Being asked to switch seats is one of the most uncomfortable situations a person can find themselves while on an airplane. In fact, this scenario has led to some tense moments among passengers, especially in recent years. So, what's the best way to keep your seat and the peace? Recently, men and women met in an online discussion to reveal the best ways to keep your cool when asked by another passenger to switch seats.
1. A Firm “No”
Listen, it's your assigned seat. You are under no obligation to change seats with a stranger, and you are also under no obligation to give them a reason. Countless frequent fliers admit that a stern “no” does the job in this situation. Sometimes, the most straightforward solution is the best one! Try this strategy out the next time you are asked to change seats.
2. Refuse, but Offer Encouragement
There's nothing wrong with denying someone's request, but it's never a bad idea to offer them words of encouragement in their hapless quest. “I always firmly refuse, but I like to offer condolences of some sort,” confesses one frequent traveler. “I usually say something like, ‘No, I'd like to keep this seat, but I hope you can find one you like,' and that usually does the trick.”
3. Ignore Their Request
It isn't the most conventional way to avoid confrontation, but ignoring their request will get the job done. Even if you're looking right at them when they tap you on your shoulder and ask you to change seats, turn away, and pretend you didn't hear them. The sheer audacity of your response will undoubtedly make them frustrated and move on to the next potential seat-switcher.
4. Put Headphones in and Shake Your Head
Some people use the headphone method; keep them in your ears and shake your head when approached by someone looking to switch seats. It works like a charm! One man laments how often he is asked to change seats when he flies. “I travel a lot for work, so I am always on planes,” he explains. “Unless it's a little kid being forced to sit alone, I will deny requests because I am passionate about choosing my preferred seat. You wouldn't believe how much I've been in first class and had someone beside me ask if I would mind switching with their friend or spouse in coach.”
5. Politely Explain Why You're Refusing
Giving the person who requests you change seats a quick explanation about why you're refusing will go a long way. Politeness is critical in this situation! One traveler explains when she will and won't switch seats. “Sometimes people need to travel on short notice, and there aren't two seats together,” reveals one woman. “If it's a parent and child, I'll gladly inconvenience myself so they can sit together. If it's a husband and wife, I'm not giving up my window for a middle seat.”
6. Pretend You're Asleep
Sometimes, the most ridiculous strategy pays off! Do what countless people do to avoid confrontation: Pretend you're asleep. Of course, this involves a considerable amount of acting on your part, but I know you have what it takes to convince a random stranger that you're in dreamland. We've all faked being asleep before; now it's time to perform our pageantry while sitting in a plane.
7. Remind Them That You Paid for Your Seat
Usually, a person will stop asking you to switch seats if you remind them that you paid extra for your specific seat. Trust me, once you tell them this, they'll move on. One person explains why he thinks seat switching has become so common in 2023. “I think many of these issues we're hearing about started when airlines began offering ‘basic economy' fares, which don't allow you to select your seat,” he explains. “People are trying to save money at the expense of others who paid extra for their seat. Add to that the fact that for years they have made desirable seats, such as exit row and bulkhead; it's a recipe for people trying to get stuff for free.”
8. Offer To Help Them
Many people deny these requests but nevertheless offer to help them find someone who will switch with them! Remember that your offer to help will usually be graciously declined by the person initially asking to change seats, meaning that you will come off looking like a good guy in the situation. At the very least, they'll appreciate your kind gesture; it's a win-win situation.
9. Pretend You Know the Person Next to You
Nobody wants to break up friends sitting beside each other on a plane. Many men and women advise coming up with a strategy with the person sitting next to you in case one of you is asked to switch seats. By claiming you're best friends with the person (or in a romantic relationship with them), you'll immediately be passed on by the person looking to change seats. It's the perfect crime!
10. Act Weird
Nobody wants to ask the weirdest person in a room anything, let alone engage them in a conversation about changing seats. To avoid getting into an unpleasant situation, just act weird! I'm not going to give you specific advice on how to be unconventional while sitting on a plane, but I'm sure you have the imagination to know exactly what it would take for someone not to ask you to switch seats. Let your freak flag fly and reap the benefits!
Top 10 Things Smart Travelers Always Do Before Flights
Planning a trip can be an exciting experience. Whether you're heading off on a relaxing vacation or a business trip, it's crucial to make the necessary preparations beforehand. Smart travelers know that a little extra effort before their flights can make a world of difference.
Flight Booking Secrets: What Travel Agents Can Do for Your Wallet
Traveling can be one of the most exciting times when everything goes smoothly, and your trip is full of beautiful memories. However, that isn't always how life plays out, and knowing how to maximize how often those trips occur is essential to enjoying life and having a great time. Because flying doesn't come cheap, we've compiled a list of areas where travel agents can help you save considerably. We've also included a few reasons you will be thankful you went with an agent instead of dealing directly with specific vendors. Remember these tips the next time you decide to take a trip outside your usual staycation.
Tourists’ Dumbest Mistakes: 10 Hilariously Cringe-Worthy Confessions
Everyone makes mistakes while traveling, no matter whether they're a newbie or a seasoned traveler. But some travel mishaps are more cringe-worthy than others. Travel lovers on an online forum share their stories of dumb mistakes they made while abroad.
10 Techniques for Navigating Time Zone Shifts Like a Pro
Everyone has a different tolerance to jet lag, and factors such as the direction you are flying and the timing of your flight can impact the overall experience. However, experienced travelers share ten techniques that can assist you in adjusting to a new time zone.
10 Times Flight Attendants Made Passengers Say ‘Are You Kidding Me?’
Have you ever boarded a flight and sat with sweat rolling down your face, nervous about the flight attendant's experience? One time, I hopped on a flight with no air conditioning, and we sat on the tarmac until an apprehensive flight attendant took the mic and asked us to deplane carefully. Another time, a flight attendant caressed my dad's back as he violently vomited in his seat. Here are more instances resembling those experiences.