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Sun Mar 31, 2019, 11:54 PM

Airplane Etiquette

I was flying on a plane today and something happened that got me thinking about etiquette. Please let me know if I am way off base on this one...

So I board the plane, a 737, and have an aisle seat that I reserved. The person in the middle seat was petite lady probably in her 40s or early 50s. Shortly after stowing my stuff, I get a tap on my shoulder from a man who asks if I would switch seats with him so he can sit next to his wife - the petite lady in the middle. I asked where his seat was. He pointed to his seat that was 5 rows further back and a middle seat between two larger gentlemen.

I agreed and had a very uncomfortable 4 hour flight.

My topic of etiquette comes in because, as I was sitting in a crappy middle seat with no shoulder room, I thought about how rude it was for the gentleman to even ask me to switch seats in the first place.

It was rude because the second he asked me to switch, he made my flight uncomfortable regardless of my answer. Let me explain.

If I agree (which I did) I get an uncomfortable flight in a seat that I specifically booked early to avoid.
If I refuse to switch, I now am sitting next to a disappointed wife and the entire flight would probably be awkward and silent.

It was quite the dilemma. Refuse and sit in awkward silence uncomfortably. Agree and sit uncomfortably between two bigger guys.

Am I wrong? I feel I should never have been put in that situation to begin with. I feel it was rude to even ask such a thing.

Maybe Iím just being a jerk.

What do you all think?

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Arrow 173 replies Author Time Post
Reply Airplane Etiquette (Original post)
Vdizzle Mar 2019 OP
nini Apr 2019 #1
Dan Apr 2019 #2
Retrograde Apr 2019 #24
Mariana Apr 2019 #28
malaise Apr 2019 #57
mitch96 Apr 2019 #117
djg21 Apr 2019 #147
LuvNewcastle Apr 2019 #155
True Dough Apr 2019 #3
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #11
wryter2000 Apr 2019 #101
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #142
pangaia Apr 2019 #106
mnhtnbb Apr 2019 #135
pangaia Apr 2019 #145
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #143
Thekaspervote Apr 2019 #4
WA-03 Democrat Apr 2019 #5
Vdizzle Apr 2019 #8
dhill926 Apr 2019 #6
More_Cowbell Apr 2019 #7
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #9
Vdizzle Apr 2019 #10
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #12
Aristus Apr 2019 #20
Retrograde Apr 2019 #25
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #41
Doreen Apr 2019 #51
fierywoman Apr 2019 #31
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #36
fierywoman Apr 2019 #50
Dave Starsky Apr 2019 #82
treestar Apr 2019 #98
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #140
TeamPooka Apr 2019 #133
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #141
question everything Apr 2019 #13
California_Republic Apr 2019 #14
TheBlackAdder Apr 2019 #39
a la izquierda Apr 2019 #69
pangaia Apr 2019 #107
obamanut2012 Apr 2019 #58
pangaia Apr 2019 #108
RobinA Apr 2019 #160
Demovictory9 Apr 2019 #15
NutmegYankee Apr 2019 #18
Demovictory9 Apr 2019 #21
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #37
lunatica Apr 2019 #89
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #144
pangaia Apr 2019 #109
unblock Apr 2019 #16
pnwmom Apr 2019 #49
unblock Apr 2019 #62
bernie59 Apr 2019 #73
obamanut2012 Apr 2019 #59
unblock Apr 2019 #63
SFnomad Apr 2019 #17
Laffy Kat Apr 2019 #19
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #38
Kablooie Apr 2019 #22
politicaljunkie41910 Apr 2019 #23
DFW Apr 2019 #27
calimary Apr 2019 #114
DFW Apr 2019 #115
llmart Apr 2019 #72
UniteFightBack Apr 2019 #26
DFW Apr 2019 #29
5X Apr 2019 #30
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #32
hunter Apr 2019 #134
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #148
TeamPooka Apr 2019 #136
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #149
TeamPooka Apr 2019 #157
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #163
TeamPooka Apr 2019 #165
Ms. Toad Apr 2019 #161
madville Apr 2019 #33
Journeyman Apr 2019 #34
madaboutharry Apr 2019 #35
roody Apr 2019 #40
EveHammond13 Apr 2019 #42
JI7 Apr 2019 #46
marlakay Apr 2019 #43
Lucid Dreamer Apr 2019 #44
JI7 Apr 2019 #45
betsuni Apr 2019 #47
safeinOhio Apr 2019 #53
treestar Apr 2019 #48
jberryhill Apr 2019 #83
blaze Apr 2019 #88
treestar Apr 2019 #96
jberryhill Apr 2019 #146
treestar Apr 2019 #171
Sgent Apr 2019 #52
we can do it Apr 2019 #54
Jim__ Apr 2019 #55
Nay Apr 2019 #80
obamanut2012 Apr 2019 #56
mnhtnbb Apr 2019 #60
MaryMagdaline Apr 2019 #61
secondwind Apr 2019 #64
anarch Apr 2019 #65
Vdizzle Apr 2019 #124
HAB911 Apr 2019 #66
OnDoutside Apr 2019 #67
Vdizzle Apr 2019 #125
lostnfound Apr 2019 #68
lostnfound Apr 2019 #71
melm00se Apr 2019 #70
bernie59 Apr 2019 #74
snowybirdie Apr 2019 #75
FakeNoose Apr 2019 #76
Tipperary Apr 2019 #77
FakeNoose Apr 2019 #119
Vdizzle Apr 2019 #126
frazzled Apr 2019 #78
treestar Apr 2019 #97
Peacetrain Apr 2019 #79
LAS14 Apr 2019 #81
obamanut2012 Apr 2019 #91
Tipperary Apr 2019 #120
Smackdown2019 Apr 2019 #84
dem4decades Apr 2019 #85
50 Shades Of Blue Apr 2019 #86
MineralMan Apr 2019 #87
Buckeyeblue Apr 2019 #90
Paladin Apr 2019 #92
Dazbog Apr 2019 #168
Paladin Apr 2019 #172
Demonaut Apr 2019 #93
HipChick Apr 2019 #94
brooklynite Apr 2019 #95
aikoaiko Apr 2019 #99
Baitball Blogger Apr 2019 #100
customerserviceguy Apr 2019 #158
PeeJ52 Apr 2019 #102
Catherine Vincent Apr 2019 #103
Firestorm49 Apr 2019 #104
randr Apr 2019 #105
redstatebluegirl Apr 2019 #110
calimary Apr 2019 #111
DFW Apr 2019 #112
Totally Tunsie Apr 2019 #123
DFW Apr 2019 #131
Dave Starsky Apr 2019 #170
itcfish Apr 2019 #113
Vdizzle Apr 2019 #128
Retrograde Apr 2019 #129
planetc Apr 2019 #116
Yavin4 Apr 2019 #118
musette_sf Apr 2019 #121
Reader Rabbit Apr 2019 #138
TheFarseer Apr 2019 #122
handmade34 Apr 2019 #127
nini Apr 2019 #162
Dankasaurus Apr 2019 #130
ProfessorPlum Apr 2019 #132
fishwax Apr 2019 #137
Arkansas Granny Apr 2019 #139
FreeJoe Apr 2019 #150
pamdb Apr 2019 #151
Pope George Ringo II Apr 2019 #152
InAbLuEsTaTe Apr 2019 #153
blur256 Apr 2019 #154
roamer65 Apr 2019 #156
demmiblue Apr 2019 #159
GulfCoast66 Apr 2019 #164
Horse with no Name Apr 2019 #166
discntnt_irny_srcsm Apr 2019 #167
peacebuzzard Apr 2019 #169
Baconator Apr 2019 #173

Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

1. I would have said no

I may have moved if it was another aisle seat but not for a middle one.


It's their fault they didn't book early enough to get better seats.

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Response to nini (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:02 AM

2. Agree with you.

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Response to nini (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:00 AM

24. Same here

We book early - and pay a premium - to get the seats we want. If someone wants to change it has to be to an equivalent seat (which is fine, I've done that) or a better one. If you can't be away from your spouse for a few hours that's your problem, not mine.

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Response to nini (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:21 AM

28. I agree.

I've had to sit separately from my spouse on a flight, more than once. We survived the experience.

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Response to nini (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:02 AM

57. Ditto

Bet they do that all the time

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Response to nini (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:31 PM

117. +1, it's their problem not yours

Being a Monday morning quarterback I was thinking "Sure, if you can find me another isle seat".. Back in their court.. A polite "No thank you" always works.
m

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Response to nini (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:42 PM

147. Agree

 

I am 6í3í and have a bad left knee. I always specifically request a bulkhead seat or seat on the right side of an aisle so I have room to extend my left leg when I need to. Iíve said no when Iíve been asked to change seats in similar fashion. Next time I might offer to move if person asking agrees to pay for my upgrade to first-class or business class.

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Response to nini (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:02 PM

155. Me too.

They shouldn't have had the gall to ask in the first place. i would never ask someone to give up a better seat for mine. It's rude and crazy.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:02 AM

3. It wouldn't have been rude

to have informed the husband and wife that you selected that specific aisle seat and therefore switching it for a middle seat wasn't an option for you.

Of course, there was the possibility that one of the large men seated on either side of the husband could have traded seats with the wife, putting that large gentleman in the middle seat next to you and leaving you with little more comfort than you had after you agreed to switch seats.

My advice to you: get your own private jet for future travel!

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Response to True Dough (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:14 AM

11. My advice

is to accumulate frequent flyer mileage through a credit card and other ways to earn miles without actually flying, then redeem them for first class seats. A first class seat costs 4-5 times what a cattle class seat costs if you're paying with money, but only twice as much if you're paying with miles. It means that miles are a better currency to pay with.

Besides, with all the Max planes grounded, all flights are going to be packed to the gills. This is a very bad time to be flying.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:00 AM

101. Southwest doesn't have first class

So it wouldnít work with them

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #101)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:09 PM

142. And I would never fly Southworst

Did so once in 1990, never again. The ultimate cattle class experience.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:07 AM

106. This is NOT a very bad time to be flying.


No more than the hysteria after 9/11.


And trying to pay for 1st class seats with 'miles.' Uh... good luck with waiting for that to happen...





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Response to pangaia (Reply #106)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:59 PM

135. I've used miles to upgrade to business class.

Not recently because I don't fly enough any more to have sufficient miles and don't use a credit card with mileage awards.

The key to using the mileage upgrades is to plan the trip 6-9 months ahead of time. Used them several times for both international and cross country flights where having more space and leg room made a huge difference on long flights.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #135)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:24 PM

145. No way I can plan that far ahead

On flights over 5 hours I always get extended leg room

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Response to pangaia (Reply #106)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:11 PM

143. This is not based on simple hysteria

this is simply based on the fact that a large number of normally operating aircraft are temporarily grounded, until fixes can be made to allow lightly-trained pilots from third world countries to fly them as safely as pilots from countries that have real air forces as part of their defense posture.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:03 AM

4. I would have said no and have different times

Not being a jerk at all!

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:04 AM

5. They have assigned seats for a reason

You should have said no thanks and let them figure it out. Middle seats are sold at the cheapest price. They are grown adults who can be on the same plane together. They knew they were not together and got on aboard. They agreed to fly separately. Itís the game of how travel is know. Itís a cattle drive at best.

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Response to WA-03 Democrat (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:07 AM

8. I did inform the flight attendant of the change

And she said it was very nice of me and offered me a free drink. But I wasnít in the mood for a cocktail. Oh well.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:06 AM

6. I fly a lot...

today as a matter of fact. You are not a jerk. If another aisle seat, sure. If not, donít sweat it.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:07 AM

7. Yes, I would have said no, too

I said no once to a father and his son, maybe 16 or 17 years old. The father was berating me that he had to sit next to his son. Someone else agreed, and the son put on his headphones and didn't say one word to his father for the whole flight.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:09 AM

9. Mutter something in a made-up foreign language

with a puzzled expression on your face. It'll keep you from having to talk to the wife for the duration of the flight.
Of course, as you come down the aisle, and are seated, don't speak to anyone. Then, you can pull off this ploy.

You made arrangements to get the seat you wanted, and probably booked it in advance. Mr-and-Mrs-Last-Minute don't deserve any special consideration. It's not like a parent wanting to sit with a small child. If they can't bear to be separated for a measly four hours, then maybe they shouldn't fly.

Silent is way better than awkward and silent, trust me.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:12 AM

10. That's a good one!

I do speak German so I will have to remember that one. But most Germans speak English these days, so that might not work.

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Response to Vdizzle (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:17 AM

12. Do a Latka Gravas

You remember, from "Taxi". The language Andy Kaufman spoke was pure gibberish. It works really well if you bring a small paperback book that is written in an obscure language, and pretend to read it for a bit.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:42 AM

20. I would look puzzled and say:

"Ya nye govreet Ingleezee!

Russian for "I don't speak English".

Chances are pretty good that neither would the requesting person, and a Russian, as opposed to a German as pointed out above, might plausibly not speak English.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:02 AM

25. I just say "I don't speak English"

Last edited Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:43 AM - Edit history (1)

and let the other party deal with that. Je ne parle francais and Ich spreche keine Deutsch, just in case.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:47 AM

41. If you know a foreign language

just corrupt some words from it. That's pretty much what Yiddish is, a different pronunciation of German.

Also, making gestures that aren't meaningful in American society goes a long way in furthering the illusion.

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Response to Vdizzle (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 03:41 AM

51. It is funny that more Germans speak

English while more Americans do not have a clue how to speak German. I think English is a required subject in Germany.....then again I may be wrong.

I speak a little German and am crappy at that but I could mutter enough German to make a lot of Americans think that I can not understand them.

It is not so much that I can speak a little German but I can do the accent and pronunciation of the words I do speak very well.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:29 AM

31. Brilliant idea! I once faked Polish when someone wanted to pick me up in Mexico.

It's true, you have to keep up the puzzled (but trying oh-so-hard to communicate-- but you can't) expression. Works like a charm and no one's offended.

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #31)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:37 AM

36. And on a plane in the US

chances are that you'll hear the guy who asked you to move saying something about "f***ing foreigners" and you can then feel good about denying his request.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #36)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 03:14 AM

50. (thanks for the midnight giggle!)

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:06 AM

82. Why bother with the theatrics? Just tell them, firmly, "No".

So these clowns didn't think enough far ahead / didn't want to pay extra to sit together, and YOU'RE the bad guy? Screw that.

My wife and I have had to sit apart on planes plenty of times. This guy can't be away from his wife for a few hours? They only guy I know who can't do that is Mike Pence, and I would happily have told him to fuck right off.

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #82)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:53 AM

98. LOL

Without mother, who knows what would happen?

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Response to Dave Starsky (Reply #82)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:07 PM

140. I lived in NY for over ten years

I am inclined to just say no, but every once in awhile, I like to have a bit of fun.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:52 PM

133. Talking in a made up foreign language will get you kicked off the plane nowadays.

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #133)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:08 PM

141. Only if it sounds Middle Eastern

Eastern European, no problemo.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:24 AM

13. Smart after the fact, of course, but I would have suggested that if he wanted to sit

next to his wife, then perhaps she would have exchanged her seat with someone next to him.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:25 AM

14. I don't think it was rude to ask. I don't think it's rude to say no

I donít need to sit next to the person Iím traveling with. I happy to meet someone new or watch a movie

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Response to California_Republic (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:43 AM

39. Maybe the wife picked the seat to finally get away from her husband for 4 hours.

.

I've done that cramped middle seat thing. I don't think I'd ever do that again, unless forced.

Same thing with seats near the back of the jet, especially if it's a three holer.

I try to get a middle aisle seat, 25% back the leading edge mean aerodynamic chord of the plane, approximating CG.
This way, I'm at the central axis point of the plane and have less teeter totter movement, esp. in bad weather.

.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #39)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:56 AM

69. Haha I thought I was the only one...

who picked a seat based on wanting to avoid bumps. I fly a lot but I canít stand turbulence. I generally pick aisle seats in the wings, unless Iím flying over somewhere spectacular.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #39)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:11 AM

107. "....especially if it's a three holer. "

bOY, THERE SURE AIN;T MANY OF THOSE LEFT FLYING... EXCEPT FREIGHT HAULERS..

OOPPS Caps lock sooory





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Response to California_Republic (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:02 AM

58. Of course it is rude to ask

Whenever you know you are putting someone on the spot and making them uncomfortable you are being rude.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #58)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:12 AM

108. I don;t agree at all..

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #58)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:46 PM

160. The OP

is responsible for her own discomfort. The answer to a request for a favor you donít want to grant us ďno.Ē I canít imagine why it would be rude to refuse a trade for a worse seat. Or any seat. No tricks, foreign languages or other dodge required. We arenít obligated to grant a request just because we are asked.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:29 AM

15. i hate seat switchers. i book early, they didnt, then they come for my seat

last time i agrred to switch then felt like a chump. no more

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:38 AM

18. I've only been asked once, and it worked out ok.

I booked an aisle seat on a wider spaced row and a family that clearly got last minute tickets came in. They asked if Iíd switch to the window, which is normally where I sit, and I did. The reason it worked out ok was I got to sit next to a 6 year old and had plenty of space.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:43 AM

21. intl flight. family had sat child about 10 in my seat next to her older bro. parents where no where

to be seen for the entire 8 plus hours. i moved her to her correct seat. woman next to me acted as mother hen to the kids, who spoke no english,the entire flight .



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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:39 AM

37. I'm a window seat guy

when flying in cattle class. Aisle seat holders get asked far more often to change seats.

A good response is to feign extreme nervousness at the request, and say that your psychiatrist told you to get only aisle seats because of your claustrophobia. Tell the requester that it's so much worse since the airlines stopped you from bringing your support iguana.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #37)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:46 AM

89. Iguana!

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Response to lunatica (Reply #89)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:13 PM

144. Yeah, it adds

to the "don't even try to deal with me, I'm a bit of a nut job" image you want to project in that situation. The boorish individual will ask somebody else.

It's like a security system for your home. A truly professional thief can defeat any of them, but if you're too tough a nut to crack, they'll move on to someone easier.

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:13 AM

109. maybe they couldn't book early enough..



If you don;t want to switch just smile and say no..

no biggy

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:35 AM

16. i really can't fault someone for asking around to see if they can sit next to their spouse.

simplest solution is to ask a flight attendant to facilitate.

"excuse me, this gentleman would like to sit next to his wife. i'd be happy to move if it would make it easier as long as i am still in an aisle seat."

now you get some credit for making it happen even if it doesn't involve you moving, and if it doesn't happen, they will feel that at least you tried to help.

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Response to unblock (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 03:00 AM

49. The problem is if they're both in middle seats, neither has a seat that anyone would want in trade.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #49)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:55 AM

62. i recognize that, and that's too bad for them.

but asking the flight attendant maximizes the chance of finding someone willing to take it.

i they can't find anyone, so be it.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #49)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:11 AM

73. I've seen plenty of people volunteer when a flight attendant asks

 

particularly if there are children involved. There are people who don't mind the middle seat so much and/or have a lot of empathy.

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Response to unblock (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:04 AM

59. I can fault them -- it is rude to ask, period

Why can't adults manage for an hour or few alone? Read a book.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #59)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:02 AM

63. i don't think it's rude to ask per se.

it might be rude if the asking is done in a way that is presumptuous or doesn't recognize that they're asking for a favor.

but if it's done properly, i don't think it's rude.

i suppose it would have been better for them to have asked the flight attendant themselves, but not everyone finds the better solution on the fly.

(get it? "on the fly"? see what i did there? )

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:36 AM

17. I would have told him no ... if he had a window or aisle seat, sure

 

And then I would let him know he might try with the window seat person and see if he has some better luck.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:40 AM

19. OK, would probably--and have--moved to help accommodate families.

That said, I read recently, and naturally can't remember where, that this is starting to become a thing. Travellers are booking the cheapest seats and then asking people to move so they can sit together; they take it for granted that they can talk people into moving. All the while we are paying for the more expensive seats. Now I'm cynical and may rethink moving the next time it happens. I fear I'm becoming Larry David.

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Response to Laffy Kat (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:42 AM

38. If you don't lay down

then it's tougher to make you into a doormat.

It's not your fault that you have planning skills to get the seat you really want, and the Last-Minute-Larrys don't seem to bother with anything other than trying to guilt trip you out of something.

So what if families are split up for a few hours. It's not like you're going to take their kid and run off with him.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:44 AM

22. Sitting by his wife probably wasn't his real aim.

He didn't want to sit between the two big guys and thought this scam would work just like it did.
It was not only rude but he took advantage of you because he figured you had more decency than he did.


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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:53 AM

23. Practice saying, "Sorry I have a bad knee. I need to be able to stretch my leg during the flight."

I'm sure that it will probably come in handy on a future flight. You shouldn't feel guilty either.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:18 AM

27. That's an easy one for me. I DO have bad knees.

It's one of the reasons I'll even pay to get an aisle seat if I have the option.

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Response to DFW (Reply #27)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:31 AM

114. Yep. I've gotta be mindful of my knees also.

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Response to calimary (Reply #114)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:33 AM

115. I have three arthroscopies notched in my belt

And according to the orthopedist, I have maybe two more before I'm done and need either a wheelchair or replacements.

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Response to politicaljunkie41910 (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:09 AM

72. I know someone who has DVT so they always book an aisle seat.

Just say in as nice a voice as you can, "My doctor requires me to sit in an aisle seat every time I fly, so I'm very sorry I can't help you out." You don't need to explain to them what your medical condition is or even that you have one.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:17 AM

26. It's honestly not your problem. I'm sure married people, even codependent ones can get by

 

with sitting apart for a flight.

No way I would ever switch for a middle seat willingly....EVER.
And that is exactly what I would say.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:23 AM

29. I have switched in the past, but don't any more. My knees are both problem cases.

If I have the option to reserve an aisle seat, I will, often paying extra for the privilege. Flying first class is only an option if the difference in fare is small. If it's an extra $75 to fly between Boston and Dallas, I get to do it. If it's an extra $500, I do not.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:28 AM

30. Could be that if u had refused the wife might thanked u profusely,

saying "I didn't want to sit next to that jerk".

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:30 AM

32. There is no good answer.

Here's the underlying problem. Airlines have trained people to go for the cheapest possible fair, regardless.

Recently I helped a friend book flights from Santa Fe, NM to Oregon and back from California. As we went through the booking process, I was able to point out to him that a fare a bit above the cheapest possible now meant that he could check a bag (otherwise $30/per flight) and select his seats now (who knows how much he as saving) and the checked baggage thing was less than the cheapest possible fare.

I'm curious, and maybe someone here can enlighten me. If you book a cheap fare, and cannot select a seat, and at the airport only some kind of premium seat is available, do you then have to pay the additional charge for the premium seat? Or will they board you and let you sit in a premium seat?

I've become so disgusted with such nonsense, that my dirty secret is that I book a first class seat the rare times I fly. Okay, it will be a business class if I ever fly international, but you know what I mean. I've figured out that if I book such a seat far enough in advance I can get it for a price I'm willing to pay. So what if it's not the cheapest possible fare? I think I've already covered what's wrong with that thinking. More to the point, I get that thing that enables me to bypass the security bullshit. Oh, and should I mention that I used to be an airline ticket agent? And that I started well before any security nonsense, and that I understand EXACTLY why we got the original security, and that it worked incredibly well (hijackings went to zero) and that the security changes since 9/11 are pure theater and don't get me started on that.

Oh, and I'm not sure if it's because I buy a first class seat, or if it's that I'm a senior citizen, but the rare times I've flown recently I get that bypass thing. And even if I don't, do you REALLY think a 70 year old lady is going to hijack a plane? Really?

I will add this, to give a bit of context. I was an airline ticket agent at National Airport in Washington, DC (DCA) from January 1969 to August 1979. I took the job (even though I desperately wanted to be a stewardess and alas, no matter how many times I applied for that job I was turned down) mainly for the travel benefits.

My older brother worked as an operations agent for Piedmont Airlines in 1967 and 1968. His travel benefits allowed him to visit us in Tucson in 1967 and 1968, flying first class on American Airlines. I was dazzled by that. In 1968, when I expressed dissatisfaction with my life in Tucson, he said, "Well you can always come live with us", meaning him and his wife who lived in the DC area. I lost no time. Within two weeks I resigned my job at Ma Bell (I was an information operator at the time), closed out my apartment, packed all my worldly goods, and flew with brother and his wife to the DC area.

Three months later I got a job with an airline long since out of business (Mohawk Airlines) as a ticket agent at DCA. It was an incredibly difficult job in many ways. Some years later, when I was a new mother, and belonged to a group of brand new first time mothers, one of the moms sighed and said, "This is the hardest job I've ever had." I looked at her in utter astonishment. I could not imagine a job as easy as being a mother of a baby. I didn't have to smile and make my baby acquiesce to delays or cancellations. I didn't have to dress in high heels to nurse him. I didn't have to work flights until midnight or 1 am am and then be back at the airport at 6 am to get the morning flights out. In short, I couldn't imagine having a job half way as easy as this.

I know that context is everything. But I've often said that nothing I have done, including childbirth, has been remotely as difficult as working at the airport.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #32)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:54 PM

134. Some children are easy, some are incredibly difficult.

If a new mom, or any mom, says "This is the hardest job I've ever had," I tend to believe them.

Some of my nieces and nephews were easy to take care of, some were incredibly difficult. It didn't have anything to do with parenting styles or any other sort of "nurture."

Our own kids were sort of in the middle.

The most difficult job I ever had was teaching science in an overcrowded, extremely underfunded, big city school. Dealing with parents was a customer service problem of sorts. As a teacher, you could often tell why a kid was having trouble in school when you met a parent.

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Response to hunter (Reply #134)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:15 PM

148. Oh, yes, I absolutely believed that

woman that this was the hardest job she'd ever had.

I'm still amazed. That statement tells me a lot about how easy a lot of jobs must be.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #32)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 03:00 PM

136. Mohawk was the MAD MEN airline. Love that.

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #136)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:19 PM

149. Alas, they had the Mohawk account for about twenty minutes.

Wish they'd done more with it. Maybe show Don Draper flying to Utica on a Convair 440, or better yet on one of the Gaslight Flights, which was a men only DC-3 with the stewardess dressed to look like a Wild West saloon girl.

Alas, they only signed Mohawk to leverage getting American Airlines, and didn't really do anything with the Mohawk account. They could have had a lot of fun with that.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #149)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:25 PM

157. They got them back later and went through a mechanics strike with them in the series too

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #157)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:17 PM

163. I don't recall them getting Mohawk back.

I should, but I don't.

The mechanics strike referenced would have been the big one in 1966 that shut down most air traffic for about six weeks.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #163)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:57 PM

165. they used them quite a bit actually...

In season 2, episode 1, "For Those Who Think Young" (2008) of the AMC series Mad Men, the fictional Sterling Cooper ad agency worked on a campaign for Mohawk Airlines.

In season 2, episode 2, "Flight 1" (2008), Sterling Cooper resigns the account in order to pursue an account with American Airlines, which is considering changing agencies in the aftermath of the 1962 Flight 1 disaster.

Mohawk Airlines returns to the agency in season 5, episode 3, "Tea Leaves" (2012)

and in season 6/episode 7, "Man With a Plan".

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #32)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:05 PM

161. No additional charge for premium seats assigned at the gate.

I'm curious, and maybe someone here can enlighten me. If you book a cheap fare, and cannot select a seat, and at the airport only some kind of premium seat is available, do you then have to pay the additional charge for the premium seat? Or will they board you and let you sit in a premium seat?


No extra charge - and (depending on how obnoxious/nice they want to be) about half the time we end up with exit rows. They other half, they stick us in middle seats even when the exit row is empty. I've never been moved to first class - just to the more leg room seats they charge a premium for if you book ahead of time.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:30 AM

33. Not gonna switch for a middle seat

I fly multiple times a month, I always get the aisle seat. I would swap for another aisle seat, maybe a window if it was a short flight. I fly Southwest half the time also, gotta remember to check-in at the 24 hour mark and then it's easy to sit together if you aren't already A-List.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:34 AM

34. Tell 'em you're coming off a case of explosive diarrhea and need the aisle seat . . .

No one will deny you easy access to the toilets, and the wife would sit as far from you as she possibly could, thus giving you a little extra elbow room. Probably wouldn't have to talk to her, either. And I can assure you, the awkward, uncomfortable silence would be hers alone.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:34 AM

35. I would have said no.

It was rude and selfish of him to ask you to seats.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:46 AM

40. Say no. Your seat is your seat.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:55 AM

42. did he lie about that being his wife - why didn't they book together

 

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Response to EveHammond13 (Reply #42)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:45 AM

46. they probably booked late and there were no open seats next to each other

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:57 AM

43. Years ago this happened to me

Except in my case there were 3 seats the couple had window and middle and wanted me to give up my aisle seat so mom (they were in 30ís) traveling with them could sit next to them.

This was long flight to Hawaii and I was traveling alone to meet up with cousin.

I had booked my seat 9 months in advance because I have had back problems and need more leg room and to get up. So I explained this and said no.

The whole flight was awful the couple complained loudly and were rude to me and got free drinks, i stayed quiet and had stewardess drop ice on me, no apology and everyone was mean to me.

I found out because I asked they only booked two weeks before, and thats my fault they couldnít sit together?

I never write letters and i did to united and they did nothing thing so I havenít flown them since.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:35 AM

44. Here is what I would do.

Prepare yourself for such encounters. My ploy is

"The last person I traded seats with paid me $500 and it wasn't enough. I'll do it for $800 though"

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:44 AM

45. it would NOT have been rude for you to say no . as some others said, make up an excuse

such as health reasons if it makes you feel better in saying no .

i also agree it was kind of rude for him to ask. especially knowing the situation and i feel like if he was sitting in a more comfortable seat even without his wife he would NOT have asked you .

i feel like he only asked you more to get out of the uncomfortable position than about sitting next to his wife.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:47 AM

47. Curb Your Enthusiasm:


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Response to betsuni (Reply #47)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 04:39 AM

53. Go with the silent treatment....

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:53 AM

48. No, it is their problem to book their seats together

Wonder why he did not ask the person in his row to change.

Also he sees his wife all the time; can't they bear that separation?

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Response to treestar (Reply #48)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:14 AM

83. Seriously

 


My wife and I usually book a window seat and an aisle seat, and we refer to the person in the middle seat as "our victim".

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #83)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:41 AM

88. Hahaha

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #83)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:51 AM

96. LOL

In earlier time, social dinners would seat husbands and wives with different people, so when they went home, they would each have new people to talk about.

Now they are co-dependently joined at the hip in some cases.

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Response to treestar (Reply #96)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:29 PM

146. It's silliness

 

We have traveled a lot together, including a literal trip around the world.

In a 737 2-3-2 configuration, then we'll get two together.

But if it is a 3-3 configuration, or a 3-4-3 configuration, we used to trade off taking a middle seat, but more lately we'll take the window and the aisle or just sit in different rows if we can't get that.

Part of that strategy is that if the flight is less than full, then if we take the window and the aisle, it makes it that much less likely that someone is going to book that middle seat anyway, if they can get a window or aisle elsewhere - particularly in premium economy rows.

If someone does take the middle seat, we'll pretend we don't know each other for a while, and then start making snarky comments about each other to the person in the middle, and try to get him/her to take sides.

But, oh golly, we might be seated in different places for a few hours! The horror.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #146)

Tue Apr 2, 2019, 09:56 AM

171. LOL

I wonder what stories the victims have to tell!

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 04:30 AM

52. For a four hour flight?

No.

I might consider it if it were a window seat. If it was a minor young enough to need accompaniment (say under 10) sitting alone.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 04:40 AM

54. I would have said no.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:22 AM

55. I would have said no.

I used to fly a lot, and I always booked an aisle seat. If someone asked me to switch, I would tell them I booked an aisle seat because I'm claustrophobic and had to sit on the aisle. That would end the conversation.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #55)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:00 AM

80. I really am claustrophobic, and have refused to change seats as well. I have said "no" several

times to such requests. I've been lucky in that no one I refused got all shirty about it.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 05:59 AM

56. It isn't a dilemna at all -- you just say no

They can pay extra to sit next to one another. You shouldn't have to make an excuse, but if someone is low conflict, which I am, I would have said I have rather severe claustophobia, and cannot sit in a middle seat.

Also, I know airlines frown on people doing this now, and it may not even be allowed.

I would have said no. It was VERY rude to ask you.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:14 AM

60. You are not being a jerk.

However, I would rather sit comfortably in uncomfortable silence than uncomfortably between two big congenial men. I am a small woman myself and I've been stuck in the middle seat--when flying with my husband stuck in a middle seat in the row in front of me--when the flight for which we had 1st class seats booked months earlier--was cancelled. Between being poked in the ribs by the guy on one side and trying to avoid being sneezed on by the guy on the other side with a horrible cold, it was a miserable flight. The airline AA never compensated us, either, for not being able to rebook us on a flight in the same class seats for which we paid.

So, I would have no trouble saying no to a request to trade an aisle seat for a middle seat.

On a flight home from Panama one time when I was traveling alone, I put my book down on my seat and went back to use the restroom while everyone was boarding. I came back to find a mom had taken my seat and put her kid in the vacant middle seat and told me I could move to her single aisle seat! She had worked out moving with the flight attendant while I was out of my seat. Here I was thinking how I'd lucked out having no one in the middle seat. Wrong.

I hate flying. I just hate it. I'm fortunate enough to have the resources that I only fly now anything over 3 hours business or 1st class. Anything under that I will fly coach and always book an aisle seat and have no problem saying no if someone wants me to trade for anything other than an aisle seat.

You just have to be prepared to stand up for yourself and say no.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:38 AM

61. I agree with you. It is pushy and rude to ask someone to move

You were in a bad spot no matter what you did.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:05 AM

64. You reserved that aisle seat on purpose.

Next time (and I hope there isnít one), say that you have a bum knee that requires you to sit on the aisle.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:13 AM

65. imagine if it were some other scenario with assigned seating (that you selected and paid for)

for instance, let's say a symphony at a nice concert hall--you've bought a seat in the middle of the venue, months in advance, with terrific sight-lines to the stage, great acoustics, etc.--now, just before the concert starts, some guy comes up and asks if you'll trade seats with him (he's pointing toward the back of the room, to a seat with a partially obstructed view behind a column) so he can sit next to his wife, since they couldn't find two available seats together when they bought their cut-rate, last-minute tickets for a third of the price you paid. Are you a jerk for telling him to go pound sand?


Anyway, when it comes to air travel, I usually fly on Southwest (with no assigned seats), and am frequently on my own, travelling for business, and really don't care where I sit in the plane (although right next to the toilets is not really my favorite spot) so seat-switching conversations happen fairly regularly, and are a nice way to meet new people.

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Response to anarch (Reply #65)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:01 PM

124. Very good point!

N/t

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:14 AM

66. No, would have been my answer

No dilemma for me

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:17 AM

67. You're only feeling irked because you didn't have the cojones to say No at the time !

It wasn't rude of him at all, but it was some neck to ask you to give up your aisle seat on a 4 hour flight to go into the shitty middle seat. I don't blame him at all, you're the one at fault here. I'd have politely declined, if asked to swap an aisle seat for a middle one, or if it didn't suit me..

It was very decent of you to agree. However at some point you need to stand up for yourself. Face it, if the guy had an aisle seat to offer, you probably wouldn't be writing here today.

I'm a big guy and have had people sitting next to me who looked down on me like a piece of shit, in a similar way to the way you look down on those two "big guys".

Rather than being annoyed at the guy for asking, be annoyed at yourself for agreeing, when he could have asked the person in the window seat. They might have said no too, and then tough luck. You took the precaution to reserve your seat, and barring a medical issue or a child, there's no onus on you to move.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #67)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:06 PM

125. By "big guys" I didn't mean overweight

I didnít look down at them at all. Iím 6í0Ē and 185lbs. I consider myself a ďbig guyĒ. But I am in no way overweight. I just meant that now all three of us in the row were ďbigĒ with broader shoulders.

Sorry if you took it as ďlooking downĒ at them. But that wasnít it at all.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:51 AM

68. Sacrificing vs resenting vs being a doormat

Fine lines.
I donít blame you for resenting what was done to you. Not only were you stuck in a middle seat but you were stuck judging a situation with incomplete information. There are a tiny handful of circumstances in which you might have felt it was an honorable sacrifice. For example, a parent with a disabled child or for the sake of reuniting some one with dementia with their caregiver.

Ablehodied adults doing it for the own comfort or convenience are beyond selfish. I have asked for trades myself on occasion, but only if the seat I was giving away was at least as good as the one I was getting ó an aisle for an aisle, or taking a middle in exchange for a window seat.

Once I traded away my first class seat to a colleague who was having back spasms, and spent a blissful few hours crammed in the worst middle seat on the plane. I say blissful because it happened to be a joy to sacrifice something special for this person that I secretly adored óin which case it genuinely is better to give than receive ó and I spent the flight writing a poem called Skywriter about the pleasure of it. Love conquers all.

There have been times in my life when, in a feeling of religious practice and spirituality, such sacrifice might have felt like a happy prayer, or an experiment in charity, for the sake of spreading joy to a fellow human being.

Your irritation and resentment at being asked is completely valid, however. Giving up the seat freely is one thing, being coerced into it by a selfish person is another thing entirely.

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Response to lostnfound (Reply #68)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:05 AM

71. Poem, "Skywriter"

Last edited Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:40 AM - Edit history (1)

Skywriter

A small exchange -
a joyful exchange,
like water into wine.
Read the message in the clouds
destined to soothe
your bones,
your heart, your sore back,
your head.
Feel it all the way down
to your toes.
It says,
"Love."
Or more precisely,
"You are loved."
Usually carried to you
by my poems,
it is the fire that ignited
my burning desire.
My easy acceptance of the respectful rules
comes from it too.
I can't often show it,
but it's always hiding there somewhere.
Giant. Quiet. Real.
And it just converted
a little water into wine,
transformed the material
Into a spiritual gift.
Not a sacrifice at all -
I call it magic.
40A, I love.
With it I was able to pay
such a tiny price for
a clear message
written in broad daylight
in the sky.
Can you read it?
It's still out there
in the clouds
hanging high
and SHINING.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:58 AM

70. It depends upon the flight

If it's a short hop (<2-2.5 hours) and I am flying alone, sure why not...

If it was a longer flight or I had work to do on the flight, probably not.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:15 AM

74. Regardless of whether it was rude to ask, or whether you resent what happened,

 

you were very kind to agree to the move. It might have been very important to that couple to be together, for all kinds of reasons -we don't know.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:24 AM

75. I wouldn't have changed

We choose our seats in advance for our own comfort. The strangers asking you to give this up were out of line. They could have choosen seats together in advance as well. They were the rude ones, not you. Why didn't the person sitting next to the husband switch? Because he/she probably said no.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:26 AM

76. Ask the guy to show you his wedding license

... since you don't even know for sure if that's his wife. He just wants your better seat, and some people are willing to lie to get it. Of course he can't show you his license, why would he have it with him?

Now you can say correctly, "I don't even know if you know this woman. But even if you do, I booked my seat x months ago. Why didn't you reserve your seats so you two could sit together?"

No guilt!

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #76)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:53 AM

77. Why be so confrontational?

 

I would simply say I do not want to sit in a middle seat.

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Response to Tipperary (Reply #77)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:40 PM

119. The OP doesn't indicate which airline he was on

... but I'm almost certain that the guy who wanted his seat would have asked the flight attendant to help him move, if it was a legitimate request. Since he didn't ask the flight attendant, it leads me (and most of us) to believe that this was all a ruse to get the guy to give up his good seat. It probably wasn't really his wife.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #119)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:09 PM

126. It was Alaska Airlines

N/t

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:55 AM

78. My spouse and I paid extra to book seats together once

óme in the middle and he on the aisle; something like 21 B and C. And when we arrived at the gate and checked our boarding passes, we discovered that we were now seated in entirely different rows, far apart. The airline had changed our seating. This is not the first time that had happened (although previously, I think, it was before the airlines made you pay for an aisle or window seat). It was a nighttime 4 1/2 hour flight.

Fortunately, we were able to complain to the gate agent, and after some attempt to push back at us, she relented and straightened out the situation.

I also recall when my nephew and his husband had booked a flight for themselves and their just over 2-year-old daughter (full fare), paying the extra fee so that one of them would be seated next to her. When they got there, they saw that the three of them had been seated in entirely different rows. Their solution? My nephew-in-law deposited the toddler in the assigned (wrong) middle seat, and handed the surrounding passengers their diaper bag. ďHere are some books and treats, ď he explained, and if she starts to wail, just give her this huggie.Ē He returned to his seat and within seconds the shocked passenger reurned with the child and offered to trade seats with him. Snap.

This is all just to say, itís not always the passengerís fault, but the airlineís.

What we should all be complaining about is the airlinesí money grubbing fee-based system that discriminates against families and the elderly or infirm (who canít reach up to put a bag in the bin and must therefore pay $30 each way to check their bag, while the young businessman flings it up with ease). Itís why I try to fly Southwest when possible.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #78)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:52 AM

97. LOL

Actually separating a child must be an error on their part. But great way to handle it!

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:57 AM

79. We always book early and pay extra for it.. to get an aisle seat for me

because of a knee replacement I have limited mobility getting in and out of seats..some of them are so incredibly tight.. so I would not have.. and not have felt bad about it..

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:01 AM

81. I wish there was more of a spirit of ......

..... collegiality? togetherness? siblinghood? Can't think of the word. But I wish there was was more generosity of spirit among us in DU. Sure, it's perfectly reasonable, perfectly OK to decline to switch seats, explaining that you chose the aisle seat specifically. But I'm distressed at the notion that it was rude for someone to ask you to switch. It reminds me of the conversations about touching. "Don't touch a woman without her permission." Don't touch? What have we come to? It's like we all have prickles sticking out warning people not to offend us in this or that unexpected way.

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Response to LAS14 (Reply #81)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:55 AM

91. It was a rude, and touching someone you don't know is creepy

Unless it is a handshake, or helping them up stairs or something.

" It's like we all have prickles sticking out warning people not to offend us." -- Yeah, no. DUers need to quit mocking this and handwaving this, like you just did.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #91)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:44 PM

120. Thank you.

 

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:23 AM

84. Southwest

Fly southwest and you get to choose your seat by when you bought your ticket. If you bought your ticket months ago, you get posted close to the gate number. Once you get on the plane, you get to choose which seat you want. It is nice actually and couples usually get to go together when choosing.

As for your perdictment, I would say to the stranger if you choose that seat in the first place for comfort, tough luck and them put in your earplugs. Sounds to me they were a last minute book and they got the bottom of the bucket. If you think about it, it would of been better if she had asked the gentleman to change seats to sit next to her husband.

Lastly, are you certain they were married? Maybe the guy was trying to flirt with her..... who knows.....

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:26 AM

85. A polite no would be appropriate.

Imagine you had rented a Cadillac and he had rented a small Chevy because he had waited to long and it was all they had left.

Would you switch cars with him if he asked?

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:29 AM

86. You were not wrong!!! He had one hell of a nerve!

I would have said no (politely) without hesitation. If he persisted I'd have explained that I have a health issue that necessitates frequent bathroom visits. But even if I didn't, being the first one to reserve the aisle seat is enough reason!

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:36 AM

87. Interesting dilemma. You said the other passengers were

in their 40s or 50s. I'd have declined to move to a center seat in that case, as long as neither person had any obvious medical problems. If they had been in their late 60s or 70s or even older, I would have switched seats. Couples can sit apart for four hours, in my opinion, and giving up an aisle seat for a middle seat is a big deal, especially if the particular middle seat will be extra uncomfortable, due to the adjacent passengers.

I'm 73 years old. I book window seats in an exit row, whenever possible. My wife likes aisle seats. If we're booking a flight and get to choose seats, we don't mind sitting apart to get our seat preferences. It's not like we don't see and talk to each other every day. I would absolutely never ask anyone to give up his or her seat for me. Never.

I'm sure the man who asked you did so because he was uncomfortable in his assigned seat and thought he'd take a chance that you'd switch with him. You did, which is commendable, on the basis of etiquette. However, you didn't have any obligation to do that, and it would not have been rude to insist on keeping your assigned seat.

Four hours is not a huge amount of time. Most couples spend at least that much time away from each other every day. It's just not a big deal if you don't have some medical problem that requires someone's attention. I'd have said, "I'm sorry, but I'm not willing to trade this aisle seat for a middle seat on this flight." And that should have settled it.

On the other hand, if a child is involved or an elderly person who looks frail, I'd switch seats. In some cases, family members need to sit with each other for a number of valid reasons. But not for a 40s or 50s couple.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:55 AM

90. What irritates me are the families that are late arrivals on southwest

And when they get on there are no seats together. Then they get that look on there face like they expect the entire flight to accommodate them. Mostly the look like home school families.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:59 AM

92. I've probably been on a couple of hundred air flights in my life.

In that time, exactly one person sitting in front of me has gotten up, looked back, and asked if would be alright if he put his seat in reclining position. One person. The rest of them have just slammed their seats into my knees without a word. Assholes.

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Response to Paladin (Reply #92)

Tue Apr 2, 2019, 09:03 AM

168. Many a times I had to shove the seat back up

 

And get annoyed looks. Look pal, you want comfort, buy a upgrade. We all have to fly like this. Give us a break!

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Response to Dazbog (Reply #168)

Tue Apr 2, 2019, 09:58 AM

172. Well said.

I'm old enough to remember when flying was a pleasant experience---as opposed to the cattle car set-up it is now. Sic transit.....

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:15 AM

93. you did the right thing

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:18 AM

94. I never move, it baffles me why couples can't be separated for a few hours...

I don't care, if they sit there in a bad mood, for the next few hours besides me either...

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:27 AM

95. You are under no obligation to change seats or feel guilty about it...

The husband and wife contracted for transportation between A and B. If they booked tickets too late to sit together, that's their issue.

You of course can be helpful and offer to change seats, provided that your situation is no worse. If the alternative seat is not desirable, then feel comfortable in remaining where you are (I note that there's no discussion about the husband asking the occupant of the WINDOW seat to move)

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:53 AM

99. The flight attendants should do that sort of thing.


Say no, and suggest that he talk to the flight attendant to find two seats together.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:56 AM

100. My nightmare:

Husband and wife booked seats on the aisle and window seats. I was given the middle seat. They talked over me the entire flight. Assholes!

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #100)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:27 PM

158. Oh, when my lady and I do that

I get a window seat, and she gets an aisle seat, we don't talk to each other during boarding. That way, someone won't ask her to move over and take the aisle seat she needs for her bad knee.

We are both larger people, and I have seen a passenger headed for the middle seat who has gone back and told the flight attendant that he/she cannot possibly sit between those two fat people. Once, we had an Asian woman, who meekly sat between us, who was rescued by a flight attendant and reassigned a different seat.

Sometimes, the only vacant seat on the plane is the one between us. But, it doesn't always work that way, once we had a rather odoriferous Turkish man between us (I got a quick glimpse at the cover of his passport), and it was miserable for all three of us.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:00 AM

102. I would have at l least lied and told him I paid the seat fee...

 

That way he would have to pay be to be uncomfortable...

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:02 AM

103. I would have kindly said "No thank you"

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:06 AM

104. Perhaps the wife should have asked the person next to her husband to relocate?

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:07 AM

105. You should have kept your seat

For all you know the woman may have booked the seats herself hoping not to sit next to her husband.
It was also rude of the man to make the request. He knew his seat assignment when booked and could have made a different choice himself

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:19 AM

110. Flying is like riding a Greyhound bus these days.

I would rather drive if I can. I hate to fly anymore. The last time I flew to Boston I sat next to a guy with the worst BO, I went up front and asked the flight attendant if I could move to another seat and while she sympathized with me, there was nothing available. I sat there holding my nose the whole way.

Another time, I flew to LA, I had a family in front of me with kids who spent the flight running up and down the aisle screaming, one of them kept pushing the seat back and forth. Finally after a half hour of this, the flight attendant came back and told the parents they needed to control their 4 kids. It didn't work, after a couple of times, the flight attendant gave up.

On yet another flight I sat next to a young man who told me I was to fat to fly.

There are no manners anymore, but especially on airplanes.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:19 AM

111. I always book an aisle seat. Period. Grandma's getting old.

I would rather not have to fold up like an origami exercise after all these years. My old knees appreciate the extra room that an aisle seat offers plus the ability, at least partially, to stretch my legs all the way forward.

Iím sorry, but I wonít give that up. Maybe if my joints and I were younger Iíd feel differently. But by now, at my age, itís my physical necessity OVER somebody elseís mere convenience.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:23 AM

112. I was on a plane one time when an obnoxious guy ran up and complained he was sitting next to a woman

He started in about how he couldn't sit next to a woman and loudly DEMANDED that he be given another seat or that the woman be sent to another seat. The guy was such an asshole, I'm betting the woman who was originally seated next to him was only too happy to get a seat elsewhere, but if it had been up to me, I would have called the cops and tossed the guy off the plane. He was literally shouting as if the airline had committed some fiendish offense against him. Next time, let him take a single cabin on the boat. Well, the flight was New York to ZŁrich, so no boats were going to get him there, but let him get off the boat in France and take a train.

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Response to DFW (Reply #112)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:55 PM

123. Was it Pence?

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #123)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:34 PM

131. LOL!!!

No, some local guy, probably some sect that says they can't do that for whatever reason.

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #123)

Tue Apr 2, 2019, 09:26 AM

170. It's the incident that turned Pence's hair white.

The sheer terror of wondering what Mother would do if she found out.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:28 AM

113. I was told once by a flight Attendant (a friend off duty)

That God forbid the plane crashes, they would need people in their correct seats for identification purposes. I know it's a morbid excuse, but it does sound logical.

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Response to itcfish (Reply #113)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:17 PM

128. That's why I informed the flight attendant of the change.

She offered me a free drink for it and said that it was very nice of me. But I wasnít ready to have a cocktail at that time of the day.

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Response to itcfish (Reply #113)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:07 PM

129. That doesn't make much sense if you think about it

It's fine if the plane stays together in one piece, but if it breaks up into zillions of pieces scattered over a wide area - how do they know which seats come from where? A more reliable way to identify bodies (or probably more realistically, body parts) is from identifying marks/scars or dna.

Yeah, I've been told that as well.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:59 AM

116. My one experience turned out to be delightful.

This was years ago, but I was sitting there in economy as per usual, and the stewardess approached and asked if I would mind moving, as the family sitting around me were reuniting after x number of years of separation. Maybe five people looked hopeful--they appeared to be from the Middle east, and I thought they were sweet to want to get an early start on catching up with each other. So I said, "Sure." Then the stewardess briskly led me to a vacant seat in first class, and as briskly departed. Probably the only time I've flown first class, and I thoroughly enjoyed lolling about in my seat, which had room for 1-1/2 people my size. Later I had occasion to walk down that aisle in economy, and about six people showered me with wide smiles and verbal blessings. I tried to tell them I now had a wonderful seat, but gave that up and just smiled back. Instant karma, I reckoned.

But I have been very interested to read the number of cunning and polite ways to turn down an inconvenient request. Flying is a whole 'nother experience these days from the friendly skies they used to advertise, and deliver.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:38 PM

118. I have a weak bladder, so I need aisle seats so as to not disturb anyone else.

and I pay extra for this.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:45 PM

121. I say, ask all you want

but unless the seat you want to move from is equal to or better than the one I am currently in, the answer is NO. And any attempts to impose awkwardness or uncomfortableness are easily ignorable once I have my headphones on and my iPad out.

If petite lady had changed seats with one of the larger gentlemen, yes, you would have been a tad bit cramped, but you still would have been on the aisle.

I always pay the extra for a preferred seat with extra legroom, so I usually don't get too many seat change requests. Airlines do not permit free of charge seat changes once in flight, to a premium seat that was empty and unsold prior to departure, save in exception scenarios. Therefore no one should assume that I will move from a seat with an extra tariff to a less comfortable seat that cost less.

Some time back, I had paid for a premium aisle seat on a flight from Orlando to the West Coast, and I was seated among a family that had members spread throughout the plane. I was asked to change my extra-fee seat to a middle seat in the back with less legroom, and I promptly and tersely declined. The group around me attempted to make my flight miserable, but once I had my headphones on and iPad out, I listened to tunes, read a book, and ignored them.

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Response to musette_sf (Reply #121)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 04:32 PM

138. Sounds like that family tried to scam the system.

These days, you often have to pay extra if you want to pre-select your seat. The family sounds like they didn't go for this option and were hoping to pressure other flyers into letting them have the seats they wanted.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:54 PM

122. I recently flew with my wife

It was Southwest and we were in the last boarding group so only middle seats left. Never even occurred to me to ask someone to switch with me. We sat apart for the flight each reading a book. Was not a big deal.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 01:16 PM

127. I would consider this

as I consider any interpersonal interaction... whose needs are greater?

I have few needs and I most always acquiesce... I do recognize when I need something and do not hesitate to say so (and say no if necessary)...

I have given up my seat a number of times on a flight and have had occasion to offer to someone to trade seats if I see that I am sitting next to a child, spouse or friend of theirs...


I am disappointed that with little exception, the responses here are an absolute no!... situations need to be assessed and I have no problems helping my fellow travelers in this journey

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #127)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 09:33 PM

162. No kids were involved

adults can manage to sit in the seats for 4 hours and not suffer from it.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:32 PM

130. While it is always a good thing to be polite, politeness doesn't mean agreeing with the other person

 

It is always good to establish normal boundaries with people.

Now what if, in the same scenario, if a woman had tapped you on the shoulder and asked to sit next to her teenage child? Would that have changed things?

Like my daddy always said, "son, there is nothing wrong with saying NO"

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 02:39 PM

132. I share your discomfort about telling someone "no"

and probably would have ended up in the same situation as you - uncomfortable, and wishing things were different.

You have my sympathy. you were in a tough situation, but no one can prevent people from asking things of you.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 04:24 PM

137. It isn't rude to ask. It isn't rude to say no.

It would be rude to go beyond asking (to plead, to insist, to ask repeatedly, to roll one's eyes and mutter underneath one's breath), and it would be rude to go beyond saying no (lectures about planning ahead, etc.).

But I don't think it's rude just to ask. It doesn't carry any obligation.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 04:44 PM

139. If sitting together was that important, they should have booked in time to choose seats together.

I've been seated away from family on flights before. It wasn't a big deal.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:29 PM

150. The appropriate response...

"$50 and it's yours". Or substitute whatever price would make you OK with being stuck in a middle seat.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:41 PM

151. plane etiquette



I ALWAYS reserve a seat. From what I understand, if you don't reserve a seat (at least in economy) it's because you want a cheaper ticket. You take your chances. You should not be inconvenienced because someone wanted to save money on their ticket. They can spend a little more and pick their seat before they even get to the airport. I belong to United Milage Plus and always have my seats reserved when I make the reservation. I think it was rude for the person to even ask.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:41 PM

152. Flyertalk has over a thousand posts on seat swap horror stories in one thread.

Short version: Frequent flyers agree that you don't owe anybody your seat.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz/1464730-seat-swap-request-horror-stories-69.html

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:43 PM

153. Next time, just say you need an aisle seat for personal reasons, sorry... problem solved.


Bernie & Elizabeth 2020!!!
Join the revolution!!!

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 06:50 PM

154. I hate flying. It is a huge phobia of mine.

I have asked on several flights to be put next to my wife but usually to no avail. When we fly we don't usually have the money or the convience of planning so early we can book our seats together. We normally have to go to the counter at the airport before we board and it is a crapshoot. Sometimes we get lucky and sometimes we don't. I hate it so much.
Last time we flew home I checked in my little nippers through the normal channels because just a little helps me calm down. Especially when I can't sit next to my wife. And the flight attendant told me it was illegal even though TSA let me through just fine. She said TSA isn't a governing body. So after that I was super pissed. Not only was I not sitting next to my wife I couldn't help the stress either.
Anyway I get them asking. You could have said no but I appreciate you saying yes.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 07:22 PM

156. I would have said no.

Especially if itís a budget airline where seat selection costs money.

Iím tall and I use seat selection for a reason.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 08:39 PM

159. I would have said yes if it was another aisle seat.

I have a little bit of claustrophobia, so an aisle seat is far more comfortable.

Who knows, perhaps that person had a similar issue (like fear of flying) and wanted to sit next to family.

He wasn't rude, and you wouldn't have been rude for saying no.

I also think that you did something kind for another person.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 10:52 PM

164. I'm surprised at all the DU members suggesting using fake excuses to say no!

Injuries, fake foreign language etc. Just politely say no. Itís not hard. After all you paid for it they did not. I will only fly Aisle seat. I am a big guy. And a tip...the Asile armrest that doesnít go up. Well it does. There is a little hole under the back of the rest with a button in it. Push the button and the arm goes up. Have never had a flight attendant comment on it and makes long flights so much better. .

That said, I donít fly Southwest. As a previous poster mentioned, I have a travel rewards card. All my bills are charged to it. Power, phone, gas, electric, gas. All of them. And of course paid.

I only fly about 3 times a year. Only on Delta if I can help it. And with my credit card points I have no problem flying domestic first class and when I go international, which I do once a year, fancy pants coach.

Iím one of the strange Americans that still enjoys flying. I got global entry which includes TSA Pre and means I donít have to strip down to fly.

And my credit card allows me access to lounges for layovers.

And no, Iím not rich.








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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 11:43 PM

166. I would have said no to a middle seat

I am severely claustrophobic.
The last time I flew on Southwest I paid extra to board first.
I thought it might be nice to sit by the window as it was a very scenic flight.
There was a nice young couple that sat next to me. About 20 min into the flight, I felt sick.
I asked the young man if he would mind trading me the aisle for the window. He obliged.
I was oh so thankful to him for that.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Tue Apr 2, 2019, 08:09 AM

167. For flights over 90 minutes, never give an aisle for a middle seat.

I understand couples and families would prefer sitting together but chances are you paid for your seat and spent time to acquire it. When you book and have a choice, book an aisle next to occupied middle seat. This gives you less of a chance of having this happen again.

My plan for flying:
- Don't fly on airlines that don't allow you to choose a seat. [There may be cases where no seats are available due to being reserved by the airline.]
- Always reserve an aisle seat. [It's annoying to climb over people to get to the lav or just stretch your legs.
- If you have a tight connection, (less than 60 minutes; less than 90 minutes in Dallas or SFO) always sit as close to the front as possible.
- Refuse middle seats on flights over 2 hours categorically.
- If traveling for an important personal event (part of the wedding party...) DO NOT expect to make it to an airport near an event the next day anytime before 7PM. To be wise, book a flight as close to 48 hours ahead as possible. I've seen one bridesmaid change into her gown before the plane landed and I've seen more than one miss the ceremony.
- Always join the airline's frequent flyer program when you fly.
- Always make sure your boarding pass shows your membership in the program. I've missed miles on Delta flights because of that.

I spent 2 years flying Philly to Atlanta almost every week. Before that Philly to LA every third week for over 6 years. Some of the discount airlines (Southwest) are better than others. Spirit, Frontier and most of the discounters nickel and dime you. You pay to pick a seat and bring a carry-on bag. I use seatguru to learn about seats on planes I'm not familiar with.

One of the most frequent flyers on DU (that I know of) is DFW. He's wise and very friendly. He flies a lot in Europe and often to the US. Asking the site-wide mind as you have here is never a bad idea especially if your planning a special trip.

You can often save money by booking to airports near your destination.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Tue Apr 2, 2019, 09:10 AM

169. as someone who flies every week on long range flights,

I would have asked the gentleman tapping me on the shoulder to have his wife exchange with one of those passengers in his row... those guys probably would have said no and then it would have been the end of the story.

No one likes a middle seat.

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Response to Vdizzle (Original post)

Tue Apr 2, 2019, 10:49 AM

173. Politely decline, plug in the headphones and sip on your low end blended scotch...

I'll do a one for one swap (my aisle for your aisle) but there's no reason to take a hit like that.

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