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Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

New York City, New...
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Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

So i know this was a HUGE thread last year,and probably still ongoing,but I didnt want to hijack it 80 pages in....

What are the latest thoughts on refusing to switch seats,especially when there's retaliation?

My flight last night from JFK-FRA on Lufthansa was PACKED,and I guess a lot of people had their seats screwed up(so the pilot said as we were taxiing to the runway). I was on an aisle of a 4 seat section,and the guy next to me asked if I would switch with his wife,who was in the row ahead of us,in a middle seat. I declined,as I tend to be a somewhat anxious flyer(i dont show it,but I do need aisle access) and i reserved my seat 2 months ago.

The guy was disgusted of course(the guy on the aisle seat next to the wife must also have refused) and proceeded to sit the entire flight with his legs in a V-position,leaving his left leg halfway under the seat in front of me.He also threw his blanket all over him so that it came into my seat(which i picked up and put over the side of his armrest-no fuss,just removed it from my lap) and stood in the aisle when i went to the restroom once and refused to let me back into my seat b/c "he needed to stand."

I could have went to an FA,but it was a 6 hour flight and I didnt want any more issues. Plus I knew there was nowhere else to be moved.


Also,it was definitely a rude guy flight-the passenger in front of me reclined his seat ALL the way back(which is their right,I know,so i did the same)and complained to me that I was bumping the back of his seat everytime I moved around in my seat or got into my bag(which I did once or twice). I did tell him that if he pulled his seat forward he might not notice me as much,but he kept it where it was.

Needless to say,the flight was just peachy. Lufthansa was fine,though,service was good despite the passengers. We had in seat entertainment,decent food,plenty of beverage service and free alcohol.

Anyway,feedback is appreciated.


South Pole
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1. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

u got to hold your ground, rise above the nastiness and get into your zen zone.

ignore the intimidation.

Destination Expert
for Israel
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2. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

I do not think anyone expects ( except the person doing the asking) someone to change an aisle sit for a middle seat! IN terms of his feet in your feet space--you should have involved the flight attendants. Not doing that, you have only yourself to blame.

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3. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

I think I remember reading from other posts that Lufthansa has had/is having computer systems issues and there have been issues with seat bookings (unless I have that completely wrong). However, that's no reason for people to be unnecessarily rude. The man asked if you would swap, you (politely I'm sure) said no, that's that. I would like to think that if there were a genuine need for the two to sit together, i.e. if he were her carer and needed to attend her feeding and hygiene needs, then the check-in or gate agents would have arranged it.

Otherwise, although I prefer to sit with my husband, for a 6-hour flight, especially overnight, I'd not bother making a fuss about it. Imagine spending those hours doing your best to be unpleasant (unless of course he's always like that, what a horrible thought). Hopefully he's feeling a little foolish today.

London, UK
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4. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

You were absolutely right to stand (sit actually) your ground and refuse to move. No-one can rationally expect a passenger with an aisle or window seat to freely switch to a middle one. If he's then rude about it, he's just a boor - which men who insist on sitting with their legs wide apart in confined spaces like public transport basically are, I think. I wonder sometimes if it's some sort of subliminal male dominance thing but who knows. Really annoying for 6 hours though .All you can do is hope he has a really miserable life (which he will, if this was his typical attitude) and move on, which it sounds like you have.

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

Good for you Stacey for not allowing yourself to be intimidated by this bully. If he *needed to stand* I would have sat back down until he was ready to sit back down. with regard to the leg space, I would have done some leg stretches and if he didn't get the hint, I would have spoken quietly to the FA.

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6. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

He is a jerk and good on you for staying in your good aisle seat. Plus in this day and age were most of us now pay for the privelage of a aisle or window seat they maybe should of paid themselves or turn up early to get seats together.

Amazing though how grown people turn in to brats when they don't get what they want - if you were ever to have this happen again I would probable of talked to the FA :) 100% though on your side :D and yes I have refused swaps and also asked for a swap which I took with humor and had the best flight between two scientists who happily chatted all the way (funny blokes) but I only asked tongue in cheek and knew they would not swap ;)

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

What a tough situation. I would have refused to switch seats, but probably would have done the same as you by not telling the flight attendant so as to avoid dealing with his fury the rest of the flight. I once sat in a window seat, with a man on the aisle sitting with with his legs wide apart. The rather intoxicated woman between us in the middle seat shrieked at him, "IT'S NOT MY FAULT YOU HAVE B*LLS!" While I disapproved of her approach, I stood with her in sentiment.

Quebec City
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8. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

I agree you were right not to "give in". People have to be reasonable! A few years ago, returning from our honeymoon, my husband and I missed a connection to YUL in Munich, and Lufthansa were able to rebook us on a MUC-ORD flight, though we lost our seats together. I was given a middle seat (I think it was a 3-4-3 configuration), and my husband an aisle a few rows ahead. We were told we could try asking the person in the aisle next to me if they'd mind switching aisle-for-aisle with my husband. We never did, the man next to me was a father, whose family were sitting across the aisle! I bet someone less understanding might have asked him to switch and been unhappy when he said no. I figured it was more important for him to be close to his children than me to my husband.

IMHO it is always OK to ask politely, but people shouldn't expect the switch to be accepted.

Cardiff, United...
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9. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

I was on a flight last year where a couple have been split up, his gf was sat in front of me in a window seat, with a stranger next door in the aisle. The bf asked if he would swap but it would be to a window seat so he declined. Not to be beaten the couple then decide to chat as soon as the plane had taken off, talking over the stranger, constantly giggling etc, it was a night flight to the stranger asked whether they were going to chat all the flight... the bf laughed it off and said yes we are chatters.... so the man eventually moved... I thought that was so so rude!

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10. Re: Seat Switch Refusal-Part 2(or 3...)

I never got why people planning to spend the rest of their lives together make such a big fuss about sitting together.

I find the best way to have a preemptive strike against those who lash out against others who wish to sit in their assigned seat is to be very nice. Kill them with kindness. Cheerfully respond, "I will gladly sit in any aisle equivalent to this seat." Then, apologetically state, "Oh, I am sorry, but that seat is not equivalent to mine- perhaps try switching for another middle seat."

Also, in the world of paying for "premium" economy seats, smile and offer a dollar amount that would make the switch worth your while, stating that you paid extra for your seat assignment.

Sometimes, it's impossible to be a little twerp when someone is joking with you, smiling and offering kindness instead of what you want. If that doesn't work, get the flight attendant as soon as possible.