“Sorry, but No” to Seat Switch Request

June 21, 2016

in Seat Stories

So I was flying Southwest Airlines to Boston from Phoenix.  I couldn’t sleep the night before, so I looked forward to a pillow and being curled up against a window. I got my “A” boarding pass (lucky) and sat in my window seat.

Everything started filling up. A woman and child took the middle and aisle seats in my row. Right before the door closes, last guy comes in. Apparently, he’s the husband of the woman. The last seat on the plane is a middle seat 3 rows up. It’s in-between a huge fat guy – arm rest up of course, and an old woman with a severe case of “old lady stink smell.” I remembered her from the terminal – I am pretty sure she wore adult diapers and needed to change them, but so far hasn’t. That kind of smell.

So what happens next? The guy comes up and asks me to switch seats so he “can be with his family.” He talked really fast, like a used car salesman. What would you do? Well, I stood up and saw what that middle seat was going to entail and I sat back down. “Sorry, but no.” I gave a few other lame excuses, but in all honesty, I just wanted to curl up against the window and go to sleep. So I did.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Rjj June 22, 2016 at 5:36 am

Ha, no excuse was needed, a simple and polite no was fine. You had the right to board first and take a seat first.


lnelson1218 June 22, 2016 at 11:18 am

While sometimes I don't mind switching seats, there are other that I have reserved a certain seat window or aisle and that's what I want. If it is first come first serve, then it is first come first serve, if someone doesn't want to move because you are late, that's that.


Zombie June 22, 2016 at 12:33 pm

But what about the children?


saffie June 24, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Reverend Lovejoy's wife was on that flight? LOL.


mensa58 June 24, 2016 at 9:22 am

Good for you. You don't say the age of the child, but Southwest does have "family boarding" between the A and B groups. If the family didn't take advantage of Family Boarding (and the gate agents do announce it), it's their fault if they couldn't sit together. Besides that, if there were 3 seats together when the mother & child boarded, they could have saved one for the father.


Houston L June 28, 2016 at 3:09 am

Good choice. While it may occasionally be nice to help out others, you do have to consider your own personal comfort. In that situation I would have done the exact same thing.


CMR July 3, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Eh, the kid had a parent next to them. I would have said no too. Kudos.


Leo July 11, 2016 at 7:04 pm

I will add a funny similar experience: A few days ago, I was flying PHX to YVR. I was in an isle seat on a full American A320. Being an isle-seater, I was in group 4 and so boarded pretty late. Knowing I am group 4, I had already "courtesy" checked in my roller-board so all I had was a small back-pack. I reach my seat, and immediately find that the next two seats are taken by a mother-daughter duo and the the mom, in her Asian-English, starts requesting me if I can go and sit in her husband's seat in the last(!) row so he can join them and sit in my aisle seat.

I believe in good karma only to an extent. Still, I looked at the last row and find that the husband is sitting in the middle seat, eyes closed. Non-last row, isle seat to last-row middle seat is NOT lucrative or even acceptable. Still, I think about all the good that has happened to me on planes and say ok. I go to the last row, and to my surprise, the husband says NO to me!

I was like "Err.. what? No?" At this point, all passengers around me are looking at me weirdly for asking a guy to give me his seat and he saying no repeatedly. I was unsure what to do!

Finally, like all wives, the lady stood up and said something in their language (probably Canotnese) to the husband. Two words at most. Next thing I see he the poor guy making me poor middle-seater and settling in my isle seat. Just thought it was funny how the husband did not want to sit next to the family while the wife wanted him to and in the end had her way at my expense 😀


Lucyfur October 12, 2016 at 10:58 pm

I hate to say this, but when I choose a seat I will not change —not even for The Pope and
there is no sorry to it.


Lori Rodriguez January 6, 2017 at 11:14 am

Well, your name is Lucyfur. LOL


jonasgal June 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm

What's that got to do with anything??


An Imbecilic Scholar June 12, 2017 at 9:55 am

I guess if it has to be explained, it's not funny anymore, but you have "Lucyfur" which is a homophone of "Lucifer", Latin for "shining one or light bearer" as translated from the Hebrew word for "bringer of dawn or morning star". The name used in the biblical Book of Isaiah for what in modern English is referred to as "the Devil"; that is, the personification of evil. So, according to Lori, Lucyfur (or Lucifer) shows that she is the personification of evil by never surrendering her seat.


Er6y February 8, 2017 at 6:10 pm

I never switch seats. A failure to plan on someone else's part does not consitute an emergency on mine. As a matter of fact, neither does bad luck that is not the fault of the requestor. File it under "not my problem".

Oh, sure. I would switch if someone offered a better seat than the one I was in..but after 30 years of flying, 15 of which were weekly flights, I have not ONCE been offered a better seat. All I learned was that no good deed goes unpunished.

This guy had a nerve..to board late behind his family and expect someone with an A pass to take a middle. The very definition of "you snooze, you lose"


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