does this ever work?

Old Jan 9th, 2004, 08:05 AM
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does this ever work?

I am flying continental from newark to rome, and the seating arrangement is 2-3-2.

I picked the two aisle seats in the middle, with an empty seat between us with the hope that no one will have the middle seat. Kind of snekay, but I can't imagine anyone being assigned to that middle seat who wouldn't switch to an aisle once we get there.

Does this ever work? Are there people who are so useasy on planes that they want to be in the very middle between two strangers?

Should I switch to two seats next to each other just in case?
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Old Jan 9th, 2004, 08:22 AM
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I cannot imagine anyone WANTING to sit between the two of you, but if it's a full flight, obviously someone would be assigned the seat. I can't imagine someone not willing to swap seats with one of you, but even if they didn't, I'd still rather have an aisle seat away from my fellow traveler for a few (or several) hours, than be crammed into the middle seat. After all, we spend hours away from each other everyday, separated by much more than a few feet. I fail to understand why passengers get so bent out of shape when they can't sit next to their friends / co-workers / spouses.
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Old Jan 9th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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I agree...I wouldn't WANT that seat, but if the flight is full, then it is a very real possibility that someone will be assigned that seat.

I am sure most people would offer to switch, but just don't get bent out of shape if they won't (there always seems to be at least one obstinate person on every flight), since it is their assigned seat to begin with.
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Old Jan 9th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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My husband and I often do that when the plane is configured 3 & 3 in an effort to get the entire row. He prefers the aisle and I prefer the window. If the plane isn't full, it can work.

When it doesn't work, we offer the person in the middle either the aisle or the winow, depending on whether it's my turn or my husband's to give up our preferred seat.

Only once were we turned down. I said to the guy in the middle, "I'll trade you that middle for the window." When he said, "I'd rather have the aisle", I replied, "You weren't offered the aisle." And he chose to stay between us in the middle.
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Old Jan 9th, 2004, 05:46 PM
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I tried this once and the person in the middle didn't want my aisle seat because her carry-on (large camera case w/lenses, etc.) fit under the seat in front of her but not under an aisle seat (because of the way the seat supports are arranged). My travelling companion traded her for the window seat, only because she (travelling companion) is a nervous flyer and likes to grab my arm and whimper when we hit a bump.

I don't usually bother with this strategy when flying to Europe with a companion because our flights are almost always full, so we end up with one of us in the middle anyway, and adds the inconvenience of having to ask the other passenger, shuffle the underseat carryons, etc.
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 08:18 PM
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If is a full flight expect to move or have some stranger in between
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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My husband and I do this all the time. He likes the aisle and I like to be able to see out the window. People think it's a bit strange sometimes-in fact, we once had an agent change our seats so we'd be together for a 11 hour flight. I didn't realise that I'd lost my window seat until we got to the gate and I wasn't pleased. On some flights we have no one in the middle and sometimes we do.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 09:25 PM
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I had no idea that people did this. I will never again change seats as a jesture of friendship knowing I'm being manipulated. Thanks for the education.
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Old Jan 16th, 2004, 09:50 PM
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How have you been manipulated, snookss?
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 10:47 AM
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These folks apparently want to sit next to each other. They should not expect me to switch to meet their needs just because their selfish seating plan did not work out. What a mess it would be if a lot of flyers did this to gain space next to them.
I was just surprised, that's all. No biggie.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 04:33 PM
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I would never EXPECT anyone to switch. If someone ends up seated between us and doesn't PREFER taking one of our aisle seats instead, I would only feel silly that I tried to play the system and failed. My husband and I wouldn't spend the night side-by-side, but it wouldn't be the end of the world.

Really, though - everyone who buys a plane ticket can log on and select their seats just like I can. It isn't as though I have some sort of insider strategy. Since the flight still has lots of empty seats, I thought I'd give it a try. But I certainly would not be annoyed if my wishes are not accomodated.
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 07:51 PM
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My wife of 53 years and I prefer aisle seats; so, even though we couldn't be across from one another we would still take the aisle.

Think about it, the plane is so noisy that conversation is difficult anyway.:-B

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Old Jan 22nd, 2004, 07:12 AM
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I believe that this is a common, benign, and accepted way for couples to get more room. The times we have done this, when someone has been in the middle seat, he/she recognizes the situation and is happy to change. After all, the middle seat is the most uncomfortable, and what could be worse than having two people talking to each other with you in the middle? To be spiteful and not change is only to add to the discomfort of the coach flying experience.
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Old Jan 24th, 2004, 08:18 PM
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Except for the one time I mentioned earlier, the person giving up the undesirable middle seat has thanked us for the opportunity to sit in the aisle or window seat instead.

I don't think many people travelling alone select a middle seat.
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 10:19 AM
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Most airlines fill the middle seats from front to back, so you will increase your odds of having the seat empty by requesting seats near the back. I would expect most people to be very pleased to exchange seats with you. On those rare situations when I am stuck in a middle seat, I'd probably pay for the aisle!
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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Hmmmm. I never thought of charging . . .
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 03:18 PM
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I'm with Ed We always get two aisle seats as close as possible. Works great except when they switch planes & the new configuration lands us in a middle seat. Someday I am going to get up the nerve to buy the whole middle row of 5 instead of 2 business class. Sometimes it looks economically worth it. But lots could go very wrong! Ah, the tangled web we weave...
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 10:03 PM
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Miketravels, apparently some airlines have actually taken that step. Virgin charges $75 for a seat in the exit row or other preferrable seats. according to my best friend that works for Virgin, people even do stand-by at the gate to get and pay for an exit seat. who knew!

regarding the original topic.. as an airliner i can attest lots of people try this method. depending on the time of year, it generally works. ive never heard of a person not wanting to trade. even if they dont want the seat youre offering, like the window theyll take it anyway because they dont wanna be the bad guy. ill admit ive fallen prey.. on a long flight from New Orleans to Phoenix, I went to sit in my assigned seat and the young lady in the middle seat pleaded with me to trade with her friend. she said her friend was deathly scared of flying and couldnt bare sitting alone, she said she wanted to sit together so she could hold her hand and help her through it. turns out the other gal was several rows back, in a middle seat, in the row in front of the exit row (non reclining). familiar with aircraft setup, i knew this was a bad idea, but i didnt want to be mean and selfish. plus the thought of having to sit next to this girl who id been selfish with the whole flight!!!! so i said ok.. reluctantly. i took the other girl's seat in the middle. shortly after take off i thought i heard the girl crying, turns out she was laughing. the two girls talked loudly and laughed loudly the entire flight! the flight attendants had to tell them to quiet down!!! I felt so horrible. i had to tell the flight attendant that i had traded seats, as a standby i couldnt let them believe it was me behaving so improperly. anyway, i was miffed. 4 hours in a non-reclining middle seat! and having to suffer thru these girls being loud!

so.. id be careful with this tactic, there are some that feel its a little unfair. MsD
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Old Feb 1st, 2004, 10:10 AM
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This is andf other shenanigans are obviously the reasons why I've turned up at the airport 3 hours before departure to be told that two of us could not sit together.
 
Old Feb 1st, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Whether my husband and I sit in the window and middle or window and aisle of a three seat row, will not have any impact on any two other people sitting together.

I recommend not waiting until you get to the airport to get your seat assignements. I get my seat assignemt as early as possible, and do online check-in to find out if I can improve my seating.
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