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1

I am normally happy to change seats as long as the seat is of equivalent comfort. It is just not that big of deal for me. I have changed when the seat was not as good just because I felt like being generous that day. However, I was recently asked to change seats from an aisle to a center seat. A man wanted me to change so he could sit with his wife. I ...


2

From a moral point of view, their request is identical to a stranger asking you for $20. They have the right to ask, but you have absolutely no moral or legal obligation to give. In some situations it will be nice to help them out, in others it will be stupid. But in no situation is it required of you to help them. The only things you cannot/should not do: ...


4

A few quick comments: I've had people who were seated beside me get up and go sit somewhere else. It's not that weird, and nobody gets offended. IMHO, you should NOT get up and go sit beside someone else you don't know (without a really good reason). That other person was about to enjoy a comfortable flight with some extra room, and you would be taking ...


9

As far as I can tell, Qatar Airlines has "free seating" in the sense that you can select your seat at the time of check-in. I would expect that the seat you chose is then printed on your boarding pass. (This is as opposed to, for instance, Southwest Airlines, where your boarding pass does not have a printed seat number, and you choose an available seat ...


9

Here's the economist's solution: Offer a price at which you are willing to give up the seat. If he refuses the offer, then too bad for him. If he accepts the offer, then both of you are better off---for the price bargained, he gets the seat and you willingly give up your seat.


9

Another note that hasn't yet been mentioned is redirecting the person. "I'm sorry you were not assigned the seat you needed. I cannot help you, but perhaps one of the attendants can. Shall I press the call button so they can help you?" While the base action is the same as other suggestions - saying no and calling the attendant if pressured - the wording ...


2

I don't understand why so much animosity against people asking to change in some answers and comments. I agree that asking to change for a better seat and sending the OP near the toilet is bad but that's not the most common situation. I once asked someone to switch with me, to be near my family. No, this was not a trick and I didn't book my travel late. ...


4

You have a seat that presumably you paid for. You are not under any obligation to switch seats with another passenger, and you do not owe them any explanation. If someone asks, simply say, "No, sorry". Then turn away and direct your attention to something else, open a book or start using an electronic gadget or something, to indicate that the conversation is ...


3

I'll provide my take on this: As much as I agree you can every right to keep your seat, remember that other travelers can be stressed out as well. Stressed people can do crazy stuff that is not in their regular nature. They might want to sit with their families or children and do not realize why you traveling alone cannot be bothered to change. (In all ...


8

It happened to me recently. I had checked in online and reserved the seats I wanted. A guy came to me and asked to change seats so he could sit next to his wife. I told him that my 3 kids were just across the aisle and that I wanted to be next to them. He then tried to convince me that the other seat had more leg room! I just said that I didn't want to ...


4

Imagine that you manage to sell all those seats 100% of the time. Wouldn't that mean that you're undercharging the market if that were the case? If the supply is meeting the demand perfectly, then it means you're either incredibly lucky, or much more likely it means that you're undercharging the market. Also, there is a second factor. The airline ...


3

Since your problem is that you lose your seat because of shyness, you'll have to overcome that problem. Not the being shy, but the losing your seat. The next time it happens, rule number 1: This is YOUR seat. YOU keep YOUR seat. That's the unavoidable outcome. You may become totally embarrassed because you have to say no to people or worse, which is ...


6

Many people buy fully refundable flexible tickets because they are not sure of their travel plans until a day or two (or less) before the flight. Such tickets are about three to four times the price of the cheapest ticket in the same class of travel. If you are going to sell very cheap tickets a few hours before departure, many people holding full flex ...


2

I usually say "I will swap seats if requested by the cabin crew. Here, let me call one for you." And this is the truth, even when I move myself to another seat I always ask the crew whether it's OK.


18

You absolutely should never, ever swap seats with anyone. Here's a clever formula for you: say.. "I am not allowed to do that. Please bring one of the cabin crew. I want to speak to one of the cabin crew about it. I'm calling for the cabin crew. I've pressed the button." Whatever the prick says back to you, just keep repeating louder and louder, "I want ...


8

There are several factors going on. Airlines have whole departments dedicated to revenue optimization, and to figure such things out. Among the factors that play a role here: Last minute fliers tend to be in some kind of urgent situation, and thus are more willing to pay higher fares. Airlines already have a contingent of people to fill empty seats: ...


11

I think what you describe happens quite often in parts of the world where the pecking order is based on age, so teenagers rank slightly better than animals, but only slightly. Older people try to take undue advantage of their position in the pecking order. I have been in the same situation as you. I found that the best solution in such a situation is to say ...


31

There are many things that airlines used to do that they can no longer do because customers have so much more information than before. 30 years ago, what people presented themselves as doing pretty well matched with what they were doing. But over the years, folks have learned (and shared with others) how pretending can save a lot of money: one way ticket ...


7

I would look at this way: To begin with, the other person does not know or understand your need to sit in the aisle. If you tell them that you have special needs for that, or that you payed extra for it, they should be able to understand this. If you tell them that you need to or payed extra for sitting in the aisle, then that person would be selfish to ...


9

Since I prefer window seats, this does not happen to me often but the few times it has happened, it is because it is a parent (usually father) who wishes to sit with their family in the other 2 seats. As a parent myself, I can understand the desire to want to sit with your family, especially when the family consists of multiple young children. A grumpy ...


20

If you are very shy and have a lot of difficulty dealing with people directly, a very simple strategy is to lean back in your seat with your eyes closed and wearing headphones or earplugs until after takeoff. Most people will not disturb you while you're like this. I realize this isn't a direct answer to the question "how do I tell them no", but it might ...


0

Just say that you need to visit the toilet quite frequently which can cause problems for other passengers (e.g. after food is served) unless you have the aisle seat. Also by giving this explanation, fellow passengers may think that you have come down with some illness which may be contagious (e.g. flu or norovirus). The passenger in the middle seat may then ...


14

I totally feel you. I had this happen to me for a seat that I had paid extra just to be seated there. I politely informed them that I had specifically requested this seat and would not change my mind. The person seated did not bother to move and seemed indecisive for a little while and I just waited for him to come to terms with what was happening. Finally ...


67

The other answers are excellent, and correct. I wanted to share a few extra ideas because you specifically said: Do note that I am very shy and submissive in public. I also am a shy person that's, for various reasons, done a lot of travelling on my own. What I always say to myself is: You'll never see any of these people ever again. And that ...


21

"I'm sorry but I'd rather not trade seats." If they insist; "No, I am not going to be changing seats, I'm sorry."


34

Unless it is a safety related reason, it will be very hard to change your seat without you willing to do so, that includes cabin crew. So, as mentioned in the other answer by @CGCampbell, just politely say no. You might get frowned upon but who cares! it is your seat and it is totally your right to be stuck with it. Something worth mentioning here, ...


106

"Sir/Ma'am, no thank you." or "Sir/Ma'am, I am not interested." Followed by (if needed) "Sir/Ma'am, I am sorry, but I specifically requested and was given this seat. I am not willing to change to another seat for any reason. Perhaps someone else might wish to help you."



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