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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 10, 15, 9:34 am
  #601  
 
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I hate to drag out the subject of the unmitigated cruelty some of us exhibit in keeping conjoined twins from sitting together, but there is a big difference between me not seeing a difference in two seat choices, and you not seeing why I see a difference.

There might be lots of reasons I wouldn't take 2C instead of 2B. Maybe my left shoulder is bad and I hate having it bumped when it is exposed to the aisle. Maybe I happen to know the person in 2D smells. Maybe lots of things. The point is, whether a seat is an even trade for my own seat is my call. Not your call to decide that it's just as good, and that I'm cruel if I don't see it your way.

This is a seat on an airplane. It does not say anything about anyone's humanity if they do or don't take a swap.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 9:36 am
  #602  
 
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I have to admit, in my early days of flying, I did the seat poacher thing once. Never thought about it being rude, and the person graciously took my seat. The flight attendant gave me nasty looks throughout the flight. Only later, reading on this site, did it occur to me what I did. If my husband and I have separate seats, we always ask if someone would switch with us. If flying alone, I will always switch if requested. I have even switched to much less favorable seats within the same cabin. Not to sound pais, but I enjoy being with my husband when I fly, and donít deny the same enjoyment to others.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 10:02 am
  #603  
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I found a possible way of sitting next to your spouse if absolutely necessary, offer to pay the person to swap seats with your spouse

Someone in my office just had this happen to him on his trip home last night ATL/DTW. He boarded and his seat mate told him he was in the dog house with his wife for not offering her his upgrade and he had a long day and really wanted to be up front and offered him $200 to if he would take his wife's aisle exit row seat.

Seeing he was in Atlanta for a meeting and had no luggage he told the guy if he was serious and his wife was really in an aisle exit row he would take him up on it. The guy hands him 2 c-notes and his wife's boarding pass. I would have definitely taken the $200 on such a short flight.

Sounds like a high maintenance wife that would leave most guys in the poor house. He could have probably upgraded her at the gate for under $200 if he knew she wouldn't clear
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Old Dec 10, 15, 10:04 am
  #604  
 
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I had an interesting sweat swap/poach experience a few weeks back. The plane was an MD-90* (see seat map below if you aren't familiar), and I had reserved 26A for the extra leg room. There was a couple who were seated in 26B and 27A. I was already seated and comfortable when they boarded, but the gentleman (well, I guess just "man" is more appropriate) rudely demanded that I swap 26A for 27A, which is a huge downgrade. I told him no thank you and put my headphone back in. Fast forward a few minutes, and the guy who has 27B boards. Mr. 26B again asks/demands that the new guy, 27B, swap seats for him. 27B actually agrees despite the rudeness. Normally, an exit row aisle for exit row aisle swap sounds like no big deal, but 27B has extended legroom, while 26B does not, which made it a big negative trade on the stranger's part. Normally I wouldn't get involved with our PAX's decisions, but I didn't want the new guy to make a decision he would later regret due to lack of information, so I actually took my headphones off and pointed out to him that he was trading an extra legroom seat for one without extra legroom. This pissed off both members of the 26B/27A couple, and just when it seemed like they were about to cause a huge scene, the new guy said it was fine and he would make the trade anyway. I certainly wouldn't have both caved to rudeness AND taken a worse seat, but it was his choice to make.

An FA saw what went down, so she came back to the former 27B (now 26B) just before takeoff to apologize and told him if he needed anything to let her know. Then, when the drink cart came around in air, she gave him a free beer even though we weren't in C+. Coincidentally, he was also one of the most attractive men I've ever seen, so that might have had something to do with the free drink as well.

*http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Del...ines_MD-90.php
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Old Dec 10, 15, 10:25 am
  #605  
 
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
I found a possible way of sitting next to your spouse if absolutely necessary, offer to pay the person to swap seats with your spouse

Someone in my office just had this happen to him on his trip home last night ATL/DTW. He boarded and his seat mate told him he was in the dog house with his wife for not offering her his upgrade and he had a long day and really wanted to be up front and offered him $200 to if he would take his wife's aisle exit row seat.

Seeing he was in Atlanta for a meeting and had no luggage he told the guy if he was serious and his wife was really in an aisle exit row he would take him up on it. The guy hands him 2 c-notes and his wife's boarding pass. I would have definitely taken the $200 on such a short flight.

Sounds like a high maintenance wife that would leave most guys in the poor house. He could have probably upgraded her at the gate for under $200 if he knew she wouldn't clear
I once paid a guy $100 and my first class seat, to take his window seat way back in Y, just so I could sit next to this hot girl I met in the airport bar before the flight. She had the aisle seat next to him.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 10:40 am
  #606  
 
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Originally Posted by FC flyer View Post
I have to admit, in my early days of flying, I did the seat poacher thing once. Never thought about it being rude, and the person graciously took my seat. The flight attendant gave me nasty looks throughout the flight. Only later, reading on this site, did it occur to me what I did. If my husband and I have separate seats, we always ask if someone would switch with us. If flying alone, I will always switch if requested. I have even switched to much less favorable seats within the same cabin. Not to sound pais, but I enjoy being with my husband when I fly, and donít deny the same enjoyment to others.
^^^

Anything non-long haul (all domestic) Ill pretty much accommodate any couple wanting to sit together. Certainly on any RJ under 3 hours a seat is a seat so Ill accommodate.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:10 am
  #607  
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA2014 View Post
I once paid a guy $100 and my first class seat, to take his window seat way back in Y, just so I could sit next to this hot girl I met in the airport bar before the flight. She had the aisle seat next to him.
They'd have to be a fool not to accept that offer
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:30 am
  #608  
 
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA2014 View Post
I once paid a guy $100 and my first class seat, to take his window seat way back in Y, just so I could sit next to this hot girl I met in the airport bar before the flight. She had the aisle seat next to him.
This could be the plot of either a Hollywood rom-com or the latest stalker thriller.

The only difference would be the musical score it was set to.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:30 am
  #609  
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Originally Posted by huskerchad View Post
I hate to drag out the subject of the unmitigated cruelty some of us exhibit in keeping conjoined twins from sitting together, but there is a big difference between me not seeing a difference in two seat choices, and you not seeing why I see a difference.

There might be lots of reasons I wouldn't take 2C instead of 2B. Maybe my left shoulder is bad and I hate having it bumped when it is exposed to the aisle. Maybe I happen to know the person in 2D smells. Maybe lots of things. The point is, whether a seat is an even trade for my own seat is my call. Not your call to decide that it's just as good, and that I'm cruel if I don't see it your way.

This is a seat on an airplane. It does not say anything about anyone's humanity if they do or don't take a swap.
I don't think anyone is saying that. Your assigned seat is your seat, and it's up to you to decide whether or not the seat being offered to you is better or worse. For all I know, you could be a big fan of middle seats over aisles - that's your call.

What I, and I think others, find a bit incredulous are the people who are saying they would decline any kind of seat swap, at all times, for any reason, regardless of circumstance, and also the other person can go rot in the luggage hold for even thinking about asking.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:37 am
  #610  
 
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Originally Posted by huskerchad View Post
I hate to drag out the subject of the unmitigated cruelty some of us exhibit in keeping conjoined twins from sitting together, but there is a big difference between me not seeing a difference in two seat choices, and you not seeing why I see a difference.

There might be lots of reasons I wouldn't take 2C instead of 2B. Maybe my left shoulder is bad and I hate having it bumped when it is exposed to the aisle. Maybe I happen to know the person in 2D smells. Maybe lots of things. The point is, whether a seat is an even trade for my own seat is my call. Not your call to decide that it's just as good, and that I'm cruel if I don't see it your way.
I wouldn't ever use it as a reason to decline a seat swap for another aisle seat in FC but I prefer an aisle seat in F with the aisle on my left side because I'm right handed and the little tray on the armrest area where my drink goes is then on my right side - the side with the hand I use to drink. I'm sure some people would find that ridiculous to even consider and it's not a huge deal at all, but when I have a wide selection of seats to pick from, I pick a seat that fits me best based on the little things I've learned and observed over the years.

The one thing I will bring up is if I am asked to swap seats on a meal flight and the other seat would mean being further down the list of getting asked my meal choice, I would mention my seat swapping to both the pax requesting the swap and the FA and make sure that they know one of the conditions of the swap is that I get my preferred meal choice in the spot where I would have been if I was seated in my originally selected seat.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:37 am
  #611  
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA2014 View Post
I once paid a guy $100 and my first class seat, to take his window seat way back in Y, just so I could sit next to this hot girl I met in the airport bar before the flight. She had the aisle seat next to him.
He wouldn't take the F upgrade for nothing?

I hope she was worth it.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 11:56 am
  #612  
 
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Originally Posted by 18sas View Post
This could be the plot of either a Hollywood rom-com or the latest stalker thriller.

The only difference would be the musical score it was set to.
We walked onto the plane together from the bar. I gave her the $100 and my boarding pass, and told her to offer it to whomever was sitting next to her. This guy comes up the aisle looking like he had just won the lottery.

I was single at the time, and the girl turned out to be a keeper. She's my wife.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 12:02 pm
  #613  
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Originally Posted by huskerchad View Post
I hate to drag out the subject of the unmitigated cruelty some of us exhibit in keeping conjoined twins from sitting together, but there is a big difference between me not seeing a difference in two seat choices, and you not seeing why I see a difference.

There might be lots of reasons I wouldn't take 2C instead of 2B. Maybe my left shoulder is bad and I hate having it bumped when it is exposed to the aisle. Maybe I happen to know the person in 2D smells. Maybe lots of things. The point is, whether a seat is an even trade for my own seat is my call. Not your call to decide that it's just as good, and that I'm cruel if I don't see it your way.

This is a seat on an airplane. It does not say anything about anyone's humanity if they do or don't take a swap.
^ Well put.

The rules are much much different on planes. Off planes, I am a pretty generous and accommodating person. I'll hold a door for someone, help an old lady cross the street, buy girl scout cookies and volunteer at a soup kitchen for black handicappped transgendered homeless vet 9/11 firefighters

But in that metal tube where we are close in for hours and hours, and where I actively spend time seeking a little sliver of comfort using all means at my disposal, it's dog eat dog. I want comfort, they want comfort. But I know how to get it officially, and did so. I won. I finished the race ahead of them..i am not going to take my gold medal and give it to the guy who came in 7th because he really really wanted it but never trained.

On that plane, I don't care if you sit by your spouse. I don't care if your family is spread out. I don't care if you have claustrophobia. All of that is not my problem. It's yours.

And I respect that in others. If you have the seat that I was seeking but did not get, good for you. Enjoy it. I will not seek a swap. I will not poach. I will accept that I don't get to sit next to my spouse. I will accept that I am in a middle seat for the duration. It is my lot for losing the race.

It's mine to give, not theirs to demand. When I decline the request, I am well within my rights to do so, and well within the bounds of acceptable social behavior.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 12:28 pm
  #614  
 
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA2014 View Post
We walked onto the plane together from the bar. I gave her the $100 and my boarding pass, and told her to offer it to whomever was sitting next to her. This guy comes up the aisle looking like he had just won the lottery.

I was single at the time, and the girl turned out to be a keeper. She's my wife.
That is awesome - you've just made my day!
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Old Dec 10, 15, 12:55 pm
  #615  
 
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Originally Posted by DYKWIA2014 View Post
We walked onto the plane together from the bar. I gave her the $100 and my boarding pass, and told her to offer it to whomever was sitting next to her. This guy comes up the aisle looking like he had just won the lottery.

I was single at the time, and the girl turned out to be a keeper. She's my wife.
You see! that's totally the plot of a rom-com. I think I heard a Jewel song in the background.

Last edited by 18sas; Dec 10, 15 at 1:24 pm
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