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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 Jul 17, 12, 4:39 pm
  #1  
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Angry Seat Squatters!

For the second time in the past week, I have boarded my flight and someone is sitting in my seat!

I'm not angry or pissed, but I did pick my seat for a reason. This is all in the front cabin.

First flight a few days back. Some guy is sitting in my seat, I said "excuse me sir, do you mind checking your boarding pass again"

His response was "I wouldn't be in your seat if people didn't keep tossing me around."

LOL, really mfker? - Said that to myself of course. But what I did say was "So you just sit wherever you want?"

This guy already had his shoes off, so he had intentions on staying in my seat.

Apparently before I boarded he switched with some woman from his original first class seat. Except her seat was on the other side but he decided to sit on my side because the seat was open...? So he decided it was best to cop an attitude and just sit comfortably where ever he felt at that point. WHATEVER MAN!

Anyways, ended up getting my seat....

Today, I board my flight, first class cabin. Some lady is already in my seat, I said "excuse me ma'am" before I could finish she cut me off and said "do you mind sitting in my seat over there."

Really LADY, REALLY??? So she took it upon herself to sit her arse in my seat before I even got to sit in it and decide if I wanted to switch with her or not. UNBELIEVABLE.

3rd time will be a charm and I'll probably just lose all of my patience for some of these seat thieves.

I don't mind seat swapping in most cases, especially if asked nicely but these people are just taking advantage.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 4:43 pm
  #2  
 
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That is just plain rude and unacceptable. Next time, don't even bother with the squatter, just show your BP to the FA and say "Someone is in my seat. Could you please help him/her find their seat?"
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Old Jul 17, 12, 4:50 pm
  #3  
 
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I've run into far too many of these people. This is by far and large my biggest pet peeve in air travel.

Last year I flew DTW/RSW after a redeye from the west coast. I cleared my upgrade and specifically chose the last row of F so that I could recline (and sleep) without going into anyone's personal space. I boarded to see my seat (and the one adjacent) occupied by a husband/wife combo being aggressive in telling me to sit down in front of them in row 5. Since I was too tired to care, I did as requested. Once airborne, I reclined and the husband went bezerk: he paid for his first class space, and I had no right to intrude on it... or so he thought.

I still run into this very often, both up front and in coach. I always just try to board early enough to prevent it, and if there's someone in my seat, I let the crew deal with it.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 4:55 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Marylou View Post
That is just plain rude and unacceptable. Next time, don't even bother with the squatter, just show your BP to the FA and say "Someone is in my seat. Could you please help him/her find their seat?"
It's worse when the FAs are in on it, and ask you on behalf of the squatter. Some have looked downright annoyed when I declined.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:06 pm
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so the real question is what did you do with squatter number 2? take her seat and complain about it here, albeit it complaint 100% warranted or have her move back to her assigned seat?
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:10 pm
  #6  
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I give the squatter one chance. People do make mistakes. But, if it's a seat assignment I care about, I just hand it off to the FA and tell them that there's someone in my seat and I'm not interested in the seat he wants me to move to.

Needless to say, there are occasions when I've done better by a swap, but not many.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:12 pm
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I'd ask them how much it's worth to them. I'd probably switch seats with anyone on any domestic flight for $100 (same cabin) or $1,000 (F switching to Y). On a TPAC I'd need $300 in the same cabin but to switch from J to Y I'd need $3,000 or the double the premium over a T fare that I paid to be in J, whichever is greater.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:15 pm
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This seems to happen MUCH more in F than in Y.

Just have the FA handle it if the initial interaction with the poacher is not productive.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:36 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by HongKonger View Post
I'd ask them how much it's worth to them. I'd probably switch seats with anyone on any domestic flight for $100 (same cabin) or $1,000 (F switching to Y). On a TPAC I'd need $300 in the same cabin but to switch from J to Y I'd need $3,000 or the double the premium over a T fare that I paid to be in J, whichever is greater.
My price would be higher.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:48 pm
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Mrs. BHart and I usually get UG'd at separate times (if not me in Y and her in F) so our options are usually slim. If we get it at the window and can't sit together we try to get complementing seats i.e. 2A, 2C so that if we can get someone to switch it's aisle to aisle or window to window. We also try to board later in the F round to politely ask before we seat squat. I'll be sure really don't seat squat now. She usually has no problem sitting in F while I'm in Y so we're used to being apart.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:50 pm
  #11  
 
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The other day I got on an RJ in seat 8C and this lady comes up and accuses me of being in her seat (7C). Someone is already in 7C and this started a chain reaction - there were literally 6 people in the wrong seats in a 4 row area.

Then the guy next to me goes to the lav and another lady comes up and says "can I sit there?" and I say I am sorry but someone already has it. She cops an attitude and sits in 7A and tells the guy in 7B "I did not want to sit with him anyway"

What is so freaking hard about looking at your BP and looking at the sign on the row?

I am also ready to lose my patience with the "do you want the window? I don't mind" people. If I wanted a window I would not choose an aisle - get the F out of my seat.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:52 pm
  #12  
 
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Was one on a LH fight YVR to FRA. I'd got to YVR early to get an exit row.

When I board some guy is in my seat so I ask him to move.

He gets into a strop because I was in the seat he would have asked for if he'd got to the airport early enough!

He then asks (more like tells) me to move and I refuse.

FA is now hovering and so involves himself and basically instructs the guy to either go to his assigned seat or deboard himself.

German authority won out and the guy moved but I swear the tears were flowing. I saw him later in a middle seat in the back row so no wonder he wanted to move!


Generally I am happy to move, if (a) asked politly, (b) for valid reasons such as allowing a couple/friends to sit together (c) only to a seat of equal or greater value!

Btw if in a row of three and a couple are next to me I insist that the person in the middle disturbes their partner when they want to get out too!
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Old Jul 17, 12, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Btw if in a row of three and a couple are next to me I insist that the person in the middle disturbes their partner when they want to get out too!
Funny comment! But I also hope it was sarcastic/joking. I always want an aisle because I tend to get up a fair amount. But having an aisle also comes with the fact that others also need to get up and it might not always be when you are up. If you don't want to be disturbed, take a window. Of course, this all comes in moderation and if you have a middle or window seater getting up more than once an hour I feel that's a little excessive.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 6:09 pm
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I guess it doesn't bother me. It's not much effort for me to ask them to move, but they have to gather up all their things first and shuffle out of the aisle.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 6:09 pm
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On a JFK-TLV flight I had an aisle EC seat in the middle section and the seat next to me, a middle seat, was empty. It was the only empty seat on the entire packed plane. Lucked out big time.

For whatever reason at least five people in the regular econ section, incuding a lady with her screaming baby, asked to sit in that seat. The FA told every one of them, "That's Economy Comfort. You have to pay extra to sit there." Everyone backed down. Kudos to the FA for enforcing the seat assignments!
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Last edited by Oakshadow; Jul 17, 12 at 6:37 pm Reason: sp
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