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?
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.