Don't know how to handle being asked to switch seats on a flight or train? An etiquette expert has shared her advice on the correct behavior for these situations.
Have you ever experienced the awkward situation of being asked to switch seats by another passenger while traveling on a flight or train? It can be a tricky situation to navigate, and you might wonder if you're a bad person for refusing to give up your window seat or making someone else move. Fortunately, an etiquette expert has shed some light on the correct behavior in these situations. Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert at The Protocol School of Texas, has given insight into the correct behavior when passengers ask to switch seats, reports LADbible. She suggests that there's only one acceptable scenario where a fellow passenger can ask you to switch seats and that is when a parent or guardian cannot pre-book seats together with a young child. In this case, you should consider moving, but even then, the onus is on the other passenger to try and sort the situation out with the airline or travel company before boarding the plane.
Gottsman spotlights that asking a fellow passenger to switch seats puts them in an awkward position and relies on them showing goodwill. Therefore, it's essential for the person requesting the seat change to have exhausted all other options before resorting to this. Gottsman also stresses that wanting to sit next to a friend or preferring a window seat isn't a good enough reason to ask someone to switch seats. Passengers should have thought about this when booking their tickets, and if they're separated from their spouse or traveling companion, it simply means they booked late or didn't plan ahead. Gottsman's advice comes after a video went viral on social media showing a man confronting a fellow passenger who was sitting in his train seat, reported LADbible. The confrontation began when the man boarded a crowded train and spotted the woman sitting in his seat, which he had purchased ahead of time. As he asks for his seat back, the woman laughs and gestures to other empty seats on the train.
Despite not being in the right seat, she hesitates and tries to avoid moving further down. However, the man refuses to budge and states he needs his place. The situation in the video highlights the importance of booking seats in advance and following proper etiquette when traveling. Gottsman's advice is to always consider the other person's feelings and to avoid putting them in an uncomfortable position. If you do need to switch seats, try to work with the airline or travel company to find a solution that works for everyone. And if you're the one requesting the seat change, be respectful and understanding of the other person's response.