The rules for giving up your plane seat for a family revealed & how to say no if someone asks you | The Sun

STORIES of passengers asking others to swap seats on planes are becoming increasingly common – but knowing how to behave in this situation isn't always obvious.

Sometimes it could be a family asking you to move so they can sit together, or a couple of best friends who have been separated by the airline's seating plan.

There are plenty of reasons why other people could ask you to switch seats, but ultimately it's up to you whether or not you decide to budge.

There is no obligation for you to move so people can sit together – even though most airlines will charge people to pick their seats.

You may decide you feel bad and are happy to move, but if you don't want to, you don't have to.

That is the conclusion Stuff NZ Travel came to when assessing the matter.

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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."

The rule seems to be that less sympathy should be felt for people who are only asking to swap for social reasons, or to get a better seat for themselves.

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However, if it's a family hoping to sit in a better position for their young children, or someone with a condition who will be more comfortable in your seat, then you should at least be receptive to a move.

Still, in those situations you aren't obliged to give up your seat – especially if you've paid to sit specifically where you are.

There are other people on the plane that they can swap with if they need to – and those people also had the option of paying for the seats they needed, so don't feel bad about saying no.

If you're on the other side of the argument and you need to switch seats with someone, the best approach is to ask a flight attendant, rather than ask the passenger personally.

However, cabin crew aren't exactly thrilled at having to deal with seat disputes.

One attendant told Sun Online Travel: "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.

"If they don't want to move, tough luck. Move on, ask someone else, or just sit down."

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

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

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