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Lounge Etiquette for saving space, i.e. healthy boundaries?

Lounge Etiquette for saving space, i.e. healthy boundaries?

Old Feb 8, 19, 5:38 pm
  #1  
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Lounge Etiquette for saving space, i.e. healthy boundaries?

My first visit to the quite lovely HKG Centurion Lounge happened this morning. At check-in the agent informed me that seats were scarce; what was interesting is that the lounge appeared to be half empty, so I headed to the buffet for breakfast.

I did a quick round of lovely food (seriously the dumplings at this lounge are incredible), grabbed a glass of wine and then attempted to find a seat: although the lounge remained half-full people were saving seats for, perhaps mythical, members of their group. Every table had a few extra chairs, but were not willing to let me in for breakfast so I just stood at the bar sadly eating the quite tasty breakfast.

After a few minutes a woman from New York approached me, and said that she and her boyfriend had a free seat next to them. I joined them and enjoyed the rest of my meal. The staff were impeccable and even brought me a perfect (i.e. better than the Raffles Hotel) Singapore Sling. After they left on a CX flight to New York the rest of the lounge also quieted.

Now I experience the same phenomena at northern California ski areas which also has a more chill version of "savesies".

I honestly don't know if this is a HK or NY cultural phenomena, or something different.

For the FlyerTalk community out there: did I violate a boundary by asking for an empty seat at a table occupied by a leader of a group? Was this an exceptionally unlucky situation? Etc

Would love your advice for next time.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 7:31 pm
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I don't think you were in the wrong. Asking politely when there are no obvious open areas to get a seat isn't intrusive. Politely rejected someone is also ok unless it's obvious there are no legit alternatives for the person.

I won't lie and say I don't put my bags (laptop or duffle not wheeled) on a seat if there are plenty but I will remove them if asked or I notice the lounge is filling up. But I usually find a seat first, "save it" and then grab my food & drink.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 7:40 pm
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No, you did nothing wrong. An empty seat is as much yours as it is the scammer's. While it is the decent thing to do not to forcibly take the empty seat when someone is legitimately waiting for a companion in the next few minutes, do not be intimidated and simply sit down and do not engage the scammer if you wish or a bit goes by and the mythical companion does not materialize.

You may also ask staff to intervene for you.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer View Post
My first visit to the quite lovely HKG Centurion Lounge happened this morning. At check-in the agent informed me that seats were scarce; what was interesting is that the lounge appeared to be half empty, so I headed to the buffet for breakfast.

I did a quick round of lovely food (seriously the dumplings at this lounge are incredible), grabbed a glass of wine and then attempted to find a seat: although the lounge remained half-full people were saving seats for, perhaps mythical, members of their group. Every table had a few extra chairs, but were not willing to let me in for breakfast so I just stood at the bar sadly eating the quite tasty breakfast.

After a few minutes a woman from New York approached me, and said that she and her boyfriend had a free seat next to them. I joined them and enjoyed the rest of my meal. The staff were impeccable and even brought me a perfect (i.e. better than the Raffles Hotel) Singapore Sling. After they left on a CX flight to New York the rest of the lounge also quieted.

Now I experience the same phenomena at northern California ski areas which also has a more chill version of "savesies".

I honestly don't know if this is a HK or NY cultural phenomena, or something different.

For the FlyerTalk community out there: did I violate a boundary by asking for an empty seat at a table occupied by a leader of a group? Was this an exceptionally unlucky situation? Etc

Would love your advice for next time.
You're all good. Try Singapore at lunch times in CBD when people "chope" (or reserve) their tables by putting a tissue pack on the table. It's quite a sight to see...
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Old Feb 15, 19, 5:54 am
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I personally find it a bit uncomfortable if I'm at a small table, either alone or with one other person, and a stranger asks to sit with us. If there is no alternative and the person is polite about it, I certainly won't refuse, but it feels awkward. I know that's probably a cultural thing since I live in a sparsely populated area and am used to having lots of personal space. I'm sure it's much more common in large cities. Perhaps the lounges need a large communal table or bar seating by the windows to handle overflow.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 6:45 pm
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I had the same experience at the HKG Centurion Lounge... You weren't in the wrong, but I think some people have a thing about not wanting to have their bags on the ground and get annoyed when asked to move or don't have enough awareness to realise when the lounge is getting full that they should move their bags!
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Old Feb 20, 19, 2:11 pm
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I'd also point out that HK culture is that it is ok to sit down at an occupied table in a food court or other crowded place. California culture is to the contrary. If all else fails, you can ask for seating assistance from the staff.
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