Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Seat Swap Request Horror Stories

Seat Swap Request Horror Stories

Reply

Old Dec 6, 18, 1:00 pm
  #991  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 6,245
Originally Posted by Proudelitist View Post
I have been in that situation. An FA basically didn't want to deal with a poacher and we were already delayed so she told me to take the poachers seat (10 rows further back, window, not aisle) and give up my exit row aisle. She made it clear she wasn't about to do anything about it. Rather than asking HER to see the purser/lead FA I simply walked back and found her myself. Explained the situation, pointed out that I paid extra for my reserved seat, and told her I would VDB myself and they could sort my unaccompanied luggage and take the late. Note, I used the jargon (VDB, Take the Late, etc) and was not bluffing..I had flexibility and miles enough to get another at no cost. She went and booted the poacher, and quite efficently at that. Took less than 1 minute.

The FA's authority is not the FINAL authority. You have the lead FA, the GA, maybe a station supervisor, and flight crew if you want to kick it up a notch.
Exactly this. Had the same on EK, one of the few times it has happened to me.

FA showed little interest in shifting the chap in my aisle seat, until I mentioned the magic word offload. The cabin supervisor was there within 60 seconds and the chap was on his way back faster than Usain Bolt.

Sorry mate, and enjoy your middle seat next to the bogs (I didn't stop to see).
simons1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 6, 18, 1:12 pm
  #992  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: AA
Posts: 9,380
I had what I felt was a well handled seat swap request earlier this week. I was called up to the gate just prior to boarding started and the gate agent said I am trying to reunite a couple and was wondering if you would switch, but all I have is two windows. Before I could say anything, "you don't have to switch. The couple don't know I'm asking you. It's all at your discretion." I agreed to the swap because I can handle a window for a couple of hours instead of an aisle (any longer and I would've had to say no). The gate agent then let me board the plane directly behind him instead of waiting in line. Towards the end of boarding the agent came onboard for something else and stopped at the couple and told them they needed to thank me for swapping so they could have seats together, making sure they knew it was a courtesy from me (not that I needed that part but it means they don't expect it automatically the next time).
Statman and MSPeconomist like this.
wrp96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 6, 18, 1:21 pm
  #993  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,808
Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
Exactly this. Had the same on EK, one of the few times it has happened to me.

FA showed little interest in shifting the chap in my aisle seat, until I mentioned the magic word offload. The cabin supervisor was there within 60 seconds and the chap was on his way back faster than Usain Bolt.

Sorry mate, and enjoy your middle seat next to the bogs (I didn't stop to see).
In those situations, you also have to consider the fact that the FA is not booting them because the pax is a non-rev and they know each other. It's not aways easy to find out, but it doesn't hurt to drop that you suspect so to the higher level crew.

Whenever I am at the gate I always notice when pax seem overly familiar with any of the crew. If that pax is the one that causes trouble, you can bet dollars to donuts that's what's happening.

I had a memorable incident with United 2 years ago that I posted about here. Short version: 2 non-revs travelling together...she was a UA FA and he was a WN Mechanic. He poached my seat to sit next to her, told me I could have his old one..showed me a BP for a middle, but insisted he was "really" in the aisle because he swapped with the aisle guy in that row. BP also said NRSA. The male FA just looked on sheepishly and clearly didn't want to say anything because he knew her. I refused, took my seat, got a sarcastic "Thanks a lot" from the non-rev UA..reported them both at the destination, with UA customer service, and to a sup here on FT who actually did something about it. Point is, at the departure the non-rev FA was noticably buddy buddy with the gate staff. Hugging, talking about old times, even boarded first..I knew going in they were non-revs, but yeah when I boarded,..sure enough...MY seat would be the issue. Of course.

It's shennanigans enough when it is a non-rev, but made worse when the cabin crew is complicit.
Proudelitist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 6, 18, 3:20 pm
  #994  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 415
Originally Posted by simons1 View Post
FA showed little interest in shifting the chap in my aisle seat, until I mentioned the magic word offload. The cabin supervisor was there within 60 seconds and the chap was on his way back faster than Usain Bolt.
Originally Posted by Proudelitist View Post
In those situations, you also have to consider the fact that the FA is not booting them because the pax is a non-rev and they know each other. It's not aways easy to find out, but it doesn't hurt to drop that you suspect so to the higher level crew.
Thank you both. Not that it happens often to me, but it sure could come in handy to know.

At which time can the airline no longer change your seat? I always thought it's when you pass the gate control.
vanillabean is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 6, 18, 6:50 pm
  #995  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Southern California
Programs: AA EXPlat; HHonors Diamond
Posts: 458
Originally Posted by Proudelitist View Post
I have been in that situation. An FA basically didn't want to deal with a poacher and we were already delayed so she told me to take the poachers seat (10 rows further back, window, not aisle) and give up my exit row aisle. She made it clear she wasn't about to do anything about it. Rather than asking HER to see the purser/lead FA I simply walked back and found her myself. Explained the situation, pointed out that I paid extra for my reserved seat, and told her I would VDB myself and they could sort my unaccompanied luggage and take the late. Note, I used the jargon (VDB, Take the Late, etc) and was not bluffing..I had flexibility and miles enough to get another at no cost. She went and booted the poacher, and quite efficently at that. Took less than 1 minute.

The FA's authority is not the FINAL authority. You have the lead FA, the GA, maybe a station supervisor, and flight crew if you want to kick it up a notch.
+1.
catcher1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 7, 18, 12:45 am
  #996  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: in the vicinity of SFO
Programs: AA PLT 1MM
Posts: 18,551
Originally Posted by vanillabean View Post
At which time can the airline no longer change your seat? I always thought it's when you pass the gate control.
I've gotten upgrades cleared by the gate staff after boarding -- they send a new BP in and have one of the FAs come find you. I've always been in an exit row when it's happened, and I'd assume the seat I'm vacating was reassigned, not just left up for grabs, but I can't say that for certain.

AFAIK, seating is technically under gate control until right before they close the doors -- they (normally) print the manifest right before that, after the gate has already closed. In practice, though, once you're on board it will be the onboard crew handing seating issues unless someone escalates the situation back to the gate.
nkedel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 8:14 am
  #997  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 3,552
Originally Posted by o mikros View Post
I find this interesting. I am told I'm selfish for booking a window and aisle when both are available, but nobody has a problem with this guy using his professional authority to bully his way into perks when on a personal (leisure) flight?
The whole aisle/window thing is annoying. How many people really *do not* talk over the middle or pass things back and forth?
zitsky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 9:12 am
  #998  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 4,516
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
The whole aisle/window thing is annoying. How many people really *do not* talk over the middle or pass things back and forth?
People chatting and passing things over you is a good lesson on why you should pay the extra to pre-select a seat. FWIW, this year my current record on aisle/window bookings resulting in an empty middle is about 50 per cent. The percentages vary depending on time of year, destination and where on the aircraft you select your seats. You can approach 100 per cent on some flights if you are not travelling in peak season and select seats near the rear of the aircraft.
Badenoch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 9:37 am
  #999  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
People chatting and passing things over you is a good lesson on why you should pay the extra to pre-select a seat.
So paying for pre-selecting a seat gives you the right to be rude?
pepe C is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 10:04 am
  #1000  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 3,552
Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
People chatting and passing things over you is a good lesson on why you should pay the extra to pre-select a seat. FWIW, this year my current record on aisle/window bookings resulting in an empty middle is about 50 per cent. The percentages vary depending on time of year, destination and where on the aircraft you select your seats. You can approach 100 per cent on some flights if you are not travelling in peak season and select seats near the rear of the aircraft.
If plane is full and/or you have to fly last minute, you might get stuck in a middle.
zitsky is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 10:27 am
  #1001  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 4,516
Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
So paying for pre-selecting a seat gives you the right to be rude?
It gives my wife and I the right to sit where we choose. Aisle for me, window for her with a chance of an empty seat in between. We may pass items over to each other as required. Whether you consider it "rude" is of entirely no consequence.
fairhsa and Proudelitist like this.
Badenoch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 10:29 am
  #1002  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
If plane is full and/or you have to fly last minute, you might get stuck in a middle.
It may be a good idea to bring a newspaper on board whey you get a middle seat. After all nobody can stop you from reading it.
BadgerBoi and jinglish like this.
pepe C is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 11:27 am
  #1003  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, Marriott Amb, National EAEE, Hilton Diamond, SPG Plat, US CP (RIP)
Posts: 1,668
Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
It may be a good idea to bring a newspaper on board whey you get a middle seat. After all nobody can stop you from reading it.
Or move your personal item to your lap so you have room to stretch your legs. 😉. My backpack is tall and makes a nice pillow to learn forward on. If the aisle or window person puts their arm across my back Iím calling the FA about the creepy pax next to me who invaded my personal space.
Katamarino likes this.
Segments is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 11:34 am
  #1004  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, Marriott Amb, National EAEE, Hilton Diamond, SPG Plat, US CP (RIP)
Posts: 1,668
Originally Posted by o mikros View Post
I find this interesting. I am told I'm selfish for booking a window and aisle when both are available, but nobody has a problem with this guy using his professional authority to bully his way into perks when on a personal (leisure) flight?
Youíre annoyed someone volunteered to work the flight on their day off? Thatís like being annoyed when dead heading crew is seated in the exit rows since they are the most qualified to execute in an emergency.

Youíre comparing safety to personal preferences?
sparksals and IndyHoosier like this.

Last edited by Segments; Dec 8, 18 at 7:04 pm
Segments is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 8, 18, 9:33 pm
  #1005  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: North o' PWM
Programs: Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium, AA Gold, UA Silver, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,578
Originally Posted by pepe C View Post
So paying for pre-selecting a seat gives you the right to be rude?
Paying for pre-selecting seats gets me and my spouse the seats we prefer. Not paying for pre-selecting seats would likely separate us in middle seats. How is this "rude?"

If you don't want an undesirable seat, plan ahead and, if necessary, pay up.
Dodge DeBoulet is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread