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Experts Explain What To Do If Another Passenger Asks To Switch Seats

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This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.

The debate surrounding a Reddit user’s refusal to swap an exit-row seat with a pregnant woman has raised questions about etiquette and travel.

Etiquette experts emphasized that declining to switch seats was reasonable, highlighting that individuals are not obligated to do so and that the person making the request should be prepared for a “yes” or “no” response.

Suggestions included making polite requests, offering incentives, and ensuring that the seat being offered in exchange is of similar or better quality. (Trending: Joe Biden’s Approval Crashes To New Low)

It was also noted that individuals have the right to decline without feeling guilty or providing an explanation.

“Compelling someone to make a decision on the spot, without a lot of information or time to inquire, sounds impolite and a bit unreasonable,” etiquette expert Rosalinda Randall said..

“No one has the obligation to switch their seat, nor explain why they won’t switch,” Randall added. “And the person making the request has no right to expect, or get angry, when they don’t get their way” on the matter.

“Offer to buy [the other passenger] a beverage or two, [or] to pay for airline extras,” she said.

Elaine Swann, another etiquette expert from California, shared similar sentiments with Fox News Digital.

Noting that there is “nothing wrong at all” in looking to trade seats, those asking must “be prepared for the answer to be yes or no,” Swann said.

“The ask doesn’t mean that you automatically get it,” she said.

“Certainly the best time to ask that person [to switch seats] is during the boarding process,” added Swann, “before they’ve gotten fully comfortable in their seat.”

“It’s your prerogative as to whether or not you want to say yes or no,” she said. “Because a person asked you to change your seats does not mean that you are required to do so.”

“Sometimes people who want your seat are offering you a bad deal on a switch,” editor Clint Henderson said.

“These days, your seat assignment likely had some kind of cost, whether you paid for it outright or got it as a perk of status,” Henderson added.

“Of course, if it’s an even trade and you are a generous person, you are likely to be kind and make the switch — but sometimes people who want your seat are offering you a bad deal on a switch,” he said.

“I’m not going to give up my aisle seat in the first few rows of the coach cabin for your seat in the back.”

Henderson noted that it’s “worth asking” in order to be near a family member or friend.

“But they don’t have the right to get mad if the person says no,” he said.

“‘No’ is a complete answer and they don’t owe you an explanation either,” he added.

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