Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "I'm afraid that won't be possible." => Topic started by: illini27 on April 29, 2013, 05:52:21 PM

Title: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: illini27 on April 29, 2013, 05:52:21 PM
Long time lurker, first time poster.  I really enjoy the stories/ethical dilemmas but have never offered one before. 

BG.  Thursday morning I board a flight to Las Vegas.  I was traveling alone but meeting some close friends for an annual guys trip.  I get seated early in the boarding process and settle into a window seat in a middle row of the plane. It is a four hour flight and I planned to work on my laptop for the better part of the trip.  I start reading a book until we takeoff and the use of electronic devices became permitted.  Midway through boarding, 3 women, late-40ish (10 years my senior), stop at my row. 

They spend 10 seconds looking at their boarding passes and then ask if I would kindly trade seats with one of their group so they could sit together. 

What seat, I ask.  "Uh, the middle seat in the last row." 

Now if this were a family with children or an issue of special needs, I think I would have approached this slightly differently. 

I thought for a moment and responded, "I am afraid that won't be possible," and turned my attention back to my book. 

The two ladies took their seats, with the third lady hovering in the row in front.  I generally ignored the continued pleas, which ranged from slight flirtation to the "but we want to sit together" rant I expect to hear from my own children when they do not get what they want.   They pleaded with the stewardess for some assistance.  Turns out the rear seat passenger had just assumed they were all sitting together and she never bothered to actually check if the airline had assigned her a seat.  After a few minutes, the stewardess took a stand and told them if they wanted to sit together, they could  all move to the back of the plane.  They took her advice, and two travelers stuck on the last row eagerly accepted the move to seats that actually recline and were not in direct proximity to the bathrooms. 

It was nice to have a succinct, polite response to what I viewed to be an unreasonable request.  I avoiding moving out of some perceived obligation to be the nice guy to these ladies, or starting an argument.  Either would have put a cloud on my trip.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: jayhawk on April 29, 2013, 06:49:32 PM
Love to hear about great experiences!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: hobish on April 29, 2013, 06:56:57 PM
Love to hear about great experiences!

...especially when they involve air travel! Good stuff!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: buvezdevin on April 29, 2013, 09:16:46 PM
You handled that well, and it seems it worked out well for all involved, thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Library Dragon on April 29, 2013, 10:33:45 PM
Bravo.  It's irritating when people presume that their desire to sit together on a plane trumps your being comfortable and being able to work. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on April 29, 2013, 11:14:36 PM
If it was so important that they sit together, why didn't they make sure they had seats together when they first booked the flight?  Not your problem.  You were fine.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: mime on April 30, 2013, 10:16:03 AM
Well done! I hope that in the same situation I can display such a polite spine.

I really like the flight attendant's advice, too: if they want to sit together then they can sacrifice their own comfort.

Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 30, 2013, 11:37:09 AM
Good job. Glad the flight attendent handled it the correct way.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 30, 2013, 01:38:59 PM
Nicely done!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on April 30, 2013, 02:07:44 PM
They were SS'y to not think of all moving to the back of the plane themselves. 
But, the result was good.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Mental Magpie on May 05, 2013, 09:03:05 PM
As a little tag onto this story, when we flew to England last May our tickets were booked by a third party (it was a school trip).  The Eagle and I were flying from Denver to Toronto and my mother was flying from Seattle to Toronto.  There was no way we could try to book seats together on the flight from Toronto to England.  When we boarded the flight, I asked a few people sitting around us if they were traveling with anyone and if they would mind switching with my mother.  The Eagle and I were seated at the very back of the plane and my mother was about 10-15 rows ahead of us.  Everyone declined quite politely...and that was that!  I said thanks for at least listening to my request and settled in for the flight.

What I'm getting at is that I don't think they were out of line at all to ask...just that they didn't accept the decline gracefully.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Rohanna on May 05, 2013, 09:10:11 PM
The last flight I took was overbooked and we almost were bumped- they tried to seat me, my then 9 month old and my 4 year old in different seats. *I* thought that would make for a quiet flight for me, personally  ;) Then they assigned us seats in the exit row- but no one minded switching to those.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: nutraxfornerves on May 05, 2013, 09:36:26 PM
Quote
Then they assigned us seats in the exit row- but no one minded switching to those.
Really? They put a baby and a small child in the exit row? That is supposed to be occupied only by people who are old enough and able-bodied enough to be able to assist others to get out in case of emergency. Most countries have laws that specify that.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on May 05, 2013, 09:56:50 PM
Quote
Then they assigned us seats in the exit row- but no one minded switching to those.
Really? They put a baby and a small child in the exit row? That is supposed to be occupied only by people who are old enough and able-bodied enough to be able to assist others to get out in case of emergency. Most countries have laws that specify that.

I think what she was saying, was that they were assigned the exit row seats, and then people with other assigned seats were willing to swap with them.  So, the plane didn't take off with kids in the exit row. 

Basic idea, is that the person that doesn't have to swap should get at least a tiny upgrade. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: nutraxfornerves on May 05, 2013, 09:58:30 PM
Ah! I interpreted "but no one minded switching to those." as "none of us minded switching.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: kherbert05 on May 05, 2013, 10:22:40 PM
Quote
Then they assigned us seats in the exit row- but no one minded switching to those.
Really? They put a baby and a small child in the exit row? That is supposed to be occupied only by people who are old enough and able-bodied enough to be able to assist others to get out in case of emergency. Most countries have laws that specify that.
I think that is what she meant about it being easy to find people to switch with her. It doesn't surprise me, I've had it happened 2x.

1. sis and I were 5 and 9 or there abouts. We were sitting separate from our parents, who were in the smoking sections. When we got to our seats there were three obnoxious 20 somethings in our row. We slid into the exit row and tried to explain to them they were in our seats. Then the man who should have been on the aisle of our row showed up. They wouldn't move for him either. He called the attendant over. If looks could kill - we would have all been dead. She told us to sit in the emergency row. I was torn between breaking the rule about sitting in the emergency row and the rule about doing what the attendant says to do. So I said "but we are too young to sit here Ma'am" she smiled and said are you smart enough to know not to try and open the door in flight?.  I replied You don't even touch the windows unless a crew member tells you to pull down the curtain because it makes my Mom nervous. Dad's face when he came up to check on us, but the adults around us assured him everything was ok. (The 20 somethings had tried to open the emergency door in flight. I surprised they weren't arrested.)

2. I was traveling with 2 cousins age about 4 and 6. We were seated in the emergency row. I complained about this at the desk, at the gate, when we boarded. I was assured it was fine - until the middle of take off when the attendant moved my cousins but wouldn't let me move. It was an Austin to Houston flight so go up go down. The seatbelt light never went off. I could hear the 4 yo tormenting his sister. The other people on the flight were asking the attendant to let me move back to the kids. She refused. Finally after the 6 year screamed in terror. I undid my belt and moved back to them. They were seated with no other passengers around them - no one to help them if the o2 masks came down or we had to evacuate. She threatened to have me arrested - but the guys in the 3 piece suits made it clear they were going to raise hell about how she treated us. When we got off I told my Aunt - the kids Grandmother about what had happened. We went to complain - and found out 3/4 of the passengers had complained about how the kids and I were treated.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: menley on May 06, 2013, 08:24:50 AM
Bravo, OP! I know it can be hard but the "it won't be possible" was the perfect response.

I had a situation recently where I was traveling alone. I specifically picked an aisle seat near the restroom as I have IBS. The woman sitting in the center asked if I would switch with her husband and said, "Oh, he's in an aisle seat too, it shouldn't be a problem." Well, we went to his seat and I saw he was in a middle seat, basically as far from any restroom as you can be! I said, "I'm sorry, but this won't be possible." She made an annoyed noise but ignored me the rest of the flight, luckily. I still don't know why she lied about which seat he was in... it's not like I wouldn't very quickly find out! :)
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on May 06, 2013, 11:43:40 AM
She probably thought that she could pressure you into taking the seat after she got you to move. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Ginger G on June 06, 2013, 10:50:53 AM
I had a business trip a couple of weeks ago travelling from SC to Wyoming, so a long way to go and several different planes.  On my longest stretch, I was looking at the seating chart on the monitor before boarding and was happy to see that the middle seat of my row was not filled (I had an aisle seat).  Of course my luck did not hold and sure enough by the time I got to my row there was a woman sitting in the middle seat.  Her husband comes up to me and asks me if I would switch seats.  I asked if it was a middle seat, of course it was (2 rows in front of mine), so I politely declined.  I had booked my flights as soon as I found out about the trip specifcally to avoid having to sit in the middle seat, so there was no way I was going to change for a 4 hour flight.  He gave me the rudest scowl imaginable, and walked away.  Somehow he still managed to find someone to switch because a young guy came over and he and the woman switched.  I told the young guy he was very nice to give up his aisle or window seat for a stranger! 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on June 06, 2013, 11:02:02 AM
I will happily move to an equivalent or better seat, if asked.  But to give up my aisle seat as close to the front of the plane as I was able to book it for a middle seat at the back of the plane?  Not going to happen.  Ever.

(I suffer from severe motion sickness.  I find it much worse in the back of the plane than if I'm close to the wing or forward.)

OP - you did great!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: bopper on August 06, 2013, 02:46:09 PM
My daughter and her friend were on a flight but were not sitting together.
But one lady was happy to move from her middle seat to an aisle seat farther up the plane that had extra legroom!
We thought ahead of time of how we could offer a better seat to someone so they could sit together.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: misha412 on August 07, 2013, 08:42:53 PM
Sorry I am coming late on this one.

A number of years ago I was traveling across country from NC to Nevada. I had an aisle seat. I got seated early and the flight was full. Towards the end of boarding, a lady came up who was assigned the middle seat. She asked me if I minded trading seats as her traveling companion was seated in the seat across the aisle from me. I said I would be happy to trade with her companion if they wanted to sit together.

Her reply?

"No. We both want the aisle seats. They are more comfortable."

"Then I will have to say no." was my reply.

I like the aisle or the window seat because the middle seat makes me a bit claustrophobic. I prefer aisle to window. This was the only leg of this trip that I actually got the aisle seat. I was not giving it up.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: stkatie00 on August 22, 2013, 05:19:45 PM
DH and I were flying from DC to Phoenix with our 20 month old twins (last trip before we have to pay for seats for them). It's important to know that each section of a plane has one extra air mask for a lap child, so we cannot sit together (so, in this case, where it was a plane with 3 seats on each side of the aisle, we could sit across the aisle from each other, but not in the same set of 3 seats). In order to get aisle seats across from each other, we were in the very back row. When we boarded, there was a man in DH's seat. He had originally been assigned the middle seat next to me, but he was flying with his daughter (she was probably 9 or 10), and refused to move. The flight attendant ended up asking the lady in the aisle seat a row ahead to move to that middle seat next to me, since, as I said, DH and I could NOT sit next to each other. The lady was very gracious about it, but her husband was ticked off they would be sitting apart from each other. If the first man's daughter had been younger, I could have understood a bit better, but she seemed old enough that sitting apart shouldn't have been an issue-especially since he's whole attitude just screamed that he didn't care about the inconvience to others he was causing.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: kareng57 on August 22, 2013, 11:09:12 PM
Sorry I am coming late on this one.

A number of years ago I was traveling across country from NC to Nevada. I had an aisle seat. I got seated early and the flight was full. Towards the end of boarding, a lady came up who was assigned the middle seat. She asked me if I minded trading seats as her traveling companion was seated in the seat across the aisle from me. I said I would be happy to trade with her companion if they wanted to sit together.

Her reply?

"No. We both want the aisle seats. They are more comfortable."

"Then I will have to say no." was my reply.

I like the aisle or the window seat because the middle seat makes me a bit claustrophobic. I prefer aisle to window. This was the only leg of this trip that I actually got the aisle seat. I was not giving it up.


Of course you were fine to deny their request - but, in fact many couples (especially if at least one of them is on the larger-body-size) do in fact prefer facing-aisle seats.  Sometimes it's the best version of sitting "together".
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: missmolly on August 23, 2013, 12:01:54 AM
Any David Sedaris fans here? He wrote about a flight where a woman tried to pressure him to swap with her husband for a seat that he hated and acted very petulant when he politely refused.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 23, 2013, 12:17:45 AM
Sorry I am coming late on this one.

A number of years ago I was traveling across country from NC to Nevada. I had an aisle seat. I got seated early and the flight was full. Towards the end of boarding, a lady came up who was assigned the middle seat. She asked me if I minded trading seats as her traveling companion was seated in the seat across the aisle from me. I said I would be happy to trade with her companion if they wanted to sit together.

Her reply?

"No. We both want the aisle seats. They are more comfortable."

"Then I will have to say no." was my reply.

I like the aisle or the window seat because the middle seat makes me a bit claustrophobic. I prefer aisle to window. This was the only leg of this trip that I actually got the aisle seat. I was not giving it up.


Of course you were fine to deny their request - but, in fact many couples (especially if at least one of them is on the larger-body-size) do in fact prefer facing-aisle seats.  Sometimes it's the best version of sitting "together".

But that doesn't sound the reason.  It was ok for the op to be uncomfortable in a middle seat at least ro them.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 23, 2013, 12:19:40 AM
DH and I were flying from DC to Phoenix with our 20 month old twins (last trip before we have to pay for seats for them). It's important to know that each section of a plane has one extra air mask for a lap child, so we cannot sit together (so, in this case, where it was a plane with 3 seats on each side of the aisle, we could sit across the aisle from each other, but not in the same set of 3 seats). In order to get aisle seats across from each other, we were in the very back row. When we boarded, there was a man in DH's seat. He had originally been assigned the middle seat next to me, but he was flying with his daughter (she was probably 9 or 10), and refused to move. The flight attendant ended up asking the lady in the aisle seat a row ahead to move to that middle seat next to me, since, as I said, DH and I could NOT sit next to each other. The lady was very gracious about it, but her husband was ticked off they would be sitting apart from each other. If the first man's daughter had been younger, I could have understood a bit better, but she seemed old enough that sitting apart shouldn't have been an issue-especially since he's whole attitude just screamed that he didn't care about the inconvience to others he was causing.

Wait!  He was sitting in your dh's assigned seat and he wouldn't move and the GA didn't make home move either? 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: DragonKitty on August 23, 2013, 10:27:32 AM
I would have told your DH to go ahead and sit in the guy's lap, and that way DH would be sitting in his assigned seat.  But yes, I am a bad person willing to start something.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: stkatie00 on August 23, 2013, 11:10:20 AM
DH and I were flying from DC to Phoenix with our 20 month old twins (last trip before we have to pay for seats for them). It's important to know that each section of a plane has one extra air mask for a lap child, so we cannot sit together (so, in this case, where it was a plane with 3 seats on each side of the aisle, we could sit across the aisle from each other, but not in the same set of 3 seats). In order to get aisle seats across from each other, we were in the very back row. When we boarded, there was a man in DH's seat. He had originally been assigned the middle seat next to me, but he was flying with his daughter (she was probably 9 or 10), and refused to move. The flight attendant ended up asking the lady in the aisle seat a row ahead to move to that middle seat next to me, since, as I said, DH and I could NOT sit next to each other. The lady was very gracious about it, but her husband was ticked off they would be sitting apart from each other. If the first man's daughter had been younger, I could have understood a bit better, but she seemed old enough that sitting apart shouldn't have been an issue-especially since he's whole attitude just screamed that he didn't care about the inconvience to others he was causing.

Wait!  He was sitting in your dh's assigned seat and he wouldn't move and the GA didn't make home move either?

Yup-he said something like, "No, I refuse to move. I MUST sit with my daughter." Since the other lady said she would move, it got worked out, but I'm not sure what would have happened if she hadn't.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Asharah on August 23, 2013, 12:08:04 PM
DH and I were flying from DC to Phoenix with our 20 month old twins (last trip before we have to pay for seats for them). It's important to know that each section of a plane has one extra air mask for a lap child, so we cannot sit together (so, in this case, where it was a plane with 3 seats on each side of the aisle, we could sit across the aisle from each other, but not in the same set of 3 seats). In order to get aisle seats across from each other, we were in the very back row. When we boarded, there was a man in DH's seat. He had originally been assigned the middle seat next to me, but he was flying with his daughter (she was probably 9 or 10), and refused to move. The flight attendant ended up asking the lady in the aisle seat a row ahead to move to that middle seat next to me, since, as I said, DH and I could NOT sit next to each other. The lady was very gracious about it, but her husband was ticked off they would be sitting apart from each other. If the first man's daughter had been younger, I could have understood a bit better, but she seemed old enough that sitting apart shouldn't have been an issue-especially since he's whole attitude just screamed that he didn't care about the inconvience to others he was causing.

Wait!  He was sitting in your dh's assigned seat and he wouldn't move and the GA didn't make home move either?

Yup-he said something like, "No, I refuse to move. I MUST sit with my daughter." Since the other lady said she would move, it got worked out, but I'm not sure what would have happened if she hadn't.
Well, why didn't he book two seats together. If he waited until the last minute to book the flight and then couldn't get two seats together I would say that falls under "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 23, 2013, 12:57:53 PM
DH and I were flying from DC to Phoenix with our 20 month old twins (last trip before we have to pay for seats for them). It's important to know that each section of a plane has one extra air mask for a lap child, so we cannot sit together (so, in this case, where it was a plane with 3 seats on each side of the aisle, we could sit across the aisle from each other, but not in the same set of 3 seats). In order to get aisle seats across from each other, we were in the very back row. When we boarded, there was a man in DH's seat. He had originally been assigned the middle seat next to me, but he was flying with his daughter (she was probably 9 or 10), and refused to move. The flight attendant ended up asking the lady in the aisle seat a row ahead to move to that middle seat next to me, since, as I said, DH and I could NOT sit next to each other. The lady was very gracious about it, but her husband was ticked off they would be sitting apart from each other. If the first man's daughter had been younger, I could have understood a bit better, but she seemed old enough that sitting apart shouldn't have been an issue-especially since he's whole attitude just screamed that he didn't care about the inconvience to others he was causing.

Wait!  He was sitting in your dh's assigned seat and he wouldn't move and the GA didn't make home move either?

Yup-he said something like, "No, I refuse to move. I MUST sit with my daughter." Since the other lady said she would move, it got worked out, but I'm not sure what would have happened if she hadn't.


Wow!  I certainly would have made sure I got my assigned seat.  I pre-select my seats.  It is not my fault and I should not be inconvenienced b/c he didn't. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: stkatie00 on August 23, 2013, 01:03:22 PM
DH and I were flying from DC to Phoenix with our 20 month old twins (last trip before we have to pay for seats for them). It's important to know that each section of a plane has one extra air mask for a lap child, so we cannot sit together (so, in this case, where it was a plane with 3 seats on each side of the aisle, we could sit across the aisle from each other, but not in the same set of 3 seats). In order to get aisle seats across from each other, we were in the very back row. When we boarded, there was a man in DH's seat. He had originally been assigned the middle seat next to me, but he was flying with his daughter (she was probably 9 or 10), and refused to move. The flight attendant ended up asking the lady in the aisle seat a row ahead to move to that middle seat next to me, since, as I said, DH and I could NOT sit next to each other. The lady was very gracious about it, but her husband was ticked off they would be sitting apart from each other. If the first man's daughter had been younger, I could have understood a bit better, but she seemed old enough that sitting apart shouldn't have been an issue-especially since he's whole attitude just screamed that he didn't care about the inconvience to others he was causing.

Wait!  He was sitting in your dh's assigned seat and he wouldn't move and the GA didn't make home move either?

Yup-he said something like, "No, I refuse to move. I MUST sit with my daughter." Since the other lady said she would move, it got worked out, but I'm not sure what would have happened if she hadn't.


Wow!  I certainly would have made sure I got my assigned seat.  I pre-select my seats.  It is not my fault and I should not be inconvenienced b/c he didn't.

I was pretty shocked-once it was explained why we legally couldn't use his assigned seat (by the FA who was standing right there), I expected him to move. But no, he had to be an SS and displace two people instead.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: magiccat26 on August 23, 2013, 01:59:50 PM
Not to defend the guy with the daughter, but we had a similar situation recently.  I booked our flight over 3 months in advance.  I was allowed to select our seats on the out bound flight, but the website would NOT allow me to choose our seats for the return flight.  I tried multiple times over the months to book our seats, but the website always showed all seats (except one or two single seats at random intervals) as filled.  I finally called the airline and they were quite rude and unhelpful.  They basically told me I would have to wait until we got to the airport for our return flight to select our seats because only the gate agent could do it. It sounded ridiculous.  I asked for a supervisor, but she was even less helpful than the first agent.

My daughter is 10.  While she is quite independent and doesn't need mom and dad holding her hand to fly...I was uncomfortable with not knowing who would be sitting next to her.  Due to her looks (I get stopped by strangers telling me how beautiful her hair is) she draws lots of unwanted attention.  She's still learning how to cope with this unwanted attention.  On a recent trip a strange man cornered her after she left the ladies room and started petting her head and telling her how beautiful she is.  My husband had to physically remove the guy and save my daughter.  So, with that fresh on our minds I was facing the fear of DD being stuck next to some perv and not knowing what to do.

Luckily, it all worked out for us.  The gate agent was very apologetic (for the way phone support had treated us) and upgraded us to business class so the three of us could be together.  I'm not sure what I would have done if he hadn't been able (and willing) to help us.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 23, 2013, 02:04:54 PM
You wouldn't have done what this man did.  He could have asked gate agents, but instead he displaced two people and caused a ruckus on the plane. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: darkprincess on August 23, 2013, 03:21:44 PM
We had to fly alot while my daughter was an infant-todder. So we decided we would purchase a FAA approved car seat that converted into a stroller and then always buy a ticket for her.  We made sure that the seat was allowed and fit on the planes. We somehow were always able to get assigned seats next to each other and we always planned to have the carseat in between us. I am amazed at the amount of times people requested that either me or my husband give up our seat for varies reasons. Who wants to sit next to the baby on a plane >:D  Many people automatically assumed that we hadn't purchased three tickets and wanted us to move so that they could have the "spare" seat. They assumed the spare seat would be the aisle. But the the time that was really rude was when someone suggested that because she was less than two we should check in the carseat, hold her on our lap and then trade their two seats together for our three seats together. I politely let them know that we paid for three tickets and we do not wish to trade. The mother actually argued with us and said that because of us her 12 yr old daughter would be sitting by herself. I didn't bother to respond that maybe the mom or dad could sit by themselves so the 12 yr old could use one of the two seats together.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Miss March on August 23, 2013, 03:25:01 PM
Any David Sedaris fans here? He wrote about a flight where a woman tried to pressure him to swap with her husband for a seat that he hated and acted very petulant when he politely refused.

You can read his story online at this site:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/06/13/050613sh_shouts (http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/06/13/050613sh_shouts)
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: zainabzks on August 23, 2013, 03:58:40 PM
many times, websites won't allow us to select our seats in advance.

I have also been in situations where I had preselected seats but the airline changed them at the last minute. I was shocked that the flight attendant and airline expected me to sit several rows away from my then two year old. I had one bulk seat and one aisle seat several rows back. Someone was nice enough to exchange seats with my son. THe FA was not helpful at all.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: stkatie00 on August 23, 2013, 04:10:22 PM
The thing was, in our situation-he could have talked to a gate agent. And I totally get being nervous about who would be sitting next to your child if you're several rows away. But he was in the same general row, with both of them in middle seats, AND he refused to move when the FA told him the original holder of the seat could not use his seat. There were other things that happened with that flight (we ended up going back to the gate and deplaning, then having the flight delayed until the next morning) that made a lot of what happened a moot point. It was still frustrating at the time.

And, actually, on the return flight, when we had, once again, selected seats across the aisle from each other, my DH had been switched to a middle seat several rows ahead. We discussed it with the gate agent, and he was able to discuss it with other passengers, and get us back across the aisle from each other. However, in that case, we were willing to accept that they couldn't do anything about it, and we weren't the ones trying to get other people to move-we left it to the professional.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: hobish on August 23, 2013, 04:30:56 PM
Any David Sedaris fans here? He wrote about a flight where a woman tried to pressure him to swap with her husband for a seat that he hated and acted very petulant when he politely refused.

You can read his story online at this site:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/06/13/050613sh_shouts (http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/06/13/050613sh_shouts)

Hahaha, thank you for that!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Isilleke on August 23, 2013, 04:43:55 PM
STORY 1
In my case, the only time someone offered to trade I had the better outcome. I was sitting in the middle seat of the last row next to a man who asked if I didn't mind swapping seats with his wife and baby, who turned out to be sitting in the aisle seat in the middle of the plane.

But to be fair, I don't really care where I sit, as long as the armrests are down and when I'm in the middle I do want at least one of them to use.

My worst planestory is actually about a has-been-friend. She was always someone I only could take in small doses, but I thought 3 days with her and another friend wouldn't be so bad. I was clearly mistaken. Already fed up with her, we went to our seats (me at the window - mutual friend in the middle - her in [at?] the aisle) and she started to tick with her finger to my friends ear. That way that you hold your dumb and middlefinger together and it really hurts when someone does it at a sensitive spot? My friend didn't like this and tried to get her to stop but she wouldn't for a 1.5 hour flight... Except for the 5 minutes the friend in the middle went to the bathroom and she tried to do it to me. Sometimes I do have very fast reflexes so I grabbed her hand, looked her in the eye and just said "no way." After 3 days of not saying anything about anything making it very clear that I wasn't impressed felt really good to be honest. But I will never ever travel with her again!

As for them, they did went on another trip together, for 3 weeks even! Only this time, the good friends boyfriend tagged along and apparently the trip didn't go so smoothly as they had hoped. ::)

In case anyone wonders about our ages, we were all 23-24 at the time of the first trip last year.  :)

STORY 2
This is actually my mothers story and I don't exactly remember the details. She was on the plane with her sister and on the other side of the aisle was sitting a couple. They weren't sitting as they were supposed to and refused point blank to do anything. After 15 minutes the FAs asked my mother and her sister if they could help them out and they said "sure, why not." A little while later, when the seatbelt signs come off, the FAs come back to my mother and her sister with two glasses of champagne and announce very loudly (so the couple, that was sitting across the aisle could hear them), that it was on them because they had been so helpful. I'm sure that was one of the worst planerides that couple ever had.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on August 23, 2013, 05:26:57 PM
For those that have had seats switched on you at the last minute.  I don't know if all airlines do this, but all the ones I flew on as a road warrior did.  24 hours in advance you can print a copy of your boarding pass.  Once you have a boarding pass, you are considered almost unmovable by the airline.  Also, if you go in 24 hours in advance and find that they've moved you, then is the time to complain.  The closer you get to boarding time, the harder it will be for the airline to move you. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Poppea on August 23, 2013, 05:41:22 PM
Sorry I am coming late on this one.

A number of years ago I was traveling across country from NC to Nevada. I had an aisle seat. I got seated early and the flight was full. Towards the end of boarding, a lady came up who was assigned the middle seat. She asked me if I minded trading seats as her traveling companion was seated in the seat across the aisle from me. I said I would be happy to trade with her companion if they wanted to sit together.

Her reply?

"No. We both want the aisle seats. They are more comfortable."

"Then I will have to say no." was my reply.

I like the aisle or the window seat because the middle seat makes me a bit claustrophobic. I prefer aisle to window. This was the only leg of this trip that I actually got the aisle seat. I was not giving it up.


Of course you were fine to deny their request - but, in fact many couples (especially if at least one of them is on the larger-body-size) do in fact prefer facing-aisle seats.  Sometimes it's the best version of sitting "together".

Its nice if they prefer it, but asking someone to swap the aisle seat for your middle because its a nicer seat is rude.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Library Dragon on August 23, 2013, 05:51:46 PM
I've had many odd seating stories.  The double booking of DS1's seat with a woman who was insistent that she sit there.  When we had a layover the gate agent tried to move DS1 (then 5 years) to a seat half the plane away and refused to listen to why it wasn't a good idea.  Fortunately the FA's were more helpful.

***

The one totally on me was when DS1 and I were flying a few years ago (he was then 27 years) and we had two aisle seats booked.  I didn't pay attention and sat in the wrong row.  The seat's rightful occupant came along and I moved.  But, I sat in the wrong row again (the seats rows didn't match exactly and I was looking at the opposite side's numbers).  I was supposed to be one row back. 

The seat's occupant came and I was about to say, 'Hey, why don't you just take my seat behind me.  I never recline.'  But, it was my error and I got up.  I was about to sit down when a man in the aisle said, "Is this your seat."  I was embarrassed at myself and ready to finally sit down.  I almost snapped, 'Yes and I'm not moving again.'  Fortunately I didn't.

The passenger said, "This is my wife [woman by the window].  I have a seat in first class.  Would you mind if we switched so I can sit by her?" 

'Of course not!'  I took his boarding pass and quickly sat myself down in a much more comfortable seat. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: CharlieBraun on August 24, 2013, 12:13:45 AM
Essential, air travel has morphed such  that any window, or an aisle seat, are considered premium - at extra cost.

So, you can book your seats months in advance and pick seats next to each other but as the flight date approaches, the quant models for the seating are overlaid and seats (never guaranteed) are rearranged.  You had a window, middle and aisle for Husband, Wife, Child in your original intinerary?  Congrats, each of the three of you are in middle seats in varied rows anywhere in the plane.

Flyers who have status or who are willing to pay an upcharge to guarantee an aisle seat or a window seat have shuffled the quant deck.  If you aren't in either of those categories, your seat is now on open play and up for bid.

My ILs travel maybe once every five years by plane.  For their latest trip, when I purchased their tickets, I got guaranteed seats for them (including purchasing a middle seat so that they could spread out, my FIL having some mbility issues) and instructed my MIL to not give them up or trade them.  Sure enough, a family came along and played the "but our children have to be with us! So you move to give us your premium seats and take our cheapest possibly seats back near the lavs!  Because we are a FAAAAMMMMMMILLLLY! and therefore deserve more than you selfish old people without kids!"

My MIL who has the sweetest voice, simply looked at them and said "noooooo".  When the father of the FFAAAAAMMMMMILLLLY tried again, my FIL - a man of very little English but remarkable turn of phrase, said "I know a ten cent millionaire when I see him."

The FFFAAAAMMMMMILLLLY whined to the flight attendant about the "spare" middle seat and how much better it would be for them if they could have those three seats for their FFAAAAAAMMMMMILLLLY.  The FA, taking her dignity in her hands, approached my FIL.  Who responded:  "Ask my wife."  MIL came back her her sweet sweet "no......"

The FFFFAAAAMMMMMILLLY groused for the rest of the flight, but I'm sure that helped them start their trip out wonderfully.  I really only care about my ILs.   They've worked their whole lives and raised their own FFFAAAAMMMMMIIIILLLLLLYYY so I feel no compunction about making sure that they get as much of the good life as I can help with.

Next time, in spite of their protestations, I'm upgrading them to first. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 24, 2013, 12:15:47 AM
For those that have had seats switched on you at the last minute.  I don't know if all airlines do this, but all the ones I flew on as a road warrior did.  24 hours in advance you can print a copy of your boarding pass.  Once you have a boarding pass, you are considered almost unmovable by the airline.  Also, if you go in 24 hours in advance and find that they've moved you, then is the time to complain.  The closer you get to boarding time, the harder it will be for the airline to move you.


This doesn't work if you already have checked in online. Once you are checked in online, you can't change your seats,

Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: CharlieBraun on August 24, 2013, 12:28:36 AM
For those that have had seats switched on you at the last minute.  I don't know if all airlines do this, but all the ones I flew on as a road warrior did.  24 hours in advance you can print a copy of your boarding pass.  Once you have a boarding pass, you are considered almost unmovable by the airline.  Also, if you go in 24 hours in advance and find that they've moved you, then is the time to complain.  The closer you get to boarding time, the harder it will be for the airline to move you.


This doesn't work if you already have checked in online. Once you are checked in online, you can't change your seats,

But the airline can.  And generally, their excuse is "change in equipment".
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: magiccat26 on August 24, 2013, 06:55:24 AM
Just to add a bit more, while speaking to the CS person on the phone I was told, "the FAs would NEVER place a child alone on the plane....unless the child is over 9, because at 9 a child is fine flying by themselves."

Isn't it interesting how the airlines decide when a child is old enough/mature enough to be alone?  I get that kids fly as unaccompanied minors all the time (and the airlines set those age guidelines), but to basically imply that I was being unreasonable by wanting my child next to me (it was in the tone, impossible to convey in text).

I offered to pay for upgraded seats and was bluntly told no.  They basically told me that there was nothing I could do and I would have to take my chances at the airport.

It was super stressful for me.  I will say that I plan to do EVERYTHING in my power to avoid flying with this airline ever again.  I can see why they are in bankruptcy and hope the courts make it very painful for them to ever recover.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on August 24, 2013, 08:04:46 AM
For those that have had seats switched on you at the last minute.  I don't know if all airlines do this, but all the ones I flew on as a road warrior did.  24 hours in advance you can print a copy of your boarding pass.  Once you have a boarding pass, you are considered almost unmovable by the airline.  Also, if you go in 24 hours in advance and find that they've moved you, then is the time to complain.  The closer you get to boarding time, the harder it will be for the airline to move you.
This doesn't work if you already have checked in online. Once you are checked in online, you can't change your seats,
I guess I left it unsaid that if they've moved you don't check-in, but do call in to complain right away. 

Sidenote:  It is really such a shame that most airlines seem to actively work at making the travel experience so miserable.  \
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: suzieQ on August 24, 2013, 10:05:48 AM
Not to defend the guy with the daughter, but we had a similar situation recently.  I booked our flight over 3 months in advance.  I was allowed to select our seats on the out bound flight, but the website would NOT allow me to choose our seats for the return flight.  I tried multiple times over the months to book our seats, but the website always showed all seats (except one or two single seats at random intervals) as filled.  I finally called the airline and they were quite rude and unhelpful.  They basically told me I would have to wait until we got to the airport for our return flight to select our seats because only the gate agent could do it. It sounded ridiculous.  I asked for a supervisor, but she was even less helpful than the first agent.

My daughter is 10.  While she is quite independent and doesn't need mom and dad holding her hand to fly...I was uncomfortable with not knowing who would be sitting next to her.  Due to her looks (I get stopped by strangers telling me how beautiful her hair is) she draws lots of unwanted attention.  She's still learning how to cope with this unwanted attention.  On a recent trip a strange man cornered her after she left the ladies room and started petting her head and telling her how beautiful she is.  My husband had to physically remove the guy and save my daughter.  So, with that fresh on our minds I was facing the fear of DD being stuck next to some perv and not knowing what to do.

Luckily, it all worked out for us.  The gate agent was very apologetic (for the way phone support had treated us) and upgraded us to business class so the three of us could be together.  I'm not sure what I would have done if he hadn't been able (and willing) to help us.
Is she a redhead? I got that kind of attention growing up too. Good for you for protecting her from it!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: magiccat26 on August 24, 2013, 10:11:07 AM
Is she a redhead? I got that kind of attention growing up too. Good for you for protecting her from it!

She has waist length strawberry blonde hair that we take very good care of.  It shines red gold in sunlight.  :)
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 24, 2013, 10:49:48 AM
Just to add a bit more, while speaking to the CS person on the phone I was told, "the FAs would NEVER place a child alone on the plane....unless the child is over 9, because at 9 a child is fine flying by themselves."

Isn't it interesting how the airlines decide when a child is old enough/mature enough to be alone?  I get that kids fly as unaccompanied minors all the time (and the airlines set those age guidelines), but to basically imply that I was being unreasonable by wanting my child next to me (it was in the tone, impossible to convey in text).

I offered to pay for upgraded seats and was bluntly told no.  They basically told me that there was nothing I could do and I would have to take my chances at the airport.

It was super stressful for me.  I will say that I plan to do EVERYTHING in my power to avoid flying with this airline ever again.  I can see why they are in bankruptcy and hope the courts make it very painful for them to ever recover.

All airlines work this way. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 24, 2013, 11:04:38 AM
For those that have had seats switched on you at the last minute.  I don't know if all airlines do this, but all the ones I flew on as a road warrior did.  24 hours in advance you can print a copy of your boarding pass.  Once you have a boarding pass, you are considered almost unmovable by the airline.  Also, if you go in 24 hours in advance and find that they've moved you, then is the time to complain.  The closer you get to boarding time, the harder it will be for the airline to move you.


This doesn't work if you already have checked in online. Once you are checked in online, you can't change your seats,



yes you can..
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 24, 2013, 11:17:46 AM
Not online and not by phone.   You have to take your chances at the airport.  I learned this the hard way.  The boarding pass has been issued once you check in.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 24, 2013, 12:32:43 PM
Not online and not by phone.   You have to take your chances at the airport.  I learned this the hard way.  The boarding pass has been issued once you check in.

Right, but your post made it sound like you can never ever change your seat after check in.  It is possible and often doable.  I fly a lot and have only had a few instances where I haven't been able to change my seat at all
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: JacklynHyde on August 24, 2013, 02:19:58 PM
The last time I asked if someone on a flight would change seats with me, it was offering up my solo chair closer to the door for her window seat in the last row next to a big guy with a ponytail.  I was extremely polite and even apologized for approaching her.  She was all too happy to fly with nobody bothering her.  I got to sit with an old friend who happened to be booked on my flight.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 24, 2013, 02:28:05 PM
Yes.  I also fly a lot.  I meant after checking in online. You can't change your seats ONLINE after you have checked in.  You have to do it at the airport. This is why it is important to choose yoir seats as far in advance as possible. I was responding to the person who complained te airline wouldn't change her seats until the airport.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: magiccat26 on August 24, 2013, 02:37:25 PM
Yes.  I also fly a lot.  I meant after checking in online. You can't change your seats ONLINE after you have checked in.  You have to do it at the airport. This is why it is important to choose yoir seats as far in advance as possible. I was responding to the person who complained te airline wouldn't change her seats until the airport.

I had never checked in, so that wouldn't apply.  I couldn't select seats when I booked, I couldn't select seats during the 7 weeks prior to our flight, I couldn't select seats two days before my flight.  We checked in AT the airport because I didn't want to check in without guaranteed seats.  I promise I'm not ignorant of how airlines work.  This was NOT normal.  I've never had this much trouble getting assigned seats before a flight.  I feel like they just do not care about decent customer service and will be voting with my feet and my $$$$ by never flying with them again.  I can see why they are failing.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Library Dragon on August 24, 2013, 02:40:18 PM
The last time I asked if someone on a flight would change seats with me, it was offering up my solo chair closer to the door for her window seat in the last row next to a big guy with a ponytail.  I was extremely polite and even apologized for approaching her.  She was all too happy to fly with nobody bothering her.  I got to sit with an old friend who happened to be booked on my flight.

You're so nice! 

On our last trip to visit DH's family in NYC our plane had been changed due to weather.  DH's aisle was now the middle next to me (I always book two aisles due to DH's big shoulders and my claustrophobia).  There were two seat left empty, the window seat in our row and the single seat by the door. 

A dad and his teenage daughter came on. She looked at her seat (the single) and her dad's seat.  Being the nice person I am ::)  ;) I spoke up. 'Would the two of you like to sit together? My husband will be glad to move over there.'

They were so thankful.  So was DH.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Acadianna on August 24, 2013, 03:11:47 PM
I was forced to change seats only once that I remember.  I had the window seat in the last row, and when I arrived, all three seats in that row were filled.  In my seat was a felon, manacled, apparently being transported by two federal agents.  Cue great confusion and cries of "She can't sit here!"  (Like I really wanted to.)

The FA put me in the seat right in front of the felon.  I spent the rest of the trip hearing his horrible jokes and imagining him reaching over and wrapping his manacles around my neck.  Next time I'll insist on a move to first class.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 25, 2013, 01:15:54 PM
Yes.  I also fly a lot.  I meant after checking in online. You can't change your seats ONLINE after you have checked in.  You have to do it at the airport. This is why it is important to choose yoir seats as far in advance as possible. I was responding to the person who complained te airline wouldn't change her seats until the airport.

I had never checked in, so that wouldn't apply.  I couldn't select seats when I booked, I couldn't select seats during the 7 weeks prior to our flight, I couldn't select seats two days before my flight.  We checked in AT the airport because I didn't want to check in without guaranteed seats.  I promise I'm not ignorant of how airlines work.  This was NOT normal.  I've never had this much trouble getting assigned seats before a flight.  I feel like they just do not care about decent customer service and will be voting with my feet and my $$$$ by never flying with them again.  I can see why they are failing.


Was it an international flight? 


If you couldn't checkin online or preselect seats, then maybe no one could.   if no one could, I could understand why they wouldn't let you choose seats.  That would be giving you a benefit that no one else received. 


Sometimes they flight is fullish and they leave blocks of seats for their loyalty programme customers and other passengers cannot preselect.  I just booked several flights with them and was able to choose my seats no problem. 


I fly that airline a lot and never have problems. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: magiccat26 on August 25, 2013, 01:26:06 PM
Not international, although it was to a US territory.  I was able to book outbound, so I should have been able to book the return.

Every time I fly that airline, I have problems...this was the straw that broke the camel's back.  You can mess with me and I will tolerate it, but don't you (airline generic you) dare threaten me and tell me that I need to "get over it", my child is "old enough to fly without me" and that I would just have to get to the airport hours before my flight to ensure I got a seat.

Perhaps they treat you better because you are in their loyalty program.  But I would think with all their financial problems, they would want to treat ALL customers very well.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 25, 2013, 01:40:49 PM
Not international, although it was to a US territory.  I was able to book outbound, so I should have been able to book the return.

Every time I fly that airline, I have problems...this was the straw that broke the camel's back.  You can mess with me and I will tolerate it, but don't you (airline generic you) dare threaten me and tell me that I need to "get over it", my child is "old enough to fly without me" and that I would just have to get to the airport hours before my flight to ensure I got a seat.

Perhaps they treat you better because you are in their loyalty program.  But I would think with all their financial problems, they would want to treat ALL customers very well.


It could be that the US territory is considered 'international'.  I could select my seats from Chicago to Finland, but not  Finland to France on my trip from the US via Chicago to Finland to France or Finland back to the US.  I called and it was explained to me it is for security purposes.   Yet, when I just booked my flights to London, I was able to choose my seats.  Was the flight from the territory via a US airport like Atlanta, then connecting ot another flight taking you to your final destination? 


They were definitely wrong to make those comments to you, but the seat selection could have been an FAA rule or other security measure.    You can't expect your seats to be pre-selected if it is part of the rules that you can't.  The rules have to apply to everyone. 


I am part of the loyalty programme, but I don't fly enough to earn any status. We get most of our points for free flights from credit cards.   
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: camlan on August 25, 2013, 01:44:36 PM
This time I wasn't asked to change seats, I was about to offer to change seats.

It was a trans-Atlantic flight, so several hours long. When I got to my pre-booked aisle seat, the middle seat was occupied by a very, very tall man. Sitting in the window seat was his petite girlfriend.

People were still milling around getting settled, so I didn't say anything, but I was planning, once we were airborne, to offer the aisle seat to the guy, if his friend would move over and let me have the window seat. I figured he needed the extra leg room.

But then, while things were still in the boarding bustle, with flight attendants running up and down the aisles and people trying to find their seats, the guy started in on the poor flight attendants.

First, he could smell someone smoking a pipe. Now, smoking cigarettes was allowed on planes at the time, but not pipes. The FA told him no one was smoking a pipe. He very rudely insisted someone was, and the FA went off in the direction he pointed to check it out. She returned to tell him that no one was smoking  at all on the plane. He swore at her and told her he could smell the smoke.

He flagged down two more FAs and made them check for the illusive pipe smoker. He also demanded something to drink before we took off and swore some more when he was told he'd have to wait until after take off.

By this point, I was sort of cowering in my seat, because he'd been talking to everyone over me, and leaning into my space. And there was no way in heck I was going to be nice to him and give up my aisle seat.

So much for my intentions of trying to do a Good Deed.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: magiccat26 on August 25, 2013, 03:55:13 PM
Not international, although it was to a US territory.  I was able to book outbound, so I should have been able to book the return.

Every time I fly that airline, I have problems...this was the straw that broke the camel's back.  You can mess with me and I will tolerate it, but don't you (airline generic you) dare threaten me and tell me that I need to "get over it", my child is "old enough to fly without me" and that I would just have to get to the airport hours before my flight to ensure I got a seat.

Perhaps they treat you better because you are in their loyalty program.  But I would think with all their financial problems, they would want to treat ALL customers very well.


It could be that the US territory is considered 'international'.  I could select my seats from Chicago to Finland, but not  Finland to France on my trip from the US via Chicago to Finland to France or Finland back to the US.  I called and it was explained to me it is for security purposes.   Yet, when I just booked my flights to London, I was able to choose my seats.  Was the flight from the territory via a US airport like Atlanta, then connecting ot another flight taking you to your final destination? 


They were definitely wrong to make those comments to you, but the seat selection could have been an FAA rule or other security measure.    You can't expect your seats to be pre-selected if it is part of the rules that you can't.  The rules have to apply to everyone. 


I am part of the loyalty programme, but I don't fly enough to earn any status. We get most of our points for free flights from credit cards.

Defend and make excuses for the airline all you want.  If they had told me any of this I wouldn't have had an issue, but they didn't.  I've flown in and out of Puerto Rico in the past and always been able to book my seat in advance.  I really do feel the customer service of AA is AWEFUL, unhelpful, and not customer friendly.  Other airlines (not surprisingly that are not in financial troubles) seem to offer better services.  So, I will gladly take my business elsewhere from now on.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 25, 2013, 09:18:52 PM
Yes.  I also fly a lot.  I meant after checking in online. You can't change your seats ONLINE after you have checked in.  You have to do it at the airport. This is why it is important to choose yoir seats as far in advance as possible. I was responding to the person who complained te airline wouldn't change her seats until the airport.

I had never checked in, so that wouldn't apply.  I couldn't select seats when I booked, I couldn't select seats during the 7 weeks prior to our flight, I couldn't select seats two days before my flight.  We checked in AT the airport because I didn't want to check in without guaranteed seats.  I promise I'm not ignorant of how airlines work.  This was NOT normal.  I've never had this much trouble getting assigned seats before a flight.  I feel like they just do not care about decent customer service and will be voting with my feet and my $$$$ by never flying with them again.  I can see why they are failing.

It might have been a code share flight and it was operated by a different airline. I run into not being able to select seats on code shares, but that is they only time. But if I buy a United airlines ticket but the flight is actually on a US Airways flight, I can't preselect seats via the United website nor can I get assigned seats by calling United.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 25, 2013, 10:13:20 PM
On international flights you can go to the other airline and book your seats.  Typically you are given another confirmation number for the code share airline. I do this a lot with AA/BA flights and DL/KLM flights.  I don't remember if that is the case on domestic flights
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 25, 2013, 11:10:53 PM
Not international, although it was to a US territory.  I was able to book outbound, so I should have been able to book the return.

Every time I fly that airline, I have problems...this was the straw that broke the camel's back.  You can mess with me and I will tolerate it, but don't you (airline generic you) dare threaten me and tell me that I need to "get over it", my child is "old enough to fly without me" and that I would just have to get to the airport hours before my flight to ensure I got a seat.

Perhaps they treat you better because you are in their loyalty program.  But I would think with all their financial problems, they would want to treat ALL customers very well.


It could be that the US territory is considered 'international'.  I could select my seats from Chicago to Finland, but not  Finland to France on my trip from the US via Chicago to Finland to France or Finland back to the US.  I called and it was explained to me it is for security purposes.   Yet, when I just booked my flights to London, I was able to choose my seats.  Was the flight from the territory via a US airport like Atlanta, then connecting ot another flight taking you to your final destination? 


They were definitely wrong to make those comments to you, but the seat selection could have been an FAA rule or other security measure.    You can't expect your seats to be pre-selected if it is part of the rules that you can't.  The rules have to apply to everyone. 


I am part of the loyalty programme, but I don't fly enough to earn any status. We get most of our points for free flights from credit cards.

Defend and make excuses for the airline all you want.  If they had told me any of this I wouldn't have had an issue, but they didn't.  I've flown in and out of Puerto Rico in the past and always been able to book my seat in advance.  I really do feel the customer service of AA is AWEFUL, unhelpful, and not customer friendly.  Other airlines (not surprisingly that are not in financial troubles) seem to offer better services.  So, I will gladly take my business elsewhere from now on.

I'm not defending them, nor am I making excuses.....it is pretty rude to imply my suggestions are excuses. I am offering legitimate reasons why you could not preselect your seat. I already said they were rude for the other things.   No need to be so snotty. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 25, 2013, 11:15:11 PM
On international flights you can go to the other airline and book your seats.  Typically you are given another confirmation number for the code share airline. I do this a lot with AA/BA flights and DL/KLM flights.  I don't remember if that is the case on domestic flights

Nope.  Not in my experience.  I flew Chicago/ Helsinki/Paris.   The flight from Helsinki to Paris was on finnair, a codeshare for AA.   My flights all were listed as AA flights.  I could preselect my seats Chicago to Helsinki, but it would not let me on the Helsinki to Paris side, nor would it let me returning from Helsinki to Chicago.   


Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: iridaceae on August 26, 2013, 04:33:37 AM
When my dad and I had to go to Europe eith very little notice- his eldest brother had had a stroke and he was in bad shape- a few years ago we flew Tucson-Chicago-Frankfurt. Since my dad had to make the reservations in a hurry he went to a travel agent. Who was unable to book seats for us from Tucson to Chicago.  When we got to the airport it was explained that X number of seats are held back to be assigned at the airport and we fell into that group.

We lucked out and got bulkhead.

But people do book last minute and it isn't always poor planning as I've seen suggested. My uncle certainly didn't plan to have a stroke. Emergencies happen.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on August 26, 2013, 06:33:38 AM
Yes, you are right about that.  The problem is, many people are SS and expect a premium seat or that the rules don't apply to them, like the man who refused to move.  If you have to book last minute in an ER situation, you general cannot expect a prime seat. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Emmy on August 26, 2013, 08:14:09 AM
Is she a redhead? I got that kind of attention growing up too. Good for you for protecting her from it!

She has waist length strawberry blonde hair that we take very good care of.  It shines red gold in sunlight.  :)

Oh boy, my DH is going to have to get his shotgun ready.  DD1 just turned 2 and has strawberry blond hair.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: suzieQ on August 26, 2013, 08:25:46 AM
Is she a redhead? I got that kind of attention growing up too. Good for you for protecting her from it!

She has waist length strawberry blonde hair that we take very good care of.  It shines red gold in sunlight.  :)

Oh boy, my DH is going to have to get his shotgun ready.  DD1 just turned 2 and has strawberry blond hair.
It seems to be a problem for redheads. We are unusual and people seem drawn to the unusual (in this case). As a child, I got the gamut from being called names because of my hair color to unwanted touching because of it.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Alias on August 26, 2013, 09:38:18 AM
A friend of mine decided to play plane politics with one of those discount-no-seats-assigned airlines.  They were flying with 5 kids and 4 adults.  The baby was flying on her lap, the rest were primary school aged but very well flown for their ages.  Most passengers had boarded when she walked on with her kids (and her husband, I'm not sure the relationship to the two other adults). There were only single seats remaining, so instead of asking people to move she pointed out seats to her kids and asked them to sit and behave themselves for the (relatively short) flight.  Suddenly people were jumping all over themselves to move so that an adult could sit with each child. 

The friend said she was willing to let the children sit by themselves since they were regular flyers who knew how to behave and 'it's not like they can get off the plane'. I never decided if it was evil genius or just plain rude of her.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Contrary on August 26, 2013, 09:45:51 AM
The friend said she was willing to let the children sit by themselves since they were regular flyers who knew how to behave and 'it's not like they can get off the plane'. I never decided if it was evil genius or just plain rude of her.

I admit that I can't see the possible rudeness here no matter how hard I look. Or the evil genius either, really....but I *really* don't see any rudeness.   
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: nayberry on August 26, 2013, 10:02:58 AM
The friend said she was willing to let the children sit by themselves since they were regular flyers who knew how to behave and 'it's not like they can get off the plane'. I never decided if it was evil genius or just plain rude of her.

I admit that I can't see the possible rudeness here no matter how hard I look. Or the evil genius either, really....but I *really* don't see any rudeness.

sounds as if she knew that it might be difficult to gets seats together so was willing to take whatever seats were left
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: MariaE on August 26, 2013, 10:16:19 AM
The friend said she was willing to let the children sit by themselves since they were regular flyers who knew how to behave and 'it's not like they can get off the plane'. I never decided if it was evil genius or just plain rude of her.

I admit that I can't see the possible rudeness here no matter how hard I look. Or the evil genius either, really....but I *really* don't see any rudeness.

Agreed. Assuming the kids could be counted on to behave (and many kids can) there's absolutely nothing rude about it.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Wordgeek on August 26, 2013, 03:02:57 PM
Sparksals is taking a break from the forum.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Drunken Housewife on September 04, 2013, 02:08:32 PM
When I was pregnant with our second child, my husband and I and our then toddler took a trip to Italy.  We had no problems getting seats together on our outgoing flights, and we booked everything far in advance, but coming back we were unable to book seats together (I don't know why; we tried a couple of times waaaay in advance to get it fixed).  We had two seats and a single one faaaaaar away.  Our parenting strategy was always to work to keep our toddler entertained, taking shifts, and I was at a stage of pregnancy where I had to go to the bathroom frequently, and it would have been a hardship for us to have not been seated together, but one we would have dealt with if we had to without complaining but wanted to avoid if possible.

When we checked in at the airport, we asked the gate assistants for help, but they claimed they couldn't do anything and to ask the flight attendants.   As it turns out, there was a block of 3 seats which were empty, as apparently the people missed their flight.  A woman saw that block and zipped into it, lying down, as soon as the fasten seatbelts sign went off (it is easy to out maneuver a pregnant woman with a toddler, so she scored the move faster than I did).  My husband asked her sweetly if she'd mind changing with me & our toddler, so he could help me with our toddler and she'd still get 2 seats (mind you, she'd only paid for 1).  She refused because she said she had a bad back and needed to lie down.  She was traveling with her husband but didn't care to sit with him (and also didn't want to let him share her newly-acquired bounty of space). 

The FA (whom we'd asked on boarding if she could, if possible, help us find seats together) went up to this woman, fixed her with a steely gaze, and informed her that she WOULD be changing seats with me and my toddler.   The woman caved at that point.  She ended up still getting more seats than she'd paid for, and I was really bemused by her attitude that she deserved 3 seats to herself.  I was so grateful to that FA for fixing things, and working in turns my husband and I kept our toddler amused & quiet (I couldn't have done that myself, particularly as I was at the stage of pregnancy where I had to go to the bathroom a lot).  We got a lot of compliments after the flight on what a joy it was to fly with a well-behaved toddler.  It definitely would have been a worse flight for many of us on that plane if that woman had managed to keep the 3 seats instead of settling for just scoring one bonus seat.

Like a prior poster, I always paid for the extra seat when I flew with a baby, and I always brought a carseat (I am very safety minded), and I always got hassled as it was presumed I had no right to that "extra" seat and was a special snowflake for having brought on a carseat. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: JoW on September 18, 2013, 09:50:11 PM
I've done it and everyone on plane almost regretted it.

Background - I was 25 years old, living far from family, working my first real grownup job, flying home for a vacation.  My budget was tight so I shopped for a cheap flight.  I saved $400, but I had a 3-hour drive to the airport.

My job required strange hours sometimes and the night before my flight was one of those times.  I worked until about 10pm.  Got home and finished packing.   Got up at 4am the next morning, drove 3 hours, arrived at the airport at about 8am.   Parked in a remote lot to save money.

Plane 1 - was hit by lightning in mid flight.  This was the best flight of the day.
Plane 2 - They had an equipment problem, found a substitute plane, but takeoff was delayed enough that I would miss my 3rd plane.  Flight was very bumpy.

Plane 3 - I was re-booked onto a 15-seat commuter plane. That's an aisle down the middle, 6 rows of 2 seats, and 3 seats in the tail.  A mother and her 9-year-old son got on and the air line staff were asking someone to swap seats with the son so he could sit near his mom.  I am an idiot.  I volunteered.  It turned out his seat was the middle seat in the tail.

So there I am - sleep deprived, riding in the worst seat on the plane, and it was another bumpy flight.  You know those air vents that blow fresh air in your face?  They really DO help with motion sickness.  I arrived a little green but without embarrassing myself or fouling the plane. 

And, to make the day perfect, my luggage missed my 3rd plane.  It arrived an hour later on a full-size plane, one I could have taken. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: ti_ax on September 19, 2013, 05:46:08 AM
I've done it and everyone on plane almost regretted it.

Background - I was 25 years old, living far from family, working my first real grownup job, flying home for a vacation.  My budget was tight so I shopped for a cheap flight.  I saved $400, but I had a 3-hour drive to the airport.

My job required strange hours sometimes and the night before my flight was one of those times.  I worked until about 10pm.  Got home and finished packing.   Got up at 4am the next morning, drove 3 hours, arrived at the airport at about 8am.   Parked in a remote lot to save money.

Plane 1 - was hit by lightning in mid flight.  This was the best flight of the day.
Plane 2 - They had an equipment problem, found a substitute plane, but takeoff was delayed enough that I would miss my 3rd plane.  Flight was very bumpy.

Plane 3 - I was re-booked onto a 15-seat commuter plane. That's an aisle down the middle, 6 rows of 2 seats, and 3 seats in the tail.  A mother and her 9-year-old son got on and the air line staff were asking someone to swap seats with the son so he could sit near his mom.  I am an idiot.  I volunteered.  It turned out his seat was the middle seat in the tail.

So there I am - sleep deprived, riding in the worst seat on the plane, and it was another bumpy flight.  You know those air vents that blow fresh air in your face?  They really DO help with motion sickness.  I arrived a little green but without embarrassing myself or fouling the plane. 

And, to make the day perfect, my luggage missed my 3rd plane.  It arrived an hour later on a full-size plane, one I could have taken.
Funny, I rode in a plane like that once and I was glad to get that seat. ( I have long legs and appreciated the chance to stretch them out.)
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: JoW on September 19, 2013, 07:18:48 PM
I can see how that seat would be great for someone with long legs.  Normally I like small planes.  you can see stuff that you don't see on big planes.  But that day and the day before I had 14 hours, of work 4 hours of sleep, and 12 hours of travel.  I was surviving on sugar and caffeine.  The one thing I didn't need was another bumpy plane ride. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: kherbert05 on September 19, 2013, 08:28:02 PM
I think Alias was being tongue in cheek.


The friend knew her kids were well behaved travelers, but the other passengers didn't. Fussing and trying to get seats together on unassigned seat flight would have delayed the flight and annoyed the other passengers. She let her kids sit in open seats. When the other passengers realized they might have unsupervised kids near them - they jumped at changing seats, so the kids were near to the parent, so she could deal with any issues.


If she foresaw the other passengers reaction that would make her an "evil genius" J/k


Traveling with my HS Drill team I saw something similar. People were eager to switch aisle and window seats for middle seats if it meant they weren't stuck in the middle of 60 - 90 teenaged girls. One time coach was Us + a marching band from another state on a transatlantic flight. I swear the 20 some passengers not associated with either school were huddled in the back of the plane for their own protection. . Except for the fact the Footloose soundtrack was audible over the multiple walkmen playing the tapes we were very well behaved though a bit parched. [size=78%]The plane ran out of every non-alcoholic drink except water and coffee 1/2 way over the Atlantic[/size]
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Midnight Kitty on September 25, 2013, 04:03:39 PM
I was asked to switch seat once and I was pleased to do so.  I reached my seat (on the aisle) and found both it and the window seat occupied by a middle aged, middle class couple.  I double checked my boarding pass and said, "I think that is my seat."

The man spoke up.  "It probably is.  My seat is there (points to the window seat in the row behind, next to an empty aisle seat).  Do you mind switching?"

Let's see, would I rather sit next to the wife and needlessly irritate strangers or sit next to the window (my preference) with an empty seat next to me?  Why, yes I would.  In fact, I liked that seat much better. ;D

In short, I agree that, when someone wants to switch their seat on an airplane, the switchee should get a better seat. ;)
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on October 03, 2013, 01:29:16 PM
Like a prior poster, I always paid for the extra seat when I flew with a baby, and I always brought a carseat (I am very safety minded), and I always got hassled as it was presumed I had no right to that "extra" seat and was a special snowflake for having brought on a carseat.

We've been hassled about this issue almost every time we fly.  We always bought a seat for DS, even when he was a small baby, and we brought in a car seat.  We've been questioned about it by gate agents, flight attendants, and other passengers.  It got to the point where we always brought the receipt in addition to the boarding pass, just to provide all the proofs that we did pay for the seat.  My favorite is one passenger who insisted that we should give up the window seat* anyway, because "the baby doesn't need it."   Um, no. 

*We were told by the flight attendants to put the car seat in the window seat because it is out of the way for emergency evacuation purposes. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Really? on October 03, 2013, 01:58:40 PM
Hi StuffedGrapeleaves,

Guess it sucks that you've had to prove you bought the extra set, but good for you for keeping the kid safe.

Onlyme.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on October 03, 2013, 02:00:42 PM
Hi StuffedGrapeleaves,

Guess it sucks that you've had to prove you bought the extra set, but good for you for keeping the kid safe.

Onlyme.

Thanks, Onlyme.  Unfortunately a friend of ours had a terrible experience with turbulence and holding a baby in her lap, so after hearing that story, we never flew with a baby on the lap again.  Thankfully friend's baby is a healthy preschooler now. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: MissRose on October 04, 2013, 09:46:45 AM
I remember flying back from Orlando to Michigan with my then 7 year old niece and 10 year nephew plus my mother about 4 years ago.   On the way there, I sat with my nephew and my mother with my niece as that was the seat assignments, no issues there.  On the way back, we did not notice that they seated my mother in 1 row, me in another nearby row, then the kids together.  My mother didn't notice the assignments immediately then she asked a flight attendant and a lady close to her own age nicely if she could change seats to sit with her grandkids, the passenger obliged.   The kids took a nap the whole way back, I did also as our flight left around 8:30pm then arrived back in Michigan sometime after 10pm.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Elisabunny on October 04, 2013, 11:55:59 AM
I may be dealing with this issue soon.

My 7-year-old daughter are flying next week to FarAway City for her bone marrow transplant.  The tickets were ordered and paid for by a charity organization, pretty much last minute because we didn't have a final schedule until yesterday, so we are not complaining at all.  But our seats are currently "unassigned."  I have already prepared DD for the likelihood that we will not be sitting together.  But I plan to ask those sitting near the less desirable seat if anyone would be willing to trade for the better one.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: PastryGoddess on October 04, 2013, 02:35:42 PM
I may be dealing with this issue soon.

My 7-year-old daughter are flying next week to FarAway City for her bone marrow transplant.  The tickets were ordered and paid for by a charity organization, pretty much last minute because we didn't have a final schedule until yesterday, so we are not complaining at all.  But our seats are currently "unassigned."  I have already prepared DD for the likelihood that we will not be sitting together.  But I plan to ask those sitting near the less desirable seat if anyone would be willing to trade for the better one.


You may be able to pick seats when you check in the day before.  If you can't talk to someone at the ticket counter or gate and see if they can get you seats together.  Asking someone on the plane should be the last resort
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: cass2591 on October 04, 2013, 02:45:33 PM
Like a prior poster, I always paid for the extra seat when I flew with a baby, and I always brought a carseat (I am very safety minded), and I always got hassled as it was presumed I had no right to that "extra" seat and was a special snowflake for having brought on a carseat.

We've been hassled about this issue almost every time we fly.  We always bought a seat for DS, even when he was a small baby, and we brought in a car seat. We've been questioned about it by gate agents, flight attendants, and other passengers. It got to the point where we always brought the receipt in addition to the boarding pass, just to provide all the proofs that we did pay for the seat.   My favorite is one passenger who insisted that we should give up the window seat* anyway, because "the baby doesn't need it."   Um, no. 

*We were told by the flight attendants to put the car seat in the window seat because it is out of the way for emergency evacuation purposes.

I don't understand why you'd need any more proof than 3 boarding passes, each designating the assigned seat.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: VorFemme on October 04, 2013, 08:40:29 PM
Like a prior poster, I always paid for the extra seat when I flew with a baby, and I always brought a carseat (I am very safety minded), and I always got hassled as it was presumed I had no right to that "extra" seat and was a special snowflake for having brought on a carseat.

We've been hassled about this issue almost every time we fly.  We always bought a seat for DS, even when he was a small baby, and we brought in a car seat. We've been questioned about it by gate agents, flight attendants, and other passengers. It got to the point where we always brought the receipt in addition to the boarding pass, just to provide all the proofs that we did pay for the seat.   My favorite is one passenger who insisted that we should give up the window seat* anyway, because "the baby doesn't need it."   Um, no. 

*We were told by the flight attendants to put the car seat in the window seat because it is out of the way for emergency evacuation purposes.

I don't understand why you'd need any more proof than 3 boarding passes, each designating the assigned seat.

Because some people cannot understand buying a seat for a musical instrument, a child, or anything other than "I want that seat so you should let ME have it" - granted, many people grow out of this stage some time before turning five...but SS don't seem to mature at the same speed as other children.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Curly Wurly Doggie Breath on October 04, 2013, 08:44:14 PM
and some airlines wont 'give' you the ticket for that third seat
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: cass2591 on October 04, 2013, 09:11:00 PM
My point was the OP of that post shouldn't have to prove she bought the seat as long as she has the boarding pass. Sure, passengers can be jerks and decide who/what is proper for a seat, but flight attendants and gate agents should know if that a ticket has been purchased if there's a boarding pass, no questions asked. That's what I don't understand.

And Dragons 8, I don't understand what you mean. If you buy a seat, you get it. Unless you're bumped but that's a whole different story.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Curly Wurly Doggie Breath on October 04, 2013, 09:13:22 PM
Sorry.

If the Airline Staff Don't *see* a living breathing person, some dont give you that ticket for that seat

I need more coffee, sorry Im not making sence
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: CuriousParty on October 04, 2013, 09:27:30 PM
My point was the OP of that post shouldn't have to prove she bought the seat as long as she has the boarding pass. Sure, passengers can be jerks and decide who/what is proper for a seat, but flight attendants and gate agents should know if that a ticket has been purchased if there's a boarding pass, no questions asked. That's what I don't understand.

And Dragons 8, I don't understand what you mean. If you buy a seat, you get it. Unless you're bumped but that's a whole different story.

They should, Cass, but they don't always.  It seems it so unusual to buy a seat for under twos that it's usually assumed the parents are trying to use an "extra" seat. We also buy seats for our kids and travel with car seats, and like the PP, we've been hassled and have begun to bring receipts just to cover us.

Because flying with kids was already so much fun.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: cass2591 on October 04, 2013, 09:38:31 PM
I'm assuming these are USA airlines. Boarding passes designate seats, say 13A, 13b, and 13C. I don't understand the confusion when it's obvious right there on the boarding pass which means the seat has been bought. Maybe I'm missing something, especially when most airlines allow early boarding for people with small kids.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: CuriousParty on October 04, 2013, 09:44:49 PM
I'm assuming these are USA airlines. Boarding passes designate seats, say 13A, 13b, and 13C. I don't understand the confusion when it's obvious right there on the boarding pass which means the seat has been bought. Maybe I'm missing something, especially when most airlines allow early boarding for people with small kids.

Yep,, US airlines, but mostly ones that don't assign seats (but we do have a boarding pass per seat). Also the early boarding with kids thing has been phased out by a lot of airlines, again adding to the joy of child travel.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: cass2591 on October 04, 2013, 09:59:24 PM
I don't know of major US airlines other than Southwest that don't assign seats, but maybe the smaller airlines that I can't use (due to where I generally fly) don't.

As for children and people with disabilities boarding first, the last time I flew, in July on Alaska Airlines, they did this.

Perhaps it depends on the airport policy.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: PastryGoddess on October 04, 2013, 10:49:36 PM
I don't know of major US airlines other than Southwest that don't assign seats, but maybe the smaller airlines that I can't use (due to where I generally fly) don't.

As for children and people with disabilities boarding first, the last time I flew, in July on Alaska Airlines, they did this.

Perhaps it depends on the airport policy.

Depending on the class of ticket and when the ticket was purchased, many people are not able to select seats when they book.  They are required to either wait until check-in 24 hours ahead of time OR wait until they actually get to the airport in order to get assigned to seats.  Airlines often overbook, and unfortunately most parents do not purchase an extra seat for their lap children.  Many parents deliberately do not purchase a seat for an infant and then put them in a seat once they are on the plane. 

So if the agent/FA sees that there is a parent with an infant, they will assume that the child does NOT have a purchased seat. If a flight is oversold, it's much easier for the agent to take that seat away from an infant, than it is to tell an adult passenger that they were booked on an oversold flight and they will have to be bumped.  They don't think about the parent who purchased that seat or that the infant has the right to be in that seat if purchased.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: cass2591 on October 04, 2013, 11:04:58 PM
Okay, I think I see the problem. Most agents assume the parents didn't purchase the seat for their infant. However, I don't see how an agent has any more right to bump a paying passenger even if it's a baby for an adult, and I suspect any parent who purchased a seat would object.

My point is, if one has purchased a seat, the airline cannot arbitrarily tell you no, you have to give the seat to an adult. Same for a cello. Same if you weigh 400# and need both seats. Maybe I'm wrong, I know passengers are bumped, etc, but if you buy a seat you get a seat, perhaps not on the flight you requested.

Flying is such a hassle and I absolutely hate it.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on October 05, 2013, 07:36:19 AM
Yes, many airlines will not give you a boarding pass without a person there, regardless of who it was purchased for. 
With babies, it is quite possible that they should print one for the baby, but they know life might be easier on the airline staff if they don't. 

To put a different spin on it, I have a friend who is large.  She buys two seats to fly.  The second seat is purchased for "Right Cheek".  She has never been able to get a boarding pass for Right Cheek.  Therefore, it seems that the seat next to her is vacant because the "person" that reserved that seat hasn't checked in.  She says it seems like they are always giving out a boarding pass for the middle seat next to her.  She said she prefers Southwest because then at least someone doesn't have a boarding pass for the seat next to her.  But she does keep her receipt for two seats in her hand until they close the plane door. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Curly Wurly Doggie Breath on October 05, 2013, 07:54:15 AM
Sophia has a very good example of what I was attempting to say.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: kckgirl on October 05, 2013, 08:08:56 AM
Flying is such a hassle and I absolutely hate it.

Where is that "Like" button when we need it? ;)
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Paper Roses on October 05, 2013, 04:47:01 PM
I have also had reserved, confirmed seats changed on me.  In one case, I had called to reconfirm the day before the flight, and was told we had 4 seats together on the plane - at the time, this was for myself and my husband and our 2 young children, plus one lap child (under 2).  When we got to the airport and checked in, our seats had been changed - they were 4 single seats, scattered throughout the plane. 

We haven't flown that particular airline since, and barring some unforeseen circumstance, never will again.  But, my point is, sometimes the airlines do things with no rhyme or reason, and messing with seat assignments is one of them.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Jones on October 05, 2013, 05:31:01 PM
One of the best parts of changing from my Old Company (7 years) to New Company (2 years come December) is that I have not had to fly one single time since. Before, I was going on trips 2+ times a year, after I'd gained experience and proved my worth I was flying a whole lot more. The worst was when I flew somewhere every week 8 weeks in a row.

One (tiny) airline I flew with often, as it provides flights from small-town airports to Denver, was entirely 19 passenger planes (2 seats to a "row" and 3 seats in back). They would hand out boarding passes with random seats written on them, often 3 or 4 people with the same seat and nobody had the rest assigned. We'd be told to "just pick a seat, they aren't real assignments" but every so often there'd be a stickler who insisted on getting the ASSIGNED seat.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Alias on November 04, 2013, 06:41:55 AM
Yep,, US airlines, but mostly ones that don't assign seats (but we do have a boarding pass per seat). Also the early boarding with kids thing has been phased out by a lot of airlines, again adding to the joy of child travel.

Ah yes! I was flying with a major USian airline, and they did the 'passengers who need assistance' preboard.  I had two sleeping children (almost 3 and .75 it was well past bedtime in their time zone) and walked up to be told 'children aren't a disability'. Well I didn't say they were, I said I need assistance boarding.  She did let me on eventually, but made me stand around with the sleeping child on my shoulder first.

A friend of mine bought a ticket for her cello, and also brought luggage to fly under the cello's ticket. She presumed if the cello had a seat, the cello could use their 1 suitcase luggage allowance (she was moving to the other city soon, so luggage).  She ended up fighting with the check in agent, and having to go to the manager that said if the cello has a ticket, they can have luggage.  This was an airline known for penny pinching, so it wasn't that surprising.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: sparksals on November 04, 2013, 12:50:08 PM
I have had seat assignments change b/c they had to change the plane for some reason.  Sometimes the plane they change to isn't the same seating sequence as the previous plane.  That's one of the things that can happen with air travel.  Not really the airline's fault, especially if they are swapping the plane for mechanical or safety reasons. 


Air travel is not the greatest, but things happen that aren't always the fault of airlines.  I think people are quick to jump on the airline instead of assessing the situation.  For instance, weather delays.  Say a snowstorm in Chicago has delayed flights all across the country.  Not the airlines's fault.  If Chicago is closed, what is the airline supposed to do?   The recent incident at LAX is another example.  Sometimes things happen outside the control of the airline that greatly inconveniences passengers. 


I was flying to Belgium to meet my husband.  I thought I preplanned well ahead of time by taking my flight from MSP to Chicago the day before my international flight to Brussels.  Just so happened as we were already on the plane heading to take off, Chicago closed because of weather.  We sat on the plane for two hours before they took us back to the gate, and promptly canceled our flight.  Meanwhile, they took the passengers in the gate b/c Chicago subsequently opened.  Kind of a PITA.  I got on the phone and they were able to redirect me.  I wound up staying in a hotel here and then flying out via JFK the next morning and still got to Brussels at the time I was supposed to. 


A good rule of thumb is to have the airline reservations number programmed into your phone ... or better yet, their app.  Sometimes they automatically rebook you.  If they don't, call reservations ASAP before the crowds lineup at the airport.  It is usually much faster to get rebooked that way than standing in a long lineup with really ticked off passengers.  LOL

Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 08, 2013, 02:06:15 PM

To put a different spin on it, I have a friend who is large.  She buys two seats to fly.  The second seat is purchased for "Right Cheek".  She has never been able to get a boarding pass for Right Cheek.  Therefore, it seems that the seat next to her is vacant because the "person" that reserved that seat hasn't checked in.  She says it seems like they are always giving out a boarding pass for the middle seat next to her.  She said she prefers Southwest because then at least someone doesn't have a boarding pass for the seat next to her.  But she does keep her receipt for two seats in her hand until they close the plane door.

I don't get this at all, esp when some airlines require you, if you are larger TO purchase two seats. If that's the case, there should be some way to designate, discreetly, that you are entitled to both seats, and why, so there isn't any question as to whether or not you are entitled to the two you paid for!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: jedikaiti on November 08, 2013, 02:38:09 PM

To put a different spin on it, I have a friend who is large.  She buys two seats to fly.  The second seat is purchased for "Right Cheek".  She has never been able to get a boarding pass for Right Cheek.  Therefore, it seems that the seat next to her is vacant because the "person" that reserved that seat hasn't checked in.  She says it seems like they are always giving out a boarding pass for the middle seat next to her.  She said she prefers Southwest because then at least someone doesn't have a boarding pass for the seat next to her.  But she does keep her receipt for two seats in her hand until they close the plane door.

I don't get this at all, esp when some airlines require you, if you are larger TO purchase two seats. If that's the case, there should be some way to designate, discreetly, that you are entitled to both seats, and why, so there isn't any question as to whether or not you are entitled to the two you paid for!

I bought 2 tickets on Frontier, and got 2 boarding passes. Their online reservation system was set up to specifically allow for the plus-size situation, and my boarding passes said JediKaiti and JediKaiti-2, or something similar. No problems whatsoever.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Elfmama on November 08, 2013, 09:27:37 PM

To put a different spin on it, I have a friend who is large.  She buys two seats to fly.  The second seat is purchased for "Right Cheek".  She has never been able to get a boarding pass for Right Cheek.  Therefore, it seems that the seat next to her is vacant because the "person" that reserved that seat hasn't checked in.  She says it seems like they are always giving out a boarding pass for the middle seat next to her.  She said she prefers Southwest because then at least someone doesn't have a boarding pass for the seat next to her.  But she does keep her receipt for two seats in her hand until they close the plane door.

I don't get this at all, esp when some airlines require you, if you are larger TO purchase two seats. If that's the case, there should be some way to designate, discreetly, that you are entitled to both seats, and why, so there isn't any question as to whether or not you are entitled to the two you paid for!

I bought 2 tickets on Frontier, and got 2 boarding passes. Their online reservation system was set up to specifically allow for the plus-size situation, and my boarding passes said JediKaiti and JediKaiti-2, or something similar. No problems whatsoever.
Yeah.  Why doesn't Ms. Right Cheek just buy two tickets in her own name?  then the only problem she would have is when Right Cheek 1 is in 23A, and Right Cheek 2 is in 18B!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: quiescent on November 09, 2013, 02:26:00 PM
Last time I flew I was called to desk before boarding to be told that a man wanted to 'give' me his 'upgraded' seat so he sit with his kid. this was a 10hr flight ant the 'upgraded' (as the flight attendent put it ) was a middle row seat which is obviously the most unconmfortable seat for a long flight. It had extra leg room making it 'upgraded'. Now obviously they had gone thru the manifest to find single people traveling alone to try and find these people seats together since after I said 'no' some other passengers traveling alone were called.

Sitting with other travelers isnt the only reason people select theri seats. I selected my window seat in a specific are of he plane to make my journey as compfortable as possible and I resented being picked out to be asked to move to a seat I didn't want just becauseI was a single passenger and some other people wanted to sit together !

I should add this wasn't a youg kid, but a teen
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 09, 2013, 02:32:20 PM
I don't have a problem being asked.  If the seat is equivalent or better to the one I'm in, I'd be happy to switch.  But asking me to switch out of my aisle seat for a middle or even a window?  Not going to happen.  Switching to another aisle seat that isn't right at the back of the plane?  I'd probably agree.  But if it is in the last 10 rows, I'll probably say no - I have severe motion sickness and being at the back of the plane makes it worse.  I try to get within a few rows of the wing or further forward to alleviate the motion sickness.  I do take meds for it but if it is a rough flight, they are only so effective.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Annoyed in America on November 29, 2013, 10:16:07 PM
I don't have a problem being asked.  If the seat is equivalent or better to the one I'm in, I'd be happy to switch.  But asking me to switch out of my aisle seat for a middle or even a window?  Not going to happen.  Switching to another aisle seat that isn't right at the back of the plane?  I'd probably agree.  But if it is in the last 10 rows, I'll probably say no - I have severe motion sickness and being at the back of the plane makes it worse.  I try to get within a few rows of the wing or further forward to alleviate the motion sickness.  I do take meds for it but if it is a rough flight, they are only so effective.

I, too, have severe motion sickness.  The first thing I do when I board is look for the barf bag.  If DH and I are separated I explain to my neighbor and they always seek out my DH to switch.  No one wants to sit near the vomitmeister! 

One time on an international flight they (FA) wanted to switch and put me in the bulkhead seats.  I told them my still healing arm would prohibit me from being strong enough to manage the door.  They then put me in business class for the 12 hour flight.  I did not complain! 

My worst flight was sitting next to a 300 pound man who overflowed into my seat (4 hour trip).  My back was sore for two days after from trying to position myself away from him. Ugh!

Funniest trip was when I sat next to a nervous man who drank and drank to ease his fear.  He kept talking and getting louder and louder.  He wasn't offensive, other than loud talking and was actually a bit amusing, but I think I was the only one amused.  I had several people approach me at baggage claim to complain and comment on his drunken behavior.  These people were actually more offensive than the drunken guy, in my mind.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on January 05, 2014, 07:24:55 AM
My point was the OP of that post shouldn't have to prove she bought the seat as long as she has the boarding pass. Sure, passengers can be jerks and decide who/what is proper for a seat, but flight attendants and gate agents should know if that a ticket has been purchased if there's a boarding pass, no questions asked. That's what I don't understand.

And Dragons 8, I don't understand what you mean. If you buy a seat, you get it. Unless you're bumped but that's a whole different story.

Sorry, Cass, I just saw this.  I agree that a boarding pass would normally be enough, but there have been occasions where the person would just assume that we didn't purchase a seat for DS when he was under two, and would continue to insist that we need to put the baby on our laps.  We found that during those times saying the words "we paid for this seat and here's a receipt" and showing them the receipt gets them to stop insisting and to reevaluate the original assumption faster than just trying to show them a boarding pass.  I think seeing the actual dollar amount seems to get through faster than just a seat number. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: doodlemor on January 06, 2014, 01:22:22 PM

Sorry, Cass, I just saw this.  I agree that a boarding pass would normally be enough, but there have been occasions where the person would just assume that we didn't purchase a seat for DS when he was under two, and would continue to insist that we need to put the baby on our laps.  We found that during those times saying the words "we paid for this seat and here's a receipt" and showing them the receipt gets them to stop insisting and to reevaluate the original assumption faster than just trying to show them a boarding pass.  I think seeing the actual dollar amount seems to get through faster than just a seat number.

The very first time that I ever flew was on People Express, and the plane was quite full.  I was asked by the flight attendant to put my 'baby" on my lap.  I answered "She is three years old, and has paid for her ticket."   That was the end of the exchange, and the FA went on down the aisle looking for other seats to squeeze more people on to the plane.

[It's no wonder that the plane was filled to capacity.  The price for a nonstop flight from Buffalo to Sarasota was $75.]
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Midnight Kitty on January 06, 2014, 02:12:40 PM
Now, I'm not a parent, so I lack first hand experience on this ... but I thought that there was a law against parents carrying children over a certain age in their laps on flights.  I don't remember the details, but I thought it was something like "passengers over 2 years of age must purchase a ticket for their own seat."  Maybe it's just a policy on some airlines to boost ticket sales which they choose to waive when they booked too many passengers and might have to pay $$ if they bump someone.  It just seems hypocritical to claim it isn't safe for children over 2 y.o. to sit in an adult's lap, so they have to buy a ticket, then it's OK when the airline needs the seats. ???
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: VorFemme on January 06, 2014, 07:42:42 PM
It may depend on the size of the child - I've seen kids under age 2 who were tall & heavy enough to be taken as a year or two older than their actual age.

I've also seen children who were small for their age (not always with a parent who was also tall or petite - so guessing the age by the size of the adult with them didn't work) and a four year old might have a ticket but be sitting in a lap while getting their shoes put back on.  They have a ticket & a seat of their own and they will be using it - but someone in a hurry to sit down might TRY to get the (apparently) unused seat...which is when the parent needs to stay on top of the situation...and show a polite spine.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Zizi-K on January 06, 2014, 08:09:58 PM
On a recent flight, I volunteered to switch to what I thought was going to be a better seat - and it wasn't! I was assigned to a middle seat. I dislike middle seats, but this was the best version of that - small people on either side of me, relatively comfortable seat. Well, I was sitting just in front of the exit rows, when I overheard a stewardess tell a man that he couldn't sit in the exit row because he didn't speak English (and presumably couldn't read the card, etc). She scanned the immediate vicinity and asked for volunteers, and of course I raised my hand. I went from a middle seat to a window in an exit row with a lot of extra leg room - score! (or so I thought) Then, as we're waiting to get the go-ahead to take off, this poor little boy behind me was sitting with his daddy, but decided he wanted mommy RIGHT NOW, and started to wail about. I felt really bad for the little guy, but he was literally screaming in my ear. To make matters worse, the seat was really uncomfortable, as if the back were too far back for the contours of the seat. My back still hurts from a measly 1.5 hour plane ride. Serves me right for trying to "upgrade" I guess.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Kimblee on January 06, 2014, 08:54:41 PM
Yep,, US airlines, but mostly ones that don't assign seats (but we do have a boarding pass per seat). Also the early boarding with kids thing has been phased out by a lot of airlines, again adding to the joy of child travel.

Ah yes! I was flying with a major USian airline, and they did the 'passengers who need assistance' preboard.  I had two sleeping children (almost 3 and .75 it was well past bedtime in their time zone) and walked up to be told 'children aren't a disability'. Well I didn't say they were, I said I need assistance boarding.  She did let me on eventually, but made me stand around with the sleeping child on my shoulder first.

A friend of mine bought a ticket for her cello, and also brought luggage to fly under the cello's ticket. She presumed if the cello had a seat, the cello could use their 1 suitcase luggage allowance (she was moving to the other city soon, so luggage).  She ended up fighting with the check in agent, and having to go to the manager that said if the cello has a ticket, they can have luggage.  This was an airline known for penny pinching, so it wasn't that surprising.

I know a girl(well, woman. She's my age.) who travels often with her cello, which always gets it's own seat. She or her employers pay for the seat because (A) it's a very, very valuable old cello and (B) it's a cello period. They're delicate things.

She says she's lost count of the flights that have tried to bully her into checking it and letting a person have the seat. She just shows them the appraisal value and sweetly tells the that that's where her lawsuit would START, that it's an heirloom and she would sue for emotional distress if it got so much as a scratch. It's never been checked.

Now her sugar daddy buys it's seats. (I'm not being mean. He calls himself that, and she "pouts" that she can't be a "real" sugar baby because his daughters are just so happy "Daddy has a friend to keep him company after all the ers without Mama.")
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Marisol on January 06, 2014, 09:12:24 PM
In a different kind of situation, last month I was on a flight in which I was surprised a woman didn't offer to switch seats so a family could sit together.  She was in the window of the back of the plane sitting next to mom and cranky fidgety toddler sister.  In the seat in front of them sat dad with a teen daughter and a middle school age son. In the seat across aisle from this woman in the back seat was a different family with dad and a screaming kid.  And in front of that seat was the second family's mom with a restless child.  I know this because the kid kept kicking my seat as I was right in front of him. 

Anyway, the seat next to me was taken by another kid belonging to the first family who didn't have a seat in a row with his actual family.  There was a bit of chaos when trying to get everyone seated as they couldn't decide who should be by themselves next to me.  This was the perfect opportunity for the single lady to come sit next to me and escape the mom with cranky little sis. 

The boy next to me was very polite and while I ended up making more small talk than I expected to for the flight he was well behaved and even got up to help with cranky sis when allowed. 

The woman in the back was cornered by screaming kids.  Had she sat with me it would have been quieter. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: CuriousParty on January 06, 2014, 10:11:58 PM
Some people need a specific seat. Once, through airline foolishness (changing the plane after we bought tickets? I don't remember.) DH and I were flying with our older two and were seated:child in window seat! me in middle <poor soul not related to any of us> <actual aisle> <DH in aisle seat> <other child>. I offered the poor soul the window seat and she looked like I had offered to stab her.  Poor lady was terrified of the window.  I had nothing else to offer, as the other aisle seat meant sitting next to one of our children, who were both under 4 at the time.  I felt terrible as DH and I were constantly passing things back and forth (he had the snack carryon, and in the entertainment) and she said it didn't bother her but I still felt badly.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Library Dragon on January 07, 2014, 12:47:17 AM
The window is my claustrophobic, nightmare seat (that hard wall and being blocked from the aisle). I often fly with a friend who has to be by the window and the aisle is horrible so it works well. Feel free to pass items if we sit next to each ther  ;D.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Midnight Kitty on January 08, 2014, 12:07:54 PM
I once had the pleasure of sitting next to a 9 or 10 y.o. boy traveling alone.  I wish I could have sent a note home with his parents thanking them for the great job they did teaching their son manners and consideration.  He chatted pleasantly, but not much.  He spilled a little clear soda on me when there was some turbulence, but not as much as my DH usually spills on me.  At least the boy apologized, I accepted, and let him use the paper napkins I always carry with me to clean up.  Plus - he was small so he didn't overflow his seat and expect (somewhat slender) me to surrender the armrest and half my seat.

I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 08, 2014, 12:28:48 PM
I once had the pleasure of sitting next to a 9 or 10 y.o. boy traveling alone.  I wish I could have sent a note home with his parents thanking them for the great job they did teaching their son manners and consideration.  He chatted pleasantly, but not much.  He spilled a little clear soda on me when there was some turbulence, but not as much as my DH usually spills on me.  At least the boy apologized, I accepted, and let him use the paper napkins I always carry with me to clean up.  Plus - he was small so he didn't overflow his seat and expect (somewhat slender) me to surrender the armrest and half my seat.

I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
Reminds me once flying with my two kids on one of the small jets with one seat on the left and two seats on the right. DD was around 8 and sitting in front of DS and I when a taller than average man boards and takes the seat next to DD.  She told him it was ok if he wanted to stretch his legs out in front of her seat. She curled her legs up into her seat, plopped her pillow against the window and proceeded to sleep most of the 2 hour flight. The man jokingly asked me if he could have her as a seat companion on his return flight.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: SiotehCat on January 08, 2014, 12:52:50 PM
My DS13 was recently flying back from his vacation. He was on his own and had his flights cancelled, then delayed, then delayed again. When he finally got on the plane to come home, he found out that he and another man were given the same seat.

He thought they were going  to bump his flight again, but the flight attendant asked him if he wanted to sit up front. He agreed and the flight attendant took him to a seat at the front with no other seats around him. A row with only one seat. 

DS was so happy to finally be "alone" after sitting in a crowded airport for 13 hours.

Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Amoreade on January 08, 2014, 04:41:04 PM
I've never had anyone try to oust me from my seat but I have gotten quite a few looks from tall gentlemen as I try to buy a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible (it's less scary when there's turbulence) and end up with lots of leg room because of it. I always feel a tad guilty but I figure a bit of guilt is better than abject terror.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Elfmama on January 08, 2014, 04:53:25 PM
I've never had anyone try to oust me from my seat but I have gotten quite a few looks from tall gentlemen as I try to buy a seat as close to the front of the plane as possible (it's less scary when there's turbulence) and end up with lots of leg room because of it. I always feel a tad guilty but I figure a bit of guilt is better than abject terror.
You have just as much right to buy a seat where you will be comfortable as anyone else.  You aren't trying to pressure some tall person to trade for your seat in the back, and having a tantrum in the aisle when they refuse, are you?  Then you're fine.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: kherbert05 on January 08, 2014, 07:50:19 PM
Some people need a specific seat. Once, through airline foolishness (changing the plane after we bought tickets? I don't remember.) DH and I were flying with our older two and were seated:child in window seat! me in middle <poor soul not related to any of us> <actual aisle> <DH in aisle seat> <other child>. I offered the poor soul the window seat and she looked like I had offered to stab her.  Poor lady was terrified of the window.  I had nothing else to offer, as the other aisle seat meant sitting next to one of our children, who were both under 4 at the time.  I felt terrible as DH and I were constantly passing things back and forth (he had the snack carryon, and in the entertainment) and she said it didn't bother her but I still felt badly.
I'm with the lady. As a kid I was always put in the window or middle seat with family beside me because of the peanut thing. (this is addition to my hazmat "suit"*) I hated being cramped in there. I still do the hazmat suit but try to get an aisle. I wouldn't mind handing things back and forth.


* Long pants, closed toed shoes, short sleeved shirt with over sized light weight windbreaker style jacket. I can comfortably pull the sleeves down over my hands to open doors hold handrails ect.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on March 10, 2014, 10:52:17 AM
Saw this in action yesterday.  I was on a flight home from Washington DC with a nice aisle seat.  The gentleman across the aisle from me was a solidly built businessman in his 30s.  He spilled over in to the aisle.  I wouldn't call him fat; he was wide and tall, like a football running back or a tight end.  Whenever the seatbelt sign was off, he'd raise the exterior aisle side armrest to give himself more space (staying seat belted). 

So, while still loading the plane, a husband and wife come down the aisle together, after he and I are seated.  The wife is assigned to the middle seat between the businessman/ running back and another businessman.  Her husband is in the middle seat directly behind her.  I was floored when the wife asked the businessman/ running back to take her husband's middle seat.  He smiled and said, "I'm afraid I can't.  I just won't fit.'  She didn't ask again, fortunately.  I guess her husband got the same answer from the seats on either side of him, because she stayed put.

Who asks a sort-of giant in an aisle seat to take a middle seat?  I was in far more shock than he was.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: VorFemme on March 10, 2014, 04:57:35 PM
I got put in a bulkhead seat in coach(? not sure what it was called at the time - 1998 - I do remember that I was coming back from Baby Brother's wedding) when I sprained my ankle on the way to the airport....

Some doofus big wig who got to the first class area just before take off tried to hand me his carry on to take back to the only open overheard storage at the very back of the plane.  The stewardess was one who had either rearranged the seating for me or gotten me the ice...she told him to take it back and hurry as he was delaying take off. 

My jacket was wrapped around one ankle to hold an ice pack in place...he managed to trip over it when it was in front of me, not in the aisle.

It was before Etiquette Hell, so dropping my jaw & staring at him had NOTHING to do with any advice read on this site or earlier versions and everything to do with being rendered literally speechless with amazement at his entitlement...I did scream in pain when he tripped over my foot.  I think he got the message that I was injured by then - but he didn't seem to be embarrassed about being a jerk - just upset that everyone was staring at him because I'd screamed instead of because we "recognized" who he was.  I heard that he might have been a big horse owner with a Kentucky Derby winner...I didn't know him from any other overly entitled jerk on a plane.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: oz diva on March 10, 2014, 05:45:30 PM


I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Erich L-ster on March 10, 2014, 07:23:40 PM

My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting.

You let them kick the seats until they got bored and gave up on their own?
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 10, 2014, 07:33:45 PM


I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting.

I am going to assume this is a joke. Well, actually hoping that this is a joke.   Your kids kicking the seat in front of them, being allowed to keep continuing to do so, just because they were having fun?  Um,yeah, this is a perfect example of "not" so good parenting.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: kudeebee on March 10, 2014, 07:45:07 PM


I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting.

I am going to assume this is a joke. Well, actually hoping that this is a joke.   Your kids kicking the seat in front of them, being allowed to keep continuing to do so, just because they were having fun?  Um,yeah, this is a perfect example of "not" so good parenting.

An easy to solution to this is to remove the child's shoes.  Not as fun to kick when it hurts the kids' toes! 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Zizi-K on March 10, 2014, 08:10:16 PM


I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting.

I am going to assume this is a joke. Well, actually hoping that this is a joke.   Your kids kicking the seat in front of them, being allowed to keep continuing to do so, just because they were having fun?  Um,yeah, this is a perfect example of "not" so good parenting.

An easy to solution to this is to remove the child's shoes.  Not as fun to kick when it hurts the kids' toes!

That is a really excellent idea! I will keep that one in my pocket for the future.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: kherbert05 on March 10, 2014, 08:12:28 PM


An easy to solution to this is to remove the child's shoes.  Not as fun to kick when it hurts the kids' toes! 
If they are in a regular seat also have them sit criss cross applesauce. Kids tend to kick because their feet dangling is uncomfortable because of how the edge of the seat meets their leg.

Then there was my Dad's solution - he had the kid behind me kick my seat. Never kicked the seat in front of me again.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: oz diva on March 10, 2014, 08:16:09 PM


I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting.

I am going to assume this is a joke. Well, actually hoping that this is a joke.   Your kids kicking the seat in front of them, being allowed to keep continuing to do so, just because they were having fun?  Um,yeah, this is a perfect example of "not" so good parenting.
Oh sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I didn't condone it, I just couldn't stop them. Really. I tried, I pleaded with them, I threatened them, I bribed them. Short of flinging them out the window I ran out of options.

How do you propose I stopped them? I'm open to ideas. It probably lasted 10 minutes.

ETA: yes removing their shoes might have worked, didn't occur to me 8 years ago.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: CuriousParty on March 10, 2014, 09:22:26 PM
I understand, Oz Diva, our eldest did the same thing on her first flight.  Of course, didn't help that putting her in a cars eat for her safety also gave her access to the seatback (otherwise she'd have been too low) and I tried everything up to and including holding her feet down. There's only so much you can do.

I will remember taking off the shoes though...that's clever.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on March 10, 2014, 09:54:54 PM
Note to self.  Pack duck tape in carry-on for DD's first flight. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: TeamBhakta on March 11, 2014, 01:23:39 AM
Quote
I am going to assume this is a joke. Well, actually hoping that this is a joke.   Your kids kicking the seat in front of them, being allowed to keep continuing to do so, just because they were having fun?  Um,yeah, this is a perfect example of "not" so good parenting.

I would've been spanked at 3 or 4 if I'd kicked a seat after being told not to.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: AngelicGamer on March 11, 2014, 02:38:14 AM
Quote
I am going to assume this is a joke. Well, actually hoping that this is a joke.   Your kids kicking the seat in front of them, being allowed to keep continuing to do so, just because they were having fun?  Um,yeah, this is a perfect example of "not" so good parenting.

I would've been spanked at 3 or 4 if I'd kicked a seat after being told not to.

For me, I'd rather deal with the seat kicking than the screaming from a kid being spanked.  That seems to be the result anytime I've been in the area of a kid misbehaving and the result being a spanking.  Maybe it isn't for others, but I do not deal with screaming in a small space well.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on March 11, 2014, 05:11:01 AM
I've offered to move, for the ease of a travelling family, and been refused. Must have been the best part of 30 years ago, but does anybody remember Standby and Guaranteed Standby? I don't think they exist any more, probably because of the security issues, and because cheap flights are a big promotional thing now, but when I was a student flying home from England to Ireland, full fare was very expensive. (I believe the Irish Sea was, mile for mile, the most expensive stretch of water to cross in Europe.) The airline offered Standby, which was about a quarter of the price, and you just turned up for a flight, and if there was room you flew, and if there wasn't, you waited for the next flight and hoped. If you picked your times carefully, you usually got to fly but you needed to bring a big book and be prepared to wait 24 hours. Guaranteed Standby was about half full fare, and again, you went when there was room, but they guaranteed you that you would fly on the third flight from the time you checked in. That meant that occasionally they had to put on an unscheduled flight, but I suppose they made the sums work.

Well, I used to go GS, but this one time, the airline had completely messed up the numbers. It was nearly Christmas so a lot of Irish people living in England were going home. There was supposed to be a flight every 2 hours and I turned up for the 10 a.m. one. It was full. Not a surprise - I was frankly not expecting to go before the third plane. The planes were 200 seaters, and by noon there were a thousand people, with a variety of tickets, waiting to fly. Some of them had been there since the night before. At that point, the airline stopped distinguishing between the types of tickets - which in itself wasn't well received - and simply started taking people in order of check-in. They also started borrowing aircraft from other airlines. I flew Air France in the end; the people on the flight ahead of us went El Al. Add in that this was to Belfast in the early 80s when security was... well, like we all go through now, but then, most people weren't used to it, so it was total mayhem.

I ended up sitting next to a woman with a little girl of about 4; in the row in front was her husband and their toddler, and both children wanted Mummy. Not Daddy. Daddy wouldn't do. Wanted Mummy. I knew nothing about children at the time, but I could see a meltdown approaching so I asked her if she would like me to change seats with her son so that she could have both children with her.

I have rarely seen an expression of such horror on a woman's face.

Her husband seemed keen, mind you!

Fortunately both children were asleep within 5 minutes of take-off, and I would guess that she had known they would be... but then they were woken after 50 minutes for landing, and the meltdown happened then...
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Sophia on March 11, 2014, 09:54:29 AM
I know why.  I deal with "Mommy Magnetism".  Any chance for my DD and DH to be together, I will take. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 11, 2014, 11:03:42 AM


I will not tolerate small children kicking the back of my seat.  I ask them nicely to stop once.  If they continue, I ask the adult with them to please control their child.  If the adult says, "It's not a problem," (gr-r-r) the next time the kid kicks me, I recline my seat to the max.  This usually puts my head in their space.  I say, "We are sharing this seat: You use this side, I use the other side. Let's be considerate of each other."  I say it politely, but my tone implies that I will keep my seat reclined to the max if the child continues to kick me.
My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting.

I am going to assume this is a joke. Well, actually hoping that this is a joke.   Your kids kicking the seat in front of them, being allowed to keep continuing to do so, just because they were having fun?  Um,yeah, this is a perfect example of "not" so good parenting.
Oh sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I didn't condone it, I just couldn't stop them. Really. I tried, I pleaded with them, I threatened them, I bribed them. Short of flinging them out the window I ran out of options.

How do you propose I stopped them? I'm open to ideas. It probably lasted 10 minutes.

ETA: yes removing their shoes might have worked, didn't occur to me 8 years ago.

Honestly, I would have been made them sit on their legs or sit crisscross or physically restrained their legs before I allowed two kids to kick the seat in front of them. An occasional bump here and there is expected. But "gleefully" kicking would have turned me into a complete ogre that my kids would not have wanted to deal with for the remainder of the flight.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: nayberry on March 11, 2014, 01:16:10 PM
re seat kicking,  if any of us had dared we would have been marched down to the back of the plane spanked and then made to apologise. 

Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: TeamBhakta on March 11, 2014, 01:20:12 PM
re seat kicking,  if any of us had dared we would have been marched down to the back of the plane spanked and then made to apologise.

I see you've met my parents, their motto being "You wouldn't have gotten a spanking or have to apologize if you listened in the first place"   ;)
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: nayberry on March 11, 2014, 01:26:40 PM
re seat kicking,  if any of us had dared we would have been marched down to the back of the plane spanked and then made to apologise.

I see you've met my parents, their motto being "You wouldn't have gotten a spanking or have to apologize if you listened in the first place"   ;)

 ;D
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: DavidH on March 11, 2014, 01:53:42 PM
"My kids were once the seat kickers. I had mistakenly given them jelly snakes as a treat so they were in the middle of a sugar rush (never again). I was traveling alone with them and they were about 3 & 4. They were gleefully kicking the seat in front. The passenger was understandably upset and I was apologetic, but the kids didn't care. They were just having fun. I felt lousy, still do years later.  Eventually they got bored with that game and gave up, but it was nothing to do with my good parenting."

This is exactly the sort of reason why people hate having kids around them on a flight.  And while I agree it has nothing to do with good parenting, it has everything to do with bad parenting.  Somehow the kids were uncontrollable and felt no compunction to listen to you. 
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: cass2591 on March 11, 2014, 05:01:35 PM
First of all, it's a myth that sugar causes hyperactivity in children. Yes, I'm sure some of you have anecdotal stories but please save both of us time if you don't believe me and google it.
(This really has nothing to do with this thread other than I'm tired of hearing a theory that persists despite it being debunked years ago.)

As for judging the mom as to whether or not she's a good parent, enough. One episode of a parent fail, and yes I believe she failed in this case, does not give any evidence as to whether or not she's a good mother. Move on.

Also, spanking is not only a controversial subject but it has nothing to do with etiquette.

IOW, the subject is closed.
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Alias on March 12, 2014, 08:36:34 AM


An easy to solution to this is to remove the child's shoes.  Not as fun to kick when it hurts the kids' toes! 
If they are in a regular seat also have them sit criss cross applesauce. Kids tend to kick because their feet dangling is uncomfortable because of how the edge of the seat meets their leg.

Then there was my Dad's solution - he had the kid behind me kick my seat. Never kicked the seat in front of me again.

I'm flying with two kids (4 and 2) in a week or so, I'm putting both of these in my back pocket!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Little Jo on May 02, 2014, 05:33:01 PM
I often fly with Mr A Cello who has to have a seat. Mister A Cello and I fly a lot. Mister A Cello was given an upgrade to first class because of frequent air miles I was not. Mister A Cello has to stay with me. So I am afraid  I had to deny Cello his upgrade but imagine the surprise when the flautist whom Mister A Cello had to take her seat got the upgrade! Evil me had told her that it was not a nice seat to move to but Mister Cello had to stay with me
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Alias on May 04, 2014, 11:14:25 AM
We flew recently, and the only probably happened on the return overnight flight.  I had trouble with the 'infant' boarding card, and when they reissued it they moved my seat. So I was sitting 3 rows away from my husband and daughter, on a night flight, with a baby on my lap.  The only good thing was I had an empty seat beside me, but I figured I couldn't stay on my own or I'd be stuck unable to move from the baby all flight. So I asked the person in the aisle next to my daughter to swap, made sure he knew it was also an aisle and next to an empty seat. He didn't even put his butt in the chair next to the 4 year old, I think it was a no brainer!
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: VorFemme on May 04, 2014, 03:25:53 PM
I fly out Tuesday to Atlanta from Hobby (Houston) - I'm reviewing this thread for anything that may crop up, on the ground or in the air. 

Just in case something does happen - I want to know how to handle it politely.

Although if I sprain my ankle on the way to the airport, like I did in 1998, I'm still going to yelp with pain if anyone trips on it - I can't think of anything else to do...that doesn't involve a Frying Pan of Duh! and I think that they confiscate those at the security check....
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: alkira6 on May 04, 2014, 06:21:06 PM
I'm teaching a class in Chicago in July, so fingers crossed for my flight...
Title: Re: Move to the worst seat on the plane so we can sit together!
Post by: Fi on June 09, 2014, 01:11:55 PM
Not a plane - a train.

I was on a particularly scenic train line a few weeks ago and I'd booked my seat so that I was at a window and a table. Train still has plenty of seats, but nearly all the window seats at tables were gone.

A couple showed up, asked if the other seats at my table were free. They were, and I told them so, and made sure my stuff wasn't encroaching on the space.

Then the man starts whining to his wife about he wants a window seat. Well, that's fine, there's a seat opposite me. And then he keeps on whining about how he's got to sit facing forward, in a tone of voice designed to carry to me and the woman at the table opposite. He was clearly expecting one of us to offer our seats to him.

I didn't even get to say "that won't be possible", since he didn't even ask. Since he wasn't addressing himself to me, I continued reading my book.

His wife found a pair of facing-forward seats and persuaded him back to them. Alas, they didn't have a table.

I had a lovely view and got some great photos, which is what I'd booked the trip for.