Seat Poaching From the Other Point of View…and Cooties?

I  asked you what do you do about seat poachers — people who will help themselves to seats which are assigned to other people in order to be seated near a loved one as one of many reasons — back on March 29, 2013; and the comments in response related the experiences and opinions of seat poaching all too clearly…

…but what about the point of view of the seat poacher?

FlyerTalk member injera — who I am not accusing of being a seat poacher, to be clear — asked for opinions to the following scenarios:

Weighing in on the idea of proactively taking someone’s seat when trying to sit with a friend.

Yes, the person with the boarding pass is the person entitled to the seat. However, could it be considered a courtesy to proactively sit down in the seat.

Hear me out…..

I’m in 24C, my wife is in 18C so i sit in 18B and leave my bags on my lap. When 18B comes by I explain the situation and politely ask if he will take 24C. If he says yes, I say thank you and settle in. If he says no, i get up and go to 24C.

OR

I go sit in 24C. Towards the end of boarding I swim upstream to ask 18B if he will switch. He has his bags in the overhead, his seatbelt on and has taken a sandwich and ipad out of his personal item. It is now much more of a hassle to him to move than if i asked him before he could sit down. If he says no, thats fine. If he says yes, we cram the aisle as I gather my things and move up, having 18C get up and let us in/out, he moves his stuff, etc….

Of course, anyone who cops an attitude or demands the switch remains a pita. But couldn’t this method above almost be considered more courteous?

Just a thought.

One response to which a number of FlyerTalk members agreed was from FlyerTalk member MSPeconomist — whom I know personally — and she posted this comment:

If someone is in my seat, they go. At that point I don’t care what the offer or justification is, it’s just wrong to take over my seat and settle in before asking. Plus, I don’t want their cooties on my blanket and pillow.

My approach to seat poaching is as follows:

  1. If someone is already sitting in my assigned seat, I will first check my boarding pass to ensure that I have the correct seat assignment on that flight before I politely ask that person if he or she is certain that he or she is in the correct seat. After all, I have encountered myself and another person in the past having boarding passes with the same seat assignment on the same flight on the same day — albeit rare.
  2. If the person is indeed in the wrong seat, I will politely ask that person to move and give the benefit of the doubt that he or she simply made a mistake. Usually, that person moves and the situation is resolved.
  3. If the person automatically assumed that I would move without even asking me, then all bets are off. In order to justify being that rude, that person had better have a really good reason to convince me to switch my seat — and not to some unwanted seat towards the rear of the aircraft. In this situation, I have no problem denying the request of the seat poacher after the fact — and I will call a flight attendant to resolve the situation, if necessary.

 

What are your thoughts? Is there ever a time where the practice of poaching the seat of someone else is justified?

6 thoughts on “Seat Poaching From the Other Point of View…and Cooties?”

  1. mike says:

    reminds me to ask about persons that “poach” the travel kits left on seats in first or business class on the way to their seats.

    happend to me on nrt/bkk last sept.

  2. DaninMCI says:

    It’s rude. Just sit in the seat you are assigned. I’m sure you can live without sitting next to your friend or spouse for a couple hours. I hate when people ask me to switch. I usually put a ton of thought in and maybe seat comfort research before I pick a seat. Now you come along and want me to switch because you couldn’t be proactive enough to secure the seat next to your friend or spouse. Now I look like a heal because I refuse to switch. There is no upside for the person you are trying to switch with.

  3. Robert says:

    I usually dont mind switching seats if asked before we leave the gate…But most times its hard to give up an isle seat (which I try hard to get) for a middle seat or window which is usually what happens because isle seats are at a premium

    Robert

  4. CCORD says:

    I’ve never had a poacher but I’ve had people asking to switch. Invariably they want me to move from like 8C to 32B. I don’t think so. I just mention that I purchased this ticket X months ago and reserved my seat at that time. And I recommend that they do the same thing in the future. No one’s ever argued with me.

  5. Segments says:

    injera scenario who wants to sit next to his wife in 18C:

    “I go sit in 24C. Towards the end of boarding I swim upstream to ask 18B if he will switch. He has his bags in the overhead, his seatbelt on and has taken a sandwich and ipad out of his personal item. It is now much more of a hassle to him to move than if i asked him before he could sit down. If he says no, thats fine. If he says yes, we cram the aisle as I gather my things and move up, having 18C get up and let us in/out, he moves his stuff, etc….”

    Person in 18C is your wife … whom you want to sit next to during the flight Why doesn’t she ask pax 18B when he arrives and before he gets settled? Maybe she doesn’t want husband to sit next to her as much as injera think she does?

  6. Mavis says:

    No one should ever sit in someone else’s seat. If they are stupid enough not to know how to arrange to sit next to their partner or colleague, too bad.

    The only time EVER it should be allowed for passengers to move seats is when they are a) not taking up anyone else’s seat and b) there is at least one spare seat between the seat they are moving to and the next person on the row (excluding across the aisle of course). And even then… I mean if you’re in a window seat and there are two spare seats next to you, I think you should have the chance to enjoy those two spare seats to yourself, like lying down for example, especially if it’s a long haul flight.

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