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Useful list of things to say when asked to switch seats

Useful list of things to say when asked to switch seats

Old Feb 5, 09, 12:20 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by thechosenuno View Post
Sure, you could be a self-important a$$ hole and say "no thank you" since you did, after all, pay for a seat, reserve that one, and then put your royal bottom on the seat. But one of these days, you'll be flying with a wife or child. You will have reserved two seats next to each other for the two of you. And you will be subject to IRROPS...some terrible weather...and you'll be rebooked. On the next flight. In middle seats. Far, far from one another.
Did I miss something? When did the expression "No, thank you" become rude?

If I ever were to find myself in the situation you describe, it would be my problem to deal with and I certainly wouldn't expect anyone to inconvenience themselves on my behalf. If it was that important to get seats together, I would just have to wait for the next flight on which that was possible.
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Old Feb 5, 09, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Helena Handbaskets View Post
The story was of a passenger in F or J flying, I believe, within or from or to South Africa. Sitting comfortably after boarding, the OP was approached by someone (a FA?) who politely asked, "would you be so kind as to trade seats with this gentleman?" Upon noticing the gentleman on whose behalf the request had been made, the OP instantly rose to his feet and said, "I would be happy to sit outside on the wing, if it would please you, Mr. Mandela."
This is how urban legends are born.

here's the original post
from this thread
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Old Feb 5, 09, 6:15 pm
  #63  
 
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Wink Useful list of things to say when asked to switch seats

This is a true story. We were on a full flight going to the Inauguration and a group of teenagers were on board with their chaperones. The kids weren't in assigned seats, so there was confusion when the kids were in other passengers seats. The kids found their boarding passes and all was well until a black couple with exit row tickets came in and wanted their seats. Two chaperones had wrongly taken the exit row seats, and the stewardess asked the couple if they minded moving to the back of the plane! It reminded me of Rosa Parks.

The couple were cool and said, "but these are our seats" and the chaperones moved to the back of the plane. They were polite, but stood their ground. It's a new day.
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Old Feb 6, 09, 4:16 am
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Originally Posted by efoss3 View Post
This is a true story. We were on a full flight going to the Inauguration and a group of teenagers were on board with their chaperones. The kids weren't in assigned seats, so there was confusion when the kids were in other passengers seats. The kids found their boarding passes and all was well until a black couple with exit row tickets came in and wanted their seats. Two chaperones had wrongly taken the exit row seats, and the stewardess asked the couple if they minded moving to the back of the plane! It reminded me of Rosa Parks.

The couple were cool and said, "but these are our seats" and the chaperones moved to the back of the plane. They were polite, but stood their ground. It's a new day.
Wait - I don't understand since you make implications without giving appropriate identifying details.

Are you suggesting that the inauguration of Barack Obama kept the couple from being "sent to the back of the plane"? I think you're reading waaaaay too much into this.
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Old Feb 6, 09, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by ajax View Post
Are you suggesting that the inauguration of Barack Obama kept the couple from being "sent to the back of the plane"? I think you're reading waaaaay too much into this.
No, I didn't read it that way at all: merely that it was an interesting little twist, that's all, given what was happening that day.
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Old Feb 6, 09, 5:02 am
  #66  
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Depending on the situation I would choose either:

"Yes, I'd be glad to" or
"No thank you, I'd rather not".

Those choices have always managed to serve every situation I've run into.
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Old Feb 6, 09, 7:29 am
  #67  
 
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"Sorry, I picked this seat and would like to stay here"
or
"Sure"
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Old Feb 6, 09, 11:11 am
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
This is how urban legends are born.

here's the original post
from this thread
Wow. Thanks for the accuracy check, Palal. Strangely, the parts that were most foggy in my memory turned out to be mostly accurate, but until I re-read the original, the part about sitting on the wing (rather than the stairs) was the one part I was absolutely sure about!
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Old Feb 6, 09, 2:53 pm
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The worst is when you are dealing with a family that's scattered all over the plane, and re-arrangement is a veritable Rubik's cube of shuffling about. Or when you are dealing with a small child (who really should sit with parents) and if you don't trade, you look like the meanie. But definitely, trades should happen in favor of the person being asked.
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Old Feb 6, 09, 3:09 pm
  #70  
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Originally Posted by quartermoon View Post
The worst is when you are dealing with a family that's scattered all over the plane, and re-arrangement is a veritable Rubik's cube of shuffling about. Or when you are dealing with a small child (who really should sit with parents) and if you don't trade, you look like the meanie.
"Not my problem."
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Old Feb 7, 09, 9:39 am
  #71  
 
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Rude FA

Originally Posted by Cha-cha-cha View Post
Here is how I think airlines ought to handle this, ideally (and I know that taking the extra time might be a problem.)

Seat switches should be made only by an FA. If someone wants to switch seats with someone else, they'll ask the FA, and the FA will attempt to arrange a switch such that the person being asked to switch ends up with a more desirable seat. If that can't be done, then there will be no switch.
I had one experience where the FA started making rude comments when I refused to switch. Ended up going from an aisle seat to a window on a regional jet because I got tired of the rude comments. She was lucky that I did not get in her face big time, of course it helped that if I had of I would have been hauled off the plane. Unfortunately I did not think to get her name so I could file a complaint.
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Old Feb 7, 09, 10:17 am
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A lot of people will say to a family, just sit separate, the the recent UA flight reminds us why that is not always a great idea. If you are sitting next to someones child and refuse to change seats and the person who the parent is sitting next to refuses to change seats, if something happens, are you going to make sure that child is safe?

Just something to think about...

As far as adult requests, I don't switch unless its equal or better. No I am not going to give you my exit seat because you are tall. No, I am not giving you this bulkhead seat so you can sit next to your brother, why doesn't your brother move in back? Oh it's because you want the better seats, no thanks.

As far as I go, traveling with family, I would never except someone else to move for us. If we got split up, we would hang out for the next flight, or spend another night to make sure we were seated next to each other.
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Old Feb 7, 09, 10:44 am
  #73  
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My response depends on the situation and how I'm approached, as I've been in the position where I've asked someone to switch with me. I was taking my then 8 year old nephew to Boston and there was a mixup in our seat assignments. I ended up in 21B, he was in 22 A. I didn't just plop myself next to him....I waited until the others seated in 21A and 22B arrived and then asked nicely if one of them would kindly trade.

I will typically trade for an equivalent seat, such as 2B for 2C. Now, if someone parks themself in my aisle seat up front and wants me to trade with them and take their middle seat in the back of the plane....my usual response is a laugh, followed with "nice try, please move so that I don't need to call the flight attendant to have you removed".
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Old Feb 7, 09, 10:54 am
  #74  
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Originally Posted by pragakhan View Post
A lot of people will say to a family, just sit separate, the the recent UA flight reminds us why that is not always a great idea. If you are sitting next to someones child and refuse to change seats and the person who the parent is sitting next to refuses to change seats, if something happens, are you going to make sure that child is safe?
Of course not. I'm not responsible for someone else's child, nor am I responsible for insuring they sit together. If anyone is traveling for an emergency, I will always try to help. However, discretionary travel with children does not invest anyone with superior rights to my seat.

Just something to think about...
Indeed.

As far as I go, traveling with family, I would never except someone else to move for us. If we got split up, we would hang out for the next flight, or spend another night to make sure we were seated next to each other.
Exactly right, and exactly what I would do if I couldn't get the seat that I needed.
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Old Feb 7, 09, 11:05 am
  #75  
 
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It really depends on the situation. I'd be readier to move for someone sitting with a small child (less than 12 years old) but would ask how they or the airline managed to screw up the seat assignments in the first place. This would make it clear that I am doing them a favor and it would be nice to receive something in return. E.g. at least a somewhat better seat.

Also if my seat is not great anyway or if it was a short flight (less than 4 hours) I would not be selfish and just do them the favor.

I'd also insist to be with my hand luggage because it will bother EVERYBODY else when I (or the person who asked for my seat) need to go against the stream upon leaving the plane.

If the seat change involved an upgrade to Business or First, you betcha, I'll gladly help you out.

A little anthropological note:

I think (while not being entirely unselfish in my decision process) a lot of people on this thread are anal control freaks with a severe and unjustified sense of entitlement and a small spirit who just jump at the chance to stick it to somebody for the sheer gratification of their egos. It is the other side of the coin in the US where a ton of people will go really out of their way to help a stranger and ask for nothing in return. In Europe both kinds of extreme behaviors are rarer.

A note on etiquette:

To just say "No, thank you!" is indeed rude and to pretend otherwise really is no good sign for someone's character or intelligence (to put it mildly). "No, thank you" is reserved for when somebody offers you something graciously, like a hot tea. It is not to be used when somebody asks for a favor as in this case. Asking for a favor implies a lowering of the asker and concedes power to the person asked. Saying NTY is demeaning and lowers the asker even further. It is hypocritical and almost mocking the asker because you are not being offered something but being asked something. Thus it is also semantically incorrect, hence my comment on intelligence.

The correct way to refuse granting the favor is to say something like: "I am sorry (that I cannot help you), but I'd rather stay in my seat."

This is the bare minimum. It would be better to indeed give a reason or offer some other kind of help, for example relocating luggage, in order to be civil and human. While those who refuse might say that they would never ask such a thing themselves and thus (do unto others...) have the reciprocal right to refuse, there is also the categorical imperative stating that your way of acting should be desirable as the basis for a universal law. In the western world (and in other worlds even more so) charity, unselfishness and helping people are higher values than insisting on your "rights" or convictions in a small case like the exchange of seats.
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