Slightly bizarre seat-swapping question

Old Apr 18, 13, 7:03 pm
  #1  
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Slightly bizarre seat-swapping question

Here goes, a call into the vastness of the FT brain to answer this bizarre question. I'll explain the background at the end.

We are 2 pax in First on a long-haul International flight (747-400). If we were to pick (upon boarding) 2 random pax in Business and offer to swap our F seats for their J seats, would the FAs allow it?

I know the answer is probably "Maybe, depends on the FAs", but I'm wondering if there is a more sophisticated answer than that.

Why, oh why? you may ask, would someone voluntarily downgrade from F into J? The answer to that is that we will be traveling with our two children, aged 9 and 11, who will be booked in Coach. They may (or may not) be accompanied by a bevy of their school friends, and some of the parents of said school friends. If they are, we will snooze happily in F and visit them once or twice. However, if the school group ends up taking a different flight, we feel bad being two cabins away from them -- we've done this before (when they were a few years younger) and try to get the last row in J and put them in one of the front rows in Coach (E+ now, I guess).

But why not just book in Business Class to start with? I hear you cry! Because we're traveling on award tix -- you think I'm made of money? And there are F Saver awards, but no J Saver awards, that's why.

So go ahead, road warriors, make fun of me, I don't care. I flew 930,000 BIS miles on UAL before my kids were born -- I fly mostly for pleasure now, and it's not pleasurable to be in Y. My kids are skinny and short and they don't care.

And while we're at it, why the f&* aren't there any upgrade awards 330 days out? I would have bought B fare tix if I could have upgrade to J -- and UAL would have a bunch more of my money! I know, I know -- "capacity management". Harumph.
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Old Apr 18, 13, 7:06 pm
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I suspect that 98% of the time, the other pax as well as the FAs would be happy with the trade. I would certainly be happy to trade J for F.

I also suspect you may get flamed here for not sitting next to your kids in Y since you seem to tnink you may need to be near them.
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Old Apr 18, 13, 7:25 pm
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My kids are well-behaved and fairly experienced travelers (10 y/o has almost 50k lifetime miles on UA), but in consideration for everyone, we like to be not too far away, in case there is a problem, so they don't go trooping through J to find us. Generally the stay glued to various electronic pacifiers for the duration of the flight. Thanks for the warning, though I've observed the anti-child flames here, I think I can handle it.
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Old Apr 18, 13, 7:31 pm
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Similar scenario when us 2 parents got first class seats after being told the flight was overbooked and our children then 6 & 10 were in coach.
We kept the seats and took turns sitting with them that way everyone got to experience First class seats and each parent sat with a child.
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Old Apr 18, 13, 7:42 pm
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How did the FAs feel about the foot traffic back and forth from F to Y through the Business Class cabin? I don't have experience on UA with that, but had a bad experience long ago (early 90s) on AA. In that case it did not involve children, but visiting with business colleagues on an SFO-NRT flight. I was in F, but got told off by the purser for going back to Coach too many times to consult with a business associate. Who knew?
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Old Apr 18, 13, 8:11 pm
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I don't remember getting flack about it but we probably just switched seats 2x taking turns.
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