A first class Robin Hood was kicked off a flight over the weekend for attempting to sneak free drinks to his friends in economy class.
The incident happened on an American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta, according to Katie Genter of The Points Guy, who was also on the flight. The premium class passenger boarded the flight with two friends in economy. After taking his seat, a flight attendant offered first class passengers a pre-departure drink, which the man had — and then followed up with an order for two more drinks.
The flight attendant told the man he could order only one drink at a time, so he said it was for the woman next to him. (It wasn't.) When the two drinks arrived, the man in 1A began his crusade back to economy class. But the flight attendant intervened, saying he must remain in first class with the drinks. He tried saying he was going to the bathroom — but there's a first class lavatory, and the attendant said he had to use that.
Despite the resistance, he pressed on. According to Genter, he texted his friends to come up to the bathroom and meet him in the middle. When they tried, they were directed to use the bathroom at the back of the plane. At that point, the gig was apparently up. Genter tweeted that a manager appeared, and the first class passenger eventually left the plane.
While it may sound like a good deed, airlines are not especially keen on economy passengers getting premium perks. Late last year, two professional basketball players in economy were kicked off a flight after a flight attendant accused them of stealing first class blankets.
As for drinks, federal regulations prohibit drinking onboard aircraft unless the beverage is directly served by a flight attendant. Some airlines may allow first class passengers to share a drink with a passenger in economy — but it’s best to ask for permission and wait until the flight has taken off.
"The customer caused a disruption during the boarding process," American Airlines told Travel + Leisure in a statement. "We did offer to rebook the customer on a later flight, but he declined and we provided a full refund."