Author Topic: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?  (Read 13051 times)

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BuffaloFang

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 11:18:04 PM »
I think that it is fairly common for traveling companions to book an aisle and window seat, hoping that the middle seat remains open.  To increase the odds of this, I would choose seats as far back in the plane as possible, as often those seats are the last to be filled.  Also, if there is someone in the middle seat, be willing to let that person choose whether they want an aisle or a window seat if they agree to your polite request to change seats.


Another option for a couple is to choose opposite-row aisle seats.  Late Dh and I did this the last couple of times that we flew.  Naturally hand-holding will be kind of difficult  :) but at least the two of us could communicate without talking "over" another passenger.

I think this is what made me rethink the situation.  Perhaps another couple would be happy with across-the-aisle seats, (ie, it could have been couple A, Split Couple B, and Couple C) but since the seats are seemingly taken, they end up choosing a less optimal seat elsewhere on the plane.

Thanks for the responses everyone!

Cosmasia

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 02:03:43 AM »
I think everyone else has voiced it really well so I just want to say something that came to mind, in the case of the stranger declining to switch.

You have to be sure you and your partner are able to fly without talking much to each other. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I hate hate haaaate when I'm stuck between two people (in a class, at a show, anywhere really) who keep talking in front of/behind me to each other. I feel like I have to stay back or have to lean forward, and it's just really distracting. I also have anxiety so it kind of makes it worse that I basically have no peace.

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sweetonsno

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2012, 02:52:10 AM »
I think everyone else has voiced it really well so I just want to say something that came to mind, in the case of the stranger declining to switch.

You have to be sure you and your partner are able to fly without talking much to each other. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I hate hate haaaate when I'm stuck between two people (in a class, at a show, anywhere really) who keep talking in front of/behind me to each other. I feel like I have to stay back or have to lean forward, and it's just really distracting. I also have anxiety so it kind of makes it worse that I basically have no peace.

ITA. It's not rude to hope you get an empty seat, but it is rude to act like you have an empty seat when you don't. Talking over the person in the middle (or passing things back and forth, or trying to watch the same DVD) are all no-nos.

cicero

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 03:41:36 AM »
I think that it is fairly common for traveling companions to book an aisle and window seat, hoping that the middle seat remains open.  To increase the odds of this, I would choose seats as far back in the plane as possible, as often those seats are the last to be filled.  Also, if there is someone in the middle seat, be willing to let that person choose whether they want an aisle or a window seat if they agree to your polite request to change seats.


Another option for a couple is to choose opposite-row aisle seats.  Late Dh and I did this the last couple of times that we flew.  Naturally hand-holding will be kind of difficult  :) but at least the two of us could communicate without talking "over" another passenger.
On a 12 hour flight i once took (it was a last minute for me so i got the last seat on the flight) -  configuration was 3 4 3  and i had the second seat on the middle section (so i had one person on my right and two on my left. yeah, lots of fun). i had a very nice elderly lady on my right and i realized that her husband was sitting across the aisle from her so i offered her my seat if they wanted to sit together. She said "oh no thanks darling, this is close enough for me"  ;D

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wx4caster

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 08:26:59 AM »
I think everyone else has voiced it really well so I just want to say something that came to mind, in the case of the stranger declining to switch.

You have to be sure you and your partner are able to fly without talking much to each other. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I hate hate haaaate when I'm stuck between two people (in a class, at a show, anywhere really) who keep talking in front of/behind me to each other. I feel like I have to stay back or have to lean forward, and it's just really distracting. I also have anxiety so it kind of makes it worse that I basically have no peace.

This. Cosmasia's wording is so much more polite than what I was thinking.   ;)
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cattlekid

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2012, 08:27:29 AM »
This is our mode of operation on Southwest.  Since there is no assigned seating, you can often take the aisle and window seats and not get anyone sitting between you unless it is a really crowded flight.  I never thought about it as possibly being rude, I just thought about it as self-preservation because I need an aisle to help with legroom and my husband needs extra space in general.

platypus109

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2012, 02:42:41 PM »
I'd say it depends on the reason for the empty middle seat.  A few years back I'd been assigned an aisle seat only to encounter a mother with her two small (toddler age) children sitting in my seat because the airline had assigned them separate seats.  As I didn't feel comfortable forcing a mother to sit without her children, I was forced to take her middle seat - between a large couple that easily weighed in the high 200's or 300's.   I'm not small myself and was in the lower 200's at the time of this story and these people dwarfed me in terms of circumference.  It was clear they'd selected an aisle and a window so as to avoid having to pay for an additional seat.  When I asked the couple if either one wanted to sit in the middle they both declined - as was their right; however, I ended up spending the next four hours sandwiched between  people who had to put their weight on me just to sit in their seat.  If anything had happened I am certain I would have had extreme difficulty getting out of my seat. 

rashea

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2012, 02:47:39 PM »
I'd say it depends on the reason for the empty middle seat.  A few years back I'd been assigned an aisle seat only to encounter a mother with her two small (toddler age) children sitting in my seat because the airline had assigned them separate seats.  As I didn't feel comfortable forcing a mother to sit without her children, I was forced to take her middle seat - between a large couple that easily weighed in the high 200's or 300's.   I'm not small myself and was in the lower 200's at the time of this story and these people dwarfed me in terms of circumference.  It was clear they'd selected an aisle and a window so as to avoid having to pay for an additional seat.  When I asked the couple if either one wanted to sit in the middle they both declined - as was their right; however, I ended up spending the next four hours sandwiched between  people who had to put their weight on me just to sit in their seat.  If anything had happened I am certain I would have had extreme difficulty getting out of my seat.

In this situation I would have insisted that they not be in my seat. Sorry, but you do not get to lean on me simply because the airline doesn't provide appropriate room for larger people. I would say they were very rude.
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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2012, 02:58:26 PM »
I think I'd have rather sat with the two toddlers...   ;)
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snowdragon

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2012, 03:02:50 PM »
I'd say it depends on the reason for the empty middle seat.  A few years back I'd been assigned an aisle seat only to encounter a mother with her two small (toddler age) children sitting in my seat because the airline had assigned them separate seats.  As I didn't feel comfortable forcing a mother to sit without her children, I was forced to take her middle seat - between a large couple that easily weighed in the high 200's or 300's.   I'm not small myself and was in the lower 200's at the time of this story and these people dwarfed me in terms of circumference.  It was clear they'd selected an aisle and a window so as to avoid having to pay for an additional seat.  When I asked the couple if either one wanted to sit in the middle they both declined - as was their right; however, I ended up spending the next four hours sandwiched between  people who had to put their weight on me just to sit in their seat.  If anything had happened I am certain I would have had extreme difficulty getting out of my seat.

In this situation I would have insisted that they not be in my seat. Sorry, but you do not get to lean on me simply because the airline doesn't provide appropriate room for larger people. I would say they were very rude.


 I would have refused to  switch with the kids and let the FA work it out. I am not spending any amount of time in physical contact with strangers because someone took my seat.  There are ways for the FA to deal  with this that the average passenger doesn't have - and I think you were really nice, all of the other adults not so much.

NyaChan

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2012, 03:11:45 PM »
I think it depends on the situation for me - in the one described here, I'd politely decline to give up my seat - because 1) the mother just took it without even asking and 2) the other seat was extremely uncomfortable.  Otherwise, I'd give it up because I still remember with a good bit of gratitude an Australian gentleman who gave up his seat for me when I was little-

A flight was overcrowded and they put me, about 6-7 years old, about 10 rows away from my mom on an international flight.  I was seated in a window seat by a young woman originally and was okay, but she then switched with an older man.  To my 7 year old eyes, he was really creepy, I felt boxed into my seat as he knew the passenger in front of us and was loudly talking and gesturing wildly. I just sat there silently crying until I heard my name - my mom was in the aisle seat across from a the nice gentleman and when she explained what had happened and asked nicely, he gave up his aisle seat to go sit in the window seat where I was.  The older lady next to me whispered that she was glad I was sitting next to her now so that she could put her feet up without worrying about her skirt slipping - it was a good flight after that!

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2012, 03:16:29 PM »
I'm willing to give up my seat to help out a situation like when a family gets split up.  However, if I'm giving up my aisle seat, I'm only willing to accept another aisle seat.  If you can make that happen, I'll gladly move to help someone out.  But if you can't?  Sorry, I'm not moving.

(I have mild claustrophobia and am a bit of a nervous flyer.  So I'm up and down to the washroom a lot.  Aisle seat keeps it all in check.  Don't have an aisle seat?  I'd probably be puking in short order from nerves and motion sickness.  I can handle either the motion or the nerves on their own.  Put the two together?  Not so much.)
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GratefulMaria

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2012, 03:47:30 PM »
I was the middle person in a row of three, couple had the aisle and window seats and had already settled their things into mine early in the boarding process.  They looked very dismayed but didn't ask to switch and refused (politely) when I offered.  I think any civil behavior that doesn't treat your fellow paying passenger like an intruder should be fine.   :)

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2012, 04:34:42 PM »
I think it depends on the situation for me - in the one described here, I'd politely decline to give up my seat - because 1) the mother just took it without even asking and 2) the other seat was extremely uncomfortable.  Otherwise, I'd give it up because I still remember with a good bit of gratitude an Australian gentleman who gave up his seat for me when I was little-

Not saying that you don't have the right to decline to give up your seat, but I would give the mother a little bit of slack here.  She has two small toddlers, and it's unlikely she can leave them at separate seats while waiting for the people who have the right to those seats to come.  So I can understand that she decided to keep them with her, even if it means they were sitting on other people's seats for a little bit.  For all we know she had appealed to the flight attendant and the flight attendant told her to sit there with her kids while waiting for Platypus to come.  I hope she at least asked Platypus politely about switching seats.  Of course Platypus has the right to decline, as well as to go to the flight attendant to find a solution. 

Betelnut

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Re: Choosing seats on a plane: Is this rude?
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2012, 07:53:51 PM »
Once I'm settled and strapped in with my bag tucked in below, I don't want to move.  Inertia, I guess.  So I might not move if asked.
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