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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 Oct 4, 17, 2:33 pm
  #1471  
 
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
I mean, you get that this argument goes both ways, right? You don't NEED to sit in the seat that is listed on your boarding pass. You WANT to.
What people NEED is to be left alone and not bothered for seat swaps for trivial reasons like a couple is split up. A legitimate NEED is for a parent to sit by his 4-year-old, for example. Some people do not fly Southwest precisely because they want an assigned seat. If you picked a seat out of what's available and maybe paid extra for a better seat, obviously you care about sitting in that particular seat. Even seat swappers who think they have an equal seat to offer and ask nicely are overlooking that when it comes right down to it, they are asking a favor of a perfect stranger. IMHO that is bad manners and you don't do it unless you really NEED to.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 3:46 pm
  #1472  
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
If you picked a seat out of what's available and maybe paid extra for a better seat, obviously you care about sitting in that particular seat.
It's not at all obvious to even the most observant person whether a given person is irrationally attached to his particular seat or not until they actually ask, and the vast majority of people do not consider it an affront to human dignity to be asked a question.

Even seat swappers who think they have an equal seat to offer and ask nicely are overlooking that when it comes right down to it, they are asking a favor of a perfect stranger.
That's a willfully dishonest assessment of the situation.

IMHO that is bad manners and you don't do it unless you really NEED to.

I do it whenever I want to and you're never ever going to be able to stop me.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 4:47 pm
  #1473  
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
A legitimate NEED is for a parent to sit by his 4-year-old, for example.
I agree with everything else you wrote, but I don't agree with this. Obviously, parents need to sit with their young children. However, that is a problem between the parent and the airline, and not between the parent and other pax. Absent a true emergency (medical care, funeral, etc.) I really don't care whether a parent and child fly, fly later, or don't fly at all. It is neither my problem nor my responsibility to see that they do.

And, no, I don't believe in karma, and, yes, I help out people truly in need. I don't see discretionary travel with young children constituting "truly in need."

As is so often said to those who object to ill-behaved children and screaming babies, "Then charter a private jet."
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Old Oct 4, 17, 5:04 pm
  #1474  
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
It's not at all obvious to even the most observant person whether a given person is irrationally attached to his particular seat or not until they actually ask, and the vast majority of people do not consider it an affront to human dignity to be asked a question.
Wow! Since when did having a preferred seat become an "irrational attachment"? There are dozens of threads on FT that discuss picking the best seat on a particular aircraft and a particular airline. Is it now "irrational" for a frequent flyer to want to make the flying experience as comfortable as possible?

As for asking being an affront to human dignity, clearly that's just hyperbole, as no one has remotely hinted at such an extreme reaction. What people have said was:

1. They have trouble saying no, so it puts them in an awkward position.
2. They don't like being disturbed once they've settled in.
3. Too many times, the askee will respond with a range of unacceptable behaviors, ranging from minor attitude to argument to insult.
4. They leave others alone and prefer to be left alone.

None of this has anything to do with an "affront to human dignity."

I do it whenever I want to and you're never ever going to be able to stop me.
No doubt, but I'm unaware of anyone trying to stop you. You've been presented with reasons why people don't like it. No one has suggested changing airline policy to prohibit it, or passing federal legislation making it illegal.

You will do what you want, and that's fine. Just don't expect everyone to be receptive.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 5:09 pm
  #1475  
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Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
Wow! Since when did having a preferred seat become an "irrational attachment"?
It's not! Lots of people have preferred seats but don't blow a gasket if someone has the chutzpah to ask them about swapping.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 5:10 pm
  #1476  
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Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
Just don't expect everyone to be receptive.
we don't. The fact that you and others can't comprehend that simple fact is why this thread has 9 zillion posts and is an unreadable garbage fire.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 5:32 pm
  #1477  
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the simple fact that some people feel obsessively compelled to keep defending their position contributes to both those attributes of the thread
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Old Oct 4, 17, 5:40 pm
  #1478  
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
It's not! Lots of people have preferred seats but don't blow a gasket if someone has the chutzpah to ask them about swapping.
No one has blown a gasket. I think that's part of what the problem is, here. People have said they don't like to be asked, and explained why.

Originally Posted by pvn View Post
we don't. The fact that you and others can't comprehend that simple fact is why this thread has 9 zillion posts and is an unreadable garbage fire.
Well, no offense, but you seem to be objecting to the fact that some people don't like to be asked. I understand that you have no problem with being told, "Sorry, no, I won't swap," and that's fine. However, the disconnect seems to be acknowledging that some people have valid reasons for not wanting to be asked at al.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 8:03 pm
  #1479  
 
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post

That's a willfully dishonest assessment of the situation.
I'm really offended at that. What I said that provoked pvn was: "When you ask for a seat swap, when it comes right down to it, you are asking a perfect stranger for a favor". Apparently pvn doesn't mind asking for seat swaps, but he doesn't like anyone thinking he's asking for favors. But that's the truth of the situation.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 8:53 pm
  #1480  
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
I'm really offended at that. What I said that provoked pvn was: "When you ask for a seat swap, when it comes right down to it, you are asking a perfect stranger for a favor". Apparently pvn doesn't mind asking for seat swaps, but he doesn't like anyone thinking he's asking for favors. But that's the truth of the situation.
imo pvn and proudelitist don't like much of anything that means they have to alter their completely (maybe obsessively?) pre-planned and pre-set -- and, most significantly, self-focused -- travel routines to interact with anyone
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Old Oct 4, 17, 8:54 pm
  #1481  
 
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
It's not at all obvious to even the most observant person whether a given person is irrationally attached to his particular seat or not....
Nor is it at all obvious to even the most observant person as to why some random stranger is so irrationally attached to the seat that I'm already occupying that they feel compelled to try to make me move from it.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 9:26 pm
  #1482  
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Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
I agree with everything else you wrote, but I don't agree with this. Obviously, parents need to sit with their young children. However, that is a problem between the parent and the airline, and not between the parent and other pax. Absent a true emergency (medical care, funeral, etc.) I really don't care whether a parent and child fly, fly later, or don't fly at all. It is neither my problem nor my responsibility to see that they do.

And, no, I don't believe in karma, and, yes, I help out people truly in need. I don't see discretionary travel with young children constituting "truly in need."

As is so often said to those who object to ill-behaved children and screaming babies, "Then charter a private jet."
Since it's the airlines problem it really is yours. They can easily just kick you out of your seat.

Also do you want to have possible legal responsibility for the child? Prevent parent from being able to do so and you could run into issues in emergency being responsible.

Bottom line young children do need to sit with someone who has responsibility over them. If you don't want that duty, then like in exit row, trade seats.
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Old Oct 4, 17, 10:17 pm
  #1483  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Since it's the airlines problem it really is yours. They can easily just kick you out of your seat.
Indeed, they could. And then the problem is between me and the airline, not me and the parent. That's my point: a problem with the airline isn't another passenger's problem.

Also do you want to have possible legal responsibility for the child? Prevent parent from being able to do so and you could run into issues in emergency being responsible.
Sorry, but that's total nonsense. Strangers have no legal responsibility for someone's child just because they're in the seat next to them. Now, in a real emergency, e.g. crash and evacuation, extreme turbulence, terrorist, etc., I would, of course, help the child, just as I would help anyone. And Good Samaritan laws in most states would exempt me from liability. However, note that no state would impose liability for failing to take responsibility for the child.

Bottom line young children do need to sit with someone who has responsibility over them. If you don't want that duty, then like in exit row, trade seats.
The only person who is responsible for young children when they fly is the parent of the children. As I said, absent exigent circumstances, I couldn't care less whether the parent and child fly on that flight, the next flight, or don't fly at all.

Want to ensure that you sit next to your child, regardless of circumstance? Fly a private jet. How you travel with your child is not my problem.
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Old Oct 5, 17, 7:07 am
  #1484  
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
I'm really offended at that. What I said that provoked pvn was: "When you ask for a seat swap, when it comes right down to it, you are asking a perfect stranger for a favor". Apparently pvn doesn't mind asking for seat swaps, but he doesn't like anyone thinking he's asking for favors. But that's the truth of the situation.
You omitted the dishonest part (which just confirms my assertion that you were willfully dishonest). Here's what was actually written:

Even seat swappers who think they have an equal seat to offer and ask nicely are overlooking that when it comes right down to it, they are asking a favor of a perfect stranger
None of the people are OVERLOOKING the fact that they're asking a stranger for a favor.
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Old Oct 5, 17, 10:59 am
  #1485  
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Originally Posted by Tizzette View Post
Even seat swappers who think they have an equal seat to offer and ask nicely are overlooking that when it comes right down to it, they are asking a favor of a perfect stranger. IMHO that is bad manners and you don't do it unless you really NEED to.
Sure, it's asking for a favor, but there's clearly a spectrum of acceptability in terms of whether asking for a favor is bad manners. Asking someone next to you in an elevator "excuse me, do you have the time" is a polite request for a very minor favor. Telling that same person "I demand you come home with my right now and dedicate your life to providing me sexual pleasure," pretty much the other end of the spectrum.
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