NO – I Won’t Change Seats with You!!

When I started this blog, I said I would write about some of the little things that annoy me. By now, you’ve probably figured out that liberal politicians annoy me. But, that’s Annoy with a capital “A” because they are destroying this great nation. Today, I need to vent about something that annoys me with a lower case “a.”

I travel a lot. This year has been particularly bad. The only upside to my extensive travel is that my airline status on AA gets me free upgrades to first class about 95% of the time. So, at least I’m not back there with the common folk (kidding – just kidding). I also usually get my preference, which is an aisle seat, not in the bulkhead row. I’m a little bit claustrophobic, I drink a lot of water on planes (and the occasional vodka or 4), and I have a bladder the size of a walnut. I do not want to wake up some dude on the aisle four times to get up and pee between DC and Miami.

Three times in the last month, I’ve had people get on and give me some variant of “I’m traveling with my husband/wife/lover/business partner/schoolmate/etc. – we’re in different rows – would you please switch seats so we can sit together?” Then, you find out they’re offering to trade a window seat for your aisle seat. And, if you say no, YOU’RE the douchebag. So what, I’m starting to get some spine and say no.

A quick look at the seating diagram of any flight makes it very clear that aisle seats are far more popular than window seats (thankfully, up in the front of the bus, there’s no such thing as the intolerable middle seat). Yeah, there are a few large bladdered, non-claustrophobic types who prefer the window, but they are outnumbered by us small bladdered claustrophobes like 10-1. Sooooo, when you ask me to trade your window for my aisle, you’re asking me to trade something of high value for something of demonstrably lower value…..for free. Just because you want to sit next to your husband so you can be closer to his snoring breath for the next 2 hours and 16 minutes?

Here’s my question to all you seat switchers – if you show up at a Yankee Stadium with your spouse and you have seats in the upper deck that are not together, and see a couple of dudes sitting in the front row behind home plate who appear not to know each other, would you ask them to move to the upper deck so you can sit with your spouse behind home plate? No difference. Trade a great seat for a crappy seat just to be nice.

This is a TOTALLY UNREASONABLE REQUEST. You’re the one that should feel like a douchebag for asking. So, here’s my suggestion. Either don’t ask or offer a fair trade. There is definitely a price at which I’ll suffer a window seat for a few hours. Since I may end up negotiating with one of you on a future flight, I decline to disclose my price, but it may rhyme with “meveral kundred follars.” So, offer me your window seat and some dough and we may have a deal. Until then, sit down in your window seat and shut up.

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About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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4 Responses to NO – I Won’t Change Seats with You!!

  1. Dan Grabois says:

    I assume if they have a kid that changes the picture for you.

    Fortunately, although I share the small bladder gene with you (must come from the grandparents we share), I appreciate the window seat and always request one. The reason: the bad breath you mention. At the window, you can turn your head and pretend nobody else is on the plane.

    Last year I was seated on one flight between two bouncers headed for some big event. Worst day of my life.

    By the way, although you almost didn’t bring up politics, I will say that planes are almost the only place I ever meet Republicans. I suppose that would change in the unlikely event of a family reunion.

  2. Blueloom says:

    On a flight last summer, I ended up on a plane with a gazillion Mary Kay ladies returning home from their convention. It was one of those planes w/ 2 seats on one side and 3 on the other. I had the aisle seat on the 2-seat side (next to a Mary Kay lady, of course; they made up half the population of the plane).

    Another MK lady asked if I would change seats so she could sit next to her friend. Hers was an aisle seat on the 3-seat side, but next to a squirming, cranky kid + dad. I said no. Right decision. Plane was delayed on take-off b/c of a part that had to be replaced. Cranky kid got crankier. Two-hour flight turned into four-hour flight. Did I feel guilty? Not one single bit. I just listened to my audiobook & knitted, blissfully alone in my little world for four hours. (Sorry about folks who have to fly w/ cranky kids, but I’ve served my time in that particular situation–not mentioning any names here– and don’t feel obligated to sit next to other people’s cranky kids if I can avoid it.)

  3. Nora Fox says:

    Same thing happens to us “old folks” who want to sit on the aisle. Good idea, change seats for money….sounds very Free Enterprise, Very Republican. We progressives, though, would take your money and distribute it throughout the plane.

  4. Dan Grabois says:

    Or we would take the money, buy granola made by unionized workers, and distribute that through the plane!

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