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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?