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Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Seattle
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Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

I'm curious if this may be an issue. We are flying Alaska to HNL from SEA and we are a family of four.

One member of the family has a one way first class ticket booked, and the rest of the family is seated together in coach.

The family member in first class has offered to let me use his seat in first... I am a larger man, and have some anxiety flying, and he thought it would be better for me. He in turn would sit with the rest of the family in coach.

The first class ticket is in his name, and he would sit in the coach seat that is in my name.

We don't intend to make a big deal of it... after we board I will sit in his first class seat, and he will sit in the coach seat.

Will this be a problem?

Thanks!

East Sussex, United...
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1. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Intriguing post and a situation Ive not heard of before. It will be interesting to hear the answers.

Seattle
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2. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Yes, a good question I think! If I just sit in his seat like I own it, and he sits in my seat in coach... I just don't see it being a problem.

We have different last names, so if they say "good morning Mr. Smith" I'm going to cringe!

We will wait for coach to board so we all board together.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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3. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

I have switched seats to a different class without a problem.

Like you, we boarded together and I took coach while they sat in First. We didn't say anything to the cc and as we switched tickets too, it never became an issue.

Mind you that was a few years ago before all the heightened security. But still, as long as you respond to your 'new' name, it shouldn't be a problem.

best of luck :)

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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4. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Hi,

On my carrier specifically, this is not permitted.. That is to for a passenger seated in a lower cabin to switch seats with another passenger seated in a higher cabin *unless* there is a reasonable prevailing need.. A common example of prevailing need is two parents traveling with a minor child and are in split cabins.. Parent A may switch down to coach part-way thru the fight with parent B originally seated in Coach.

I would double check with your Flight Attendant and explain the situation, most are more than willing to allow it so long as its' permitted by airline rules and there is no adverse impact to the cabin.

Travel Safe,

Ipswich, United...
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for Ipswich
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5. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

I can't see how the FAs would know as they don't normally have occasion to ask your name. The worst that can happen is that they'll ask you to go to your assigned seat. They're hardly likely to chuck you off half way through the flight!

On the issue of being nervous about flying, however, wouldn't it be better for you to be with those you know?

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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6. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Hi,

Wansteader, most carriers give the lead FA or Purser an inflight copy of the passenger manifest.. In most cases it gives a seat-by-seat breakdown with name (and sometimes additional information) on First and Business class passengers.. The economy manifest is usually just a name list and sometimes with associated seat assignments and FFP levels- but not a whole lot else.

Some crews use the F and C manifest sections to take pre and post departure drink orders and meal/snack choices.

This is also how a crew could/would now if someone is seated in the incorrect seat or has "self-upgraded".. The manifest would show the seat as being "open".

Aside from an introduction by the FA working that cabin the only other quick way to verify would be if the name and the person don't visually "match".. As in "Kathy Smith"showing in 1A. but a male passenger seated.. While "Kathy" always *could* be a male, it would be the exception and not the rule.

Travel Safe,

Seattle
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7. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

My problem is I really want to be honest, and I appreciate rules.

I would hate to tell the FA the situation and have her tell me no way, when it wouldn't have been a problem if I didn't say anything. (By the way, the other family member is a male, but is about 25 years my senior.

My fear of flying is strictly a claustrophobia issue, I have no fears regarding the safety of flying. Plus, I'm a big guy, I can fit in the coach seats, but they are a bit small for me and it adds to my potential claustrophobia.

I guess I don't know if I should say something or not.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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8. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Hi,

I'd just ask.. Unless it's flat out against their rules-- which tends to be more an issue with internationally operated flights than with domestic ones-- they will most likely not care and be more than accommodating.. Also, by explaining your situation, there may be some discretion that can be applied in your case.

Travel Safe,

Arcadia, California
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9. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Yes, I would certainly ask as well. It is still worth trying, and if you don't try you don't know the result. Alaska's staff is fairly friendly and I would expect them to say yes if you nicely explain. It's better knowing that you tried instead of faking you are your other member of the family (which could cause big troubles!), or not even asking in the first place.

Scotland
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10. Re: Ok to change seats with a family member is first class?

Don't bother asking. As soon as you are clear of any ID checks (say, on the air bridge), just swap boarding cards. No-one is going to know, and as long as there are the right number of passengers on board, and the right seats are filled, no-one is going to care.