3 reasons flight attendants won’t allow passengers to switch seats in flight

Dear Heather,

What is the proper etiquette for switching to an open seat? Should I ask the flight attendant first? Is it okay to switch to another row if only one person is occupying the row?



Go for it! Switch seats. You don’t have to ask. But you might want to wait until everyone is on board before making your move. Worst case scenario a flight attendant might ask you to return to your original seat. Big deal, so what if you have to move back? Most of the time the open seat is yours for the taking – as long as it’s in the same cabin as your ticketed seat. Which brings me to the first class stowaway…

“Whenever I travel I always wear a nice suit and board last,” said the passenger seated beside me on a flight years ago. I don’t remember where we were going, but I wasn’t working so he had no idea what I did for a living. “As I’m passing through the first class cabin I’ll slide into an open seat. If the flight attendants say anything I’ll quietly offer fifty bucks.”


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