Seat squatting in Exit Row Seats on International Flights

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will2rob

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Coming back from Singapore with my family in Y yesterday, I made the mistake of shelling out my $90 for the privilege of selecting an exit row seat. Silly me. No sooner had the seat belt light gone off and it was a free for all for the quickest to jump from a standard Y seat into a spare exit row seat for nix in the centre exit seats.

Maybe I'm being a bit petty, I don't care if people swap jump into vacant seats within their cabin as a general proposition, but I felt this was a bit different. These are premium seats that QF charges extra for. However, the cabin crew didn't seem to care and the squatters remained there for entire flight. Is this normal? I haven't travelled in Y for international for quite some time so don't know if this is the norm or not.
 

Grooba

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I'd have to agree, this is normal practice. In fact some will move seats just as the front door is closed (or even earlier if possible) to claim a better row.

Personally I'm not one to jump into an exit row as the immovable arm rests are not my cup of tea on medium/long haul flights.
 

markis10

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Moving after takeoff is quite normal. As for them being premium seats, you pay a premium for guaranteeing one, just like most customers have to pay to pick any seat before departure if no status is held.
 

im.daniel

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Was on QF 51 the other day in 44A (44B and C occupied) - and the FA suggested/insisted that I moved to 46A (exit row); with 46C taken and 46B spare. I felt a bad for the guy in 46C, but he seemed cool with it and was quite welcoming.
 

Pushka

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I guess you pay for the certainty of knowing you have an exit row rather than fight the masses for any spare ones. Random luck.
 

legroom

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I guess you pay for the certainty of knowing you have an exit row rather than fight the masses for any spare ones. Random luck.

Same principle applies with the $13K F ticket (vs a points upgrade).

The latter is pure luck and you may get to stay where you paid i.e. J.
 

serfty

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It when the B (or J) seat is empty and a random jumps in the middle in such a manner that one can get annoyed. I tend to put some stuff down in an empty adjacent seat to 'mark territory' - it tebds to work surprisingly well.
 

Pushka

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It when the B (or J) seat is empty and a random jumps in the middle in such a manner that one can get annoyed. I tend to put some stuff down in an empty adjacent seat to 'mark territory' - it tebds to work surprisingly well.

Guess we are lucky that dogs don't fly then. ;)
 

Austman

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I've been on airlines (not QF) where the cabin crew ask passengers to return to their original seats, even after take-off, explaining to the passengers that they are premium seats that required extra payment.
 

RooFlyer

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I think in the OP's situation the FAs should monitor and if practicable, prevent the seat-swapping-into-exit-row-seats.

1) Exit rows are a (slightly) premium product attracting a higher price on nearly every airline these days, so its a similar situation to the fact that you can't seat-swap Y for PE nor Y or PE for J; AND

2) In theory, at an exit row seat you have to pass the FA's pre-take-off "Are you willing and able to undertake those (emergency situation) duties?" test. I think you actually have to positively reply with the answer "Yes" to that question. Seat jumpers obviously haven't. If the answer to the pre-flight question isn't important, why ask it?
 

kelvedon

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Do seat squatting rights trump Platinum shadow etiquette, and if so do FA's act?
 

RooFlyer

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Moving after takeoff is quite normal. As for them being premium seats, you pay a premium for guaranteeing one, just like most customers have to pay to pick any seat before departure if no status is held.

Isn't that like saying you are paying J fare for the 'guarantee' of a J seat? The payment for exit row seats is for the added amenity & comfort of more leg room. Saying the airlines charge merely to 'guarantee' you an exit row seats means that airlines endorse anything-goes seat swapping after take-off. Whilst mostly they don't have an issue with it, I believe its always at the FA's discretion, so its not (or shouldn't be) 'move at will and if you bag an exit row seat good on you'.
 

markis10

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Isn't that like saying you are paying J fare for the 'guarantee' of a J seat?

No, not like at all, advance seat selection fees are simply selection fees that give you priority access to a seat versus running the gambit of the post takeoff scrum. And yes they often endorse the scrum, mentioning you are free to move seats after the seat belt sign is off on many of the flights.
 
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rioter

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I was on a VA flight in a exit row where the flight attendants belted up the middle seats and added a sign.
I asked to move seats later in the flight as i kept getting kicked by people waiting around the toilets. They said as i had paid for the exit row i could sit in the bank across from me they just kept it like that to avoid the situation described. Undid the seatbelt and moved it across to the one i just vacated. Was good customer service.
 

QF2220

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I had an experience once which i think may have been a one off but should be made part of the FA boarding process. I was unsuccessful in getting a points updgrade from Y to J and was unfortunately in the middle rows. Im nothing special, just Gold, but the FA came around and asked for me and said that there was an exit row seat available, would i like it. I jumped at the chance. Another guy who I saw in the lounge took the other seat in the row of 3 (leaving us with the spare middle seat). This was a nice little consolation prize for me given the inability to score the points upgrade.
 

VHOEJ

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I've been on airlines (not QF) where the cabin crew ask passengers to return to their original seats, even after take-off, explaining to the passengers that they are premium seats that required extra payment.

That should happen more often.

But yes, the only way to stop it is to put your items on at least one seat (e.g a jacket), then they won't do it.
 

robw0910

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On a BA LHR-HAM flight a few years back the FA asked myself and another passenger if we wouldn't mind sitting in an exit row seat for take-off/landing. For some reason nobody had been allocated one and it was a requirement.
 

amaroo

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On a BA LHR-HAM flight a few years back the FA asked myself and another passenger if we wouldn't mind sitting in an exit row seat for take-off/landing. For some reason nobody had been allocated one and it was a requirement.

I've seen this many times on J* They appear to like at least two passengers in the exit row.
 
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