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American Airlines Passenger Claims Flight Attendant Deliberately Blocked Aisle With Meal Trolley to Stop Economy Customers Using First Class Restroom

American Airlines Passenger Claims Flight Attendant Deliberately Blocked Aisle With Meal Trolley to Stop Economy Customers Using First Class Restroom

a close up of a curtain

An American Airlines passenger claims a flight attendant deliberately blocked the aisle between First Class and the Economy Class section to stop passengers from using the restroom at the front of the aircraft.

James Nunziati says he was on American Airlines flight 1883 from Los Angeles to Miami when the flight attendant parked a meal trolley at the back of the First Class cabin, which is around row 4 on the Boeing 737MAX.

Nunziati posted a photo on X, which appears to show the flight attendant walking towards the trolley, which is preventing passengers from coming through the curtain into the First Class cabin.

“[I] can’t believe your flight attendant blocks the aisle. I get they don’t want people in first class, but there must be a better way,” Nunziati wrote. “Feels like a safety hazard and makes this flight even more cramp[ed].”

Nunziati finishes off his post: “Thanks for the love. That’s what my EP status gets me”.

EP status stands for Executive Platinum which is AA’s highest elite member status which is only awarded to members of the AAdvantage program who earn at least 200,000 Loyalty Points in a status qualification year.

Unlike some airlines, AA does not have a policy forbidding Economy Class cabin from using the First Class cabin on domestic flights or even any flight departing from the United States.

The policy has been in place for years, but it really came to the attention of the public in 2018 when the media reported it has a travel hack to skip long bathroom lines and as a way to avoid using cramped space-saving lavatories that Boeing designed for the 737MAX.

American Airlines flight attendants will use a meal trolley to block the flight deck when a pilot needs to leave the cockpit in order to use the bathroom or visit the galley, but the trolley is normally positioned between the galley and row 1.

Meal trolleys should never be left unattended as they can pose a serious safety risk, especially in the event of unexpected turbulence.

In October 2023, another American Airlines passenger shared a photo of what appeared to be flight attendants blocking access to the rear galley of the Boeing 737 by connecting jumpseat harnesses across the aisle in order to create a makeshift fence.

Several weeks later, travel blogger Ben Schlappig reported a similar situation in which AA flight attendants on a flight he was on used an elastic rope to block off the aft galley.

American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

View Comments (29)
  • We try a little harder every night and every day
    We work a little longer til we find a better way
    We’re giving you our best
    Yes, We’re American and we’re giving our best
    No matter where we fly, we’re out to lead the rest
    Yes, We’re American Airlines doing what we do best

  • Also an ADA violation. If a disabled passenger is closer to the front lav, blocking it because of fare class is discriminatory. Sets up a great lawsuit.

    • Well, it’s the Air Carrier Access Act instead of ADA that applies, but in that regard the requirement is the same. The way that airlines have been able to shrink the aft lavs to save space is to either a.) keep the forward lavatory of such a size to be accessible/compliant (since the position of most you wouldn’t gain anything by shrinking it anyway) or b.) some mechanism to convert the aft lavs into something accessible.

      The last airline I worked for converted its A320 family aircraft to the spaceflex configuration with the two small lavatories under the tail. However, the flight attendants had a key that would unlock and fold up the wall in between combining them into a larger space. I hosted a ACAA/DOT working group one overnight to demonstrate and actually the members in wheelchairs really liked this arrangement because it gave the option of two toilets that were at different orientations (one facing aircraft front, one facing the side) and had a lot more hand holds for transferring. I don’t think that the Boeing config offers such (given usually the lavs are forward of the aft galley) so the forward lavatory would need to be the compliant one.

    • This is not an ADA violation. The “disabled” person has a voice and needs to use their voice to ask the flight attendant to move the cart so the disabled pax may use the lav. If at that point, the FA says “no”, does it become a potential ADA violation. ADA violations aren’t handed out like Halloween candy. Having worked in CR on the disability team, 9 times out of 10 it is never a violation.

    • Agreed! Looks to me like she’s serving meals or drinks. Bet that was there for like 2 minutes and this post is making it took like it was there the whole flight. The guy should lose his EP status for targeting crew members in doing their duties. The passenger obviously likes attention and willing to take it out on someone losing their job because he couldn’t be bothered walking to the back a few rows to pee like everyone else in the cabin does.

  • There had to be some exclusivity. Keeping the poor , who have personal hygiene habits that are always found wanting , away from their betters is the natural choice. Thank you airline workers who appreciate the diversity.

    • Mom always said “ Soap & water were cheap”. There was no reason for us to be dirty , just because we were poor.

  • OMG…is that all you have to do is complain. Maybe she was serving meals and it was easier to go after forward. Maybe the captain requested that she park there so that he had more room when he was leaving the cockpit. Maybe there was a celebrity on board who requested. There are so many other factors involved EP, you must not fly very much or you would know that.

  • TBH, they announce at the beginning of the flight and and gain once the seatbelt signs are off for passengers to use the bathrooms in the section in which their seats are located. If , during meal / drink service there is a cart blocking access to your restroom, of course you use the one that you can get to. But many folks create a parade non-stop into the business class / first class cabin to use the bathroom up front and then start queueing up in the aisle with their butts in the faces of the passengers up front.

  • We flew first class in September . The flight attendants blocked the entrance to the bathroom across the galley area.. BECAUSE the pilots needed to use the restrooms!

  • I had hoped with the start of the new year, that civilization, or what’s left of it, would turn the other butt cheek and be kinder to each other. Alas, that is not the case appears to be – Yoda

  • So, looking at this guy’s account it’s nothing but a nonstop string of complaints of one kind or another. Nothing to see here….

  • Years ago I came across this issue with a cart blocking the restroom. I am slim and managed to squeeze behind and use the facilities. When I came out a male flight attendant yelled at me for using it and I apologized. It was a genuine mistake on my part as another airline I had traveled with allowed use of this lavatory by passengers in front of coach. However my mission was accomplished albeit with a red face.

  • As one who frequently pays for 1st class seats, I would appreciate some privacy once the flight is en route. If you want unlimited access to first class, then buy a ticket. So tired of all the entitled bloggers and so called influencers just waiting to jump on anything they see as a violation. Social media has really enabled the fringe, with questionable motives, to have a platform.

  • I agree these entitled EP’s are out of control and need to be put in place! They are mean and aggressive and should shut up! We are all sick of you!!

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