Fat, Skinny & Me in the middle

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by pacblue, Oct 3, 2006.

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  1. pacblue

    pacblue Intern

    Dec 2, 2005
    I had an unpleasant experience on QF 441 Syd-Mel last week and wondered if others have had to deal with a similar situation.

    On boarding, I found my seat had been taken. When I politely said to the woman, "Sorry, I think you're in my seat" (aisle) she said "Yes, but you can have mine - the window seat" (which turned out to be the window seat in the next row)

    Problem was, an enormous guy was sitting in the aisle seat in that row (and half of the window seat next to him). He got out and I took the window seat, but was immediately crushed by this guy. Immediately I signalled the flight attendant, told her what happened and she asked the crone who had taken my seat, to give me my allocated seat (she was a skinny bird-like woman)

    The woman refused and said I had agreed to switch with her. Well, after much debate between the woman and the attendant, embarrassment for the big guy and myself - and to the now rapt attention of the passengers seated nearby, she finally agreed to take her allocated seat.

    All through the flight, I got filthy looks from the skinny woman, the fat guy, the flight attendant and others around me.

    I had spend almost 2 hours in the packed QC (due to delayed flight), trying to cut a swathe through the football fans heading to Melb. for the GF, was hot, tired and frazzled - and I basically just wanted MY seat.

    I have now pledged that where possible I will fly business, even if I have to top up the full economy fare paid by my employer - I am sure I would not encounter a similar situation up the pointy end. Any thoughts ?


  2. TonyB

    TonyB Intern

    Mar 20, 2006
    Why did you agree to swap in the first place:confused: Given the situation (and the alternative) why didn't you just tell her to move immediately? It really annoys me when people think they can sit anywhere (i.e. my seat, and then expect me to move to where they suggest:evil: )
  3. pacblue

    pacblue Intern

    Dec 2, 2005
    You're right I should have refused immediately. But initially, I was just not in the mood to argue, there were people waiting to get past me to their seats - and I didn't realise just how BIG the big guy was.

  4. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    Good on you for standing your ground.

    You may have received some dirty looks, but that woman had to sit squashed next to the big bloke for the whole flight. I know which one I'd rather. :D

    - Febs.
  5. kyle

    kyle Active Member

    Mar 8, 2006
    Maybe the reason why you got filthy looks from other passengers was because they didn't know what was happening?
  6. kpc

    kpc Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    If someone was stting in my allocated seat (and I would double and triple check to make sure I have not made a mistake:oops:), I would immediately seek out the FA, and let them sort it out! I will never personaly get involved in discussions with the said passenger!!

    Always got my seat without a problem...occasionally, I have agreed to take another seat (as long as it was equivalent eg aisle for aisle) so that a lovey, dovey couple can seat together and hold hands for an hour or so:rolleyes:
  7. Commuter

    Commuter Active Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    I wish airlines did not let obese passenger to occupy an economy seat if they spill into the seat next to them and encroach on other people's space.
  8. v8Statesman

    v8Statesman Established Member

    Being a big guy myself, I understand this situation completely. I however will only fly business class for this reason. The seats are bigger and I to not cause other passengers grief.

    On the rare times I have to fly Y, I always make sure I am leaning away from the seat next to me (if it is occupied) to give the person next to me room.

    My size is my issue, not the person next to me. So I should deal with it, not them.
  9. aus_flyer

    aus_flyer Established Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    That's a very considerate attitude! Good on you!
  10. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    So you wouldn't even mention it to the passenger first? My goodness, stand up for yourself!

    I've often found someone sitting in my allocated seat. On all occasions, it's been a simple "Excuse me, I think that's my seat....number ##X" and "Oh, sorry, my mistake" has always been the reply.

    It's an easy mistake to make, and not necessarily worth bothering the FA immediately (unless you're in a situation like pacblue).

    Just my $0.02 (and the dig above was all in good fun :)).

    - Febs.
  11. Gazza

    Gazza Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    Reminds me of a situation I was involved in while in the USA last year.

    I arrived at my assigned seat for a short domestic flight. Seated in my seat was a middle aged guy listening to a MP3. I politely asked him to move (being the nice guy I am) and he just ignored me.

    At this point my US based work colleague who was booted out of the marines because he was “too violent” intervened and rather forcefully told the guy that unless he moved he would “pick him up by his F’ing eyebrows”

    Not the most diplomatic solution but highly effective.

    I am still waiting for an opportunity to use the line myself.

  12. kpc

    kpc Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    Because in the past, I have struck a situation as described above...so now why risk an unpleasant situation when it is the FAs job to ensure that everyone is sitting in their correct seat;)? Sometimes it is the older passenger sitting in the wrong seat, and I have often found they have then offered me their seat...so to avoid this situation, I simply approach the FA to sort the situation out....mind you, this is my approach; each to their own;)

    The last time it happened (someone seating in my seat) to me, a teenager was seating in my J seat...the FA politely and quickly pointed him to his correct seat:rolleyes:
  13. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    Fair enough.
    Personally, if I was accidentally in the wrong seat and someone had to ask the FA to get the big bad scary man out of their seat, I'd have something to chuckle about for the entire flight. :)

    It's akin to calling the teacher to sort out your schoolyard problems.

    As you said though, to each their own. ;)

    - Febs.
  14. maninblack

    maninblack Established Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    She had a real cheek but you should have never agreed in the first place.

    I was once on a full America West flight PHX-LAX, this guy gets on with crutches and a leg in a brace, he had requested an aisle when booking his ticket, but the airline had cleverly not obliged. He was to be seated about 6 rows in front of me in a middle seat and no-one would give up their aisle seat for him even though there was almost no way he could sit down. My wife and I and the flight attendents were dumbfounded as to the insensitivity of the aisle passengers near him, afterall this is a 1 hour flight. After a few minutes I got up and offered him my aisle seat, which he greatfully took. The FA's thanked me and yes I got dirty looks from other passengers as I took his seat. Silly thing is that the cabin crew are in charge of the aircraft and have the right to ask passengers to move, especially in the case of special circumstances, the whole situation was quite ridiculous.
  15. Groundfeeder

    Groundfeeder Active Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    I had the situation where I've watched an elderly couple be forklifted (gently) in their wheelchairs onto the 737 prior to the mob being allowed on.

    When I get to my (exit row) window seat, there they are in the aisle and middle seats with no possibility of me getting to the window seat. I went back to the FA and explained the situation, she starts peering down in the bowels of the 737 for spare seats about row 284, when I politely said "there's plenty of spares in J, may I take one of them?" She checks out the pax list and says "your a CIP so OK!!":cool:
  16. v8Statesman

    v8Statesman Established Member

    OT slightly...What is a CIP?
  17. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
    Flight Map:
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    What a mass infringement of airline regulations! Exit rows are not for pax who need assistance. If I was on the flight, I would be writing to both the airline concerned and CASA to complain.

    CIP = Comercially important Passenger.

    A tag that can be added to your boarding pass to show that you are important to your company who is in turn important to the airline concerned.
  18. v8Statesman

    v8Statesman Established Member

    OOOOO, How do I get that added? I'm a CEO of a $1 shelf company :p
  19. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    I think you did the right thing asking them to move. It stuns me how difficult people find it to find the right seat - even down to being on the wrong side of the plane. They have an FA telling you which side of the plane to walk down for a start, your boarding pass tells you the seat number and position and all the seats are numbered - how hard is it????

    I have no qualms telling people to move and equally if I got it worng I would expect to be shifted.

    With OLCI now and a it of planning/effort it should be a lot easier for couples to make sure they are sitting together - mind you I guess I am lucky to have status to fix this problem before it happens.

    I couldnt imagine what it was like on Jetstar before seats were preallocated :shock:
  20. Mr_Gimlet

    Mr_Gimlet Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Sounds like a ploy to get an aisle seat to me, regardless of the fat man or not. Probably a couple of times a month I get someone in my seat: about half are people one row out (an easy mistake to make) who all move as soon as I say "Excuse me, are you in the right seat?", and about half who have the window or middle seat but want to sit on the aisle. It is with these pax that I usually get the offer of their old seat - excuse me, if I had wanted a middle or window seat I would have asked for one at check-in.

    I blame Hoyts and Jetstar.

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