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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 Dec 9, 15, 9:30 am
  #556  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
That's my experience too. Combine this with rudeness or just taking over my seat without asking and my answer is NO (with no reason or apology) unless I'm sure that I'm getting a better seat. If it's so important to sit with your entire family, PAY FOR IT and don't try to inconvenience me.
I have been on the other side when traveling with my other half. If I cannot offer at least an equal trade, aisle for aisle, window for window, we do not even ask, as it would be rude.

We are grown adults and can sit apart for hours at a time...
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Old Dec 9, 15, 9:30 am
  #557  
 
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Finding someone in my seat is really the most irritating part of it for me. This is someone who has already decided that I will accept the swap.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 9:38 am
  #558  
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Originally Posted by huskerchad View Post
Finding someone in my seat is really the most irritating part of it for me. This is someone who has already decided that I will accept the swap.
......and in that case, I see no reason to be nice in return. If they're in my seat, I have the right to roll my eyes as they gather their belongings (slowly, always so slowly as if they gain from every extra minute in my seat) to move or commenting fairly loudly and sarcastically that I don't understand how someone can possibly mistake my 7A for their own 11 D. If it's a nonrev, I'll try to make sure that the GA is aware that a nonrev tried to induce a revenue passenger to change seats with them, which is against the rules.

Yes, I'm fed up with this seat snatching nonsense.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 9:48 am
  #559  
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Originally Posted by Crazyhotelguy View Post
As harsh as this may sound to some, I tend to agree with you. It is rare that I am offered the better end of the trade. Heck it is rare to be offered an equal trade....
I agree. It is very rare I am offered the better end of a trade. Sunday afternoon I flew BOS/DTW in 2B. It was the last leg of a very long mileage run (DTW/BOS/ATL/LIM/ATL/BOS/DTW) and only had my backpack and didn't have to worry about bin space so I stayed in the SkyClub until the last minute.

This entire flight was in paid first and the seat map was still pretty wide open a week before so I'm assuming they got upgraded and weren't in paid first unless it was a last minute ticket.

I was one of the last to board and someone was in my seat. He told me he wanted to sit with his wife who was in 2A and asked if I would mind taking 1a. He said it was a short flight and it was still a first class seat. I politely declined stating I prefer seat 2B and had booked the ticket a month ago and I also wanted the underseat storage (I felt like telling him if it was that big of a deal to sit with his wife for the short flight they should have declined the upgrade and could sit together in coach or go find a couple in C+ sitting together and offer to trade them their seats and they could sit together and I'm sure plenty of couples in C+ would be willing to sit apart in first on such a short flight as opposed to together in C+.)

1B said he wanted the underseat storage for his laptop during takeoff and would be happy to trade that seat for 2A so they could sit together. They took the guy up on the offer but I could tell they wanted Row 2 instead and they were trying to finish up boarding and he starts mumbling to his wife about how some people shouldn't wait until the last minute to board. Funny thing was they made such a huge deal about sitting together and they only chatted a couple minutes during taxi. She was reading her kindle and he was watching a movie on his tablet the entire flight

But I also don't ask people to switch seats either. If I'm travelling with someone and they get upgraded after me and we can't get seats together I don't ask people to switch seats, I figure if it's that important for me to sit next to someone I should decline the upgrade
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:09 am
  #560  
 
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
I agree. It is very rare I am offered the better end of a trade. Sunday afternoon I flew BOS/DTW in 2B.....
This sounds very similar to an ATL-YUL flight I took a few months ago, also in paid FC.

I was with a friend and we had selected 2B and 2C, as we both prefer aisles but wanted to still be able to chat a bit.

We boarded just as they were going from SKY to Zone 1, only to find 2A and 2B in conversation. I paused and looked at 2B, then at my BP, then back at 2B and said "Excuse me, I think that's my seat."

2B looks at the floor while 2A says, "Oh, you know, he's very old and cannot get up, just take another seat."

I explain that my friend and I are travelling together and specifically chose our two aisles ahead of time as that was what we prefer. At this point, 2B is still staring at the floor and 2A shrugs and looks out the window.

Eventually, 4B offers to move up to 2C, so that my friend and I can take 4AB. As 4A was the only remaining seat, we assumed that was where 2B was supposed to be sitting. At this point, I'm ticked off but don't necessarily want to spend the flight next to 2A, so we make the switch and get settled in.

Fast forward to the end of boarding and another guy walks on to the plane out of breath, looks at my friend in 4A, and says he's in the wrong seat. Now half the FC cabin is listening me, friend, and new-2C talk about musical chairs. 2A begins his refrain of "just take another seat" and 2B is again staring at the floor.

Finally, FA comes back to try to sort everything out, understandably confused because there are 17 people trying to shuffle across 16 FC seats. Eventually, she asks for all BPs, to which 2B sheepishly offers up his BP for...somewhere behind the curtain.

Mr. Old gets sent back to his Y seat and late guy ends up in 2B, where he is berated by 2A for the entire flight for showing up late and kicking his elderly friend out of the seat. Rest of the FC cabin spent two hours rolling their eyes at each other.

--

I'm generally not one of those folks who says I'll never trade a seat at all. If you ask nicely and are making an even trade, chances are I'll consider it and even accommodate. Especially when I'm travelling alone, one C+ aisle vs. another doesn't make that much of a difference to me.

But the nerve of some people to just claim seats as their own, and not even in the same cabin....I still have yet to fathom what was going through this guy's head.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:45 am
  #561  
 
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Sunday afternoon I flew BOS/DTW in 2B. It was the last leg of a very long mileage run (DTW/BOS/ATL/LIM/ATL/BOS/DTW) and only had my backpack and didn't have to worry about bin space so I stayed in the SkyClub until the last minute.
Did you do the Saturday 5:45pm ATL-LIM flight with 90 minute turn that left LIM at 1:55am Sunday morning? If so I was on those flights. Pretty comfortable, easy, and reasonably priced way to rack up some necessary end of the year miles!

Last edited by Canarsie; Dec 9, 15 at 3:49 pm Reason: Fixed coding for quote.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:49 am
  #562  
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I've seen people do something like pretend to mistake 2C for 44E and claim that they had just misread their boarding pass when the rightful owner of the FC seat they're occupying boards. Then they revert to the line that we'll all get there at the same time and it's just a seat.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:49 am
  #563  
 
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
But the nerve of some people to just claim seats as their own, and not even in the same cabin....I still have yet to fathom what was going through this guy's head.
So if you do agree to a swap, make sure you at least see the BP to verify the seat!
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:12 pm
  #564  
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[QUOTE=krlcomm;25838495]
Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Sunday afternoon I flew BOS/DTW in 2B. It was the last leg of a very long mileage run (DTW/BOS/ATL/LIM/ATL/BOS/DTW) and only had my backpack and didn't have to worry about bin space so I stayed in the SkyClub until the last minute./QUOTE]

Did you do the Saturday 5:45pm ATL-LIM flight with 90 minute turn that left LIM at 1:55am Sunday morning? If so I was on those flights. Pretty comfortable, easy, and reasonably priced way to rack up some necessary end of the year miles!
I was on those two flights. There was another FTer on those flights I had messaged with before from that thread as well that I did meet in person on board and there was another flyertalker I had chatted with doing those flights I didn't get to meet, so there were at least four flyertalkers doing mileage runs on those flights.

Great way to earn a lot of extra miles in confirmed F/J and was very easy to do the turn at LIM since you didn't have to go through passport control and could just go through the international connection lane.

I really liked the lounge at LIM as well.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:59 pm
  #565  
 
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Originally Posted by DrDiarrhea View Post
Here's my system for swaps:

IF... THEN NO... THEN NO... THEN NO...THEN NO..THEN NO... THEN NO....THEN NO...THEN NO...THEN NO

...And I don't care what other pax around me think of me for saying no. I will never see them again. Their opinion doesn't matter.
Sorry you life is so miserable and you have no care or respect for other human beings.

Karma will strike when you least expect it.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 2:30 pm
  #566  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've seen people do something like pretend to mistake 2C for 44E and claim that they had just misread their boarding pass when the rightful owner of the FC seat they're occupying boards. Then they revert to the line that we'll all get there at the same time and it's just a seat.
This made me crack up. Your explanation is so perfect that I would almost think you trained them on how to perform the shocked act they pull.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 2:31 pm
  #567  
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Originally Posted by Crazyhotelguy View Post
As harsh as this may sound to some, I tend to agree with you. It is rare that I am offered the better end of the trade. Heck it is rare to be offered an equal trade....
+1

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
That's my experience too. Combine this with rudeness or just taking over my seat without asking and my answer is NO (with no reason or apology) unless I'm sure that I'm getting a better seat. If it's so important to sit with your entire family, PAY FOR IT and don't try to inconvenience me.
Exactly

Originally Posted by huskerchad View Post
Finding someone in my seat is really the most irritating part of it for me. This is someone who has already decided that I will accept the swap.
I totally agree.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Yes, I'm fed up with this seat snatching nonsense.
Succinctly stated

Originally Posted by huskerchad View Post
So if you do agree to a swap, make sure you at least see the BP to verify the seat!
Great advice
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:13 pm
  #568  
 
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Last year on a trip back to JFK from LAS, I had booked a Economy Comfort seat at the time of booking, when Sky Priority was called I was probably tenth in line when I boarded and was surprised to see someone in my seat along side a woman, I donít remember which seat number but is was an aisle seat. I still had my boarding pass out so I double checked it to make sure I had the right seat and it was so I told the seat poacher he was sitting in my seat.

He said he wanted to swap seats so he could sit with his wife, but I was ready to say no because I still wanted my EC seat. He showed me his boarding pass and it was for a first class seat, so I questioned him to make sure this was correct. He said it was so I made my way up to first class and enjoyed a nice meal and a few drinks so this is one seat poacher I was glad to swap seats with.


Mr. Elliott
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:25 pm
  #569  
 
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Originally Posted by Mr. Elliott View Post
Last year on a trip back to JFK from LAS, I had booked a Economy Comfort seat at the time of booking, when Sky Priority was called I was probably tenth in line when I boarded and was surprised to see someone in my seat along side a woman, I donít remember which seat number but is was an aisle seat. I still had my boarding pass out so I double checked it to make sure I had the right seat and it was so I told the seat poacher he was sitting in my seat.

He said he wanted to swap seats so he could sit with his wife, but I was ready to say no because I still wanted my EC seat. He showed me his boarding pass and it was for a first class seat, so I questioned him to make sure this was correct. He said it was so I made my way up to first class and enjoyed a nice meal and a few drinks so this is one seat poacher I was glad to swap seats with.


Mr. Elliott
I'm flying with a friend this weekend to LAX, looks like 3/4 upgrades will clear. I purchased her ticket with miles so it's not eligible to RUC. Whoever gets the middle seat next to her get a free bump to FC.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:31 pm
  #570  
 
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
I was on those two flights. There was another FTer on those flights I had messaged with before from that thread as well that I did meet in person on board and there was another flyertalker I had chatted with doing those flights I didn't get to meet, so there were at least four flyertalkers doing mileage runs on those flights.

Great way to earn a lot of extra miles in confirmed F/J and was very easy to do the turn at LIM since you didn't have to go through passport control and could just go through the international connection lane.

I really liked the lounge at LIM as well.
That's awesome... Now I can tell my much better half that I was not the only "crazy" person that did that last weekend, lol... No customs at LIM is a huge bonus w/ the quick turn and I agree, the Sumaq Lounge was terrific. Customs in ATL on Sunday morning was the quietest customs I have ever seen anywhere, ever too. Easiest 11.3k MQMs I've ever earned... 21hours, 50 minutes departure to return, got some nice rest in the D1 seat and I thought the food (and beverage) was terrific. I will enjoy DM next year as a result!
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