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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 Jan 19, 16, 8:05 pm
  #721  
 
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Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
When I was a teenager I went to National Jamboree in Washington DC for Boy Scouts. On my flight home, I had a window seat, and when I board there is someone in my seat. Her traveling companion is in the aisle, and they look at me...in my full Boy Scout uniform....and ask if I really wanted the window or if I'd take the middle.

Being in full uniform, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your POV, tempered the teenage desire to say something snarky, and I dutifuly took the middle seat, only to have them speak directly across me in Spanish until the fasten seat belt sign turned off and I was mercifully able to move to another empty middle seat with a couple of other people who were on the trip with me.

This is one of those scenarios I still replay in my head about what I should have said!
Well, at least you held up your end of the Boy Scout slogan and did your good turn for the day. Me, I would have said "no thanks" and found something else to do as my good turn for the day.
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Old Jan 19, 16, 11:22 pm
  #722  
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Originally Posted by Paplover View Post
That was not going to happen. Either stay in middle or take the window was the unspoken part of the offer. My DW gets up several times during long flights so easy aisle access is essential. If no trade, I had window and she had aisle.
So much for offering the better seat as part of a proposed trade.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 12:38 am
  #723  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
So much for offering the better seat as part of a proposed trade.
Huh? Most people consider window better than middle. I certainly do, even though I prefer aisle.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 12:40 am
  #724  
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Originally Posted by sethb View Post
Huh? Most people consider window better than middle. I certainly do, even though I prefer aisle.
No, most prefer aisle to window. The OP had a window and an aisle but wanted to sit together. Proper form would have been to offer either the window or the aisle to the person in the middle and let the current middle seat occupant choose. To offer window or nothing seems mean spirited.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 12:53 am
  #725  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
No, most prefer aisle to window. The OP had a window and an aisle but wanted to sit together.
What survey have you seen or conducted to know this and state it as fact?

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Proper form would have been to offer either the window or the aisle to the person in the middle and let the current middle seat occupant choose. To offer window or nothing seems mean spirited.
Really? Is it really incomprehensible to you that paplover's preference for seating if three people occupy the row is:
Aisle/Middle
Aisle/Window
Middle/Window

If the person being offered the trade doesn't want the window, they can take their assigned middle seat. Hardly "mean spirited".
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Old Jan 20, 16, 1:16 am
  #726  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
No, most prefer aisle to window. The OP had a window and an aisle but wanted to sit together. Proper form would have been to offer either the window or the aisle to the person in the middle and let the current middle seat occupant choose. To offer window or nothing seems mean spirited.
I agree that most prefer aisle to window. But also, most prefer window to middle.

The poster was offering the window seat to the passenger who had the middle seat. That's an offer of a better seat for a worse one (in the view of most people), so it seems like a proper offer to me. There's no requirement to offer the best possible seat, only something better than what the person currently has (or at least not worse).
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Old Jan 20, 16, 6:06 am
  #727  
 
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If im in the middle and this happens and i want the aisle seat then i say i will either take the aisle seat or i will keep my middle seat. I bet the two people that want to sit together that badly come around to my suggestion real quick.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 7:21 am
  #728  
 
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Originally Posted by dzflyer View Post
If im in the middle and this happens and i want the aisle seat then i say i will either take the aisle seat or i will keep my middle seat. I bet the two people that want to sit together that badly come around to my suggestion real quick.
...or leave you in the middle while they pass their Manchu Wok and Nathan's Hot Dogs back and forth across you while holding a loud conversation in a foreign language. ... YMMV
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Old Jan 20, 16, 7:24 am
  #729  
 
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Originally Posted by Crazyhotelguy View Post
...or leave you in the middle while they pass their Manchu Wok and Nathan's Hot Dogs back and forth across you while holding a loud conversation in a foreign language. ... YMMV
Good point but ive never been turned down when ive wanted to sit with someone im traveling with because ive always given the the person im trading with the better end of the deal. It also creates good karma in life.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 8:53 am
  #730  
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Originally Posted by Crazyhotelguy View Post
...or leave you in the middle while they pass their Manchu Wok and Nathan's Hot Dogs back and forth across you while holding a loud conversation in a foreign language. ... YMMV
Or in the case of someone like me that gets up almost every hour, I just take the window seat if they won't give me the aisle and both spouses are stuck getting up every hour to let me out
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Old Jan 20, 16, 9:26 am
  #731  
 
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I like the middle for the body heat and the increased chance for complements on my cologne. I won't move, but I will give either member of sandwich-making couples the option of sitting on my lap after takeoff.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 10:19 am
  #732  
 
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Mrs. JayTeaBee & I are an aisle/aisle couple if the aircraft doesn't have a 2 seat side. It seems to work great for us.

I did remember another seat swap story. I had a super quick connection at LAX, just got off SYD-LAX (in coach!) and was connecting LAX-BOS, I barely made it, was one of the last to board, and when I got to my seat (window) it was occupied by someone, clearly travelling with the person in the middle seat. I said "excuse me I think you're in my seat" and they gave me the whole "we aren't from america and don't speak English" routine. Instead of making a fuss I took the aisle seat, which is actually my preference. That being said, I wasn't sure if the person in my seat was originally the aisle, but since I was the last to board I just went with it and it was ok. I just thought it was funny. About an hour into the flight they didn't have any problems speaking English.....
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Old Jan 20, 16, 2:03 pm
  #733  
 
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"To offer window or nothing seems mean spirited."

Totally disagree. A window seat is a significant improvement over a middle to my mind. But maybe I'm mean? And it's a moot point with us. When Mr. W flies with me, we do window and aisle. We are pretty good about keeping the cross-chat to a minimum if there is a middle seat pax.

But more than once we've had the person who sits there cheerily offer to swap with one of us, but we politely say no thanks and take that as our cue to cut the cross-chat from limited to zero.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 4:50 pm
  #734  
 
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Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
When I was a teenager I went to National Jamboree in Washington DC for Boy Scouts. On my flight home, I had a window seat, and when I board there is someone in my seat. Her traveling companion is in the aisle, and they look at me...in my full Boy Scout uniform....and ask if I really wanted the window or if I'd take the middle.

Being in full uniform, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your POV, tempered the teenage desire to say something snarky, and I dutifuly took the middle seat, only to have them speak directly across me in Spanish until the fasten seat belt sign turned off and I was mercifully able to move to another empty middle seat with a couple of other people who were on the trip with me.

This is one of those scenarios I still replay in my head about what I should have said!
When you are young, you get abused on seat swaps. Just because you are young. When I traveled as a teen, and even in my early 20's, I would not get requests to swap..I would get demands. Once it was even the FA who ordered me out. I wish I knew that I could stand up to them like I do now.

My wife, also an FF was once on a flight in an aisle seat. There was a teenage girl in the neighboring aisle seat and some older man told her that she would "have" to move so he could sit with his wife and son (son was an adult). The girl clearly didn't want to and seemed reluctant, so my wife leaned over and told her that no, she doesn't "have" to move if she doesn't want to. The girl stuck to her guns, I like to think because of the confidence Mrs.Diarrhea encouraged. The FA made the guy take his assigned seat.
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Old Jan 20, 16, 5:04 pm
  #735  
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Originally Posted by DrDiarrhea View Post
When you are young, you get abused on seat swaps. Just because you are young. When I traveled as a teen, and even in my early 20's, I would not get requests to swap..I would get demands. Once it was even the FA who ordered me out. I wish I knew that I could stand up to them like I do now.

My wife, also an FF was once on a flight in an aisle seat. There was a teenage girl in the neighboring aisle seat and some older man told her that she would "have" to move so he could sit with his wife and son (son was an adult). The girl clearly didn't want to and seemed reluctant, so my wife leaned over and told her that no, she doesn't "have" to move if she doesn't want to. The girl stuck to her guns, I like to think because of the confidence Mrs.Diarrhea encouraged. The FA made the guy take his assigned seat.
What a nice story. It was good of your wife to tell the young woman that she didn't have to take orders from the guy. Maybe it even encouraged the girl to be more confident about other situations too when she learned that saying no resulted in a better outcome for herself.
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