural function.

Flight turnaround times are quick and gate agents are strapped with getting them out on time. This does not excuse United from checking the cabin for broken items and fixing them in a timely manner.

Anthony’s Take: I had to laugh at how nonchalant the flight attendant was around fixing this piece. It was a minor annoyance, but still looks unsightly and does not provide the best experience. As planes will be packed this summer, expect to see them not cleaned as much as they are now (which is currently lacking) and minor maintenance issues to be duct taped or other wise jerry-rigged. Not making excuses for United or any other airline as these issues happen, but it’s up to the airline to handle them quickly and efficiently.

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