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Advice on avoiding being a seat-saving jerk?

Advice on avoiding being a seat-saving jerk?

Old Jan 9, 17, 7:22 am
  #1  
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Advice on avoiding being a seat-saving jerk?

I have an upcoming work trip (BWI-TPA) where my ticket is Biz Select. My wife has family there and decided to join me, buying a great "Wanna Get Away" fare on the same flight very close to our departure date.

We would like to sit together if possible. But since my boarding position will be A<16 and hers is likely to be B or worse, I have my doubts. With a B position, she probably won't even get an overhead bin, based on my recent experiences on WN. I accept that this is just how things work. Whenever I fly WN, I usually see plenty of seat-saving "cheaters." I don't want to become one.

So which of the following strategies would be a courteous way to maximize our chances of sitting together? Note that I like a window seat, and she's perfectly fine with taking the middle seat next to me.
  1. Take the window seat I want. Politely ask anybody who attempts to sit in the other seat if my wife can sit there. Hand them one of my many spare drink coupons if they agree.
  2. Board with my A group, but head to the very back of the plane. (not ideal)
  3. Buy her a priority boarding position if they sell it at the gate. She probably won't agree to that, saying (rightfully) that $40 is wasted money on a short 2 hr. flight.
  4. Put my coat or bag on the seat I want for her to have, try option #1 if somebody wants it, but let it go if that fails.
Alohashirt is offline  
Old Jan 9, 17, 7:39 am
  #2  
 
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Off the top of my head, I would say that holding a middle seat that is neither an exit row and nor near the front is going to be fine. You might want to sit in the middle seat (with coat at the window) until someone takes the aisle and then transfer to the window. If you sit too far forward you are likely to have people with tight connections want to take the middle.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 7:46 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by Alohashirt View Post
I have an upcoming work trip (BWI-TPA) where my ticket is Biz Select. My wife has family there and decided to join me, buying a great "Wanna Get Away" fare on the same flight very close to our departure date.

We would like to sit together if possible. But since my boarding position will be A<16 and hers is likely to be B or worse, I have my doubts. With a B position, she probably won't even get an overhead bin, based on my recent experiences on WN. I accept that this is just how things work. Whenever I fly WN, I usually see plenty of seat-saving "cheaters." I don't want to become one.

So which of the following strategies would be a courteous way to maximize our chances of sitting together? Note that I like a window seat, and she's perfectly fine with taking the middle seat next to me.
  1. Take the window seat I want. Politely ask anybody who attempts to sit in the other seat if my wife can sit there. Hand them one of my many spare drink coupons if they agree.
  2. Board with my A group, but head to the very back of the plane. (not ideal)
  3. Buy her a priority boarding position if they sell it at the gate. She probably won't agree to that, saying (rightfully) that $40 is wasted money on a short 2 hr. flight.
  4. Put my coat or bag on the seat I want for her to have, try option #1 if somebody wants it, but let it go if that fails.
Why is someone who saves a seat a "cheater". Nothing says you cannot save a seat so how is saving one cheating?

That being said, no one is going to care if you are saving a middle seat.

A few things to keep in mind. If she checks in right at T-24 she may get high A's or low B's, just depends. Also depending on the aircraft even middle to high B's won't be a problem if it's an 800 series plane.

I flew the other day with two people who had mid B's and we were on an 800. I had around A20. I didn't even have to try to save the middle and window seat for them and was in about row 9. No one even tried to sit in my row.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 7:52 am
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Just go a couple rows behind the exit row and the middle will be available until the very end. Last seats on the plane to fill.

No one cares if you save a crappy seat.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 8:41 am
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My wife also travels with me in a similar fashion, my strategy is:

1) I grab the 2-seater LUV row, and try to get the FA to stand in the aisle seat. If that row isn't available:

2) I grab a window where someone else already has the aisle

In both cases, if someone asks me if the seat next to me is taken, I tell them, "my wife is just behind you, but feel free to take the seat". No one ever takes the seat.

I also check her in at T-24 and she's rarely worse than B-15.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 10:32 am
  #6  
 
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Saving a middle seat is fine...I would just suggest mid plane for the least drama. If you sit in the front, you will get the people that want to take the first seat they can get to exit quickly and may get miffed...and if you are in the back then the person is running out of options and may be miffed. Mid plane no one will care and will keep going back.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 10:39 am
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As a confirmed and admitted seat cheater.... I fly a lot with my GF, If I am not on BS I still usually have a low A, I check her it at exactly T-24 (that should give her a mid- B at worst)

I take HER carryon with me, I go a couple rows behind the exit row, sit on the window (I like to sleep on planes)

I save her the middle and have rarely been asked if it was open. Also if I take her carry on with me we don't have to worry about overhead space when she gets there.

In my opinion the only people who care about you saving a middle seat, non exit row, halfway back in the plane... are just looking for an argument.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 1:52 pm
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I do this all the time. Agree the best way is to take a window where someone is already in the aisle. And if someone asks, just say spouse is coming. Almost always if you get seat at exactly T -24 there will be lots off non middle seats open.

And once in a while not sitting next to your companion is not that big a deal.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 2:15 pm
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Probably the simplest advice for avoiding being a seat saving jerk is..
wait for it...don't save seats.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 2:35 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by SAPMAN View Post
I do this all the time. Agree the best way is to take a window where someone is already in the aisle. And if someone asks, just say spouse is coming. Almost always if you get seat at exactly T -24 there will be lots off non middle seats open.

And once in a while not sitting next to your companion is not that big a deal.
I did this a few weeks ago on a flight from SLC/BWI, I had B11 and my wife was B31. A guy had taken 4C and had a coat or something on 4B. I asked him if he was saving the window or middle he said no. We had what was supposed to be a fairly short connection in BWI so I thought great and commented that my wife would be boarding shortly and the guy then tells me the middle is saved for his wife. No big deal. My wife boards and ends up grabbing 3D.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 2:47 pm
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My preferred seat is on the aisle in an exit row and I typically board A16-17. When my wife (companion pass) flies with me, we pay for EBCI which gets her an A boarding group if purchased a month or so in advance. I cannot recall having to defend seat next to me while waiting for her to arrive. May just be my normal surly antisocial no-eyecontact posture, dunno.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 3:01 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by geo979 View Post
Probably the simplest advice for avoiding being a seat saving jerk is..
wait for it...don't save seats.
Sounds harsh. There is a polite, non piggish way to do so that we probably all do when traveling with someone else, then there is the jerk way. There is no guarantee of getting consecutive BP numbers, correct?
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Old Jan 9, 17, 3:54 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by geo979 View Post
Probably the simplest advice for avoiding being a seat saving jerk is..
wait for it...don't save seats.
Actually the simplest advice for avoiding being a seat saving jerk is don't be a jerk. I guess it depends on someone's perspective which of the two options works best for them.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 4:10 pm
  #14  
 
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Well I'll take the "irritated" passenger bait. This behavior really irks me. While I don't look for a fight, I've had more than one person tell me "oh my X is right behind you" for a seat I wanted for whatever reason. No assigned seating is what Southwest is all about. If it is so important for you to sit together, fly an airline with assigned seating.
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Old Jan 9, 17, 5:14 pm
  #15  
 
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Why not just board with her at B whatever ? Then you do not have to worry about it at all
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