Advice needed on how to get an aisle seat.

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Sep 11th, 2010, 10:34 AM
  #21
 
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I've seen what rkkwan is talking about and they do get irritated. I think that part of this is that some people do need to be moved for legit reasons and the flight attendants know this. They re-seat these people after the plane is off the ground and seat belt light off.
I wouldn't just grab another seat. Sometimes parents are separated from their older children, people have bad knees, pregnancy (hopefully the OP will be on the list!) and the cabin crew will try to help. After 9/11 my friend was always nervous in a window seat and the crews were most obliging to get him moved- after take-off.
The OP is well on her way so hope she had a good flight.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 10:57 AM
  #22
 
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suze - Thanks for clarifying, because in your post dated 12:24pm, you stated "before take-off" twice. There's a huge difference between "before taxiing" and "before take-off", sometimes hours long.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 11:17 AM
  #23
 
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OK but really "before taxiing" is also "before take off". I should have been more clear, that you do this... AFTER the plane door has been shut but BEFORE the plane starts to move.

I thought people understood how & when it is OK to switch seats on a plane, if there are empty ones available. But from this thread obviously they don't (don't know or don't think it is alright to do so). I do it any time there is an option for a better seat (usually moving backwards in the cabin to a row with multiple empty seats). Not once, not ever, has the crew stopped me or even said anything.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 11:24 AM
  #24
 
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You can also wait until after take off, after you reach cruising altitude and the fasten seat belt sign is turned off. But by then likely people who were more assertive types have already made their adjustments and grabbed up any good available seats!
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Sep 11th, 2010, 11:44 AM
  #25
 
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As Rizzuto has given permission for corrections, I shall be anal and do so:

>(If an airline lets you select your seats in advance, you can select them as soon as you but the ticket, not just "30 days" before.)

True. Some are 90 days before the flight. KE and KL come to mind immediately. Possibly other time periods and airlines, too.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 02:13 PM
  #26
 
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As usual everyone is partially right.

If you change seats to the BACK you will usually not have a problem as pax are not often going to board late and have a seat in the back . As airlines assign seats from front to back if back seats are empty they are probably. Unoccupied

however if you try to move to the front those are often premium seats and you may be stopped or removed
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Sep 11th, 2010, 02:42 PM
  #27
 
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OK Folks Let's Get Technical Here ....

1) The original post concerned how to get an aisle seat. As I suggested in my original response although incorrectly using the reference to "Checking In", some airlines allow you to select your seat up to 30 days prior to departure. NoFlyZone further noted that this can also be done at the time of ticket purchase or 90 days in advance.

For some reason it seems "Usernameistaken" was not aware of this fact. The point of this forum is to provide insight so we can share ideas and all have better travel experiences. I think there are other sites and forums for "glass house owners" who love to be "anal"

2) Carry on items that do not fit under the sit in front of you must be stored before the cabin door is closed. Part of the flight attendant's job is to make sure this is done. This is confirmed by the gate agent before the cabin door is closed.

3) Once the seat belt sign is turned on and the cabin door is closed seat switching is frowned on unless you receive explicit approval from a flight attendant. It is an FAA violation and a safety issue to move the aircraft while passengers are standing.

4) As noted there is a big difference between before "push back" and "takeoff". I would imagine an expert traveler would know this but I guess that is not the case.

5) If you chose to switch seats right after the door closes but before the airplane pushes back don't be surprised if you delay the flight or are told via the "PA" to return to your original seat.

6) The best way to get the seat you prefer is to do so in advance of checking in at the airport. 10,20,30,40,50,60 or maybe even 90 days in advance. As long as the airline does not switch aircraft on your route of flight this will be the less stressful way to do so.

If you are on the aircraft and still have an undesirable seat let the flight attendant know as you board the aircraft or find one that will be working in area or your original seat.

As the flight is boarding flight attendants are more aware of the empty seats available and most will be accommodating of your request.

Since overhead space tend to fill up quickly store any items that will not fit under the seat in front of you. One less thing for you to worry about if you are fortunate enough to get your seat changed.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 03:32 PM
  #28
 
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from an earlier post...

DMBTraveler on Sep 11, 10 at 9:47am
Suze,

You travel on the edge. Carry ons have to be stored before the cabin door is closed. If not it is a safety issue. Store your carry on items then move to a desired empty seat BEFORE THE DOOR CLOSES.

If the seat is claimed move back to your original seat. You have lost nothing.

----------

This is called poaching and not recommended. If you sit in my seat I will probably know several rows before and I will go straight to the FA and ask him/her to move you. From that point on you may get less than desireable service and you may not be allowed to move. At the absolute minimum, I will never be your friend.
Wait until you are in the air before you move.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 04:25 PM
  #29
 
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RonDace,

Waiting until you are in the air before you move is also a good idea, however you lessen your chance of getting that open seat. Furthermore, it may take a long time before you can get up and move. Most pilots are reluctant to turn off the seat belt sign, technically the only time you can get up and move.

You seem like a nice person and I think you would still be friends with "Suze" if she happens to (wink,wink) be accidently sitting in your seat

To avoid the whole problem, reserve your preferred seat in advance. That was the point of my initial response. After all I would not want you to be mad with me on a flight
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Sep 11th, 2010, 06:47 PM
  #30
 
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I do NOT move to a seat that is assigned to anyone else.

I move ONLY to an EMPTY and unssigned seat.

The cabin door is already CLOSED so there are no more late arrivals boarding the plane by the time I do it.

I understand the difference between push back and take off, smarties. When I first loosely used the phrase *before take off* I meant when you're still on the ground... as oppossed to waiting until *after take off* when the plane is in the air.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 07:52 PM
  #31
 
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RonDace: "This is called poaching and not recommended."

Absolutely. If you'd like me to switch seats with you, be considerate enough to ask me first. Don't assume I will switch by grabbing my seat before I get there. It won't happen at all if you do it that way.
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Sep 11th, 2010, 08:11 PM
  #32
 
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Suze,

Obviously the way you change seats works for you. I do not suspect that you or anyone else changing seats are "grabbing" assigned seats.

Your points are well taken. However, as you are probably aware most flights are flown pretty full and changing seats may not be an easy thing.

I hope this discussion will ultimately get travelers to book their preferred seats in advance.
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Sep 12th, 2010, 07:54 AM
  #33
 
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Jeff_Costa_Rica~~ I'm not sure why some people continue to misinterpret my comments. IF I move to a different seat on the planae, it is because it is EMPTY, everyone is already seated in their place on the plane at the time I do it. I would never be grabbing someone else's assigned seat before they got to it.

DMBT~ Of course it is better to book the perfect seat in advance, but that is not always possible. Depending how full a flight is at the time you purchase your ticket online, you may or may not have the option. Airlines often hold back seats for assignment AT the airport. Likely the situation of the OP btw.
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Sep 12th, 2010, 11:30 AM
  #34
 
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I wasn't responding to anything you said, Suze. I was merely agreeing that I don't like seat poachers. It happened to me just yesterday.
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Sep 12th, 2010, 11:36 AM
  #35
 
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oh, well it wasn't ME ;-)
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Sep 12th, 2010, 11:44 AM
  #36
 
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The thing is, had the person asked, I'd have happily changed seats with them. It was like for like. But I got to my seat, and they were sitting there, getting their things situated, and said, "You take my seat so I can sit here." I said, "No, you take your seat." They did. I got a lot of dirty looks the whole flight, but too bad.
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Sep 12th, 2010, 12:02 PM
  #37
 
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Too bad is right. I most always have an aisle seat booked & more than once the middle-seat-person plunks down in my aisle seat and fakes that they don't their real assignment!
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Sep 14th, 2010, 04:09 AM
  #38
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Whoa - this thread took on a life of its own while I was having fun in Barcelona.

Here is what happened. I checked in (at the airport, I had already checked in online)for my 10:55 PM flight at 9:20 PM. At check-in, I told the AF agent that I was in the middle of an aisle and because of my situation I would have to frequently climb over someone who was not my husband and would feel horrible since it is a night flight. The AF agent said the flight was full but 20 people had not yet checked in and that he would ask for an aisle seat for me. I watched him physically go over to another agent and ask, in French, to see if there was an aisle seat. I didn't beg or insist or anything. I was just plain old polite.

We didn't have internet access in Barcelona (and I wasn't going to pay 3 euros for 15 minutes at the hotel or waste time looking for internet ). Before I left, I had asked for an aisle seat on the phone on the way home so I figured we were all set. At the airport, the very friendly AF check-in agent found out that I did have an aisle seat but told us we weren't sitting together. He then changed our seats so not only were we sitting together but in a row of our own! This without us even asking or begging or mentioning my situtaion. Plus, we were pretty late to check in.

As for the on-board situation, I noticed people asking others to change seats (usually an aisle for an aisle or an middle seat for an aisle) and people were generally accomodating.

Have to say, I was extremely impressed with Air France's customer service. They were GREAT.
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Sep 14th, 2010, 06:02 AM
  #39
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I forgot to add - we were accommodated for the first leg and I got an aisle seat. At the gate, we were called over and they changed my seat (I still got to sit next to my husband).

I ♥ Air France
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Sep 14th, 2010, 07:03 AM
  #40
 
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username, that is the right way to get the seat you need. I'm glad you got it.
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