Please take your assigned seat

To all the battlefield upgraders, yes, it is an inconvenience for me to change my seat.  Just by asking, you put me in an awkward spot.  Do I stay in the seat that I chose and wanted while being a jerk, or do I inconvenience myself and sacrifice my choice just so you can sit next to Schmoopy

It's one thing to change seats on a long-haul flight, that I get.  But to ask on a hour long flight, really?  More often than not, people will know you're together.  If they want to switch seats, they will offer -- I've done this and i've seen others do this.  But to ask, puts the person in the seat in an awkward position and it's rather selfish of you.   If it's so important you sit together, then you should get seated together and that may mean sitting in the back or buying a first class ticket. 


RDimperio January 4, 2011 at 11:23 am

C'mon Fozz. Switching like seats is no big deal. Aisle 3 to aisle 4? No problem. Move to bulkhead or move change from aisle to window, now that is a different story. I recently asked to switch seats on a small commuter jet for a 1.5 hour flight. We were both on the aisle and in the same row. I figured better to ask at the onset than have her seated comfortably. Besides it would have been awkward talking around/through this other passenger. Of course I thanked her.

I feel equally awkward, and sometimes do change, but sometimes not. I flew GVA-IAD last week and absolutely wanted the window seat in business class (I like to take pics & video), and declined a request to move my seat. It ended up working out, as there was an open seat in the adjacent pair and the couple were seated together anyhow. I'm beginning to not feel bad anymore about it, actually.

EagerTraveler January 4, 2011 at 06:56 pm

No harm in asking just as there is no harm in complaining.

Michael D January 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

If you are worried about being a jerk if you don't and being inconvenienced if you do then you really have a problem and its source is not the person asking you to move.

If you don't want to move don't. If you do want to move then move. If you are really worried about what everyone in the cabin will think about you then stand up and ask for a vote. :)

Reid January 5, 2011 at 02:17 pm

With todays GA's not wanting to ever change seats lately, as well as equipment swaps and missed connections due to no fault of your own, there is absolutely nothing wrong IMHO with asking. But you MUST be willing to accept a no, without an argument. Once you start to COMPLAIN, then you become a jerk.

MHA January 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

Definitely nothing wrong with asking. I've agreed to move, and declined to move, depending on the situation. "Sorry, I really need the legroom here." On a short flight especially, it's rarely a big deal for me to move.

I try to be as generous about this as possible, because I've also been the beneficiary of a kind fellow passenger who moved so I could have a better seat. On a transcontinental flight back from California last year I asked the check-in agent for an extra-legroom seat, and she put me in the window seat on the boarding aisle. I was perfectly comfortable until the flight attendant closed the cabin door right into my knees! At that point there were no extra seats I could move to, but a thoughtful (and short) woman across the aisle offered to switch, since she would fit just fine.

Fozz M January 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

@RDimperio: I suspect it is a matter of opinion. For me, getting on a plane is my time to detach and unwind, which means starting to go into my own world. This starts as soon as I sit down, so for someone to inconvenience me and ask me, it is a bother. But, as I said, it's a matter of opinion and we are all different.

@Darren: I generally don't feel bad, just annoyed.

To the others, it's really a matter of opinion. For me, if I see people traveling together and I have no issues moving, I will. Now, I will say that a parent wanting to sit with a child or a situation with an elderly person is far different than your average couple, which seems to be the biggest offender in my experience.

Kevin January 8, 2011 at 05:14 am

Have a heart! I've changed for people before, and if i'm flying w/ a schmoopy, i hope they'd switch for me too ;-).