So for my introduction, I choose...Delta Airlines. Now, I know "airline" is pretty much synonomous with "bad service", and this isn't even the worst incident I've had with them, but it's certainly sucky.
Background info: Heading to Ecuador with the family, but since I live in OH (college) and my parents and sister live in Tn, I flew seperately into Atlanta, and then we flew on together to Quito. My knee is relatively screwy, as I hugged a tree on skis a few years ago, and never really got it fixed. Between that, a slight case of claustrophobia, and a couple of instances of people trying to share the space that I spent my money on, I always make sure I have an aisle seat.
I arrive in Atlanta, meet up with the parents, and since we have a few minutes, hurry off to get food while my dad goes to the gate. When I show up with my food, he mentions that they called my name at the counter. Apparently the people sitting next to me are a split family trying to get seats together. Dad talked to them and told them that even though it *looked* like I was alone, I was with my family, and no, I was not willing to move (especially since the move was to a window seat).
Slight bad service here: Delta airlines, Atlanta airport, the agent was not fluent in English. Apparently, there was a fair amount of back and forth before the agent understood, but he assured my dad that I would not be moved.
We board, and lo and behold, there is someone in my seat. Happy Happy joy joy.
Me: Excuse me sir, you're in my seat.
Him: gibber gibber, *gesture* *gesture*.
Great, he doesn't speak english, I don't speak spanish. (90% of the trip involved an english-speaking tour, so I only learned the bare basics)
I wave down a flight attendant. She comes over, I tell her he's in my seat, he tells her something.
FA: He wants to sit with his family.
Me: I want to sit with MY family!
FA: He was told that he could sit here, because you're a single. His seat's back there (two rows back, window seat). You can sit there.
Me: No, no he can't. I'm with my family, whom I haven't seen in two months. I want to sit there. That's my seat.
FA: Oh, well you two work it out.
Work it out? How, pray tell, are we going to 'work it out', with a fairly substantial language barrier? I ended up squished against a window for six hours, next to a woman who would not leave me alone. Though I had the priviledge, about halfway through the flight (I was standing in the aisle, talking to my family, seatbelt light was off), same FA came up to tell me that I needed to stop standing in the aisle, so I said "I'm sorry, but I haven't seen my parents in two months. Perhaps if you'd been more helpful in the beginning, I wouldn't have to stand in the aisle to talk to them."
I understand that the guy wanted to sit next to his family, but really, that's why you book tickets together, or change it online, or ask multiple people. You don't just take someone's seat!