American Airlines Passenger Commandeers The Jump Seat, Nobody Asks Her To Move

Jump seats are for flight attendants. They’ll be seated during takeoff and landing, and at other times as instructed by the pilot. They aren’t for customers.

An American Airlines Airbus A321 passenger shared to social media that a woman decided to take the mid-cabin jump seat for their entire flight. Surprisingly – to me, at least – no one told them to move.

I’ve seen all sorts of examples of ‘passengers behaving badly’ but I’ve never seen passengers commandeer a jump seat for themselves. On the other hand if nobody says anything other than the norm that you sit in your own assigned seat I’m not sure how a first time flyer would know that this is wrong?

While no passenger can complain about having space taken up by a flight attendant sitting here, it’s understandable that a passenger who paid extra for the seat – to have the extra room – has much of the space taken up by another passenger who shouldn’t be there in the first place.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Tim Kelly – That was my first thought. When my wife was still an active F/A she would sit on the jump seat to commute. I’d almost bet good money that if it were a “civilian” the crew would have moved them.

  2. Agreed, maybe an off-duty FA. But did the passenger filming complain? If not, don’t “expect” them to move her after the abuse FAs have taken. Oh damn, almost forgot, the abuse is over now that face masks aren’t mandated.

  3. It’s a off-duty flight attendant non revving. The flight must have been full, so they put her in jump seat. Happens all the time.

  4. Passengers needs to mind their own “bidness”.

    This is an off duty flight attendant flying the “jumpseat”. She was getting out of the way for the working crew while they prepped their service carts in the galley.

    Passenger has no right to video this employee. Period.

    If he purchased the exit row, he has no right to determine if an employee sits or does not sit in a company jumpseat.

    Again, they need to mind their own “bidness”.

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    Remember, “all inflight entertainment is available to watch everywhere on Wi-Fi-equipped American Airlines flights.” Premium in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi are why American Airlines is something special in the air.

  6. This happened to me on China Southern’s A380 and was the inspiration to start googling about miles and credit cards.

    I missed check in at LAX by 5 minutes (my fault) and got rebooked to an isle seat in the bulkhead, face to face with the F/A’s and the jumpseats. Some point during the flight the man next to me got up and opened the jumpseat, strapped himself in(5 point harness and everything) and fell asleep. He looked like a baby sleeping strapped to one of their parents in one of those front belly carriers. The F/As came over and shook him awake and he tried to shoo them away and go back to sleep but they were not having it.

    After some negotiation he came and sat back down next to me. That was my “come to Jesus” moment and I started learning about points so I would never have todo mainland Airlines anymore.

  7. The fact the other FAs did not remove them would lead me to believe it was a non-rev FA. I believe under FAA regs it is illegal for a non FA to ride in the jump seat.

  8. On the way back to LAX from TPA on AA a young lady was sitting in the jump seat. I don’t know how long she was there but definitely not a FA.

  9. It could be a person with mental health issues and the FA’s are aware so they left her alone.

  10. Most likely an off duty flight attendant and a passenger who doesn’t know what they are talking about wanting attention.

    I hope this pax didn’t share their picture.

  11. @DaninMCI FAs wouldn’t let someone break rules and possibly get fined because someone has a mental illness. If they are having that much of an episode where they can’t follow rules, they wouldn’t be able to fly.

  12. Definitely a jumpseat qualified FA, either going home from work or going to her base to work. When the working FAs are doing the cabin service, it is only necessary for non-reving FA to stay out of the working crews way.

  13. @Gary…. Unreal. Now posting videos of an off duty FA sitting in the Jump? There is nothing newsworthy about this. I bet you don’t even know if they had their badge…. As an FA, I commute in my street clothes all the time. I sit in the JS, more than I care. Imagine you wearing your suit an extra 6-7h/day. doubt you’d do it…

    Also, the JS is way more comfortable than a middle seat.

    Just what I mean, you don’t report factual or data driven analytics. Just click bait BS.

    This poor woman who clearly did nothing wrong is now on SM even more because of you.

  14. Off duty flight attendant. Does not have to be in uniform. During take off and landing they will occupy jumpseats as they are qualified. Flights are full so that’s the only chance to get from point A to point B. During service working crew needs them out of their galley while working. During landing they’ll return to aft galley flight attendant jumpseat for landing.
    Don’t be quick to post on social media without getting facts.

  15. It was most like a FA jumpseat rider. They would sit in the aft galley extra jumpseats during takeoff and landing and the working FA assigned to that door would sit there for takeoff and landing. After takeoff AA procedures are for the jumpseat rider to relocate during the flight to a jumpseat outside the galley if needed so the working crew has room to set up the carts and work in the galley during the flight. (When the jumpseats are folded down and occupied, it takes up a good portion of the galley.) Then before landing the jumpseat rider will return to the extra jumpseats and the working FA assigned to that door will return. Why don’t they put the jumpseat rider there for the whole flight in order to avoid the switch-out you might ask? Because that door has a single jumpseat and must be occupied by a working crew member during takeoff and landing and due to the aircraft’s configuration the extra room for additional jumpseats is often in the galleys. I hope this explains the switch- out. It is really necessary.

  16. Air marshals will never occupy jumpseats. They’re generally in business class, and by the way, they’re very often not big or burly either

  17. Former career flight attendant here now retired due to injuries. I commuted from my home to my bases and many many times I was in the jump seat in civilian clothes but always made sure that my crew ID was visible. Protocol back in the day was to introduce yourself to the captain prior to boarding and ask if you could occupy the extra FA jumpsuit. He would look at your ID and make sure everything was cool. Trust me there is no way a working crew would let a non crewmember sit in a jump seat…. They would find themselves out of a job

  18. @Ligita Mikelsons – correct FAM will not occupy them, they’re not qualified to sit in for takeoff/taxi/landing. However the rules nowadays generally prohibit more than one FAM in business unless there’s a reason. (Known person under surveillance, etc…) On domestic flights they’re prohibited from First at all unless there’s a known reason. Rules changed when FAM started always both siting in F and forcing airlines to remove paying F passengers.

    @VFTW – poor reporting. I normally back you guys against this complaint. However this was an ill informed passenger and your reports how’s a lack of understanding. In flight at cruise anyone can sit in JS. Only during taxi/TO/landing must they be qualified.

  19. @flyerco, nope you are incorrect. Only qualified crew members are allowed to sit in the JS during any phase of flight. Non-revving crew members can sit in the jump out of uniform, but they cannot sleep (or appear to) while seated in the JS.
    Finally, people really need to stop taking videos of our workplace. We’re turning our society into a de facto surveillance state. Would you like cameras in your face while doing your job?

  20. definitely she or he is a F/A off duty. No one like a jump seat .! It’s not comfortable anyway. They just missed there job .

  21. I’m a FA with the airline. This is one of the perks of FA. When flight is completely full, they can sit on the jumpseat to get to where they want. This includes in their own cloths. They sit in the front and back jumpseat of the airplane during take off and landing. But during the service l, they sit in the middle jumpseat to get out of the working crew way. You got absolutely no right to film the employee let alone write this stupid article. Mind your own business. But of course your entitled ass wouldn’t care. Fly on your own private jet.

  22. Very poor reporting, Jeff, for someone who writes an airline column. Know your facts! You owe an apology to your readers for reporting a falsehood because a random passenger makes a wrong assumption. No one wants to sit on a jumpseat! Most uncomfortable seat ever!

  23. Hey, Gary, you are such an “expert” on all things aviation, why didn’t you do some research before slamming AA – again! This is a Flight Attendant flying non-revenue and sitting “jump seat” since all the passenger seats are occupied. This is not a random person who commandeered a FA jumpseat!

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