Stephen: The delicate art of switching seats on a flight
Written by Stephen Lethbridge on June 7, 2023
While it’s impossible to ask the airline to move your fellow passengers in advance so you can sit together, Whytney Rawls, a flight attendant and travel expert, says there are ways you can still find your way next to one another.
According to Travel and Leisure, Rawls suggests starting at the gate. If your flight isn’t completely full, the gate agent may be able to make last-minute adjustments to the seating chart to allow you and your companion to sit next to one another.
Rawls also adds the unofficial, yet proper rules to follow are to always sit in your original seat first, wait until boarding is finished, and stay within your seating class/zone. She notes that if people sit in the wrong seat, this can cause havoc for both other passengers and the crew, so just be patient.
Once boarding is complete, it’s time to make your move. However, you should never ask if the passenger you desire to swap with is a child, elderly, or anybody with special needs that require assistance, for obvious reasons.
Did the person say no? That’s a shame, but getting upset won’t help the situation. After all, they paid for their seat too. “If someone isn’t willing to swap, regardless of their reasoning, don’t argue with them,” Rawls says. “It’s their seat.”