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When is it OK to switch plane seats?

От alexander koryagin (2:5020/2140.2) к All

В ответ на Заголовок предыдущего сообщения в треде (Имя Автора)


Hi, all!

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When is it OK to switch plane seats?

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Flight attendants share their tips for seat-swapping etiquette
By Beth Blair
2 February 2017
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Tipsy passengers and overflowing bins might be some of the most grating
annoyances flight attendants deal with. But what can be even worse are
the four S's: stealing, sneaking, swiping and switching seats.

While it's not always a problem, it can definitely cause headaches for
cabin crew.

"Most flight attendants don't mind if passengers change seats," says
Michael, a flight attendant for a major USA airline. Change seats in
their own class, that is. Even then, there are some seats that are still
off-limits.

This, of course, all depends on the airline - companies like Southwest
Airlines and easyJet allow passengers to pick their seat once they start
boarding. But in all other situations, passengers looking to sit
somewhere else than they've been assigned can quickly cause chaos.

"It becomes a problem when a passenger wants to move to the exit row on
the plane," Michael says, describing those seats that have extra
legroom. "Most airlines make people pay upwards of 50 extra bucks to sit
in those seats and charge them when they book the ticket. It's not fair
for flight attendants to move or let people move to these seats when one
or more paid extra to sit there. I personally don't let people sit there
unless no one is sitting in the exit row."

Extra legroom aside: Desiring to sit next to friends, family or
coworkers is understandable. But swapping seats isn't always that easy.

"Sometimes people will take it upon themselves to just have a seat where
they want," Michael says. "It's easier for us flight attendants to have
them sit in their assigned seats until the person that was supposed to
be in the seat they want shows up. When they come and see someone in
their seat, it causes a more hectic boarding process, and the passengers
are now trying to work things out and it causes a mess."

But it's not always about wanting to sit next to your loved one. What
about wanting to upgrade from coach to something more luxurious? If
there is an empty seat and the upgrade list is empty, does that mean
passengers from another section can relocate? Not so fast.

Sandwiched between economy class and either business class or first
class is another price range tier often called premium economy class.
Sometimes when flying aboard large aircraft on major airlines, there are
noticeably different perks of wide, plush seats that transform into
comfortable lie-flat beds. Beyond comfort, other bonuses may include
early check-in, wider seats, upgraded meals or snacks, and sometimes
even gratis cocktails or comfort amenities like a sleep mask or
toothbrush. In smaller aircraft that aren't flying long distances, the
most common benefit - and for some travellers, the most obvious - is the
added two to five inches of legroom. As always, the magic number depends
upon the airline.

As for the dream of getting an upgrade? Most flight attendants will
attest that first-class is usually full.

If there are any open seats, gate agents usually upgrade frequent flyers
before boarding. Who gets the sought-after upgrades? Frequent flyers are
the obvious first choice, followed by passengers who may have traded
their seat for a voucher and upgrade on a later flight.

In addition to upgrades, there's a science behind the weight
distribution. This important factor is called weight and balance, and
depending upon the plane size (especially smaller regional carriers)
passengers may be asked to relocate, at least for takeoff. We asked a
pilot to explain:

"All aeroplanes operate in an envelope of stability. To continuously
stay in this envelope, from takeoff to touchdown, all weight and its
location have to be accounted for," says Darren Patterson, a pilot for a
major US carrier. "If you were to attach a string to the top of the
plane and dangle it, the center-of-gravity (CG) is the point where it is
equally balanced. Just like two kids balancing on a see-saw," he explains.

Passengers who think their own weight doesn't make an impact on the
flight may be surprised to learn otherwise.

"This CG continuously, yet slowly, moves throughout a flight as weight
is shifted," says Patterson. "Even the movement of a single person
walking in the aisle can be felt in the flight controls and very minor
adjustments are made to keep the aircraft balanced. The largest loss of
weight during any flight will be the fuel that is burned. So there are
both a balanced starting point for takeoff and an ending point for
landing. If both of these points are within that envelope you will
always have a stable aeroplane."

Have you ever noticed the flight attendants counting passengers before
departure? Other times, some aircraft have software that intuitively
reads distributed weight and compute the numbers electronically for
takeoff, while other flight crews have to do it manually.

If you've ever been on a puddle jumper and had the pilots relocate
passengers to another seat, that means weight needs to be distributed
for safety's sake. "The smaller the aeroplane, the more dramatic effect
any shift in weight can have," Patterson explains. "On a large, wide
body aeroplane, a single person can move 10 rows of seats and the effect
on the balance is negligible. Have that same person move just a few rows
on a regional plane or turboprop and the effects are far more dramatic;
possibly even exceeding the limits of the envelope."

Thanks to the convenience of technology, some airlines allow passengers
to upgrade on the spot with a swipe of a credit card once onboard. Yes,
the same little handheld device flight attendants use to charge you for
your double gin and tonic has the ability to upgrade passengers right there.

The very best time to switch seats is online before getting to the
airport, followed by meeting the ticketing or gate agents prior to
boarding. When there are empty seats, it's tempting to move, but there
may be passengers still on their way to the aircraft. Once on the plane,
the flight attendant is your final advocate - and we recommend you stick
to the old adage, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. In other
words, request nicely, and you might just score the seat of your dreams.
At least in coach.


http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20170202-when-is-it-okay-to-switch-plane-seats
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Bye, all!
Alexander Koryagin


--- FIDOGATE 5.1.7ds
* Origin: Pushkin's BBS (2:5020/2140.2)

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