One Of The Best Types Of Passengers On A Plane – The One Who Will Switch Seats With You!

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On our last flight as a family to Tampa, we were not able to get 3 seats together in Economy Comfort. We tend to get a ticket for BabyWeeklyFlyer even though we could do infant in arms because we have found that the extra space is crucial to making the flight enjoyable, even if we do play musical seats 100 times during the flight! One of the other benefits is that we don’t have to subject a stranger to our toddler and vice versa.

Switching Seats On A Plane

Well, on this particular flight we couldn’t get the 3 seats together and hoped that some one would switch with us so that we could all 3 sit together. We of course picked a comparable seat in the row next to us to up our chances but, still knew we were at the mercy of the passenger who had the seat we needed.

baby weekly

Now of course I’ve been subjected to the not so nice passenger before who absolutely refuses to switch seats even though the seat that you are offering them is exactly the same, one row up. So, I still get a little nervous when this scenario happens that we will be faced with a refusal.  But, luckily this time was a success! The gentleman (and I use this word on purpose! definition: A man who treats people in a proper and polite way) who we asked was overly gracious and didn’t seem to mind at all! We really appreciated it!

Bottom Line

This post is a shout out to one of the best types of passengers that you can encounter on a flight – the one who will switch seats with you to keep your family flying together!

I offered to buy this guy a drink on our flight to say thanks. Have you ever been faced with this type of situation? Post to let us know what you did and how it worked out.

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. So I’m a rude jerk if I don’t switch seats? I understand you are grateful to this person but what if they had specifically picked the row and seat they had for a reason. Then you ask them to switch. What can they say? It puts others in an awkward situation if they really don’t want to doesn’t it. Then you would blog about them and say how rude it was. I know this comes off as harsh but it may put some people in a no-win situation. I get it and I have switched many times but a few times I said no I end up uncomfortable because 99% of the time I would but there is that 1%.

  2. I say if there’s someone that won’t switch seats with you then you just stick the baby next to them 😀

    Of course that’s maybe why someone once told me that I was “the type of person that should not have children” 🙂

  3. On a recent United flight from BOS to IAH I was upgraded to First Class and my boyfriend was not (he was in an aisle seat in Economy Plus.) Once we had boarded I apprised a flight attendant of the situation and told her I was willing to trade my seat so I could sit with my boyfriend. The couple sitting next to my boyfriend weren’t interested in being split up so I told the flight attendant not to worry about it as I didn’t want to create a problem. The gentleman sitting next to me in First said he was willing to move to Economy Plus so BF and I could sit together…needless to say he received a round of applause from those seated around us…and copious cocktails throughout the flight (and the flight attendant told him she would still bring him dinner!) Nicest man EVER!!!

    ***The flight had been delayed multiple times and did not land at IAH until 1:45 AM…instead of 10:15 PM…so this man’s kindness was even more extraordinary…

  4. DanInMCI has a point though. In case a passenger says no, you should be ok with that too.
    In addition, if someone did this to you, I hope you will do it or someone else on one of your future trips.

  5. This happened to me once during the worst trip I ever had.

    I was returning from China after about 2 weeks out in the far west. During this trip, my bags were lost for 4 days, and two flights were cancelled – one requiring an overnight stay in the Urumqi Armed Police Training Center Barracks (no internet and no phone, 2 to a room a complete stranger).

    Anyway I made it onto my BC flight back tot he US and was all settled in when a FA asked me if I would mind switching seats with someone – seems the father and mother of an infant had chosen seats nest to each other but due to the herringbone pattern, it would not have been possible to play “here, take the baby” with each other. So I switched.

    Why? A number of reasons. First, I needed some good Karma. Second, if the baby was making a fuss all the way across the Pacific, it would have been miserable for everyone. Third, It was no skin off my nose, since on those long hauls, the windows are basically closed for the entire trip. Fourth, did I mention I needed some Karma?

    The flight passed without incident and the baby slept most of the way through and was quiet the entire flight.

    My US connection was delayed, then cancelled. So much for Karma.

  6. Points With A Crew – Haha. I’d call that the Nuclear option! 🙂 We had to go that route once…It was ironic. The guy thought he’d improve his flight by saying no, until we got up in the air and he realized he was next to a crying infant for a 3 hour flight. They guy literally said “I take much more of this” about 15 minutes after takeoff. Then he switched seats and the crying stopped.

    Nuclear Option Example: Everyone loses

    I always switch now that I’ve been there. Earn Karma, help a traveling family sit together. I could just put on my Bose Noise Canceling headset, but I don’t.

  7. I am always delighted to switch to an equivalent seat! One time my kids orchestrated a complicated switch to put a family of five scattered in four different locations (3 crying kids!) together. They were non-English speaking & obviously connecting off an international flight. A grumpy old senior flight attendant told them they could not do it (might delay departure). They did it anyway, and the entire cabin burst into applause. The attendant got so mad about it that she had the pilot turn on the seat belt sign the entire flight (not a bit of turbulance).

    However, don’t ask me to switch to an ordinary coach seat – I am very tall and require front cabin, economy extra, or exit row.

  8. I would say that social norms dicate being willing to switch if you are given a equal or better seat (like 6A to 7A if both are in economy comfort). The problem is I dont have status and often fly all the way in the back. More than once I have been asked to switch to put a family together where the FA wanted me to give up my aisle seat for a middle seat. I have agreed a few times on the DCA-NY/BOS route since that flight is short but I normally refuse if they want me to sit in the middle from the east coast to DFW or LAX.

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