With the advent of the on-line check in option provided by most airlines, passengers are afforded certain privileges and rights regarding their seat choices. As many of you are probably aware, Continental allows passengers to check in for their flight at least 24 hours in advance. At such time of check in, you are allowed to choose your seat from any of the available empty seats on the plane. So this means that if you are forced to choose a middle seat when you purchase your ticket, you have a slim chance of getting one of the coveted aisle or window seats at the time of check in. Of course, there are no guarantees of this, but there is a chance.
I always choose an aisle seat first... then a window seat... then (and only when it is absolutely unavoidable) will I choose a middle seat. I would rather sit in the bathroom than in a middle seat - but that is just weird, so I never do that.
Last week, I boarded my plane and took up residence in my 7th row aisle seat. This is a premium coach seat because it is at the front of the plane AND on the aisle. It really is a rare occasion that I get such luxury in coach.
Well, a kind lady and her husband boarded the plane some time after I had settled in to my seat. The wife had the middle seat next to me, and her husband purchased the middle seat in front of her. Surely they did this because there were not other seats available. My heart goes out to them... really. But the wife (not the husband, mind you) asks me if I would mind switching seats with her husband. Take a minute to let that request set in in light of all I have stated above.
What could I possibly do? You can't say no to such a request. But everything in me wanted to explain to them the process and the fact that I am 6'2"... and I do not have a swimmer's build. Middle seats are miserable for a guy like me. But I made the switch.
It is one thing to ask someone to move from one aisle seat to another... but to cross the line from aisle to middle is just too much. That is my airline etiquette lesson for you all.
Oh... and have a happy Mardi Gras and Super Tuesday.