Flight attendant warns you should always ask crew before swapping plane seats
You may have tried to swap plane seats with fellow passengers if your seat isn't with your friends – but a flight attendant has revealed there are actually some unwritten rules to the common practice.
Nowadays you usually have to pay extra if you want to select your plane seats so for a lot of people, the alternative is simply to hope you get put together, or that a stranger is willing to swap.
Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to swap – and a woman recently made a child cry when she refused to let her have her seat.
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Anaïs Monique is a former veteran flight attendant who has dealt with many seat-swapping requests during her time in the skies.
She says she would regularly turn down "unnecessary" seat swapping requests from friends or family members who simply wanted to sit close to one another.
"On full flights, there's no wiggle room to move about the cabin for unnecessary reasons," she told Insider.
She revealed she would prioritise moving unaccompanied children as close as possible to where the flight attendants work, to be able to provide them with extra support, and would try to accommodate swap requests from caregivers separated from their young children or infants.
The former cabin crew worker also urged people to be flexible – but that doesn't mean you need to give up your seat if you really don't want to.
"No one should feel obligated to swap seats with a parent, or any passenger, however, a child separated from their caregiver is more vulnerable when seated around strangers," Anaïs said.
"The only other non-emergency swap requests I'd prioritize are from passengers who have extremely tight flight connections and wish to be seated closer to the boarding door."
Many airlines retain the right to change your seat position even if you've reserved it and without warning.
When it comes to managing seat swaps successfully, Anaïs recommends not feeling pressured to oblige a request if you don't want to, and to consult a flight attendant on any asks.
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