Here's The Obvious Reason Passengers Refused A CEO's $100 Bribe To Switch Seats On A Plane

Bradford Shellhammer and Jason Goldberg / Business Insider

Earlier we told you about Fab.com founder/CEO Jason Goldberg, who expressed annoyance at his fellow passengers for refusing to switch seats on a plane from Stockholm to Newark even when he offered them $100 to do so.

Goldberg has yet to get back to us on the issue of why he thought it was unreasonable for his fellow passengers not to move so he and a colleague could sit together. He has suggested, on Facebook, that his fellow travellers’ reasons for declining his money were bogus — they told him they wanted to be near family, but in the event didn’t talk much to each other, Goldberg complained.

But we’ve created a speculative reconstruction of the event which shows three obvious reasons Goldberg and his colleague, chief design officer Bradford Shellhammer, didn’t get their way earlier this morning in Sweden. We don’t know this for a proven fact. But we can make some educated guesses about what caused the tragic events of 7/15.

First, it’s important to establish that as Goldberg says he wanted to switch the occupants of seats 1F and 2F, this almost certainly puts him on an SAS Airbus A330-300 wide body jet, which has seat rows that are six wide. United also flies from Stockholm to Newark, but its planes aren’t that wide.

Using an Airbus A330-300 seat plan, and Goldberg’s own Facebook posts, we get this scenario:

Goldberg was probably in 1F, judging by his Facebook posts. He wanted to switch with the guy behind him in 2F. It’s not clear where Shellhammer was sitting, but we know it wasn’t in 1E, because that man also refused to move. Goldberg writes “1E than [sic] says he needs to sit in close proximity to his family in 1A and 1B. Grrr.”

So we can presume that Shellhammer was in 2E.

This is Goldberg’s primary problem: He’s trying to get people who have bought tickets in the front row of first class to switch to the second rank of seats. Good luck with that!

The second issue is that he’s offering only $100. This is a nine and a half hour flight — 10 hours or more including all the taxi-ing and deplaning. No one likes flying long distance. But Goldberg is basically offering his passengers the equivalent of $10 an hour to sit in worse seats. They’d make more money tending bar.

Third, Goldberg doesn’t appear to realise that he’s out of his depth, price-wise. First class tickets between Stockholm and Newark can cost up to $7,000 or more. After you’ve paid that, who is going to accept $100 to get a worse seat?

Fab.com offers a lot of discounts and bargains. But Goldberg seems to have failed to have appreciated that he was not in a bargain environment.

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