Seat swapping has become the latest battle of the skies – here's the golden rule for avoiding arguments | The Sun

ARGUMENTS over plane seats are becoming a much more common occurrence.

Every day, people on flights are asking their fellow passengers if they wouldn't mind switching seats for any number of reasons.

Whether or not the person agrees to budge can depend on several different factors, but they're well within their rights to refuse.

However, there are ways in which you can increase your chances of getting the seat you want, even if there's someone already sitting in it.

Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of Protocol School of Etiquette in Florida, has explained how you should approach a seat swap with someone else and what you need to be able to offer in return.

One of the main reasons people ask other passengers to move seats is so that they can sit next to a friend or family member, who they've been split up from by the seating allocation.

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However, if you want someone to move out of their seat, Jacqueline says you have to be able to offer a seat that is at least as good, if not better, than the one they're already sitting in.

She told Fox News: "If you have to swap seats with someone, make sure the new seat is comparable with the one you’ve been assigned.

"Don’t assume you’re entitled to an upgrade just because you paid for a cheap seat and you want to sit with a family member in a more expensive seat."

Even if you do meet this criteria, you should still accept the passenger's decision if they say no. If they don't want to move, that's up to them and you have to put up with it.

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Flight attendants have weighed in on this issue with similar points.

One told Sun Online Travel that people are well within their rights not to move if they don't want to.

They said: "If that's your seat, you have absolutely no obligation to move whatsoever.

"If you want to be friendly and let the separated friends, partners, parents, whoever sit next to one another, you're welcome to, but don't feel bad about saying no either.

"People who have been separated can sometimes get so upset when people refuse to move so that they can together, but it's only a few hours, they'll survive.

"They're the ones who are being difficult here, not those who are happy to stay in a seat that they've paid, sometimes extra, to sit in."

Stuff NZ also agreed with both points and said if you're offering someone the middle seat, you're a lot less likely to get someone to swap with you.

They said: "If you have been allocated seats by the airline, the decision to give up your seat all comes down to your own judgement weighing up the circumstances and conscience to help someone who might genuinely need the move."

Therefore it comes down the reason behind the need for the trade, and what they're offering you in return.

Stuff NZ continued: "If the offered trade is less desirable, like the dreaded middle seat in the economy cabin, it is also fair that you might refuse to shift – especially on a long-haul flight."

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Meanwhile this passenger sparked a debate on Reddit after refusing to swap seats with a woman and her disabled partner.

And this mum revealed how she gets passengers to swap seats without causing any problems during a flight.

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