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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 Apr 11, 16, 7:15 pm
  #811  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 303
Originally Posted by puddinhead View Post
The requestor followed the rules of swap club.

Better seat for swap...

farther forward

aisle or window for center

E+ for E-
FC for econ

politely ask but don't occupy seat
Absolutely. I have swapped into a more tradeable seat if I can't get the one I want, just in case it becomes reasonable to ask for a swap.

And, say, if you and your fiancee have both been given middles ... you just ride it out. Not that this happened to us recently or anything, just a hypothetical.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 5:58 pm
  #812  
 
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Just boarded (20F 757) and was nicely asked if I wanted to switch so a couple could sit next to each other, but I wanted to keep my seat, sorry. Then someone else said they were also trying to sit next to their spouse but their seat mate had yet to show up so they could ask.

Then a third seating-separated couple boarded, found someone had already poached one of their (separate) seats; but that person was a single and willing to move anyway, and the shuffling worked out so now everybody's happy It was like one of those kidney transplant chains! (though obv not a matter of life and death in this case)
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:14 pm
  #813  
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At least the kidney transplant stuff really is rocket science. Sitting next to one's spouse or SO on a short flight isn't.
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Old Feb 17, 17, 11:01 pm
  #814  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Switching Seats

does anyone else get annoyed/a pet peeve of theirs when people demand/expect that you switch seats with them because 2 people are not sitting together?

i ask because I am sitting on a flight where this couple came on board and didn't ask but told the guy they were traveling together and to give up his aisle seat for a window. They said why don't you take her window seat and he said "id prefer my aisle" well they said but it's the window so take it.

I honestly wish wish the guy stood his ground and told them no. I am so tired of having to accommodate people because they do not know how to plan properly. It's a five hour flight it's not like they are on the Santa Maria and won't see each other for months.

I have flat out taken a personal policy to tell anyone who asks me "no" period.

What really annoys me is this is a red eye so most likely they will be sleeping the entire damn time anyways.

End rant
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Old Feb 17, 17, 11:01 pm
  #815  
 
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I really wish airlines would take a hard line and not allow it period. That's just wishful thinking because DL won't even enforce boarding zones
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Old Feb 17, 17, 11:26 pm
  #816  
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I don't mind it....if asked politely (which it sounds like didn't happen). For example, on the few occasions that I travel with my wife and we get upgraded, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask. But I always try to be considerate of who I'm asking, and I usually try to arrange so the person I'm asking to move is going to a better seat.

I've been asked a few times but every time was courteous.
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Old Feb 17, 17, 11:40 pm
  #817  
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The husband could have given up his aisle seat if sitting together was so important....or they could have purchased FC and reserved two seats together when they bought their tickets.

WSTBST = want seats together buy seats together
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Old Feb 18, 17, 1:05 am
  #818  
 
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Originally Posted by vincentharris View Post
I honestly wish wish the guy stood his ground and told them no. I am so tired of having to accommodate people because they do not know how to plan properly. It's a five hour flight it's not like they are on the Santa Maria and won't see each other for months.
I've both accepted and rejected seat swap requests. I've also asked to swap with someone and have had it go both ways. I firmly believe in that you should offer the person you're asking to swap the better seat. But what I'm tired of reading about seat swap rant threads is "you should have planned ahead". IROPS happen. Last minute bookings due to emergencies or whatever happen. Equipment swaps happen. Even planning ahead only accounts for so much when so many seats are blocked off to non-elites. You shouldn't have to feel guilty about declining a seat swap (or be guilted in to accepting one) but stop using the "you should have planned ahead" line to somehow ease or suppress your guilt about it because for more people than not it probably has less to do with "not planning ahead".
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Old Feb 18, 17, 3:13 am
  #819  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I love these posts.

I dont mind switching provided I'm getting an equal or better seat and assuming you're nice about it.

Politely ask if I'll move from 12c to 14c, sure why not. Plop yourself in my seat and make yourself comfortable and then "encourage" me to move from 12c to 31b - absolutely not
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Old Feb 18, 17, 5:56 am
  #820  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Am I a weirdo for having proactively offered a seat switch on my last flight?

GUA-ATL in FC last week. I notice a Guatemalan couple board; they're chatting and whatnot. Then they give each other a quick kiss, and she takes the window seat next to me and he proceeds back and takes an aisle seat in the last row of FC.
Neither of them spoke English and I know only enough Spanish to ensure a steady supply of beer at the bar. But I managed to offer my seat to the guy...and chuckled every time I was called Mr. Gutierrez, even though we told the FAs about the swap.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 6:11 am
  #821  
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No, kind, but this couple didn't demand that you swap or just park themselves in your seat and refuse to move. Also, you got a seat (aisle to aisle switch in FC) that you apparently considered equivalent to your assigned seat.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 6:20 am
  #822  
 
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I always say no unless the seat I'm going into is better or equivalent. The FAs have never pressured me to switch.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 6:27 am
  #823  
 
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My wife & I were asked to swap on a LHR-ATL flight; we were in a 4-across C+ and offered a 2-across bulkhead. I looked at the guy and said "you're SURE you want to swap??", then jumped on it like a hot potato.

I agree that there's nothing wrong to ask or be asked POLITELY. Then accept the response, dammit.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 6:49 am
  #824  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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On a one hour flight from ORD to DTW my sister and I boarded to find a woman in my aisle seat. She had three shopping bags on the floor in front of her. Middle and window were open. I said, I'm sorry, you're in my seat. She says, you're going to have to climb over. I look at my boarding pass just to make sure. I said, I'm sorry I think you have A seat. That's the window. She says, I'm not moving. Climb over.

Ummm now, had she asked nicely I may have done it for an hour flight although I am a bit nutty about having an aisle. Hence the reason I make sure I book my seats ahead of time. However, I gave her a bit of a death stare and said quietly but firmly, you're going to need to move. She goes into full fledged yelling tantrum, I hate this airline! My 8 yr old daughter is up there with my husband and they wouldn't help us and now you're being a complete selfish .....! You're evil and karma will get you!

Fairly certain I know why the desk agents wouldn't help them if her behaviour to them was similar. The flight attendant and I were in the aisle. He asked me if I was ok, the people in the row ahead are telling me don't give in to her. What a scene. She finally started kicking all her junk over towards the window and moved. Then pulled out her phone and called her husband 6 rows up (in case he hadn't heard her screaming like a nutcase) to tell him about the horrible selfish woman who wouldn't let her have the aisle seat. I'm thinking he was probably thrilled she wasn't sitting with him. I put my noise cancelling head phones on and shut my eyes. My sister said she drove her crazy the whole time.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 6:51 am
  #825  
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She's lucky she was allowed to fly after the FA witnessed her tantrum.
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