With delays and cancellations being more frequent lately, the airlines are making headlines quite a bit more than usual. And then there’s the airline debate that keeps popping up about being asked to switch seats and how people have been handling that.
Should People Swap Their Seats On The Plane To Make Others Happy?
Some airlines require you to pay extra to choose your seats. For families flying together who want to be seated next to one another, this is the only surefire way that will happen. But often, people want to save money and assume that whoever they are seated next to will be gracious enough to switch seats so they can sit near the person they are traveling with.
This seems to be a highly debated subject lately on what the right thing to do is when someone asks you to move seats because of their lack of planning or airline error.
I hadn’t flown for a long time when I went on a trip with my then-boyfriend in 2018. He planned the whole trip, so I had no idea of the details regarding the plane. When we were getting ready to board, I found out that he didn’t feel like paying for seats next to each other despite my extreme anxiety over flying for the first time in about 20 years. He told me he would ask someone to switch.
I didn’t overthink of it without knowing that you have to pay for your seat assignments with Spirit Airlines. Once I found that out, though, his entitlement was showing more vital than ever and was quite upsetting. (That relationship ended shortly after that trip.) But then I realized this was standard airline etiquette for too many people.
I and my 17-year-old son went to Vegas and then Phoenix for a trip recently, and our flight from New Jersey to Vegas came with seat assignments, and so did our flight from Phoenix back to New Jersey, but our flight from Vegas to Phoenix didn’t.
I told my son that I would not pay for seats next to each other for a 50-minute flight and asked if he was okay with that. He, of course, said yes. The day I checked into the flight, I was given the option to choose seats for $5 each, so I took it so we could sit together. But had I not and we were seated apart, I would have never in a million years asked someone to switch seats, knowing they likely paid for their chosen seat.
Many TikTokers Have Shared Their Airplane Seat Stories
TikTok creator MyCONQUERing recently shared her experience, and the video quickly went viral.
“What would you do? I got on the plane, and a woman was sitting in my seat, and when I mentioned it to her, she said, ‘Oh, you want to sit here? I thought we would switch because these are my kids’ (she points to the two seats beside mine). I said, ‘As long as it’s a window seat, I’m happy to switch.’ She points to the row behind us and says, ‘Mine is right there.’ (It’s the middle seat.),” her video reads.
Her caption explained more of the story.
@myconquering Having had only 90 minutes of sleep the night before and knowing I had to give a presentation to 500 people, I desperately needed some sleep, so I did not agree to switch seats. 🤷♀️ Before anyone comes after me… the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old. And the mom was in arms-reach of both of them from the middle seat in the row behind us. The mom proceeded to complain for at least 15 minutes to the person next to her loud enough for me to hear. But the woman actually defended me – several times. It was so kind and I appreciated it so much because I was feeling really guilty. 🤦♀️ ##airplaneseat##seatswitching##airplanekarens ♬ original sound – MyCONQUERing
“Having had only 90 minutes of sleep the night before and knowing I had to give a presentation to 500 people, I desperately needed some sleep, so I did not agree to switch seats. Before anyone came after me…the kids looked like they were about 11 and 15 years old. And the mom was in arms-reach of both of them from the middle seat in the row behind us,” her caption begins.
She then explains how the mom reacted to her not wanting to switch seats with her.
“The mom proceeded to complain for at least 15 minutes to the person next to her loud enough for me to hear. But the woman defended me – several times. It was so kind, and I appreciated it because I felt guilty.”
Many people came to her defense in the comment section as well.
“People should book seats together if they want to sit together,” one viewer wrote. Another added, “Nope. If it’s not an upgrade, it’s a sacrifice.”
Another Popular TikToker Recently Had A Similar Experience
TikTok creator Life with Dr. Sabra also had a similar situation where she was asked to switch seats so a child could sit with their family. But this time, she was seated in 1A in business class and expected to give up her chosen seat for the comfort of a stranger.
The caption of her viral video, viewed by more than 11 million people, shared more of the story.
“That’s a no from me, dawg. Would you have given up your seat? Also, they found a solution, so I am not a terrible human being. Also, the child was like 13.”
@lifewithdrsabraThat’s a no from me dawg 🤣 would you have given up your seat? Also they ended up finding a solution so no, i am not a terrible human being. Also the child was like 13.♬ original sound – Sunshynelove21
More than 4,000 opinions filled the comment section, with most being on her side and agreeing not to switch seats because strangers poorly planned or the airline messed up.
“Never switch unless it is an upgrade. Others’ poor planning is not your fault,” one person wrote. Another added, “As a parent, that’s up to me to make sure my family sits together, not at the expense of someone else; I would never dare ask some1 to move.”
Another person pointed out a thought that I had, “I can’t even bring myself to ask someone to please get up so that I can use the loo, but there are people out there who ask to trade seats?”
What are your thoughts? Would you switch seats with someone to make them more comfortable, even if that means you won’t be in your intended heart that you paid for and planned ahead of time? Have you experienced such a situation and have a story to share? Please email me.