Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles
Reload this Page >

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

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

    Hide Wikipost
Old Oct 11, 17, 8:52 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: BadgerBoi
Wiki Link
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.
Print Wikipost

Closed Thread

Old Dec 11, 15, 10:54 pm
  #631  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Midwest
Programs: Delta PM, Hhonors Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 110
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
There are good reasons for spouses wishing to sit together. The obvious one is that they may wish to chat. The other is that it's more comfortable if in Y, as there's no issue of violating personal space like with a stranger. I'm not talking about invading someone else's space (I fit in my seat just fine). I'm speaking of the comfort level of such close quarters, especially if trying to use a laptop. This effect, in essence, increases space utilization and, thus, overall comfort level.

That being said, I actually agree with you that comfort of someone else isn't your problem. It's not my problem either, and no passenger can make me think it is, regardless of guilt-tripping. If I choose to make the swap (and I often do), it's my choice to make and no one else's.

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.
Absolutely. One matters (how you see it). The other -- the pax making a switch request -- is completely irrelevant.

Aside from asking middle people to take the adjacent aisle seat (wife and I with aisle/window), I only asked for a seat swap once. I offered a gentleman an F aisle for an equivalent (only the seat holder can determine if it's equal) aisle. He said "no". I was cool with it and let him know. I said it's first and we all picked our seats for a reason, and I meant it. I think he was so taken aback by my honest lack of entitlement that he offered me his seat. I declined and he insisted.

If all such exchanges were polite, respectful, and contained no expectation or entitlement, it would be a lot smoother. I know I respond much better to that than to anything else.
Henla is offline  
Old Dec 12, 15, 9:50 am
  #632  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MCO
Programs: Delta - PM, HH - Gold, SPG - Gold, Marriott - Plat
Posts: 1,028
My wife is insistent that we sit together. I'm sure she would make it apart, but we haven't wound up there, though it has been close.

We always select seats together so it's rarely a problem. Usually it's if we get upgraded to FC and there are no two seats together. Since her profile is window and mine is aisle, this gives us more flexibility to change.

I would never poach a seat, but one of us nicely asks if someone will change. We've gotten no and that's okay, but somebody has always accommodated us. We don't accept an upgrade if there is only one seat. We've had GA call us up and ask, but I always check the board, if there is one, to see if this situation might occur and I have gone up and told the GA we would not take one seat.

One time the next person on the upgrade list was standing there and we told her it was her lucky day. She was thankful and had drinks sent back to us.
miraclebear2003 is online now  
Old Dec 12, 15, 11:37 am
  #633  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 78,731
Originally Posted by miraclebear2003 View Post
My wife is insistent that we sit together. I'm sure she would make it apart, but we haven't wound up there, though it has been close.

We always select seats together so it's rarely a problem. Usually it's if we get upgraded to FC and there are no two seats together. Since her profile is window and mine is aisle, this gives us more flexibility to change.

I would never poach a seat, but one of us nicely asks if someone will change. We've gotten no and that's okay, but somebody has always accommodated us. We don't accept an upgrade if there is only one seat. We've had GA call us up and ask, but I always check the board, if there is one, to see if this situation might occur and I have gone up and told the GA we would not take one seat.

One time the next person on the upgrade list was standing there and we told her it was her lucky day. She was thankful and had drinks sent back to us.
Very nice. That's the way it should work.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 12:00 pm
  #634  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 811
I will never ask anyone to switch seats again after the following experience.
I was travelling business, so coach ticket.
I purchased my wife an FC award ticket.

My upgrade clears at gate. I'm row 5 aisle seat, wife is row 3 window seat. When we board I politely ask the row 3 aisle seat if she would mind moving back to row 5. She rudely declines stating her bag is in the overhead bin of row 3 and she needs access to her stuff in flight.

I accept her refusal (although it makes no sense to me) and moved back to row 5. It was at that point I decided I'll never ask again. I texted my wife a few choice words about the poor woman who had declined the swap and it turns out my wife's phone was placed on the armrest, unlocked, for them both to read. Opps!!

If that was you, I apologize for all the mean things I said, I just didn't get it.
JayTeaBee is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 12:33 pm
  #635  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: MSP
Programs: Delta PM, MM
Posts: 3,484
Originally Posted by JayTeaBee View Post
I will never ask anyone to switch seats again after the following experience.
I was travelling business, so coach ticket.
I purchased my wife an FC award ticket.

My upgrade clears at gate. I'm row 5 aisle seat, wife is row 3 window seat. When we board I politely ask the row 3 aisle seat if she would mind moving back to row 5. She rudely declines stating her bag is in the overhead bin of row 3 and she needs access to her stuff in flight.

I accept her refusal (although it makes no sense to me) and moved back to row 5. It was at that point I decided I'll never ask again. I texted my wife a few choice words about the poor woman who had declined the swap and it turns out my wife's phone was placed on the armrest, unlocked, for them both to read. Opps!!

If that was you, I apologize for all the mean things I said, I just didn't get it.
You don't have to get it; it was her choice.

But, row 3, if it's mid-cabin, is a safer bet on a flight with meal service.
CarmenOM is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 12:57 pm
  #636  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MCO
Programs: Delta - PM, HH - Gold, SPG - Gold, Marriott - Plat
Posts: 1,028
Originally Posted by CarmenOM View Post
You don't have to get it; it was her choice.

But, row 3, if it's mid-cabin, is a safer bet on a flight with meal service.
So offer her the choice of which meal she wants when they get to you. Sometimes you can make it work.
miraclebear2003 is online now  
Old Dec 14, 15, 1:02 pm
  #637  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Now: SAT. Previously: SEA, DAY/CVG
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 5,021
Originally Posted by JayTeaBee View Post
I will never ask anyone to switch seats again after the following experience.
I was travelling business, so coach ticket.
I purchased my wife an FC award ticket.

My upgrade clears at gate. I'm row 5 aisle seat, wife is row 3 window seat. When we board I politely ask the row 3 aisle seat if she would mind moving back to row 5. She rudely declines stating her bag is in the overhead bin of row 3 and she needs access to her stuff in flight.

I accept her refusal (although it makes no sense to me) and moved back to row 5. It was at that point I decided I'll never ask again. I texted my wife a few choice words about the poor woman who had declined the swap and it turns out my wife's phone was placed on the armrest, unlocked, for them both to read. Opps!!

If that was you, I apologize for all the mean things I said, I just didn't get it.
So just out curiosity, why didn't you ask Row 5 window next to you if they would mind switching? Perhaps the person in the window next you would have been more accommodating to your request.
ATOBTTR is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 1:10 pm
  #638  
Moderator: Information Desk, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 11,914
Originally Posted by pgh234 View Post
So I am upgraded to 2A...my wife is upgraded to 2C...and you are in 2B. Please enlighten us to the great hassles you must endure switching to 2C so we can have a more pleasant flight? ...This is of course after I ask you politely...not just take your seat
Personally, I have some back and shoulder issues that seem exacerbated by sitting with my left shoulder to the aisle, but eased if I'm sitting with the right shoulder to the aisle. I've spent the last decades always taking seats on the port side of the plane, bus, train, etc.
chgoeditor is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 1:16 pm
  #639  
HMO
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 939
Originally Posted by JayTeaBee View Post
I will never ask anyone to switch seats again after the following experience.
I was travelling business, so coach ticket.
I purchased my wife an FC award ticket.

My upgrade clears at gate. I'm row 5 aisle seat, wife is row 3 window seat. When we board I politely ask the row 3 aisle seat if she would mind moving back to row 5. She rudely declines stating her bag is in the overhead bin of row 3 and she needs access to her stuff in flight.

I accept her refusal (although it makes no sense to me) and moved back to row 5. It was at that point I decided I'll never ask again. I texted my wife a few choice words about the poor woman who had declined the swap and it turns out my wife's phone was placed on the armrest, unlocked, for them both to read. Opps!!

If that was you, I apologize for all the mean things I said, I just didn't get it.
May I ask why you didn't offer the wife's seat for your neighbor, the 5 window?

Sorry, but under my point of view, you didn't offer the best seat to trade.
HMO is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 1:19 pm
  #640  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 811
Originally Posted by CarmenOM View Post
You don't have to get it; it was her choice.

But, row 3, if it's mid-cabin, is a safer bet on a flight with meal service.
That was the biggest lesson to me. It was her choice. You are absolutely right. Her reasons were exactly that, HERS. I didn't think it would be a big deal to access the overhead bin in row three from an aisle seat in row 5, but that was MY thought. (which I still believe to be true but doesn't matter).

Originally Posted by ATOBTTR View Post
So just out curiosity, why didn't you ask Row 5 window next to you if they would mind switching? Perhaps the person in the window next you would have been more accommodating to your request.
Because after the first woman declined I decided that I was never going to ask anyone again. I felt like an idiot for even asking and didn't want to relive that moment. It was kind of like asking someone out on a date and being rejected. I didn't like it! haha

Now, that being said, I've swapped in both FC and coach many times when asked politely. Karma.
JayTeaBee is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 1:23 pm
  #641  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Toledo, OH
Programs: Delta DM & MM, Hilton DM, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 12,592
Originally Posted by JayTeaBee View Post
I will never ask anyone to switch seats again after the following experience.
I was travelling business, so coach ticket.
I purchased my wife an FC award ticket.

My upgrade clears at gate. I'm row 5 aisle seat, wife is row 3 window seat. When we board I politely ask the row 3 aisle seat if she would mind moving back to row 5. She rudely declines stating her bag is in the overhead bin of row 3 and she needs access to her stuff in flight.

I accept her refusal (although it makes no sense to me) and moved back to row 5. It was at that point I decided I'll never ask again. I texted my wife a few choice words about the poor woman who had declined the swap and it turns out my wife's phone was placed on the armrest, unlocked, for them both to read. Opps!!

If that was you, I apologize for all the mean things I said, I just didn't get it.
Did you ask your seat mate in 5B or D to switch with you wife? That would have been the fairer trade.

If I were asked to switch from 5B to 3B, I would probably do it. But probably not 5B to 3B. If door 1 is used you get off the plane a little faster. If it's an even number flight you are going to be a lot more likely to get your meal choice if it's an even number flight (even if it's an odd since most FA's seem to take meal orders from the front now even on odd numbered flight).

Nothing wrong with asking, just don't get disappointed if the person refuses.
jamesteroh is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 1:33 pm
  #642  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: PWM
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 811
Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Did you ask your seat mate in 5B or D to switch with you wife? That would have been the fairer trade.

If I were asked to switch from 5B to 3B, I would probably do it. But probably not 5B to 3B. If door 1 is used you get off the plane a little faster. If it's an even number flight you are going to be a lot more likely to get your meal choice if it's an even number flight (even if it's an odd since most FA's seem to take meal orders from the front now even on odd numbered flight).

Nothing wrong with asking, just don't get disappointed if the person refuses.
We posted at the same time so you'll see my response. I didn't ask anyone else. What's "fair" to you or I may not be to anyone else.

If the woman had declined because she would "get off the plane faster" or "get my meal choice" that would have made a bit more sense. Her excuse of needing to access her bag in the overhead while in flight did NOT make sense as with 3 extra steps she could have, even from the distant, unattractive, row 5!

I was disappointed she said no, and that's on me. It wasn't a big deal to sit apart. (at least I didn't think it was, which is why I also didn't think it would be a big deal for her to move back).
JayTeaBee is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 1:41 pm
  #643  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Programs: delta dm
Posts: 1,677
Originally Posted by JayTeaBee View Post
We posted at the same time so you'll see my response. I didn't ask anyone else. What's "fair" to you or I may not be to anyone else.

If the woman had declined because she would "get off the plane faster" or "get my meal choice" that would have made a bit more sense. Her excuse of needing to access her bag in the overhead while in flight did NOT make sense as with 3 extra steps she could have, even from the distant, unattractive, row 5!

I was disappointed she said no, and that's on me. It wasn't a big deal to sit apart. (at least I didn't think it was, which is why I also didn't think it would be a big deal for her to move back).
I have never been turned down....i always give the person the better part of the trade in first class when i want to sit with my wife or son and then load them up with free drink coupons as a gesture of good will
dzflyer is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 6:04 pm
  #644  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: MCO
Programs: DL-DM/1MM, HILTON-DIA, .HYATT-DIA/GLOB , IHG-PLT,HERTZ 5*, NATIONAL ES
Posts: 8,687
Originally Posted by JayTeaBee View Post
We posted at the same time so you'll see my response. I didn't ask anyone else. What's "fair" to you or I may not be to anyone else.

If the woman had declined because she would "get off the plane faster" or "get my meal choice" that would have made a bit more sense. Her excuse of needing to access her bag in the overhead while in flight did NOT make sense as with 3 extra steps she could have, even from the distant, unattractive, row 5!

I was disappointed she said no, and that's on me. It wasn't a big deal to sit apart. (at least I didn't think it was, which is why I also didn't think it would be a big deal for her to move back).
Yes, but had she said it was due to meal choice or to be faster off the plane, there are those that would not find those excuses comprehenfable either. They may mock or argue those points. Sometimes it's better not to give any excuse. In some people's perspective you are always wrong, just because you do not see things their way....

I would be more open to trade if more consideration seemed to exist. But once you are burnt, you tend to be leary of making the same mistakes twice.
Crazyhotelguy is offline  
Old Dec 14, 15, 7:21 pm
  #645  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Midwest
Programs: Delta PM, Hhonors Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by Crazyhotelguy View Post
Yes, but had she said it was due to meal choice or to be faster off the plane, there are those that would not find those excuses comprehenfable either. They may mock or argue those points. Sometimes it's better not to give any excuse.
This.

If I'm not okay with the seat change, that's it. I prefer not to invite a debate to justify my choice to keep my own seat. Beyond the unimpeachable, "sorry...I'm sitting next to my wife," or a short bereducation of why the swap is worse for me (1A? Sorry, I want legroom; C+ aisle for 33B?....LOL, but thanks for checking; etc.), I prefer a simple, "no thanks."
Henla is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread