Remember back in July when media talking head Ann Coulter had, ah hem, a tiny bit of an exit row seat issue with Delta. Delta fought back and smacked her down. While not taking sides one way or the other on that issue (and even calling it an issue is pushing it, IMO) there is an issue here. That issue is that Delta is really and I mean really pushing what they call “branded fares” – that is, you are shelling out your hard earned money for a better seat. It may not “really” be a better seat (cuz it’s the same seat as the rest of coach) you may believe it is a better seat and you want just that seat you paid for and chose.
And that brings me to my question of the day that is, just when should you change seats? Should you change seats if asked by a flight attendant? What about another passenger?
The first one is not as simple as it sounds. A flight attendant may come up to you and ask if you would be willing to switch seats (for whatever reason). While this sounds benign, it really is not because:
1) You maybe like this seat!
2) You may have paid for that “exact” seat!
3) Will you get worse service if you say no?
4) What will others around you think of you?
5) Could the crew get nasty and not let you fly for not helping?
OK, that last one is clearly a stretch but in this crazy day of flying I think just about anything is possible. I mean, to me, if the seat you are moving to is about the same or in the same cabin of service then fine. If it is not, i.e. A downgrade, then well it really is not fair to ask. Then again, if you do agree maybe there could be other perks like free SkyMiles from the FA handset or free drinks you could have got in the other cabin of service you willingly moved from. So, maybe not all bad being nice.
Well what if another passenger asks to trade seats with you. What then? Clearly no one wants to be “that guy/gal”. Again here I think the major consideration should be what will you end up with if you agree. Then again, depending on the length of the flight and how much you fly it may just be worth it as it really does not matter that much in the grand scheme of things and you will feel much better about yourself for the day!
But what if it means a middle seat? Personally that is where I would draw the line. I have even publicly stated if Delta moved me to a middle seat, against my will, I would refuse to fly and take a later flight. I have never had to test that fact yet but I would stand my ground if it happened.
So you tell me. Under what conditions would you or would you not switch seats. Would you be afraid of repercussions if you refused from an FA or a fellow passenger. What if it meant a middle seat? You tell me! – René