Seat poaching in the COVID era

Old Aug 11, 20, 6:09 am
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Seat poaching in the COVID era

Got to my seat and discovered another PAX in my seat. It was an off by one row sort of deal, so most likely an honest mistake. I opted for the good karma (short flight and early morning) and took the other PAX's seat, which, unfortunately, moved me from C+ to regular.

It did make me think about the protocol.

1) Do you wipe down the seat?

2) Wiping down the seat might hold up the boarding process--do you still wipe down the seat if the flight is close or past the departure time?

3) Is there a flight duration or ticket price differential that makes you decide having the other PAX move isn't worth it.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 6:22 am
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Had one in my FC (row 2) seat last week in DTW. Doubt it was an honest mistake - bulkhead vs non. He was nice enough to leave his crumbs and greasy residue from his Popeyes Chicken in my seat after taking his time collecting all his belongings from both seatbacks and moving to the bulkhead...
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Old Aug 11, 20, 6:36 am
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Really depends on how big a deal the move to the other seat is to determine whether it's worth the hassle of having the squatter removed and then cleaning the seat area.

Under no circumstances would I sit down in a seat which had recently been occupied without wiping it, the armrests and table, if it had been used, myself.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 8:14 am
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does the fact that we are (almost) back to normal discussions like seat poaching mean we are on the covid downhill?
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Old Aug 11, 20, 8:42 am
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I'm not sure I buy that sitting down in a C+ seat vs. standard economy is an honest mistake...

I'd say for one row on an hour or so flight, I wouldn't bother bringing it up, unless, as in this case, it's a "class change". (I put that in quotes because it isn't really, but that's how Delta markets it.) I'm not that tall but I do get into my carry-on bag frequently, so those extra few inches make a difference.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 8:46 am
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I'd insist that the person move and also ask the FA for some extra wipes to "sanitize" the seat. If the poacher is embarrassed by the fuss or potential delay, good! There's no reason for the OP to allow some random person to steal his/her C+ "upgrade".
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Old Aug 11, 20, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by dilbertsdaddy View Post
does the fact that we are (almost) back to normal discussions like seat poaching mean we are on the covid downhill?
Doubtful. I think we've factored in the risk to a much higher degree than before though. Much like people are afraid of flying even though the odds of getting in a car accident on the way to the airport are much higher than a plane crash.

The example I use is that if I parked a few tanks on your street, for the first two weeks you'd be pretty freaked out. But after that, they just become part of the scenery. And you won't notice again until you bring someone new to your neighborhood and they freak out...because of the tanks. The risk didn't change, but your attitude did.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 9:50 am
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Personally, I don't wipe down the seat itself, I don't really think that does anything. Once I'm seated I'll pull a Clorox wipe out of my bag and wipe down the arm rests, entertainment screen, tray table, anything else I plan to physically touch, but as far as the seat itself goes I don't bother, honestly don't really see the point of that if all it's going to touch are the backs of my clothes that I'm immediately going to change out of upon reaching my destination.

As far as the seat poaching goes, I'd downgrade the poacher back to Y-.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 10:36 am
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Did you board late or were you boarding with SkyPriority? If the latter, then I say the poacher had malicious intent, you don't get to ST+/GM+ without knowing your seat assignment.

As for the process, you do raise an interesting question. I'm one to always want the seat on my boarding pass, especially if it's a C/C+ difference. But iif my seat had now been occupied then the cleaning that Delta performed would no longer be 'fresh'. On the flip side, the passenger in the window of my row may have touched the arm rests, passengers walking by may have touched the seat back for support, etc.

If I had to fly, then now that you ask it I'd probably bring some clorox wipes in a Ziploc for a quick wipe down even if nobody had poached my seat.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 11:05 am
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No I don't wipe down the seat.

I have a little doggie bag full of the purel wipes from Delta that I've amassed, and use them to wipe down other surfaces later on that I have my doubts about. Like the steering wheel and gear shifter in the rental car I'm about to get in.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
Did you board late or were you boarding with SkyPriority? If the latter, then I say the poacher had malicious intent, you don't get to ST+/GM+ without knowing your seat assignment.
I boarded when they called C+. There was no SP boarding called. The boarding process was:

1) People needing extra time, active duty military, first, and DM.

2) Main cabin, by rows

3) C+
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Old Aug 11, 20, 12:57 pm
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Not sure it matters whether the poacher did this intentionally or not. That is a RM issue for DL. For me, it's whether I've got my seat or not and doesn't depend on the poacher's state of mind.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'd insist that the person move and also ask the FA for some extra wipes to "sanitize" the seat. If the poacher is embarrassed by the fuss or potential delay, good! There's no reason for the OP to allow some random person to steal his/her C+ "upgrade".
Very well said!
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Old Aug 11, 20, 8:00 pm
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I'd kick him out and eat the crumbs off the seat Popeye's is pretty good stuff!

I got on a HA airlines flight recently and all three seats in the row were absolutely covered in crumbs. Kind of made me wonder just how thorough of a sanitizing the plane had received. I think all this Covid 5-step sanitizing stuff is total BS. Companies are all saying the right things to appear to care but I doubt much has changed in flipping/prepping planes between flights.
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Old Aug 11, 20, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by mtofell View Post
I'd kick him out and eat the crumbs off the seat Popeye's is pretty good stuff!

I got on a HA airlines flight recently and all three seats in the row were absolutely covered in crumbs. Kind of made me wonder just how thorough of a sanitizing the plane had received. I think all this Covid 5-step sanitizing stuff is total BS. Companies are all saying the right things to appear to care but I doubt much has changed in flipping/prepping planes between flights.
Disinfecting and cleaning can mean different things. Crumbs on a seat is sloppy and a bad look, for sure, but e.g. you fumigate a house for termites, the termites might be dead but it's not like the carpets will be vacuumed or any dishes you left in the sink will be washed.
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