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Old Oct 30, 12, 1:34 pm   #1
 
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Interesting Idea to avoid someone sitting in the middle seat between two of you.

A not very experienced traveler gave me an interesting idea.

He says when going on a three across seating plane with his wife, they request the window and aisle seat, hoping that the middle seat will not be occupied.If it is they simply request that passenger swap for the aisle seat, or as final bargaining chip the window seat.

Sounds a good idea but I cannot recall any major flights I have recently taken (LAX to Europe on AF, LH, KLM,) that were not completely full.

Have you ever tried this? What has been your experiences and what is your success rate? Any downside? outside of being separated?
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Old Oct 30, 12, 1:49 pm   #2
 
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Discussed many times with the usual differing opinions and results.
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Old Oct 30, 12, 2:37 pm   #3
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we often get aisles across....can talk + the bw often gets someone interesting to converse with for a change....
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Old Oct 30, 12, 7:31 pm   #4
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Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, you get somebody who doesn't want to switch.

Countless threads about it.
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Old Oct 30, 12, 8:02 pm   #5
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Have done the Isle/Window thing before while telling the unfortunate soul in the middle that it sucks to be them but now would do Isle/Isle when possible. Flights are too full these days to hope that an empty seat would wind up next to me.

If it doesn't work as planned, why work with the person in the middle seat Lilkey they don't have cooties so you can both be comofortable and in the very likely event thay you don't see again you win.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 7:08 am   #6
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I much prefer the aisle/aisle option personally.

While I have not run across it, what do you do if you do aisle/window and the person in the middle refuses to move? That could be an uncomfortable flight.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 8:58 am   #7
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Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
I much prefer the aisle/aisle option personally.

While I have not run across it, what do you do if you do aisle/window and the person in the middle refuses to move? That could be an uncomfortable flight.
I suggest this is a very low-risk result. What passenger would refuse to swap a middle seat with either aisle or window seat. If they refuse, then ensure you have a loud ongoing conversation between aisle and window seat and I am confident the middle seat passenger will be happy to change.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 9:06 am   #8
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I've been that person in the middle and the people on the window/aisle didn't even offer a switch, but assumed they could act as though I didn't exist (e.g. talking over me as though I wasn't there etc, making sexist comments about the female pilot over me, a woman). Fortunately, I had a newspaper on me which I would normally have read folded up, but since it was a broadsheet, by reading it not folded it provided a suitable barrier to their chat, and I added my own views on the sexist comments they were passing. As a result we sat in stoney silence for the duration of the flight. Oh, I also determinatedly refused to cede the arm rests (which I would normally view as the middle person's anyway). So as a result of their decisions, none of us had a comfortable flight.

As a result, I find people doing this to be incredibly selfish.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 9:13 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, you get somebody who doesn't want to switch.

Countless threads about it.
I may do this next time I end up in the situation. It's pretty childish, but tempting.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 9:51 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NM View Post
I suggest this is a very low-risk result. What passenger would refuse to swap a middle seat with either aisle or window seat. If they refuse, then ensure you have a loud ongoing conversation between aisle and window seat and I am confident the middle seat passenger will be happy to change.
How mature and classy.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 9:55 am   #11
 
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We do this, have about a 50% success rate. Have never encountered someone unwilling to switch to either (their option) the window or aisle. In the unlikely case that we do run into that, I am sure we will all survive. (We only really do this on short haul flights).

If in Y on a long haul, I always try to choose an aircraft with 2-4-2 or 2-3-2 seating and get the pair and avoid a third person altogether. (767/A330/340 now that most 777 operators are going 3-3-3 or 3-4-3).
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Old Oct 31, 12, 10:03 am   #12
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How mature and classy.
Indeed! I am known for my class
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Old Oct 31, 12, 10:05 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NM View Post
If they refuse, then ensure you have a loud ongoing conversation between aisle and window seat,,,




If you attempted to engage in such arrogant and rude behavour with me, I would assure you that there would most definitely be negative consequences if you did not cease and desist.
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Old Oct 31, 12, 10:10 am   #14
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More to the point of the OP, on most airlines there isn't a very reliable way to avoid it. It sounds like you're thinking "If my flight is 95% full, how do I select a row where my likelihood of an empty middle is greatest?"

I imagine most airline boards here have their theories. Southwest regulars have their favorite rows to head for in hopes of the last empty middle seat. In my UA years, I always felt like my chances were greatest in the last non-exit E+ row. On US, there are a couple of aircraft types where there are seats that elites can book adjacent to two seats that no one can book without paying extra...but paying extra for one of those seats could be a gamble that backfires at a cost of some real cash.

These days, if we're in a 3x3 or a 3x3x3, we go aisle-aisle. Everything's 100% full anyway, so we figure two aisles beats an aisle and a middle.

My personal opinion on the practice of booking window-aisle: I think it's fair game to try it, but I think it's pretty poor etiquette to not offer to swap with Mr. Middle when the flight is 100% full. I was in that situation once - in the middle - and it was an unpleasant flight for all three of us. I too had to use a newspaper as my defense...
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Old Oct 31, 12, 10:30 am   #15
 
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Selected seats on BA at T-24, and the flight looked completely dead, so picked an aisle and window for my mother and I. Board, and there is a FA in uniform in the middle seat. We offered to swop, for whichever she would like, explaining that the flight looked empty when we selected the seat. She said 'I have to sit in my assigned seat' (she wasn't on duty!) and she didn't even opt to move to one of the MANY empty seats without a full row (I was right in that the flight was pretty much empty!) It was a bit odd really, but didn't particulaly bother us, we didn't talk over her, my mother read the paper, I watched a movie.
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