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-   -   Switching seats in FC (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/us-airways-dividend-miles-pre-consolidation-american-airlines/1523945-switching-seats-fc.html)

rocket2247 Nov 21, 13 5:54 pm

Switching seats in FC
 
My wife and I are on a flight tomorrow, both in FC(2d and 4d). Is it inappropriate to ask once on the plane if someone would switch so that we can sit next to each other? I'd like to ask, but if its frowned upon, I won't do it. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.

clemsonfn Nov 21, 13 5:59 pm

Not inappropriate at all IMO. I've seen it done all the time.

I actually saw a married couple ask to sit apart last year.

longnguk Nov 21, 13 6:05 pm


Originally Posted by rocket2247 (Post 21829709)
My wife and I are on a flight tomorrow, both in FC(2d and 4d). Is it inappropriate to ask once on the plane if someone would switch so that we can sit next to each other? I'd like to ask, but if its frowned upon, I won't do it. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.

I do not believe that is anything inappropriate in asking nicely. I've asked and been asked many times and mostly the outcomes have been satisfactory for all involved.

If anything you may want to be aware off: 2D and 4D (A321?) are both aisle seats and 2D are typically more 'desirable'! 4D can potentially be a good/bad seat if one's particular about one's meal's choice in that one could have a choice or the 'leftover' (assuming that there's such a thing on your flight).

gottigotti Nov 21, 13 6:06 pm

so long as you don't make it imposing on someone no big deal. Just don't be upset if someone says no, and don't give them the sad face if they do say no.

rocket2247 Nov 21, 13 6:10 pm

Thanks for the advice. A friend of mine told me to ask the gate agent and they could maybe ask for me prior to boarding. Not sure if I should go this route or not.

sjpmurph01 Nov 21, 13 6:18 pm

+1 that it's not inappropriate to at least ask nicely. Personally, as long as I'm in FC I don't really care where I sit (except row 1). I've traded seats on more than one occasion when couples get separated.

My only suggestion would be to try to board early, start settling into your assigned seat, wait til the person you want to move is done putting their overhead luggage away and then ask. Don't just sit in the seat you want and ask once the person questions why your in their seat.

shaddie Nov 21, 13 7:12 pm


Originally Posted by clemsonfn (Post 21829740)
Not inappropriate at all IMO. I've seen it done all the time.

I actually saw a married couple ask to sit apart last year.

Really? That is funny.

OP, as all have said ask nicely.

I saw a couple on my mon flight where she was on my row window and I asked if he wantedto switch even though he had a window on a 3 hour flight. They didnt ask but it was no problem. Still got my meal choice.

GalleyWench Nov 21, 13 7:31 pm

Switching seats in FC
 
If you ask nicely you might get lucky :)
Just don't assume they'll switch and set up house in their seat before they've even boarded.

Michael El Nov 21, 13 8:57 pm


Originally Posted by GalleyWench (Post 21830247)
Just don't assume they'll switch and set up house in their seat before they've even boarded.

That's what a couple did on my flight last week. I asked if they wanted to trade seats with me. My new seat was actually a better choice for me so I didn't mind them being presumptuous.

redtop43 Nov 21, 13 9:46 pm

I wouldn't worry about it at all, especially since there is really not that much difference among FC seats.

Wife and I had to do this on Amtrak a couple weeks ago (no assigned seats, but by the time we found seats there were not two together) but we had no problem.

Just ask politely. Odds that the seatmate of at least one of you will agree to change are extremely high.

bkafrick Nov 21, 13 9:58 pm

I'm going to take the other side of this debate.

I think its annoying when people ask me to switch seats. Its a total guilt trip. "Would you minddddd if we swapped seats so I could sit next to my wife/girlfriend/cousin/dog/tuba?"

Its a short flight. You can't sit apart for a few hours?

I'd rather not be the d-bag who says "no" - cause honestly, I like my seat, and I picked my seat purposely. But I really dont want to change.

Anyway... thats my two cents.

zerodegre Nov 22, 13 12:13 am


Originally Posted by bkafrick (Post 21830962)
I'm going to take the other side of this debate.

I think its annoying when people ask me to switch seats. Its a total guilt trip. "Would you minddddd if we swapped seats so I could sit next to my wife/girlfriend/cousin/dog/tuba?"

Its a short flight. You can't sit apart for a few hours?

I'd rather not be the d-bag who says "no" - cause honestly, I like my seat, and I picked my seat purposely. But I really dont want to change.

Anyway... thats my two cents.


I disagree... I do not see anything wrong with it... But if you sense an reluctance just back off... Play it by ear. Ask the passengers who seem more jolly than the miserable business travelers :)

AZ Travels the World Nov 22, 13 12:39 am

Life is simply too short
 

Originally Posted by bkafrick (Post 21830962)
Its a short flight. You can't sit apart for a few hours?

I'd rather not be the d-bag who says "no" - cause honestly, I like my seat, and I picked my seat purposely. But I really dont want to change.

I choose my first class seats purposely, too. And I used to really care.

Then, I took my 80-year-old Grandmother on a First Class trip to Asia. Her first trip out of the US. I had all the seats worked out except the initial connection to the real flights.

One hour flight. I asked the man as he approached the seat, "Sir, I'm traveling with my Grandmother and we were not able to reserve seats together. Would you mind switching seats with me?"

My story was true. She was sitting right there. Who could possibly say no?

He stopped me before I could even tell him it was an aisle-for-an-aisle, one row forward. "No, I chose the seat I like," he said, and sat down in it.

Since that moment, I just don't blink an eye. I choose my seats purposefully. But if someone asks if I wouldn't mind changing with them, I smile and say, "Sure, happy to, where are you sitting?"

ibrandsguest Nov 22, 13 3:55 am

I also pick seats purposefully but so often my FC seat is just assigned to me when I get upgraded, so where I sit isn't really my choice. Either way, I don't mind switching in FC. Coach could be another story, though.

tacostuff Nov 22, 13 4:15 am

I see no problem asking, just don't act like a spoiled child if the person says no. I was on a 2 hour flight recently where a grown man asked to switch so he could sit next to his wife and was politely told no. He continued to ask the guy to switch every 3 minutes during the boarding process until he finally said yes.

For what it is worth, I WILL say no to someone if there is a reason I chose my seat. For example, I will never switch from an aisle to a window, nor will I switch from a bulkhead to a non-bulkhead (I like bulkheads).

celsius1939 Nov 22, 13 4:30 am


Originally Posted by rocket2247 (Post 21829709)
My wife and I are on a flight tomorrow, both in FC(2d and 4d). Is it inappropriate to ask once on the plane if someone would switch so that we can sit next to each other? I'd like to ask, but if its frowned upon, I won't do it. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.

I was asked on a flight in October. I said sure. I was already sitting away from my wife as she does not like to sit in the first row. But, I did ask the guy how long he had been married. He was perplexed. Then, I said I have been married to my wife for 49 years. I do not need to sit next to her on a 1 1/2 hour flight.

Lovethecabin Nov 22, 13 4:46 am


Originally Posted by clemsonfn (Post 21829740)
Not inappropriate at all IMO. I've seen it done all the time.

I actually saw a married couple ask to sit apart last year.

Ha! Me too. Her actual words were "I don't want to sit next to him" so my husband did and they ended up having a very interesting conversation about business.

We have played musical cabin chairs many times when we were asked nicely and for good reason - business's associates that needed to do work on the flight, an elderly couple that appeared uncomfortable with their surroundings, a family with a baby.

We have also declined and one time it got pretty lively, the man would not take no thanks for an answer. I learned a lesson that day, I won't let myself get spun up like that again, will go directly to the FA.

I will not seperate from my son, so I would avoid asking anyone traveling with (Well I could sit apart from my son but it would have to be a very good reason. Who would want to sit next to someone else's kid?.)

My husband will not give up this aisle seat so if you are on an a319 (or the ones with the smaller, older style seats) people may not want to give up their aisle.

Your approach can make or break the request. I agree with waiting until you and your "new" seat have boarded but not settled in.

I don't think the gate agent will help but I could be wrong.

NotThatGuy2012 Nov 22, 13 6:12 am

I travel with my wife a lot and while we nearly always get upgraded to 3AC or 3DF, on occasion we're split up. Only once (out of 50+ times) has someone said no. It was 1B to 1D switch from aisle to a window. I understand his refusal but I'm sure I appeared surprised so he added, "book ahead and plan your trip better next time." We spent the entire flight pissed at each other and exchanging dirty looks. Meanwhile my wife could care less.

Moral of the story - I never ask unless it's a window-window or aisle-aisle switch. And no refusals since.

Mosaic Nov 22, 13 6:38 am

Soon we will not be able to tilt our own seats back... Please ask, but nicely.

Beckles Nov 22, 13 7:43 am


Originally Posted by bkafrick (Post 21830962)
I'd rather not be the d-bag who says "no" - cause honestly, I like my seat, and I picked my seat purposely. But I really dont want to change.


Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World (Post 21831421)
I choose my first class seats purposely, too. And I used to really care.

There is one big problem with these statements ... and I'm not the first in this thread to point it out admittedly ...

Originally Posted by NYCommuter (Post 21831871)
I also pick seats purposefully but so often my FC seat is just assigned to me when I get upgraded, so where I sit isn't really my choice.

The OP has two aisle seats, in my experience FC aisle seats go more quickly than the window seats, so it seems a higher percentage of first class travelers prefer them (as I personally do). Therefore I think there's a good chance one of the two folks sitting in either 2F or 4F will be glad to exchange their window seat for an aisle seat and there is no harm in asking.

TwoDecks Nov 22, 13 7:59 am

Great thread. Was flying home last night on AA from DFW - BOS. Family (two parents, two young children - I'd guess between 3 and 6). Mom was frantic as the parents had two middle seats, and the kids were sitting next to each other - she just wanted to make sure that each of her kids had a parent - but the way the math was going to work - some traveler was having to give up a window or an aisle for a middle. This on a 3.5 hour trip on a Thursday night in the extended legroom economy - (I am sure everyone in that area had planned accordingly).

Under every other circumstance (people working together, granny, husband/wife) - can't expect someone to take a middle on a longish flight, but someone needs to step up there. People flat out said no to her.

As far as first class, you have two seats that no one can complain about. 2D and 4D - worst comes to worse if you have everyone who WANTS their aisle, or WANTS their window - you can just sit opposite each other across the row - that way keeps everyone happy. As long as you're not trying to trade a 2-4 for a row 1, you'll find someone and no one will be that pissed

WiscAZ Nov 22, 13 11:13 am


Originally Posted by bkafrick (Post 21830962)
I'm going to take the other side of this debate.

I think its annoying when people ask me to switch seats. Its a total guilt trip. "Would you minddddd if we swapped seats so I could sit next to my wife/girlfriend/cousin/dog/tuba?"

Its a short flight. You can't sit apart for a few hours?

I'd rather not be the d-bag who says "no" - cause honestly, I like my seat, and I picked my seat purposely. But I really dont want to change.

Anyway... thats my two cents.

First off - I agree with you that couples should be able to sit apart for a few hours. I have said no to couples before when asking to go from aisle to window. I try and be accommodating though and after being put in this situation once before I now switch all the time when asked . It may be a two hour flight but we have no way of knowing what the reason is for the change. Maybe the couple is excited to go on a vacation or are unfortunately heading to a funeral and want to be by their SO for whatever reason.

PWMTrav Nov 22, 13 11:46 am

Can't hurt to ask. We usually don't when traveling together, and often times people will offer without us asking at all (and no muttering under our breath or other passive-aggressive behavior). From my perspective, if I'm in an aisle seat it's because I like sitting there so I'd suggest asking the aisle(s) across from either of you if they'd switch since they'd get an aisle seat in return.

fbnewyork Nov 22, 13 11:51 am

Prefer to sit together
 
My wife and I prefer to sit together, and have almost always been succesful after upgrades or irrops. Some of my thoughts regarding the below -

1) We usually try to board early, and know specifically what swap will be required (Window for aisle, forward or back, etc) so we can ask the passenger as they approach their seat if they would like to switch, and the reason (So my wife and I can sit together). We ask once, and take a no for a no, without prying. Once their bag is in the overhead, it becomes more difficult for them to switch.

1a) Getting someone to swap an aisle for a window is more difficult, as is a middle for anything else in coach.

2) In FC, if FEBO will result in a poorer meal choice, I will always ask the FA to offer the choice to the passenger who swapped. And if they have moved a row back, I will allow them to exit the plane before my wife and I.

3) In a coach IROPS situation, I will offer to buy a drink or sandwich for the person.

Usually works, not always. Some luck with GA, but generallly ask them if there are available seats to swap to, and if no, will not ask them to try. If they voulenteer, We'll let them.

socaltam Nov 22, 13 12:04 pm

Musical chairs.....
 
our flight this past weekend started off with me asking the lady in 3D if she wouldn't mind moving to 1A. She said yes but also said would you both like to sit in 1 and we will sit in row 3- I told her I would be happy to sit in either 1 or 3 but since I had 2 kids also in row 6, row 3 would be my preference but I certainly would take whatever they were willing to do so at least our 2 first class seats would be together.......
she moved to 1 and me and son sat in row 3, next comes the mother and son who are also split up and they ask someone in 3A to trade-- that person says yes.......
now the gentleman behind me asks me would you prefer to sit in row 4 so you will be right in front of your other 2 children? I say " I think I probably would prefer to be away from them HAHA!" and then told him thank you for asking and that would be great if 4F didn't mind sitting in 3F (4F still hadn't arrived). 4D was ready to move right then but I said lets just wait for 4 F as I don't want to presume they are ok with it although they would probably prefer being away from my kids in 6 E/F :)
next comes in 4F who says he is happy to sit wherever- except 4D wants an aisle- 4D moved to 3C; 3C moved to 3A and the other mom/child ended up sitting in 3 D/F.

end result was 9 of 16 FC passengers I think moved seats-- it was comical when the FA tried addressing us by names-- she gave up by 3rd row :)

also don't presume that just because you are in row 4 you will get food leftovers-- 3 of my last 4 FC flights they have started in row 4 for food orders vs 1.

Also when I asked the flight before last if someone would trade with us- it made them move to row 4 and I told him he could have whichever meal he preferred and we could take last choice if he didn't get to pick what he wanted.

out of our assignments 1A, 3F, 6E, 31B last weekend (auto assigned due to a cancelled flight) we ended up with 4D/F; 6 EF (there wasn't a row 5 so consecutive rows for me and the 3 kids).

I usually start off my question with. I completely understand if you would prefer not to move but just in case you don't mind would you be interested in sitting in X .

my trades involve kids so if they say no they end up with a 6 year old sitting next to them so I actually haven't had a no to date;), but wouldn't offend me if they did and my kids would behave themselves nonetheless.

greg0ire Nov 22, 13 12:07 pm


Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World (Post 21831421)
Since that moment, I just don't blink an eye. I choose my seats purposefully. But if someone asks if I wouldn't mind changing with them, I smile and say, "Sure, happy to, where are you sitting?"

At least make sure they aren't in the back first. :)

socaltam Nov 22, 13 12:09 pm

also-- not sure what the gate attendant offered the person in 6F to move but he was moved back to 8A and she took his email address and said thank you to him and she would be sending something to him (I could not hear exactly). We offered to buy him a drink but FA said he declined. I did thank him twice and the kids thanked him as well

rtkane Nov 22, 13 12:18 pm

I recently asked someone to switch seats. He was already on board in 5D so I walked up to him and said "would you mind switching seats? My wife and son are in 5E & F and I'd like to sit with them. Immediately you could see the "oh crap" look on his face and he reluctantly asked "where are you sitting?". He was a bit surprised when I told him I was in 1C, and that he was welcome to go sit in the first class cabin if he'd give up 5D.

He was pretty much stunned and asked a couple of times "Are you sure? Really??". Even made sure to thank me again when we deplaned.

(My wife, son and I were traveling PHL-TPA earlier in the month using vouchers so we were all on separate reservations and I forgot about that until I got my upgrade email for the flight separating our seats).

lizs Nov 22, 13 12:54 pm

Even on long flights I don't mind switching in F. I dont like bulkhead but am 5'3 so it seemed petty when a 6'4 guy asked to sit by his teen son to say no. There was no overhead room for my bag though so I made him put it underneath his seat and give it to me after we took off! He was happy to do it but it was a little odd of an arrangement.

I asked on a short 1 hour flight recently with family to sit next to my stepdad (we were on different tickets and I got upgraded last as Silver so had no seat choice). It wouldnt have been a big deal if they said no, and I normally wouldn't care, but we rarely get the chance to chat 1 on 1 in a big blended family. Traded a window for window though. Rest of the family was in coach :). We cheersed them with our free drinks when they boarded in zone 4!

lizs Nov 22, 13 12:58 pm


Originally Posted by rtkane (Post 21834410)
I recently asked someone to switch seats. He was already on board in 5D so I walked up to him and said "would you mind switching seats? My wife and son are in 5E & F and I'd like to sit with them. Immediately you could see the "oh crap" look on his face and he reluctantly asked "where are you sitting?". He was a bit surprised when I told him I was in 1C, and that he was welcome to go sit in the first class cabin if he'd give up 5D.

He was pretty much stunned and asked a couple of times "Are you sure? Really??". Even made sure to thank me again when we deplaned.

(My wife, son and I were traveling PHL-TPA earlier in the month using vouchers so we were all on separate reservations and I forgot about that until I got my upgrade email for the flight separating our seats).

I was on CLT-CUN a few months ago, me and the +1 were in 1A and 1C. Chatting with guy across aisle and a gentleman had given him his F seat to go sit in coach with his wife? Man was he thrilled to move from an aisle wayyy back in the plane to that seat! Especially since he had never sat in F and those were the almost lay flat seats (cant remember the plane, in PHX we never get those).

I told my boyfriend that I wouldn't be giving up my F seat to sit with him in coach ever :)

Plato1 Nov 22, 13 1:11 pm

I never really thought about it even though I have a routine and a seat I prefer.
I was asked to switch on a midnite flight that is 3 hrs long so a wife and husband could sit together.
I prefer the bulkhead and was asked to switch to the seat behind. Fine, but I said I need to do this quickly as I like to be asleep before the door closes( I get claustrophobic when i hear the door close and have brought the aircraft back to the jetway in the past)
She responds " well I guess you Will have to be quick as its quite busy"
Of course that set my anxiety higher. When I go to put my bag under the seat in front of me her husbands shoes are there.
I would have never gotten the FA involved but now I was beyond anxious . He happily asked the man to move his shoes.
I was trying to calm down but just thinking about this was ridiculous.
Why do you need to sit next to your husband on a short flight that you are going to sleep on????

I have never asked even with my anxiety , we book our seats together .
If we can't sit together we can't sit together.

I got to sit next to a hall of famer that I did not recognize ( until the FA told me who he was) and was quite uppity. I said one sentence and got a grunt from him.
What a lovely flight.

After this I will say no.
The woman had such a tone I should have said I changed my mind, but I thought that might give me bad mojo.

Just writing this brought back all the anxiety that night.

McSam18 Nov 22, 13 1:17 pm

The only time you'd ever here me say no is when I'm sitting next to a travel partner of mine (either coworker, SO, or family)

Emirates202 Nov 22, 13 1:49 pm


Originally Posted by bkafrick (Post 21830962)
I'm going to take the other side of this debate.

I think its annoying when people ask me to switch seats. Its a total guilt trip. "Would you minddddd if we swapped seats so I could sit next to my wife/girlfriend/cousin/dog/tuba?"

Its a short flight. You can't sit apart for a few hours?

I'd rather not be the d-bag who says "no" - cause honestly, I like my seat, and I picked my seat purposely. But I really dont want to change.

Anyway... thats my two cents.

Earlier this year I was flying GRU-JFK on DL in BE, and before the door closed a ground personnel came over to me and asked if I would mind switching with a pregnant woman who had a middle isle (DL new BE is 1-2-1 config). I was in 3A, which is closer to the window, opposed to the even row window seats which have the table between the window and you. I prefer this type of seat as it's more private, and would usually say no if I asked to switch, but I did feel bad as the woman was pregnant and decided to move. I do think it's easier to say no when ground crew or FA asks for the person rather then when the person asks themselves IMO.

seal41 Nov 22, 13 2:21 pm

I frequently fly alone and am not that picky on where I sit so if people ask me to move seats I do. I have asked before if people were willing to trade on the rare occasions that my husband has flown with me. We are always on different PNRs since he is in the military and normally only have a few segments of a trip together. We always get separated since I have a higher status than him and we do not have the same last name. I only see him a few times a year so I do like to sit next to him when we fly.

bkafrick Nov 22, 13 2:26 pm


Originally Posted by Emirates202 (Post 21834954)
I do think it's easier to say no when ground crew or FA asks for the person rather then when the person asks themselves IMO.

Agreed. I'm totally more likely to do it this way, because I assume the FA is making a "rational" decision, and not something on a whim.

Pregnancy, kids, 80-year old grandmother, sob story, fine.
But, "i want to sit next to my girlfriend" on a 60-minute flight, get real and go away.

lizs Nov 22, 13 2:47 pm


Originally Posted by bkafrick (Post 21835190)
Agreed. I'm totally more likely to do it this way, because I assume the FA is making a "rational" decision, and not something on a whim.

Pregnancy, kids, 80-year old grandmother, sob story, fine.
But, "i want to sit next to my girlfriend" on a 60-minute flight, get real and go away.

I agree it's kind of silly at that point, but it's also silly for someone to say no to switching an F seat since its just a 60 minute flight.

Coach is a different story though...I admit when in coach in a "regular" seat I always wear my headphones and scrunch down into my seat whenever the seat switchers come on. I feel like in F you have a good seat no matter what. The couple who needs to switch for a 2 hour flight and expect me to give up my aisle for a middle in row 32 annoy me. It's hard to say no without looking rude and they're counting on that

BadgerBoi Nov 22, 13 3:12 pm


Originally Posted by lizs (Post 21835293)
I agree it's kind of silly at that point, but it's also silly for someone to say no to switching an F seat since its just a 60 minute flight.

Not at all. You've settled down in your seat and a random stranger comes along whining that they want to sit there because they were separated from their beloved at upgrade. Sorry, I'm comfy now, I've started whatever rituals I have when I fly, I'm not packing then moving then repacking for you. (I don't mean "you" personally", of course).

off2rome Nov 22, 13 3:39 pm


Originally Posted by BadgerBoi (Post 21835431)
Not at all. You've settled down in your seat and a random stranger comes along whining that they want to sit there because they were separated from their beloved at upgrade. Sorry, I'm comfy now, I've started whatever rituals I have when I fly, I'm not packing then moving then repacking for you. (I don't mean "you" personally", of course).

Very selfish and sad you have that attitude

puddinhead Nov 22, 13 3:41 pm

My wife and I book aisle seats in the same row. We often get asked to move so we can sit next to each other - which we are. We both like the aisle seat if we need to really be close we can always break the changing table in the bathroom.

I never just say no. I reply "let me think about it (2 second pause), no."

aztimm Nov 22, 13 3:45 pm


Originally Posted by off2rome (Post 21835574)
Very selfish and sad you have that attitude

But isn't it selfish for you to ask in the first place? :confused:
(I mean, aren't you asking someone for a favor)

Generally, when asked nicely, I'll switch seats. As others shared, unless traveling with someone, or perhaps the rare instance where I actually bought F (yes I have a few times) :eek:

And when traveling with someone, I have asked a few times, and usually gotten a positive reaction.

A few times, I've sat beside half of a couple and found out that there are 2 together and I've volunteered to move so they could sit together.


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