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 Jan 21, 16, 3:51 pm
  #751  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Midwest
Programs: Delta PM, Hhonors Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 110
Originally Posted by dzflyer View Post
I think they thought they would get someone to do whatever they wanted who sat in the middle seat which isnt always the case. WSTBST...want seats together buy seats together or try to fly equipment that has a 2 seat side or give someone the better trade.
When we say "better trade," we typically mean the person being asked to trade ends up better than before. For example, if I have a C+ aisle and my spouse has a row 30 middle (and if we care to try to sit by one another), she or I should ask the person in 30 aisle to switch with me, rather than asking the C+ middle to move back to row 30. While only the person being asked to move can determine which seat is truly better, I at least met the objective qualifications for which is better.

For aisle/window seating, most (not all) pax prefer a window to a middle. So, offering up a window for their middle is a fair offer IMO. If they prefer their middle, that's fine. No one should argue with them about their choice to keep their ticketed seat. Similarly, if they prefer my aisle, they can make that request. If I don't wish to give up my ticketed seat, that's solely up to me.

Originally Posted by Seabilly View Post
This is what my wife and I do too when we travel together. Used to book Aisle/middle but a after a time or two of only one of us getting upgraded and the person left behind stuck in middle by themselves, switched to the aisle/aisle method.
This. I was just going to post that exact same thing.
Henla is offline  
Old Jan 21, 16, 6:47 pm
  #752  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: DL DM, MM, NR; HH Platinum, Bonvoy Titanium, Hyatt Explorist, others
Posts: 11,280
Originally Posted by dzflyer View Post
Do you believe its smart not to book two seats together and then expect someone will move to the seats u want the person to move to 100 percent of the time?
What are the odds?

If I don't expect the plane to be full, then it's rational to prefer (e.g.) a 50% chance of having all 3 seats, a 45% chance of aisle+middle, and a 5% chance of aisle+window with middle occupied (that's assuming 10% won't switch with window, which I think is a high estimate) over 100% aisle+middle, and 5% of that time the window remains empty.
sethb is offline  
Old Jan 21, 16, 6:48 pm
  #753  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: DL DM, MM, NR; HH Platinum, Bonvoy Titanium, Hyatt Explorist, others
Posts: 11,280
Originally Posted by Seabilly View Post
This is what my wife and I do too when we travel together. Used to book Aisle/middle but a after a time or two of only one of us getting upgraded and the person left behind stuck in middle by themselves, switched to the aisle/aisle method.
Obviously, the person with higher status (more likely to be upgraded) should be the one in the middle seat.
sethb is offline  
Old Jan 22, 16, 6:04 pm
  #754  
HMO
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 928
Originally Posted by puddinhead View Post
We do the same thing. On a flight to HGK (2-4-2) a passenger asked if I would switch because he prefers the aisle. I was on the end of a 4 seat center. I told him - that's amazing, so do I. Imagine the odds that 2 people would like the same thing.
Indeed, it was amazing! I cannot fathom how you both prefer the aisle
HMO is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 6:15 am
  #755  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New York/ DC
Posts: 27
I get this all the time. Lol but it is for the window seat. They will swear up and down that I am in the wrong seat or I kindly tell them to get out of my seat. I kid you not every time wether it's a train or plane people get mad. On the plane I picked that seat so it's pretty much of you wanted it you should of paid for it. And the one time I did book an outside seat this lady complained so much they moved me a class up for her inconviencing to me. Did I mention I had my cat flying too ? Lol The end moving on. #stopwhinning
kimikoftokyo is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 8:44 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Rolla, MO USA
Programs: American, BA, NWA, United, US Air
Posts: 198
Ah, the aisle seat - so loved by flyers who were assigned a middle seat. Some months ago when I arrived at my reserved aisle seat, a young man was sitting there - firmly. He refused to move and haughtily offered me a middle seat, which I refused. He would not relinquish the seat, so I looked for a f/a and when he approached the young man had a change of mind. It takes all kinds
Hakluyt is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 8:57 am
  #757  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,130
Originally Posted by Hakluyt View Post
Ah, the aisle seat - so loved by flyers who were assigned a middle seat. Some months ago when I arrived at my reserved aisle seat, a young man was sitting there - firmly. He refused to move and haughtily offered me a middle seat, which I refused. He would not relinquish the seat, so I looked for a f/a and when he approached the young man had a change of mind. It takes all kinds
I'm not sure where these people get this attitude, is it from their parents who told them they are the bestest, most special flower ever, and you DESERVE whatever you want? Or did they pick it up from pop culture, or is it just something internal?

In any event good on you for giving him a dose of reality.
kop84 is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 9:05 am
  #758  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: DCA
Programs: DL PM, UA Silver, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 5,482
Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
I'm not sure where these people get this attitude, is it from their parents who told them they are the bestest, most special flower ever, and you DESERVE whatever you want? Or did they pick it up from pop culture, or is it just something internal?

In any event good on you for giving him a dose of reality.
They should keep the middle seat in the last row, next to the lav, blocked out for people like this. That would end the problem right there.
WWads is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 9:13 am
  #759  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: Delta FO, Marriott LT Titanium, HHonors Gold, Nat'l Exec, Amex Plat
Posts: 419
Originally Posted by kop84 View Post
I'm not sure where these people get this attitude, is it from their parents who told them they are the bestest, most special flower ever, and you DESERVE whatever you want? Or did they pick it up from pop culture, or is it just something internal?

In any event good on you for giving him a dose of reality.
It's not just the young... DTW-MCO last Friday I arrived at my aisle seat on the left side of the aircraft to find an older lady already sitting in my seat. I let her know she was sitting in my seat, to which she replied "Well, I need this seat. I just had a knee replacement and I need this side of the plane to stretch my leg." Mind you, there were aisle seats towards the back aplenty (according to the seat map), so a simple visit to the counter would've easily resulted in the GA moving her seat.

Whatever, so I took her seat across the aisle. Not a big enough deal for me to raise a stink about... But trust me, entitlement runs across generations. The lady next to me in my new seat wondered why the seatnapper didn't just take a seat in F. After all, if seat assignments mean nothing, and leg room was of first priority, why not just go for the big time? And because she really "needed it, and I didn't." I replied to her, "Selective morals."

Waiting for me to arrive and asking to swap would've resulted in a nearly instant yes. You've got a bum knee and want to switch? Sure, just ask. Don't take something that, with documented proof, has my name on it as yours without asking. Common courtesy knows no limits.

Anyway... On the return flight MCO-DTW on Sunday, I took my seat in E+ only to have the person next to me ask if I would switch seats with her husband so they could sit together. Great, I thought... Here we go again. About that time, she mentioned her husband got upgraded to F and would swap 4C with my 17C. That's the kind of seat swap I'm willing to work with.

Chalk it up to karma, I suppose. Let the right one slide, and the DL gods will reward your small sacrifice.

Last edited by northwest_buckeye; Mar 15, 16 at 9:22 am
northwest_buckeye is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 10:05 am
  #760  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Now: SAT. Previously: SEA, DAY/CVG
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 4,804
Originally Posted by northwest_buckeye View Post
It's not just the young... DTW-MCO last Friday I arrived at my aisle seat on the left side of the aircraft to find an older lady already sitting in my seat. I let her know she was sitting in my seat, to which she replied "Well, I need this seat. I just had a knee replacement and I need this side of the plane to stretch my leg." Mind you, there were aisle seats towards the back aplenty (according to the seat map), so a simple visit to the counter would've easily resulted in the GA moving her seat.

Whatever, so I took her seat across the aisle. Not a big enough deal for me to raise a stink about... But trust me, entitlement runs across generations. The lady next to me in my new seat wondered why the seatnapper didn't just take a seat in F. After all, if seat assignments mean nothing, and leg room was of first priority, why not just go for the big time? And because she really "needed it, and I didn't." I replied to her, "Selective morals."

Waiting for me to arrive and asking to swap would've resulted in a nearly instant yes. You've got a bum knee and want to switch? Sure, just ask. Don't take something that, with documented proof, has my name on it as yours without asking. Common courtesy knows no limits.

Anyway... On the return flight MCO-DTW on Sunday, I took my seat in E+ only to have the person next to me ask if I would switch seats with her husband so they could sit together. Great, I thought... Here we go again. About that time, she mentioned her husband got upgraded to F and would swap 4C with my 17C. That's the kind of seat swap I'm willing to work with.

Chalk it up to karma, I suppose. Let the right one slide, and the DL gods will reward your small sacrifice.
You should have said "well I had surgery on my left shoulder and selected the aisle seat on the left side to protect my left shoulder from getting bumped, so get out of my seat". Might have thrown her through a loop. But glad the karma worked out so I guess all is fine.
ATOBTTR is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 10:40 am
  #761  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: YVR, HNL
Programs: AS MVPG, UA peon, BA Bronze, Marriott Gold, HH Diamond, Fairmont Plat (RIP)
Posts: 4,632
I shocked myself last week and agreed to a trade. I hate window seats; loathe them as I get up every half hour to pee (I drink a lot of water on planes), plus I have a disability that makes getting in and out of window seats more difficult. I buy F and won't fly on a plane without an available aisle seat. And I will never, ever, ever switch.

Last week I board and head to 3C. A nice guy, mid-30's, in 3A asks if I am really attached to the aisle seat. I said yes as I get up a lot and he says no problem. I ask why and he says he and his wife were upgraded and she is in 2F and they were hoping to sit together but no big deal. I said maybe 2D would switch with him. 2D gets on and is across the aisle from his wife and toddler and says no as he needs to help her. Again, no big deal from either of them.

So I offered to switch! I still can't believe it myself. I said it was because he did the whole thing right - stayed in his own seat, asked very nicely, and when we both said no, said thanks and accepted it gracefully. I even asked him if he was on FT as he did all the right things (he isn't). Had they just taken my seat or reacted in any other manner, the answer would have been no.

The guy in 2D was great about letting me up every half hour but I forgot how much more difficut it is getting in and out, especially since the guy in front was fully reclined for the entire flight, inluding meals (this is domestic F with lousy pitch). Won't do it again for that reason but I just shocked myself by offering and it was all because of how they approached it.
Finkface is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 12:35 pm
  #762  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: DL DM, MM, NR; HH Platinum, Bonvoy Titanium, Hyatt Explorist, others
Posts: 11,280
Originally Posted by Hakluyt View Post
Ah, the aisle seat - so loved by flyers who were assigned a middle seat. Some months ago when I arrived at my reserved aisle seat, a young man was sitting there - firmly. He refused to move and haughtily offered me a middle seat, which I refused. He would not relinquish the seat, so I looked for a f/a and when he approached the young man had a change of mind. It takes all kinds
Under some circumstances (e.g. I'm too tired to put up with that garbage) I'll carefully look at my boarding pass, carefully look at the seat number printed overhead, and state that I'm about to sit down in my seat and it would likely behoove him not to be in it when that happens.
sethb is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 12:58 pm
  #763  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Programs: SkyMiles
Posts: 20
Roughly a year ago, me and loved ones flew MUC-CLT with LH in P. Normally this flight isn't much crowded, but this was the first Sunday in the year and all this business families from South Germany needed to go back to work. So, flight full as full can be.

Anyway.

My wife and my son took the 14 A and C, I got 14 D. Boarding was nearly completed, when an older guy showed up. Wearing a tuxedo and holding a red rose. He passed the business class, came back a couple of minutes later, looked at me and said: "Stand up, this is my seat." I was confused, asked for his boarding pass to prove his statement and he showed me 40 something in the middle (E or F, whatever). But he insists, that I took his seat. Purser showed up pretty soon and started a discussion with him. During this dispute, the guy insulted me and used pretty rude words about respect of the olds and so on. After a minute the purser was done with this gentleman.

Needles to say, that the plane left Munich without this guy.

Wired world.
papermakerSC is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 1:42 pm
  #764  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 214
Originally Posted by papermakerSC View Post
Wired world.
Yep, and it's a little weird, too.
Cher905 is offline  
Old Mar 15, 16, 3:57 pm
  #765  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Seattle
Programs: DL DM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 534
When I fly with my wife we reserve far back of the plane aisle and window with no one in the middle. Every once in a while we luck out with an empty seat between, but more often we end up offering the middle person their choice of aisle or window so we can sit together. We've only been denied once in about 30 flights together. SEA-EWR in July 2014, I remember because it's so strange that someone wanted to sit between a husband and wife for 5 hours in a middle seat.
anon2k2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread