Seat Poaching in F on AA. On the increase?

 
Old Oct 12, 09, 12:41 pm
  #1  
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Seat Poaching in F on AA. On the increase?

I tried to find a sticky or existing thread on this subject but could only find closed threads. If I missed one, moderators please move. Thank you.

I realize society as a whole is becoming more and more entitled.

But I batted two for two with upgrades last week and was two for two with folks in my seat already.

Mr. Zipadee and I were flying together. In both cases we were separated with one of us getting a bulkhead seat and one of us nonbulkhead. We wanted to be together but would never settle into a new seat without asking and would only accept an upgrade if we are willing to be apart (never met a reason for being in Y together over being apart in F).

I got to my aisle seat last week and found a twentysomething man in it holding hands with a twentysomething blonde. I initially said no because I mistakenly believed my seat wouldn't recline. He got quite indignant and made a scene. I explained my reason (which was silly to even be doing) and was told my seat would incline. His was a window which I prefer to an aisle and honestly didn't want to sit next to the pouting woman the whole way to ORD. I took the guy's seat and had a nice visit with the guy to me. Hubby sat in bulkhead and our marriage survived. Two other couples though did seat shifting which confused the FAs. But neither Mr. Zipadee or I asked the person next to us to switch.

On our return, when we got to YUL for departure to LGA, we found out our upgrade had cleared. We had a direct flight that went through ORD so we weren't able to get seats next to each other. Check in agent tried but flight out of ORD was full and the problem. LGA outbound was mostly open so said check with gate agent in LGA. We did and she also couldn't get us seats together because flight out of ORD was full. But she told me 4EF were open and to take those. i checked again when she scanned our BPs and said we were good to go. I told the FA when we sat down. Turns out the seat next to Mr. Zipadee's original 6F was empty so we could have sat there instead of 4EF but turned out fine. But if we hadn't had the empty seats, I promise we would have sat in ours and politely asked to switch. And if we couldn't, our marriage and the world would have survived.

Because the oven wasn't working, we only had salads and so we got off at ORD to grab a bite at McDonald's. When we got back on, there was someone in my bulkhead window seat (again I prefer window but don't like bulkhead). It was an elderly "gentlemen" who pointed in a brusque fashion at his aisle seat in 4 and said I could have it so he could sit with his wife. I finally had enough and snapped, I'll change but in the future ask don't assume and poach seats and settle in. His wife huffs and puffs she'd take her original seat. i said forget it and set down in my "new" aisle seat. Thankfully, the gentlemen next to my husband was willing to take my seat and I got to sit beside Mr. Zipadee (but it's a short flight and our marriage would have survived if we hadn't). Mr. Zipadee was happy because his seat companion seemed like a Chatty Cathy and Mr. Zipadee wasn't in a chatty mood. We held hands and I read Dan Brown's newest novel (what a disappointment!)

Obviously, as someone who likes to switch seats I try and be understanding but I think it's so rude to take over my seat and point at my new seat like they are doing me a favor rather than vice versa. I don't want to be a hypocrite because we are asking for seat changes too. But we always sit in our original seats and ask or talk to the gate agents. But to me it's all in how you do it. And like I said we don't do it every time. It wasn't a generational thing because they were young couple and gray hairs in my cases.

Is seat poaching in a rude fashion becoming more common or did I just hit a "lucky" streak last week?
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Old Oct 12, 09, 12:49 pm
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I don't know if it's increasing...over the course of the years I've seen it off and on in all cabins of service.

It's a common topic here on FT partly because we're mostly frequent fliers, we know exactly what seats we like on every type in each cabin, and we book them when we can. Therefore, we're more sensitive than the average bear when it comes to being asked to swap.

In the case of someone approaching politely and asking for a common-sense seat swap (like seat for like seat), I'll usually do it. It's the people who are either rude, assuming the right to your seat, or lacking common sense by offering an obviously-inferior seat that get me.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by zipadee View Post

Obviously, as someone who likes to switch seats I try and be understanding but I think it's so rude to take over my seat and point at my new seat like they are doing me a favor rather than vice versa.
You are definitely in the right. There are many reasons you may have chosen the seat you did. It is the height of rudeness to assume another pax will want to take your seat. The only acceptable approach is to sit in your own seat, ask nicely once the assigned person arrives, and accept his/her reply with a smile and a "thank you" whether it is yes or no.

I once had someone on a 757 transcon try to convince me I would be much more comfortable in their Y bulkhead window seat than in my exit row aisle. Ha.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 12:51 pm
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It is not only a first class issue (but it is happening alot of the time), although we upgrade whenever we can, when we sit in coach on 3 across we book the window and aisle, as neither of us wants to sit in the middle. I have had gate agents move the aisle to the middle so we could sit together...and I make them move it back...and often have some couples split middle/middle and one of them wants my aisle seat...kind of like people wanting me to put my carry on under he seat in front of me so they can fit theirs in the bin.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 1:04 pm
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There have been many threads on this subject.

Personally, I haven't seen an increase in F seat poaching, though others may have different experiences. In OP's case, two for two on recent flights can't be extrapolated into any kind of trend.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
.... We're mostly frequent fliers, we know exactly what seats we like on every type in each cabin,....
Exactly. That said, when I am asked if I would be willing to switch for any even semi-valid reason, I almost always agree. However, on those rare (for me) occasions when someone simply takes my seat without asking and tries to effect the switch as a fait accompli, the answer is very easy, 100% of the time. No.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Krysia View Post
kind of like people wanting me to put my carry on under he seat in front of me so they can fit theirs in the bin.
Or like the guy who wanted to put HIS carry on under the seat in front of me so he could have more space. Seriously.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 1:20 pm
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Your marriage may have survived, but judging from the rant, your peace of mind did not.

Who cares about it when seat and service are equal. I especially dont waste time on it formulating a strategy in my mind of what to do when the time comes or if someone is in my seat vs someone asks for it after I sit. Seriosuly?

I change if I feel like it, I dont otherwise.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 1:24 pm
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What I have seen more of recently is people who have no idea where their seat is, so they just sit somewhere. Had 2DG sitting in 3DG ORD-LHR recently. Have seen a dance where couple #1 with reservations together found couple #2 in their seats. Couple #2 had reservations together, went and ousted couple #3. Couple #3 had seats together, went and ousted couple #4. Couple #4 then went and sat in their seats together, which were empty until they got there. Cluelessness seems to be booming.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by videomaker View Post
There have been many threads on this subject.
If someone is courteous and asks politely I usually swap.
But any hint of entitlement or rudeness, NO WAY.

The FA's always make them move.
If they get any sarcasem they just say the TSA rules require you to be in your assigned seats, is that a problem for you?
They are usually speachless at this point.

Last edited by dstan; Oct 12, 09 at 3:29 pm Reason: fixed broken quote
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Old Oct 12, 09, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by gemac View Post
What I have seen more of recently is people who have no idea where their seat is, so they just sit somewhere. Had 2DG sitting in 3DG ORD-LHR recently. Have seen a dance where couple #1 with reservations together found couple #2 in their seats. Couple #2 had reservations together, went and ousted couple #3. Couple #3 had seats together, went and ousted couple #4. Couple #4 then went and sat in their seats together, which were empty until they got there. Cluelessness seems to be booming.
The cluelessness seems to be booming also when it comes to the boarding. I think folks either are so use to the WN process or want to pretend they are....had four women out of YUL who looked/sounded like they could star on Real Housewives of New Jersey try to avoid during priority access because "they thought that was for anyone with an assigned seat." I see quite a bit more folks with older children trying to avoid before elites. Most of the GAs seem good about correcting.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 2:09 pm
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This might be brash but here is how I avoid musical chairs and the general chaos of boarding that takes place even in F/J.

First, I leave the a/c about 15 minutes (20 minutes for widebodies) before boarding is to commence. When F (or subsequently J) boarding is called I am the first up to the BP reader and then haul a..s down that jet bridge like a typical New Yorker. I choose the bulkhead (which many FF don't like), quickly throw by bag up and have everything I need in flight already out. I put on my headphones with music as I walk down the jet bridge. As soon as I settle into my seat I close my eyes and relax. Between headphones and closed eyes most paxs won't bother with you. Once it looks like all the F paxs are settled in then I "wake up" in the anticipation of a pre departure drink although that tends to be 50/50 at best.

Those few times that I am flying International on a Q fare I have followed the same strategy but when EXP/PLT is called. However with the recent change on SWU use hopefully I can avoid the back of the bus as much as possible.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 2:12 pm
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Hi, I don't think you're a hypocrite at all and what you've stated is very reasonable to me.

The difference is, if you want to sit with your hubby or whoever, you choose to be polite and do the right thing and explain the situation to the passenger in the seat next to him, instead of just making the decision for you.

A lot of people (like me) choose their seat for a reason, either because of FEBO meal service choice or space concerns. E.g. I always sit in 3F on the MD80s, because eevery other seat has indecent leg room, but I always choose an aisle on the 757. If a family or wheover wants to sit together, I've always obliged.

Heck, when the pax next to me was coughing and sneezing everywhere, I was soooo polite and offered to switch seats with his wife How sweet, huh?

"Poaching" seats is just unacceptable, and frankly rude! and you were very kind to let him stay seated there.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Krysia View Post
...kind of like people wanting me to put my carry on under he seat in front of me so they can fit theirs in the bin.
If you brought on two items, that would only be fair. If you brought on only one item, then you're free to utilize the space for your feet.
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Old Oct 12, 09, 2:27 pm
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I find that "No." with no explanation works wonders on getting poachers out of my seat. So does Get out.
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