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Seat Swapping, Seat Poaching and Seating Etiquette: The Definitive Thread

Seat Swapping, Seat Poaching and Seating Etiquette: The Definitive Thread

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Old Oct 11, 17, 8:52 am   -   Wikipost
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The Definitive Guide to Seat Poaching

1. Don't do it.
2. Alternatively to #1: Asking politely (and not demanding) to swap for an equal or better seat is acceptable by most (but the final decision always lays with the original seat holder)...but, be warned, some FT'ers may breathe fire at you.
3. Keep in mind that Point 2 is not seat poaching.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 1:01 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Oakshadow View Post
On a JFK-TLV flight I had an aisle EC seat in the middle section and the seat next to me, a middle seat, was empty. It was the only empty seat on the entire packed plane. Lucked out big time.

For whatever reason at least five people in the regular econ section, incuding a lady with her screaming baby, asked to sit in that seat. The FA told every one of them, "That's Economy Comfort. You have to pay extra to sit there." Everyone backed down. Kudos to the FA for enforcing the seat assignments!
Glad to see them enforce this!
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Old Jul 18, 12, 1:56 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Oakshadow View Post
The FA told every one of them, "That's Economy Comfort. You have to pay extra to sit there." Everyone backed down. Kudos to the FA for enforcing the seat assignments!
Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
This seems to happen MUCH more in F than in Y.

Just have the FA handle it if the initial interaction with the poacher is not productive.
Totally different from what I am experiencing since EC. This is getting out of hand - on JFK-CDG last weekend pax aggressively moved to the last remaining EC seats literally 10 seconds after the landing gear was put in. On almost all of my TATL's in Y this year I had pax approaching me asking for a seat swap. One more than one occasion (strangley all in a 763 row 21) I had someone sitting in my seat.

If they were at least cleaver enough to use Ben Edelman's tool for checking what seat is open before they take yours ...
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Old Jul 18, 12, 5:06 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by rylan View Post
If I'm already seated and somebody politely asks if I can switch, then I usually will (unless I'd be stuck in a bulkhead or much worse seat).

If there is a pax already in my seat and it isn't a mistake, then they're getting the boot whatever the reason.
I've been flamed on the British Airways board for this, but here's what I do. I tell the offending seat squatter I'll make a deal. If their status is higher than mine AND their sequence number is lower, I'll switch seats. If it isnt, we will each take our assigned seats. A simple solution.

And yes, I'll consider moving for the aged and infirm and all that, newlyweds, etc.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:23 am
  #34  
 
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Well put.

Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post

There is NO reason to accept this crap, and these type people to be treated with complete contempt. Call the FA, but make certain you toss come humilating insults at them.
Even better is that usually the 2nd upgraded passenger is last minute, they could care less if you had the seat reserved for 9 months.

I'm waiting to use this line the next time my seat is poached..."If your husband loved you, he would of purchased two seats together."
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:32 am
  #35  
 
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All y'all know if you had just taken Southwest your seat poaching problems would be solved? Leave it to a Texas airline to take care of those lowdown nogood seat poachers!

Originally Posted by PebbleBeach View Post
Even better is that usually the 2nd upgraded passenger is last minute, they could care less if you had the seat reserved for 9 months.

I'm waiting to use this line the next time my seat is poached..."If your husband loved you, he would of purchased two seats together."
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:36 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by akonradi View Post
I've run into far too many of these people. This is by far and large my biggest pet peeve in air travel.

Last year I flew DTW/RSW after a redeye from the west coast. I cleared my upgrade and specifically chose the last row of F so that I could recline (and sleep) without going into anyone's personal space. I boarded to see my seat (and the one adjacent) occupied by a husband/wife combo being aggressive in telling me to sit down in front of them in row 5. Since I was too tired to care, I did as requested. Once airborne, I reclined and the husband went bezerk: he paid for his first class space, and I had no right to intrude on it... or so he thought.

I still run into this very often, both up front and in coach. I always just try to board early enough to prevent it, and if there's someone in my seat, I let the crew deal with it.
I think your solution was great. If they want to steal your seat, then hey, it's no longer your problem if you're reclining into their space.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:39 am
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by rylan View Post
If I'm already seated and somebody politely asks if I can switch, then I usually will (unless I'd be stuck in a bulkhead or much worse seat).

If there is a pax already in my seat and it isn't a mistake, then they're getting the boot whatever the reason.
I have the same policy
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:52 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by bethechange View Post
Interesting piece in the NYT about jumping in someone else's seat...
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/bu...road.html?_r=1
The dirty not-so-secret is that the middle seat is non-elite sLUT/priceline class.

An aisle seat at some airlines has a price as does assigned seating together, so these people are begging/stealing.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:57 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
This seems to happen MUCH more in F than in Y.....
wonder why that is.... /sarcasm
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Old Jul 18, 12, 8:03 am
  #40  
 
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I always trade for couples or depending on the length of the trip.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:11 am
  #41  
 
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I'm less likely to trade seats if someone has already made themselves at home in my assigned seat, and tries to force my hand.

I will always ask what their original seat was before making my decision.

Like many of the folks here, I pick my seats based upon what I like, and it's unlikely that I'll like the swap seat more or equally. I also travel by myself most of the time, and it's not a big deal in my mind for a couple of adults to be apart for a couple hours.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:17 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by edweird View Post
I'm less likely to trade seats if someone has already made themselves at home in my assigned seat, and tries to force my hand.

I will always ask what their original seat was before making my decision.

Like many of the folks here, I pick my seats based upon what I like, and it's unlikely that I'll like the swap seat more or equally. I also travel by myself most of the time, and it's not a big deal in my mind for a couple of adults to be apart for a couple hours.
I have an almost hard-and-fast rule to refuse to trade when the person has already taken my seat, although I might make an exception for an upgrade if if my assigned seat mate were objectionable (lap brat or COS). Certainly not for an equivalent seat as I don't want to reward bad behavior.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:27 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by rylan View Post
If I'm already seated and somebody politely asks if I can switch, then I usually will (unless I'd be stuck in a bulkhead or much worse seat).

If there is a pax already in my seat and it isn't a mistake, then they're getting the boot whatever the reason.
I'm going with what you did the next time. Granted I did that to the first guy.

Next time I'll have no mercy. It actually hurt more that my seat was squatted and I was on a paid First ticket (my own money). When you are upgraded nowadays you are excited to just get that seat up front, obviously still with the intent of sitting in the seat you chose if you have that option, but I paid...I think I was having far too good of a week to go postal...Stay tuned, I have a bad feeling this will happen one more time this month with many flights left.

I saw that someone posted that NYT article, very timely!

Also, I'm shocked that this isn't only happening to me, I mean it seems like such a widespread issue.

I don't think I ever felt more entitled to my seat like yesterday...Yesterday should have been a Do You Know Who I Am moment...Paid First and Diamond !!!
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:32 am
  #44  
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I think we should all follow the policy of complaining loudly and reporting the incident to DL whenever a FA or GA displays the smallest amount of hesitation in enforcing seat assignments. IMO whenever a FA tries to talk or force an elite out of an assigned seat, it should be a fireable offense like giving away a BE upgrade to a friend or relative who isn't entitled to it.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:40 am
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
IMO whenever a FA tries to talk or force an elite out of an assigned seat, it should be a fireable offense like giving away a BE upgrade to a friend or relative who isn't entitled to it.
Seatnanigans?
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