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theelfqueen
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Ignoring Covid and your personal covid specific precautions as a factor, this is mostly a theoretical discussion I was having with DH and he feels my stance is unreasonable. and of course, I think his stance is unreasonable.. so I'm polling the Hive -- for my own curiosity and peace of mind, not to discuss the Hive's opinions with him 

Imagine that you are booking three seats on a long flight for three adults (one an over 6 ft man with broad shoulders, one an average sized woman and one older teen 16+  also 6'2" and again broad shoulders)...

Would you book 3 seats in one row, no matter the individual preferences, so you could all be together? 3 seats in preferred types (ie. one of you prefers window, two prefer aisle -- book two aisle and one window? Three close-to-each-other aisles so everyone has maximum space? Some other configuration?

One of the adults feels that all should all sit in one row, specifically so they can have an aisle seat and not have to sit next to strangers (this is not a covid concern. this person just doesn't want to be stuck next to a stranger, especially a stranger who may not be pleasant to sit next to.) 

Is your answer different for longer/international flights vs. shorter flights?

Edited by theelfqueen
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In our house, the tall people sits in the row in front of us at the front of the section or in front of/behind us with the emergency exit.  They get the aisle seat and the window, or try to book two aisle seats in the middle of the plane

The person who is a foot shorter sits with the kid, and doesn't care if we sit next to a stranger. 

Personally, I'd rather my husband not get off the plane with back issues from being scrunched in and the only way to do that is to split up sometimes.

 

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We have similar scenarios often on 10+ hour flights and we’re a tall family.  If the flight will be full, we prefer to sit in a row together since we’d rather be stuck next to someone we know.  If it’s fairly empty, as many international flights are these days, then we sit near each other in aisle seats next to empty middle seats. 

Any flight less than 6 hours is short to us and no one cares what the seating arrangement is then.

Edited by Amira
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If the teen is generally okay with strange situations or comfortable with flying and is tolerable at dealing with strangers, I would book three seats in whatever form people prefer.  

If it's, say, the teen's first flight, smaller adult would sit next to teen and other adult would sit in a more comfortable seat.  

But I don't think doing it the other way is wrong, if everyone is agreeable to it.  

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And they often don't recline -- this is an issue on a 10+ hour flight! I looked into these options -- seats with more legroom that fully recline and have access to personal item/space would have nearly doubled the cost of the flights! Crazy all the ways they nickel and dime every single thing they could charge you for these days.

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We generally just take the same row because if we don’t, who knows if they’ll have even less room with the strangers they’re sitting with. If I’m going to be cramped, I’d rather be cramped with my own family than strangers.

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We don't have anyone over 6 feet in our family, and there are 5 of us, so we usually do either 3 and 2 (across the aisle from each other) or 2 and 3 (with the 3 "kids" in front of the grown-ups). 

If I did have your configuration, what I'd most likely do is aisle, aisle,  middle so that the 2 tall guys could sort of stretch out (although, I mean, is that really better??) and the shorter window-liking person (presumably) just has to not have a window and gets to still sit with the people they are traveling with. I would (personally) find it weird to split up to a different window (and would find it *extra* weird to book the window and aisle and leave the middle empty, to get a stranger there, because.....weird). 

The window person can still usually get a sort-of view out the window even when in the middle, and then all the parties are together for the trip, and it's much easier to deal with strangers next to you when you're still at least in a visible grouping. 

 

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It depends upon the configuration of the plane and how crowded it looks like the flight will be.

On many of the international flights we have flown there are two seats on the outer sections and more in the middle. We will most often book two of the outer seat (one window and one aisle) and then the aisle seat on the middle section in ths same row.  

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(Before COVID) At those ages... I most often booked everyone on an aisle, all clumped together (10C and 10D, 11C and 11D, 12C sort of model).  Randos tend not to bug folks who are obviously traveling together.  Also, noise cancelling headphones, God's gift to women traveling on planes.  You don't even need to play any content, just pop those puppies on as soon as you buckle up. 

I don't have any need to be in the same row as my traveling companions; we're traveling together; we'll get plenty of one another's company.  Plane rides are strictly an ordeal to be endured; if you're more comfortable on the aisle (all of us ultimately are) then just do that.

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The seats behind the Bulkhead obviously don't have seats in front of them. People seated in Bulkhead rows do have more legroom but they cannot place their small item in front of them where their feet are. In the case of DD, she has a bag with her laptop and her passports and all important papers that she must keep there.

And the emergency exit rows have more legroom but as someone pointed out I don't think their seats recline. Or the row in front of them. Passengers seated in emergency exit rows must be able and willing to operate the emergency exit door in the unlikely event of an emergency.

This might depend somewhat on the aircraft model involved. My DD does pay extra to select her seat assignments when she makes her reservations. She doesn't like long flights. The KLM flight from Panama to Amsterdam was 9 hours 26 minutes, wheels up to wheels down (they had a wonderful tail wind) but she was probably inside the aircraft for about 10 1/2 hours?  

A few years ago, there were 4 of us on a trip to MCO (Orlando). Avianca permitted making seat assignments within 24 hours of departure. For the flight from Orlando to Bogota, when I logged in to select our seat assignments, I found that the Avianca reservation computer had put 2 of us in one row and 2 of us behind them. So we had 2 Window Seats and 2 Middle Seats. I didn't change that...    My plan would have been for 3 of us together and the other person across the aisle which would have given us 2 Aisle Seats. As mentioned in this thread Aisle seats have their advantages...

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If the two larger people like aisles, then I would give the aisles side by side. Then the person who likes the window can sit beside one of them for conversation but still see out the window even if it's not right at the window. I love window views, but that's what happens to me because ds gets the window. 

Yes on the noise canceling headphones. We both wear the and honestly nobody talks to you. They put on their masks and work on their laptops in their own worlds. 

Note, if you fly Southwest and pay for earlybird, sometimes you can get really good seats. I've had front row many times that way and love having the extra space. 

Edited by PeterPan
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2 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Well teen is a pilot... so umm flying isn't an issue. LOL

I need to pay better attention to the name of the name of OP when I read a thread. I thought you were responding to the first post, and I was confused by your comment.

I came to respond, and now I get it. Very glad that your pilot teen doesn’t mind flying.

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I've organized several international flights for small groups... this type of issue ALWAYS comes up...

Before I started taking the lead, I was in a small group where the lead person arranged all of the seating-- I ended up in an isle seat but 15 rows away from anyone else in the group- next to a strange man who SNORED the whole trip... I was miserable.  My leader was 6'6" and thought everyone would do better with an isle-- but allowed the 'short people' to sit next to a tall person for conversation...(sigh, I guess I was the odd tall person...).

In OP's situation I would probably book 2 adjoining isle seats with the OP next to their favorite person to chat with-- or the person who does not like strangers).  If that is not possible then I would go for a 3 seat section (DH, OP, DS) and not use the armrests if possible (for us it is so much more comfortable that way!). 

 

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Me, I like a window.  DH likes an aisle. I book either a window and an aisle on the same row or two aisle seats if I can't do the window/aisle on the same row.  The raisable armrests make a big difference, if you do sit side-by-side.  And COVID has made me prefer aisle/middle together but I don't think that preference is entirely rational.

I never worried about more than 2 people 12years and older being super close together.  All the seats land at the same time and place.  

 

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16 hours ago, theelfqueen said:

Ignoring Covid and your personal covid specific precautions as a factor, this is mostly a theoretical discussion I was having with DH and he feels my stance is unreasonable. and of course, I think his stance is unreasonable.. so I'm polling the Hive -- for my own curiosity and peace of mind, not to discuss the Hive's opinions with him 

Imagine that you are booking three seats on a long flight for three adults (one an over 6 ft man with broad shoulders, one an average sized woman and one older teen 16+  also 6'2" and again broad shoulders)...

Would you book 3 seats in one row, no matter the individual preferences, so you could all be together? 3 seats in preferred types (ie. one of you prefers window, two prefer aisle -- book two aisle and one window? Three close-to-each-other aisles so everyone has maximum space? Some other configuration?

One of the adults feels that all should all sit in one row, specifically so they can have an aisle seat and not have to sit next to strangers (this is not a covid concern. this person just doesn't want to be stuck next to a stranger, especially a stranger who may not be pleasant to sit next to.) 

Is your answer different for longer/international flights vs. shorter flights?

When we are travelling as a family we all travel together.  We don't cherry pick preferred seats

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I was generally in the middle seat with one child preferring the window and one the aisle. I'm not so fussy if I'm sitting with family. DH sits on the aisle across from us. The other option would be back to back depending what seats are available.

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My dh and I both prefer aisle seats, so unless we are in first class, we get two aisle seats that are across from each other. It's been a few year since we had more than two of us together on the plane. If that were to happen again, I'd ask that person if they want to sit next to one of us or elsewhere. In first class, we both feel like we have enough space to sit together and will do so, but that's usually on long flights.

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My dh needs an aisle seat and I like sitting next to him, so that means I'm in a middle seat or window (depending on whether there's 2 or 3 seats).

If one of our dd's were to come with us, she'd probably sit in the window seat next to me.  If our ds were to come, he'd probably try and sit in an aisle seat across from us.  

 

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I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of non-international fights I've taken in the last decade that my seating arrangement didn't get moved. (Air NZ was the exception). At this point, I'm just glad that we're all on the same plane!

 

I do think one of my favorite flights was when my then 12 yr old ended up sitting with a bunch of Texas Sorority girls flying to Memphis to visit St. Jude, I was the row behind, and DH was somewhere else. My kid had a blast, and it seemed like the college girls did, too. 

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I'd put the two people who want to be in the aisle - in aisle seats across from each other.  Then the person who wants to sit next to the window can do so.  it's still the same row.

Most single travelers won't willingly put themselves in a center seat unless the plane is full. 

and if it's too full - at least before covid, alaska would send out messages beforehand for anyone who would willingly take a later flight . . . . a lot of people took them up on that offer and there was plenty of room on the flight.  and no one in the middle seat in my row.  😜 

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I prefer an aisle seat, but if both kids are with me, or even just DS (6'7"), I'm usually stuck in the middle seat because he takes up a seat & a half so I sit next to him and put up the armrest and I get half a seat. But within the US we really only fly Southwest, so if it's just the two of us we're often able to get a row with no one in the middle. If all three of us are flying internationally, I try to book bulkhead seats in the same row and we all wear jackets with lots of pockets to hold phones, iPads, chargers, earbuds, snacks, etc., since you can keep a jacket on your lap but any bags have to go in the overhead.

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When we fly, everyone sits in their preferred type of seat. Dh prefers aisle, the rest of us prefer window. I would definitely not pick a window seat just to sit next to dh. We sleep together, no need to have an uncomfortable seat just to be closer to him. 

We often will book aisle and window in the same row hoping no one else books the middle seat. If they do, the middle person has always switched with us for a win-win seating arrangement.

Our last flights as a family were like this: 
one row: 10yo window, 17yo middle, dh aisle
17yo prefers window, but he refuses to sit next to strangers. I actually booked a window for him, but the middle between dh and 10yo gladly switched for a window seat. 
another row: 15yo window, dw aisle
I prefer window, but we gambled that no one would book the middle seat. 
Other rows:
13yo and 19yo in window seats in adjacent rows

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So DH and I both prefer aisles. DS prefers a window but hasn't flown commercial since he got tall! I don't think I should have to suffer in a middle seat for a 14 hour flight because DH doesn't want to sit next to a stranger.

I booked three aisle seats figuring one of the middles should be open (it's a 787 3x3x3) and he can have that one or the one with the least offensive to him stranger lol 

Though we could book a center row and have two aisles a middle I guess...  hmmm we picked seats but it's a ways out. I can keep an eye on it. 

Edited by theelfqueen
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In August 2019 when DD went from Cali, Colombia (CLO, our home airport) to RDU she had a long scheduled layover in Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Almost 8 hours scheduled between flights in FLL.   We sent her on SPIRIT and we paid extra for "Big Front Seats" on both flights.  She was in an Aisle Seat on both of those flights.  

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With three of us we would all be in same row, I'd be stuck in the middle.  With just the two of us my husband wants aisle with extended leg room.  I usualy get stuck with an aisle seat, he gets offended when I want to sit elsewhere and doesn't seem to get that it is uncomfortable to me to be squished, he likes it because he doesn't have to worry about the person next to him.  however this is going to change as I'm tired of being stuck between two large men. (dh is 6'3 and broad).  We are a family of 7 so we've done multiple configurations through the years and kids are now grown (20-26) except for our 15 yr old.  

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Our family of 6 flew from CA to FL this summer. We paid extra to choose seats because I didn’t want my daughters sitting by strangers. None of the arrangements were honored. We did manage to get acceptable seating, but it was such a huge hassle and blah, blah, blah. Yes, I should have lodged a complaint, but I just didn’t feel like fighting “Big Airline”. They probably would have given us vouchers anyway and we hardly ever fly, so it wouldn’t have been worth the trouble. Anyhow, my point is…. don’t out too much stock in choosing your seats.

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37 minutes ago, KrissiK said:

Our family of 6 flew from CA to FL this summer. We paid extra to choose seats because I didn’t want my daughters sitting by strangers. None of the arrangements were honored. We did manage to get acceptable seating, but it was such a huge hassle and blah, blah, blah. Yes, I should have lodged a complaint, but I just didn’t feel like fighting “Big Airline”. They probably would have given us vouchers anyway and we hardly ever fly, so it wouldn’t have been worth the trouble. Anyhow, my point is…. don’t out too much stock in choosing your seats.

Wow.   One of the reasons my DD was in Aisle seats when she went to the USA in August 2019 was that if she was in a Window seat and some man became aggressive with her that it might be difficult or impossible for her to get the attention of a Flight Attendant. In an aisle seat that should be much easier. Hopefully never will be necessary but there are occasional news stories.  Another reason for Aisle seats is in case one needs to use the restroom.

Question: Which airline did not honor the Seat Assignments you paid extra for?  I would not be a happy camper. The only excuse for that is if they change the type of equipment they are using for the flight from one model aircraft to another.   Or if they have different seating configurations in the same model. I doubt they would do that. 

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Not what your asking, but from experience,  keep in mind unless you book way in advance there may not be 3 seats available together anyways so the decision may be who gets the aisle, window etc. seat available.

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1 minute ago, lynn said:

Not what your asking, but from experience,  keep in mind unless you book way in advance there may not be 3 seats available together anyways so the decision may be who gets the aisle, window etc. seat available.

I already bought them and booked seats... right now a handful of seats in business are booked  and a handful through the rest of the plane but I could basically choose whatever configuration I wanted. 

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1 hour ago, lynn said:

Not what your asking, but from experience,  keep in mind unless you book way in advance there may not be 3 seats available together anyways so the decision may be who gets the aisle, window etc. seat available.

This is what I think was the problem. We did book pretty far in advance. They did make some changes to the flight, so I am not saying it was a blatant disregard, but, we didn’t get what we paid for and I won’t try it again. And, we were able to make some changes personally with other passengers who didn’t get the seats they requested,, and it ended up working out that between my husband and me we were sitting by our youngest children, but it was a total pain.

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